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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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Sunday / March 3.
  • TyusNEW YORK — A day after Syracuse-bound guard Tyus Battle went for 24 points in a 64-46 win over Prestige Prep at the Hoop Group Showcase, people were still talking about his performance.

    “Tyus Battle was a man, he’s a man,” former Rutgers coach Mike Rice, who now works with the Hoop Group, told SNY.tv at the Sharette Dixon Classic on Sunday night. “Physically, his game is so mature. He moves at a different pace and a different explosiveness than a lot of high school players that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them over my 22 years. He’s a man.”

    The 6-foot-6 Battle had an eventful summer, decommitting from Michigan and pledging to Syracuse in July and then transferring to St. Joe’s-Metuchen from Gill St. Bernard’s in August in part so he could play alongside his younger brother Khalif, a freshman guard.

    Indiana got a head start on its 2017 recruiting class on Monday when Al Durham committed to the Hoosiers.

    A 6-foot-4 left-handed shooting guard from Lilburn (GA) Berkmar, he also had offers from Georgia, Florida, Virginia Tech and South Florida. North Carolina had also been calling him.

    Durham’s father, Al Durham Sr., played high school ball at St. Raymond’s in The Bronx and knows Indiana assistant Chuck Martin from their connection there.

    CSM2P3KWwAARoAKNEW YORK — Of all the players in both the Underclassmen and Upperclassmen games at the Sharette Dixon Classic on Sunday night, Naz Reid may have the biggest upside of them all.

    A 6-foot-9 sophomore at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic ranked the No. 5 power forward in the Class of 2018 by 247Sports.com, Reid has all the physical tools to make basketball his profession one day in the future.

    “My idea of basketball is just to try to get way better and try to make it to the NBA,” Reid said after he went for 20 points, including three 3-pointers, as the New Jersey underclassmen beat their New York counterparts, 96-89, at the Gauchos Gym. Markquis Nowell of Bishop Loughlin was the MVP with 20 points, including four 3-pointers.

    “Nazreon Reid showed great ability, shoots 3’s, he runs the court,” said longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski. “He just has to learn how to play the game, not just shoot 3’s.

    CSNGJAgWcAAmT31NEW YORK — A year from now, Omari Spellman will be playing in the Big East Conference and T.J. Gibbs will be on display in the ACC.

    On Sunday night at the Sharette Dixon Memorial Classic, both players gave an advanced preview of what they will be bringing to college next year.

    The 6-foot-9, 270-pound Spellman, who has committed to Villanova for the Class of 2016, went for 24 points as the New York upperclassmen beat New Jersey, 117-100, at the Gauchos Gym.

    The 6-3 Gibbs, who is headed to play at Notre Dame, scored a game-best 26 points in the loss.

    Former Seton Hall assistant and current Lincoln coach Tiny Morton coached New York to the win, while former Rutgers coach Mike Rice coached New Jersey in the loss.

    Jaylen BrownBefore this year, the University of California-Berkeley hadn’t exactly been the first school that came to mind when conjuring one-and-done players and NBA prospects.

    But that all changed when 6-foot-10 forward Ivan Rabb chose Cal over Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA in April, and then 6-7 wing Jaylen Brown picked the Bears over Michigan, Kentucky and North Carolina in May.

    It was a stunning turn of events in the recruiting world. Not one, but two, NBA prospects picked Cal over traditional college powerhouses and NBA factories — most notably Kentucky.

    Now, with the 2015-16 college basketball season about to tip off in a few weeks, NBA scouts have made California a regular stop.

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