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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 / January 25.
  • Hamidou Diallo will take his official visit to Kentucky Dec. 26-28 and is also expected to take one to  Arizona, ZAGSBLOG has learned.

    Kentucky does not play again until Dec. 29 at Ole Miss, and doesn’t play at home until Jan. 3 against Texas A&M, so Diallo’s visit there won’t happen for a game.

    The Arizona visit could come in early January. Arizona hosts Utah Jan. 5.

    The 6-foot-6 Diallo is eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft and is considering enrolling in a college at the semester break but no final decisions have yet been made, sources close to Diallo told ZAGSBLOG. It also remains undecided whether the high-flying guard would suit up for a college in the second semester. (He could also opt to sit out, practice and play the 2017-18 season in college.)

    Kentucky on Friday landed a pledge from small forward Jarred Vanderbilt, giving them five commits for 2017, including three frontcourt players in Vanderbilt, Nick Richards and P.J. Washington. They have two guards committed in Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but have long coveted the high-flying Diallo. Green previously told ZAGSBLOG he would try to recruit Diallo to Kentucky.

    Kentucky’s pitch to Diallo will likely include the argument that he would get the chance to practice against some of the best guards in the game on a daily basis, including projected one-and-done first-round picks Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox and sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari saw Diallo earlier this month at the PSA Cardinals Showcase in Pottstown, Pa., and assistant Tony Barbee saw Diallo at the National Prep Showcase last month in New Haven.

    Diallo is also considering Indiana, Syracuse and Kansas.

    Diallo took his first official visit to UConn — first reported by ZAGSBLOG — last week and it culminated in the Huskies’ 70-67 loss to Auburn Friday afternoon at the XL Center.

    As part of his first official visit, Hamidou Diallo attended UConn’s practice on Thursday at XL Center, took some shots and chatted with head coach Kevin Ollie.

    The official visit — first reported by ZAGSBLOG — will culminate on Friday with Diallo attending the Auburn-UConn game (2:30 p.m., ESPN2).

    UConn already has Mamadou Diarra, Diallo’s friend and former Putnam Science teammate, on the roster although he’s out for the year with an injury. UConn was also three deep with Ollie and two assistants watching Diallo and Putnam Science this week at the City of Palms Classic.

    Seton Hall has already lost two players this week heading into Friday’s game with in-state rival Rutgers, but they are poised to add a third who could be a defensive difference-maker during the second half of the season.

    Jevon Thomas, a 6-foot-1 junior point guard from Queens, is eligible to play in Friday’s sellout game at Prudential Center. Thomas transferred to Seton Hall from Kansas State and then sat out the first semester this season after he was involved in an altercation in February during an intramural basketball game on campus in which he allegedly choked a graduate assistant.

    “It’s been a little while,” Thomas told me at Seton Hall media day in October. “I had to overcome certain things, but I’m pretty excited. I think in December I’ll be ready to go.”

    Thomas’ debut comes the same week that Seton Hall announced that sophomore wing Veer Singh would transfer (Iona, Monmouth, Hofstra, St. Peter’s and Old Dominion are some of the schools that have reached out) and that the program had dismissed sophomore forward Myles Carter.

    “I don’t know how many minutes I’m going to get out of him,” Pirates coach Kevin Willard said Thursday evening by phone. “It’s all going of kind to depend on how he feels and how comfortable he is being back out there. I think everyone’s expectations have to be limited a little bit because he’s jumping back in there mid-season. I think it’s going to take him a couple games to kind of get his sea legs under him a little bit.”

    Oklahoma State has landed 6-foot-11 St. John’s sophomore Yankuba Sima, a source confirmed to ZAGSBLOG.

    He must sit a year per NCAA transfer regulations.

    The news was first reported by by Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com.

    Sima started 18 of 24 appearances as a freshman last season, averaging 7.6 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. The Girona, Spain native ranked second in the Big Esat with 2.5 blocks per contest and his 60 rejections were the ninth-most for a single season in program history.

    Starting eight of 10 games this season, Sima has a 6.0 scoring average, shooting 44.7 percent (21-47 FG) from the field and 72.0 percent (18-25 FT) at the line to go with 3.5 rebounds per game. Sima set season-highs with 12 points and seven rebounds versus Michigan State on Nov. 23 at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

    “I want to thank the coaching staff and the administration for all of their support since I arrived at St. John’s,” said Sima. “I enjoyed my experience at St. John’s, but right now I feel it is best for me to explore options that will be a better fit for me as I work toward my goals.”

    “We wish Yankuba the best of luck,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but we respect and understand it. He’s a good basketball player and a good person with a bright future ahead.”