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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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Saturday / December 15.
  • More Than 60 NBA Personnel Expected at Champions Classic

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    SkalThe 2015-16 college basketball season is set to begin this weekend and that means NBA teams will be watching many of the top pro prospects.

    More than 60 NBA personnel are expected at the Champions Classic Tuesday in Chicago, sources told

    Defending national champion Duke plays Kentucky in the first game of the doubleheader at the United Center and Michigan State meets Kansas in the other.

    The first game will feature three of the top six projected picks in the 2016 NBA Draft according to

    Kentucky’s Skal Labissiere is the projected No. 1 pick, Duke’s Brandon Ingram is No. 3 and Kentucky’s Jamal Murray is No. 6. All three are freshmen.

    Kansas freshman Cheick Diallo, who has yet to be cleared by the NCAA, is the projected No. 11 pick in 2016.

    After that, Kansas’ Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is projected at No. 17, Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe at No. 18 and Kentucky’s Marcus Lee at 29. Michigan State’s Denzell Valentine is projected at No. 47 and Kentucky’s Alex Poythress at No. 58.

    “It’s an early look at some of the top kids,” one NBA scout told “Time to separate the men from the boys.”

    In 2017, Duke’s Derryck Thornton and Grayson Allen are projected at Nos. 30 and 32, respectively. Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis is projected at No. 38, Kansas’ Wayne Selden at No. 52 and Kansas’ Brannen Greene at No. 55.

    For the second year in a row, Kentucky had all 30 NBA teams at its preseason NBA Combine.

    Stay tuned for more on ZAGSBLOG from the Champions Classic on Tuesday.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.