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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 / July 19.

    Emmitt Matthews Jr., the 6-foot-7, 185-pound small forward from Wilson (WA) High School who de-committed from UConn in March, signed a grant-in-aid for the 2018-19 year at West Virginia.

    After decommitting from UConn after the school named Dan Hurley head coach, he also considered Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon State.

    “It is the perfect situation for me,” he told “They believe in me which is the greatest value, “With Teddy [Allen] leaving, I have the chance to start on the wing the day that I get onto campus and they want to get out into transition more.”

    This past season, he averaged 22.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 blocks per game and led his team deep into the state playoffs for the third consecutive season.


    Auburn’s Mustapha Heron was not invited to next week’s NBA Draft Combine, but he’s making the most of the NBA workouts he does have.

    The 6-foot-5 Waterbury, Conn., native worked out this weekend for the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

    “I just came back from the Cavs today,” Heron said Saturday by phone. “I feel it went pretty well.”

    The 6-foot-5, 217-pound Heron was joined at the Cavs workout by St. John’s Shamorie Ponds, Villanova’s Omari Spellman and USC’s De’Anthony Melton.


    Snubbed by the NBA Draft Combine, St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds is trying to prove himself during NBA workouts.

    The Haggerty Award winner as the best player in the New York-Metropolitan area, Ponds averaged 21.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists as a sophomore but did not receive a Combine invite.

    “For sure, I was most definitely upset [about the Combine],” Ponds said Saturday by phone. “I feel I deserved it.”

    The 6-foot-1 Brooklyn native worked out for the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers this weekend, and came away feeling good about his performances.

    “I feel I did great, I got some great feedback,” Ponds said after landing back home in New York following the Cavs workout on Saturday.


    Villanova will learn a lot about next year’s roster in the coming days and weeks as Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman head into the NBA Draft Combine as they test the draft waters.

    But no matter what happens with those two, the future looks especially bright for the NCAA champion Wildcats.

    “There’s an embarrassment of riches at Villanova,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said this week by phone. “Because of the mystique of the program, the national championships and the NBA cachet, they are about to hit the lottery in recruiting. I think everybody senses the next year or two are going to be very fruitful for Villanova.”

    Villanova coach Jay Wright, one of only three active coaches with more than one NCAA championship ring (Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams) said repeatedly during his team’s March run that he was open to having one-and-done players coming to the school but they had to fit in with the “Villanova Way.”

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