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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 18.
  • NEW YORK — When Jessie Govan learned in April that his new coach at Georgetown University was going to be none other than Patrick Ewing, he couldn’t have been happier.

    After all, who better to teach the 6-foot-10, 270-pound Queens Village, N.Y. native what it takes to reach his dream of playing in the NBA than arguably the greatest Knick of all time and one of the best centers in the history of the NBA?

    “I was ecstatic,” Govan told me this week at Big East Media Day at Madison Square Garden, where the Hoyas were picked to finish ninth in the 10-team league. “He’s a Hall of Famer and New York Knick, obviously where I’m from.

    “When coach got hired, I was just real excited. You know, big man, big man coach, so I’m just excited for this season.”

    Kentucky is the school with the most players on opening-night NBA rosters for the sixth consecutive year, the league announced. Twenty-five players who played games and finished their college careers with the Wildcats are part of opening-night rosters.

    Kentucky issued a separate release listing 27 players, but the discrepancy comes from the fact that A) Alex Poythress of the Pacers is a two-way player and the NBA doesn’t officially count him; and B) Enes Kanter of the Knicks attended Kentucky but never played for them.

    New Orleans features four Kentucky players: DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Darius Miller and Rajon Rondo. Miller, who played for the Pelicans from 2012-14 after winning a national championship alongside Davis at Kentucky, returned to the NBA this season following three seasons in Germany.

    NEW YORK — Forget about building a wall around New Jersey.

    Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell is ready to recruit anywhere.

    “I want kids that want to play for me, I don’t care where they’re located from,” Pikiell, who is entering his second season at the Big Ten school, told me Thursday at Big Ten Media Day at Madison Square Garden.

    “We went to California, we got a center [Myles Johnson]. I think he’s good. Geo Baker’s up in New Hampshire. I think he’s good, I think he can play. I think he can play anywhere. When you’re in these builds, you’ve got to get kids that want to fight through the tough times, and then once you fight through the tough times then it makes it easier for the sexy guys to come and play for you. So we’re recruiting everywhere.”