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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 / November 14.
  • UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball and Kentucky freshman shooting guard Malik Monk both made big leaps in the latest 2017 NBA Mock Draft from DraftExpress.com.

    The 6-foot-6 Ball moved up to No. 4 from No. 16, while the 6-4 Monk moved up to No. 5 from No. 11.

    The top three picks remained Washington freshman guard Markelle Fultz at No. 1, N.C. State freshman point guard Dennis Smith Jr. at No. 2 and Kansas freshman wing Josh Jackson at No. 3. All would be one-and-dones, as would Ball and Monk.

    “Ball is special,” one NBA scout told ZAGSBLOG. “Top three.”

    Ball went for 16 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds Sunday night when the No. 14 Bruins topped Texas A&M, 74-67, to win the Wooden Legacy championship. He was named MVP of the event and the Pac-12 Player of the Week.

    For the season, he’s averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

    “He’s a terrific talent but he’s going to continue to get better,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “That might be scary but he’s going to get better.”

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Nigel Williams-Goss scored 18 points as No. 11 Gonzaga nearly blew an 18-point second-half lead before beating No. 21 Iowa State 73-71 in Sunday’s championship game at the AdvoCare Invitational.

    Josh Perkins added 12 points and Przemek Karnowki had 11 for Gonzaga (6-0).

    Iowa State (5-1) got 29 points from Deonte Burton, including 21 in the second half.

    After falling behind by 18 early in the second half, Monte Morris’ jumper cut the Iowa State deficit to 70-69 with four minutes to go.

    Brian “Tugs” Bowen, the 6-foot-7 small forward from La Lumiere (IN), enjoyed what his mother called an “awesome” official visit to Texas this weekend and is targeting a decision in the coming weeks.

    “It was awesome,” Bowen’s mother, Carrie, said of the visit she also went on. “Tugs reconnected with his old teammates Eric Davis [Saginaw Arthur Hill] and James Banks [La Lumiere]. I know they would love to play with him.”

    He’s also considering Michigan State, Arizona, N.C. State and Creighton.

    “We’re going to sit down and talk after that [Texas visit],” Brian Bowen Sr. said recently phone. “He’ll start narrowing down his schools. Wherever you want to go, if you want that spot to still be open. He has great choices.”

    By W.G. RAMIREZ

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — With six new players donning a Butler uniform this season, coach Chris Holtmann isn’t sure what to expect from his Bulldogs.

    Some have labeled this season as a rebuilding year. Holtmann shrugs it off with a wait-and-see attitude.

    He may not have to wait any longer, as his Bulldogs showed plenty of resolve Friday night in a 69-65 victory over No. 8 Arizona in the championship game of the Continental Las Vegas Invitational.

    Kelan Martin had 16 points, while Andrew Chrabascz had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Butler (6-0), while Avery Woodson contributed 13 points, Kamar Baldwin had 11 and Tyler Wideman had eight rebounds.

    Chrabascz was named MVP of the tournament.