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.
NEWARK — Bourama Sidibe, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound big man from St. Benedict’s Prep, took his first official visit to Texas Tech this past weekend.
“It was good, they have a great facility and they really care about their players which is good,” Sidibe told me Tuesday at practice.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard is recruiting Sidibe, a native of Mali.
“They say they’re going to use me as a four and a three if I come,” he said. “They say if I get there they’re going to work on my body and get me stronger and get me to the gym every day, any time I can they’re going to be coaches there.”
NEW YORK — Seton Hall freshman Myles Powell weighed as much as 240 pounds this summer after re-injuring the left foot he initially broke last October.
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Trenton, N.J., re-injured the foot in February, left South Kent (Conn.) soon after and arrived on Seton Hall’s campus in May.
From there on, he tried to drop as much weight as he could
“They brought me in to school in May, I started May 25th and they didn’t allow me to go home, I just stayed up there every day,” Powell told me Saturday night at the Sharette Dixon Classic at Gauchos Gym.
“Every day, Monday through Friday, I was just pushing myself every day,” he added. “The trainer that we have, Jason [Nehring], he pushed me every day, even when I thought I couldn’t, he pushed me every day.”
John Calipari has made the statement before that he would like to see every NBA team have at least one Wildcat on its roster and half of the NBA’s annual All-Star Game hailing from the University of Kentucky.
It’s an ambitious goal, sure, but with each passing season, as the number of UK players playing in the NBA continues to rise, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched.
The Kentucky men’s basketball team, the nation’s most prolific NBA player-producing program, once again leads the country with 24 players on an opening-day NBA roster. Of the 449 players in the NBA to start the 2016-17 season, approximately 5.35 percent played college basketball at UK.
Kentucky’s NBA dominance is best represented in Phoenix and Sacramento, where a combined seven Wildcats now play at the highest level of the game. Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis are all part of the 2016-17 Phoenix Suns roster, while former UK stars Willie Cauley-Stein, DeMarcus Cousins and Skal Labissiere call Sacramento their home. (Labissiere is listed as Inactive on rosters the NBA sent out Monday).
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet both went undrafted in the NBA Draft last June.
Now the two former Wichita State teammates will both be on opening-night NBA rosters — Baker with the Knicks and VanVleet with the Raptors. Each earned the 15th and final roster spot on his respective team. The NBA’s rookie salary is $543,471.
“Oh yeah, we talked to one another,” Baker told me Monday ahead of the Knicks’ season-opener Tuesday night in Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. “A lot of critics didn’t think we could do this. It goes to show Coach [Gregg] Marshall runs a really good program and a lot of things that he taught us has carried over to this league and how we work and how hard we play.”