October 2016 | Page 4 of 22 | Zagsblog
Recent Posts
About ZagsBlog
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.
Follow Zags on Twitter
Couldn't connect with Twitter
Contact Zags
Connect with Zags:
Tuesday / November 24.
  • Former Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead will make his Nets home debut Friday night against the Pacers at Barclays Center.

    And Whitehead will be just eight miles away from where he grew up in Coney Island.

    “It’ll be big to see the fans out there and my friends and family in the crowd. Hopefully we win. That’s the major goal,’’ Whitehead, who had 1 assist and 1 rebound in 3 minutes in Wednesday’s 122-117 season-opening loss at Boston, told the Post. “It’s really importance attendance-wise. If they see us go full-force, win or lose give it our all, I think they’ll come to every game and support us.”

    One person who won’t be in attendance is Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, who wishes he could attend but will be in Philadelphia for a “secret scrimmage” with Penn State on Saturday.

    NEW YORK — Chris Mullin doesn’t know how many more games St. John’s would have won last year if Marcus LoVett had been eligible and healthy to play point guard.

    Mullin figures it probably would have been more than the eight St. John’s did win in his first season as head coach, but he doesn’t want to think too long about it, either.

    “Who knows, it’s hard to tell,” Mullin, whose team was picked to finish eighth in the 10-team Big East, said Thursday at St. John’s Media Day. “It’s hard to tell. Look, a lot of times things happen and at the time you’re saying ‘Why?’ but then in the long run it will kind of work out. So I think it’s probably more important how we dealt with that to get to this point and now we’ll answer those questions now.”

    After the 6-foot LoVett sat out last season as a partial qualifier, now begins on Halloween Night when he makes his debut in an exhibition game against Baruch at Carnesecca Arena. The Johnnies then play Rhode Island in a “secret scrimmage” next weekend before opening the regular season Nov. 11 against Bethune-Cookman.

    NEW YORK — After winning just one Big East game last season in his first year coaching at his alma mater, Chris Mullin is hoping for a significant jump as he enters his sophomore season.

    With the additions of players like Marcus LoVett, Bashir Ahmed and Shamorie Ponds, the Johnnies have an improved roster and should make a leap from last season’s 8-24 finish, 1-17 in the Big East.

    “I hope to smile more, I hope to drive home with a better feeling,” Mullin said Thursday at St. John’s Media Day.

    As much as the Johnnies want to improve for their own sake, it should also help recruiting going forward if they can get better on the court.

    St. John’s technically has no scholarships available for the Class of 2017, but is eyeing a huge recruiting class in 2018, including targets like Moses Brown, Naz Reid, Luther Muhammad, Anthony Nelson, Sid Wilson and Jordan Brown.

    Anthony Davis joined an elite NBA club on Wednesday night.

    The former Kentucky and current New Orleans Pelicans big man became just the fourth player ever to score 50 points in a season-opener.

    The other three?

    Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. Jordan did it twice.

    Davis actually went for 50 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 steals, and 4 blocks in a loss to the Nuggets

    Here’s a look towards this weekend’s recruiting visits and other news. This list will be updated throughout the weekend.

    **Villanova will a loaded group Friday night for “Villanova Midnight Madness,” including Class of 2017 prospects Lonnie Walker and Quade Green, 2017 commits Dahmir Cosby Roundtree and Jermaine Samuels, 2018’s Jahvon Quinerly, Cameron Reddish, Jalen Smith, Prentiss Hubb, Brandon Slater, Eric Ayala, Immanuel Quickley, Montez Mathis, Matt Cotton, and Nate Roberts, 2019’s Bryce Wills, Bryan Antoine, Scottie Lewis, Isaiah Wong, and Donte Scott and 2020 Lynn Greer III.

    **Quade Green, the 6-foot-1 point guard from Neumann-Goretti (PA) High School, trips to Temple Thursday night for an unofficial visit at their Midnight Madness before going to Villanova on Friday. Green has taken officials to Kentucky (Oct. 14) and Syracuse (Oct. 21). He is also considering Duke.

    **Gary Trent Jr., the 6-5 shooting guard from Prolific Prep (CA), is on his official to Michigan State this weekend. He’s also considering UCLA and Duke and visited Duke last weekend for “Countdown to Craziness.”

    **Mohamed Bamba, the 6-11 power forward from Westtown (NY) School, takes his first official visit to Texas this weekend (Oct. 28). Bamba has already taken unofficial visits to Harvard (Sept. 24) and Kentucky (Oct. 14), and an official to Michigan. He has no other visits planned.

    **Brandon McCoy, the 6-10, 220-pound center from Cathedral Catholic (CA) High School, will take his second official visit to UNLV this weekend (Oct. 28). He also has plans to visit Oregon (Nov. 11) and Michigan State (Nov. 18). McCoy has already taken an official to Arizona (Oct. 8).

    **Matt Coleman, a 6-1 point guard from Oak Hill (VA) Academy, trips to Texas this weekend (Oct. 28) for his second official visit. Coleman has already taken an official to Kansas (Oct. 14) and an unofficial to Duke for Countdown to Craziness (Oct. 21). He has no other visits planned and is also considering Stanford and Syracuse.

    **Kevin Knox, the 6-8, 205 pound small forward from Tampa Catholic (FL) High School, will take his first official visit to Duke this weekend (Oct. 28). Knox visited Kentucky earlier this month (Oct. 14) for Big Blue Madness. He has visits planned for Florida State (Jan. 7), Kentucky (Jan. 28), and UNC (Feb. 4).

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Between them, Sam Cassell Jr. and Jon Severe have attended four high schools and four colleges. The two guards are a combined 46 years old.

    Yet they are exactly the type of seasoned college basketball veterans that Iona coach Tim Cluess and his staff have recruited — and been successful with — in recent years as the Gaels have reached the NCAA Tournament in 2012, ’13 and ’16.

    With former Iona star A.J. English now playing professionally in Italy and three other starters gone from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, the Gaels are now looking to Cassell Jr. and Severe for ball-handling, scoring and leadership.

    “Sam Cassell and Jon Severe are both playing well,” Cluess told me recently of the two graduate transfers. “It helps us with some leadership on the team with so many new guys because you’re not trying to break in a bunch of freshman who have no idea what it’s about. These guys have played against big-time teams in big-time games so they’ve been able to lead in practice, tell guys when they aren’t working.”

    The 2016-17 NBA season kicked off Tuesday night in glorious fashion.

    Three games featuring some of the league’s elite teams took place. First LeBron James and the Cavaliers got their championship rings and then crushed the Knicks in Cleveland to begin their title defense. Then Damian Lillard went off for 39 as the Blazers beat the Jazz in Utah. And the nightcap featured Kevin Durant and the new-look Warriors getting getting blown out at home by Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs.

    Here are the top 10 ZAGSBLOG / OVERTIME highlights from the NBA’s opening night.

    You can see all of the highlights from Tuesday nights action on Overtime here.

     

    1-To avoid this being a LeBron top 10 list, here are several of his insane plays.