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.
Kentucky, which is already without injured forward Jarred Vanderbilt, will now be without freshman guard Jemarl Baker for the next three months after undergoing left knee surgery last week. The Wildcats said they are hopeful to have Baker back during conference play.
“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to join my brothers on the court to start the season but I’m looking forward to getting my knee back to 100 percent so I can help this team chase our goals,” Baker said. “I want to thank everyone for the well-wishes and I can’t wait to get back out there with the team.”
Baker arrived at Kentucky in the summer and participated in workouts. After experiencing soreness in his left knee during the preseason, Baker underwent further evaluation and was recently recommended to have surgery.
For the second consecutive year, the Duke Blue Devils will open the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the AP Preseason Top-25 poll, with Michigan State, Arizona, Kansas, and Kentucky rounding out the rest of the top-five. Duke had 33 of 65 first-place votes.
“It is an honor to be picked No. 1 in your sport,” Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski told the Associated Press Wednesday. “At this time of the year, it truly is a prediction, so you haven’t earned No. 1 yet. More than likely, past teams that have played at Duke have put this team in a position where people might say, ‘How is that team going to do?’ or ‘They have a lot of talent’ and all of the sudden, you’re No. 1. Certainly, it’s an honor and we’ll look forward to trying to achieve and earn that ranking at some time during the season, hopefully at the end.”
The North Non-Public B bracket in New Jersey basketball just got a whole lot tougher.
The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) announced new classifications that will go into effect this year that put several of the state’s best teams all in North Non-Public B, the bracket that produced 13-time TOC winner St. Anthony’s under Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley (now closed) and six-time winner St. Patrick’s/The Patrick School under Kevin Boyle and then Chris Chavannes.
The Patrick School, the defending New Jersey Tournament of Champions winner, moves from South Non-Public B to the North, as do fellow powerhouses Roselle Catholic, Gill St. Bernard’s and St. Mary’s-Elizabeth.