National Prep Showcase Rundown: JaQuan Lyle, Omari Spellman Talk Schools

By ARTHUR WARNER-KAMSLER

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — On Friday night, JaQuan Lyle should have been playing for the Oregon Ducks as they took on Toledo.

Instead, he started for IMG Academy in the National Prep Showcase at Albertus Magnus College.

Lyle, a 6-foot-5, 215 pound combo guard, scored 17 points and added two rebounds and two assists for IMG, where he is taking a postgraduate year after not being admitted to Oregon.

In what has been a hectic couple of months for Lyle, he is focused on figuring out where he will take his last couple of official visits. To read more of this story, click here

Despite 29-Point Loss to Stanford, Future is Bright for UNLV

Dave RiceBy CHRIS RUSSELL

NEW YORK — A week after receiving a commitment from Radnor (PA) Archbishop Carroll small forward Derrick Jones, UNLV took on Stanford in the first game of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic at Barclays Center.

From the early going, Stanford was in command and would rout the Runnin’ Rebels, 89-60, in a one-sided contest.

Stanford (3-0) will face No. 4 Duke (4-0) in the championship game Saturday at 9:30 p.m., a game in which Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins will square off against his former coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

The Cardinal jumped out to an early 12-0 lead and never looked back. Stanford controlled the tempo and shot 9-for-13 from behind the arc, giving them a comfortable 52-29 lead going into the half. The Cardinal outrebounded the Rebels, 47-29. UNLV often looked lost and non-cohesive, allowing the Cardinal to shoot 14-for-20 from behind the arc. To read more of this story, click here

Sixers, Knicks Set to Battle in Jahlil Okafor Sweepstakes

NEW YORK — There is no truth to the rumor that the winner of  Saturday’s game between the 3-10 Knicks and 0-11 Philadelphia 76ers will advance to face unbeaten Kentucky on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

But the loser of that game will take a step closer to possibly landing Jahlil Okafor in next year’s NBA Draft.

The Duke big man is the projected No. 1 pick in 2015 and, perhaps not coincidentally, he will be playing about 3 miles away from the Sixers and Knicks on Saturday when Duke competes in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Barclays Center.

The Sixers and Knicks have the NBA’s two worst records and — along with 3-10 Oklahoma City — lead the Tankathon race.

Sitting at his locker at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday night after Duke beat Michigan To read more of this story, click here

Coach K, Johnny Dawkins Set for Reunion in Coaches vs. Cancer Final

Okafor DukeBy CHRIS RUSSELL

NEW YORK —  There will be a Duke reunion in tonight’s Coaches vs. Cancer championship game at Barclays Center.

No. 4 Duke, led by legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, will face Stanford, coached by Johnny Dawkins, Coach K’s former protégé.

“First of all, I’m proud of Johnny,” Coach K said after Duke beat Temple, 74-54, Friday night. “They’re an outstanding team. They’re big, they’re huge. Johnny has a really good system, how he uses them. I’d rather not play him. He’s part of our family. It’s too bad we have to play one another, that’s the way it is.”

Freshman center Jahlil Okafor, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, had 16 points and eight rebounds in Duke’s win. Quinn Cook scored 17 points to go with five rebounds and freshman wing Justise Winslow tallied 15 points. To read more of this story, click here

Ivan Rabb Says Cal Is In Top 3 of His Final 5

Ivan RabbNEW YORK — Ivan Rabb, the 6-foot-10 2015 big man from Oakland (CA) Bishop O’Dowd and the Oakland Soldiers, told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that Cal now ranks in the top three of his remaining five schools.

That group includes Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona and UCLA along with Cal. Rabb plans to sign in the spring.

Rabb told Goodman that he has the best relationship with Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin among the five schools, and that he plans to visit Cal again at some point with fellow big man Caleb Swanigan of Indiana.

“I think it’s a great place to play,” Martin, speaking generally about Cal, said after his team lost in the final of the 2K Classic to No. 10 Texas, 71-55, at Madison Square Garden. “If I was a ballplayer, outside of Purdue I’d love to play at Cal-Berkeley.” To read more of this story, click here

On Eve of Knicks Game, Sixers Send Sampson to D-League

JaKarrOn the eve of their game against the Knicks Saturday at Madison Square Garden, the 76ers assigned former St. John’s forward JaKarr Sampson to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League.

“He hadn’t played in a while, and the log jam [at small forward] obviously is a result of that,” Sixers coach Brett Brown told the Philly Inquirer. “And we wanted to get him games.

“I think that’s one of the great things about having our own NBDL program. We can go back and forth and use him in that respect.”

Sampson, undrafted out of St. John’s, was averaging 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds and 11.2 minutes.

The Sixers (0-11) are seeking their first win of the season against the Knicks (3-10).

Photo:  Rich Schultz/AP

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Mudiay Denies He Will Leave China Early

Emmanuel Mudiay denied reports he might leave China before their season ends in order to boost his NBA stock.

“This is all rumors, it’s completely false,” Mudiay told reporters in China, according to this report which was translated. “The media are the ones that like to come out with these things, but it’s not the reality.”

Asked if he would play the full season, the 6-foot-5 Mudiay said: ” I will, without question. Right now I’m playing in Guangdong, and will definitely be with the team until the end, through the end of the season.” To read more of this story, click here

Texas Loses Point Guard Taylor for ‘Extended Time’ (UPDATED)

Gabriel Olaseni, Isaiah TaylorNEW YORK — Texas was dealt a blow on Friday when it announced that sophomore guard Isaiah Taylor will not play in tonight’s game vs. Cal in the 2K Classic final at Madison Square Garden due to a left wrist injury suffered during last night’s contest against Iowa.

He will be reevaluated upon the team’s return to Austin, but sources told SNY.tv Taylor could miss extended time.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman later reported Taylor is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, per a source.

Taylor crashed hard to the floor on his left wrist after driving to the basket and encountering 6-10 Gabriel Olaseni late in Texas’ 71-57 win over Iowa Thursday night. The Iowa big man was given a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from the game. Taylor made 1-of-2 free throws and finished with 15 points in the win. To read more of this story, click here