November 2017 | Page 6 of 22 | 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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Friday / November 22.
  • By SEAN BOCK

    With the loss of last year’s stars Justin Patton and Maurice Watson, few people were expecting Creighton to be a Top 25-type team coming into the 2017-’18 season.

    During the offseason, head coach Greg McDermott was linked the Ohio State job which would’ve raised more questions marks concerning the program.

    The Bluejays were picked fifth in the Big East Preseason Poll.

    But after two convincing wins against Yale and Alcorn State, McDermott’s team faced three straight ranked opponents and showed why they belong in the Top 25 conversation.

    NEW YORK — When Robert Williams III learned on Wednesday that Michael Porter Jr. was likely done for the season with an impending back surgery, he messaged him on Instagram and wished him good luck.

    “You can’t prevent injures but when I heard about the injury this morning at breakfast I DM’ed him on Instagram, like praying for a quick recovery,” Williams told me after putting up 21 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as No. 16 Texas A&M won the Legends Classic at Barclays Center with an impressive 98-87 win over a tough Penn State team.

    “He’s a great player. I played him at Adidas nations and some at the [Nike] EYBL and we got a good chemistry. I was looking forward to playing against him. He’s great competition.”

    The 6-10 Porter Jr. and the 6-10 Williams are the two players projected to go highest in the NBA Draft out of the SEC. In a rarity this season, no Kentucky player is among the top five or 10 projected picks.

    ESPN had Porter Jr. at No. 2 entering Wednesday with Williams at No. 7. (Alabama’s Collin Sexton , who will be in New York later this week for the Barclays Classic, is the next-highest projected player from the SEC at No. 8.)