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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / July 2.
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    Saying that SMU “committed multiple violations,” the NCAA handed the school a postseason ban in 2016 and suspended 75-year-old Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown for 30 percent of the team’s games this season.

    Brown must also vacate some of his wins from last season and faces a two-year show cause penalty from Sept. 29, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2017 that will require him to attend an NCAA Regional Rules seminar during each year of the show-cause period.

    The NCAA also hit SMU with recruiting penalties, including the loss of nine scholarships across three seasons. The program also can’t host recruits for unofficial visits for 13 weeks in the summer of 2016 and will lose 20 off-campus recruiting days.

    “The NCAA has now spoken,” Brown said in a statement. “I am overwhelmingly disappointed for our players and the SMU community that the NCAA has decided to punish them as a result of the unfortunate actions of one staff member who provided inappropriate help to one of our players. I remain proud of our entire program and our unwavering dedication to doing things the right way. Our compliance program is second to none. The NCAA’s new Rules dictate that as Head Coach, I am responsible for every member of the basketball staff. I accept that responsibility but I do not accept the appropriateness of the punishment. I could not ask for a better or more dedicated group of men or women. We will move forward together to make the SMU community proud.”

    Thon Maker SJUSt. John’s has jumped into the Thon Maker Sweepstakes.

    St. John’s assistant coach Barry “Slice” Rohrssen visited with the 7-foot Maker on Monday at Orangeville Prep in Ontario.

    “We’ve known Slice since UK as he was the one who visited us last year,” Ed Smith, Maker’s guardian, told “He feels that with Chris Mullin being a former [NBA] GM and a Hall of Fame member, the experience in dealing with an elite player like Thon is there. He also pointed out that New York City is a 45-minute flight from Toronto and Thon would be near his brother.

    “New York is a major market and he feels if you get a Thon and a Rawle Alkins it would be special in turning around St. John’s.”

    proxyOne day after landing the New Orleans McDonogh 35 duo of De’Jon Jarreau and Brison Gresham, UMass added to its 2016 haul by landing big man Chris Baldwin.

    The 6-foot-8 Baldwin out of Notre Dame Prep announced for UMass on Twitter, choosing the Minutemen over Creighton, West Virginia, Temple and DePaul.

    “Chris is obviously incredibly excited to be joining the Minutemen,” Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd said. “The opportunity to play close enough to home to have his family and friends share in the experience is exciting for him. When you combine that with his relationship with Coach [Derek] Kellogg and Coach [Adam] Ginsburg, the university’s solid academic reputation, new $30 million dollar practice facility and an energized fan base…it became an easy decision.”

    Breein Tyree, a 6-foot-2 point guard from St. Joe’s-Metuchen High School and the Sports U AAU program, verbally committed to Ole Miss on Monday.

    The No. 43-ranked point guard in the Class of 2016 according to 247Sportscom, he also considered Kansas State and UMass.

    “Breein’s upside is off the chart,” Sports U coach Brian Coleman said. “He had a tremendous summer. He’s getting more comfortable running the point. That helped him develop his court vision and his leadership skills. Everyone knows he’s a tremendous athlete but he’s developed so many other phases to his game.