December 2016 | Page 15 of 23 | Zagsblog
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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 / July 14.
  • NEW YORK –It’s only December, but ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has Kentucky slotted as the No. 2 seed in the East Regional, where they could face defending national champion Villanova in the regional final at Madison Square Garden on March 26.

    That would probably be just fine by Isaiah Briscoe.

    In two games this season in New York City, the sophomore guard from Newark, N.J., has combined for 40 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 turnovers — both Kentucky wins.

    “I’m just out there playing, honestly,” Briscoe said after putting up 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 6 assists in Kentucky’s 96-73 rout of Hofstra on Sunday at Barclays Center. “Every game I go out, try to play hard and just try to compete. It’s a plus playing good at home in front of my fan base and in front of my family.”

    Kentucky made a bold move last month when it hosted several top recruits at Madison Square Garden for the Champions Classic.

    Among those recruits was Neumann-Goretti (PA) point guard Quade Green, who decided that same week to sign with Kentucky over Syracuse.

    On Sunday, Kentucky continued the trend by hosting several recruits for its blowout win over Hofstra at Barclays Center.

    Kentucky signee Nick Richards, the 6-foot-11 big man from The Patrick School, was on hand after also attending the win over Michigan State in the Champions Classic. Richards is part of a four-man class that now includes Green. Both are now targeting additional 2017 recruits such as small forward Kevin Knox and shooting guard Hamidou Diallo.

    NEW YORK –It was all set up for Shamorie Ponds to be the hero in his home borough of Brooklyn.

    With St. John’s trailing LIU-Brooklyn by one point and the clock ticking down, Ponds got a clean look at a mid-range jumper from the left side but it hit the rim and the Blackbirds emerged with a 74-73 victory over the Red Storm at Barclays Center.

    “I feel like that was a great play by Coach [Chris Mullin], I just feel like I gotta take us home on that,” said Ponds, who finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting in the loss after he had tallied 51 points in his last two games combined.

    “It was good coming back home but mostly I wanted to come out with a win,” Ponds added. “I felt like we were supposed to win this game.”

    By MATT WHITFIELD

    HYATTSVILLE, Md.Trevon Duval threw down an electrifying dunk on Saturday at the National High School Hoops Festival en route to game MVP honors.

    After going for 17 points and 9 assists in IMG Academy’s 86-69 win over Gray Collegiate at DeMatha Catholic High School, Duval broke down his top five schools.

    The 6-foot-3 point guard from IMG Academy (FL) is considering Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Seton Hall, and will be one of the most interesting storylines in the spring signing period.

    Duke was the most recent to offer and they’re making him a top target at the point guard spot.

    By MATT WHITFIELD

    HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Two days after being scouted by Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge at his high school, Hamidou Diallo won game MVP honors at the National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha Catholic High School.

    The 6-foot-6 Diallo went for 29 points and 9 rebounds as Putnam Science Academy beat Westtown (PA), 76-47. Westtown star Mohamed Bamba did not play in the game.

    Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft — hence Ainge scouting him — and there were four NBA scouts on hand on Saturday, according to Scout.com. Yet Diallo has said he’s “100 percent” set on attending college for at least a year.

    “My list is Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Syracuse, UCONN, and Indiana,” said Diallo.

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