Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell Now Projected No. 2 in NBA Draft

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at IowaAs evidence of how much is stock is soaring, Ohio State freshman guard D’Angelo Russell is now projected as the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpess.com.

The 6-foot-5 freshman sensation trails only consensus No. 1 pick Jahlil Okafor of Duke.

Emmanuel Mudiay, playing in China, is No. 3, followed by Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns at No. 4 and Arizona freshman wing Stanley Johnson at No. 5.

Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 6 and 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis of Latvia is No. 7.

Minnesota, Philadelphia and the Knicks are jockeying for the NBA’s worst record.  To read more of this story, click here

Kansas-Bound Carlton Bragg Hopes to Recruit Brandon Ingram, Jaylen Brown at McDonald’s Game

The McDonald’s All-American game is always fertile ground for committed players to recruit uncommitted players to join them on campus.

This year figures to be no exception with nine uncommitted players chosen Wednesday night to the April 1 game at Chicago’s United Center.

Kansas commit Carlton Bragg plans to use the forum to recruit fellow forwards Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram to join him with the Jayhawks.

“I think there is a chance I can get them to come to Kansas with me,” Bragg told SNY.tv contributor Chip Miller on Wednesday.

Asked if he was working on a package deal, he said, “Yes.”

“He said that by participating in the McDonald’s Game with them this gives him the opportunity to recruit those two guys,” added Michael Graves, Bragg’s mentor.

Both Brown and Ingram are uncommitted and considering Kansas, among others. To read more of this story, click here

Kentucky-Bound Isaiah Briscoe, Uncommitted Cheick Diallo Lead McDonald’s All-American Selections

BriscoeKentucky-bound guard Isaiah Briscoe of Roselle (N.J.) Catholic was among the 24 players selected Wednesday for the McDonald’s All-American Game April 1 at Chicago’s United Center (9 p.m., ESPN).

The 6-foot-3 Briscoe is the 16th member of the NJ Playaz to make the prestigious game in 18 years. Former Playaz to make the McDonald’s game include the likes of Kobe Bryant, J.R. Smith, Kyle Anderson and Dajuan Wagner.

Briscoe is the only Kentucky signee to make the game as Skal Labisierre was ineligible and Charles Matthews was not selected. A year ago, four Kentucky signees were McDonald’s All-Americans. Kentucky coach John Calipari has had 21 McDonald’s All-American at the school.

“It would be an honor playing in the McDonald’s game,” Briscoe, who is averaging 21 points, 5.7 assists and 5.5 rebounds, told SNY.tv on Sunday. “After watching it growing up, and for me to be a part of it, it just shows that hard work pays off.”

“We are very happy for Isaiah that all of his hard work has been rewarded with a McDonald’s All-American selection,” RC coach Dave Boff said. “He had a goal and he worked hard to achieve it. We are really excited for him. As a program we are proud to have our first McDonald’s participant. It’s another step in the process for us as we continue to grow as a program on the national level.” To read more of this story, click here

FAN POLL: Ben Simmons Tops McDonald’s All-American Game Picks

ben-simmonsBY CHIP MILLER

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, we will know who made the actual 2015 McDonald’s All-American Game when ESPNU makes the announcement. A selection of 24 of the best high school boy basketball players from around the country will gather in Chicago on April 1 to participate in the 38th annual McDonald’s All-American Game.

In the meantime, we here at ZAGSBLOG gave you, the fans, your platform to chime in and select your version of the 2015 McDonald’s All-American team. With more than 13,000 votes cast, we proudly reveal the top 24 vote getters with a little background on each. To read more of this story, click here

ESPN Issues New 2015 Rankings, 8 of Top 12 Prospects Uncommitted

Jaylen BrownESPN.com issued their new rankings for the Class of 2015, and eight of the top 12 prospects have yet to declare for college.

All eight are McDonald’s All-Americans.

That should make for an interesting couple of months going into April and May, as these players will wait to evaluate coaching changes, early-entry NBA decisions and other factors before making their college choices.

LSU-bound Ben Simmons is the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN rankings, Kentucky commit Skal Labissiere is No. 3, Marquette signee Henry Ellenson is No. 5 and Duke pledge Chase Jeter is No. 9.

The other players in the top 12 are uncommitted.  Here’s a look at where they stand. To read more of this story, click here

Seton Hall’s Whitehead Could Return Saturday Against Xavier

Whitehead headSeton Hall freshman guard Isaiah Whitehead is making “good progress” on his stress fracture following a morning meeting with the doctor and could return Saturday for the Xavier game, head coach Kevin Willard told SNY.tv.

“We will see how he does today [Thursday] and [Friday] and then make that decision,” Willard said by text.

Whitehead on Thursday Tweeted: “God Is Good”

The Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year, Whitehead is averaging  11.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He has missed nine games and hasn’t played since a Dec. 21 loss at Georgia.

Seton Hall is 14-6, 4-4 in the Big East following Wednesday’s road win at Marquette.

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St. John’s Rysheed Jordan Suffers Patella Injury in Creighton Loss

Rysheed JordanSt. John’s sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan suffered a strained patella tendon during Wednesday’s 77-74 loss at Creighton.

“With Rysheed injured it put us in a tough spot yet the team fought hard and rallied from down double digits in a tough environment,” coach Steve Lavin wrote on Twitter.

Jordan will be evaluated by doctors “when he gets back to campus,” Lavin said post-game, and his status for Saturday’s home game against Providence is questionable.

The Johnnies, once ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation, have lost 6 of 8 and are 2-5 in the Big East.

“Our focus turns to Providence,” Lavin wrote on Twitter.

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Following Tai Wynyard to Kentucky, NBA’s Steven Adams Says More American Schools Should Recruit New Zealand

Tai WynyardNEW YORK — Following Tai Wynyard’s commitment to Kentucky on Sunday, fellow Kiwi Steven Adams says more American colleges should recruit New Zealand.

“We got talent down there,” the 7-foot Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder told SNY.tv before his team played the Knicks Wednesday night. “I’ve been saying that the whole time, we definitely do got a lot of  talent down there.”

Adams was the first New Zealander selected in the first round of the NBA Draft when he was chosen No. 12 in 2013 .He said he’s not very familiar with Wynyard, a 16-year-old 2016 power forward who also considered Villanova and Texas before choosing the No. 1 Wildcats. To read more of this story, click here