Syracuse-Bound Diagne Hoping to Help Orange Next Season


NEWARK — Syracuse may not make the NCAA Tournament this season, but Moustapha Diagne hopes to help the Orange get there next year.

“I’m trying to get good every single day, improve my jump shot, make a 15-foot face up, playing strong and physical,” the 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward told after Pope John XXIII (N.J.) beat University, 72-40, in the Newark National Invitational at the Prudential Center on Sunday.

In the fall, Diagne will join a frontcourt that could feature the returns of Chris McCullough and DaJuan Coleman. Both are injured and done for the season. To read more of this story, click here

Recruiting Roundup: Malik Newman’s Dad Talks Kentucky, Target Date for Announcement; Kyle Alexander Planning Visits; UConn Interested In Carter, Ellison; Cowan to Maryland

Malik NewmanMalik Newman’s father says he’s impressed with how Kentucky’s John Calipari has coached this year’s team and that he’s close with Wildcats assistant Kenny Payne.

He also said his son likely won’t commit until at least late April.

Horatio Webster made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with Sunday Morning Sports Talk on 630 WLAP out of Lexington, Ky.

“It’s special what Coach Cal is doing down there because [to keep] almost a McDonald’s All-American together and all of them jell as one, that takes a special coach to do that,” Webster said. “In order to keep everybody happy and keep a smile on everybody’s face. That team could’ve went any way, it could’ve been a disaster or it could turn out like it is now. And you have to give Coach Cal and his staff all the credit for  that. I don’t know how he did it, I don’t know how he do it, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.” To read more of this story, click here

Six Schools Working Hardest for 2016 Miles Bridges


TAMPA, Fla.- Miles Bridges, one of the top players in the class of 2016 says that six schools are working the hardest at the moment.

“Louisville, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa State, UConn and Pitt,” Bridges told after a win over Oldsmar Christian at the ARS Shootout at Berkeley Prep.

Ranked No. 7 in ESPN’s new Class of 2016 rankings, Bridges scored 16 points, and contributed consistently on both sides of the ball. To read more of this story, click here

Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell Named ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week


Ohio State freshman guard D’Angelo Russell has been selected the ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week.

The 6-foot-5 freshman sensation appears to improve by the day. On the week, Russell averaged 30.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He leads all freshmen in the country in scoring, averaging 19.4 points per contest. Not only has Russell demonstrated consistent shooting, the guard has displayed incredible and efficient passing on the season.

On Sunday, Russell scored 22 points and added 10 assists for his second double-double of the season and the Buckeyes (16-5, 5-3 Big Ten) knocked off No. 23 Indiana 82-70 in front of 17,322 fans at Value City Arena for their first winning streak in conference play.

“I guess they forgot about me because I was letting the game come to me,” Russell said, according to the AP. “I felt the cramps coming in so I had to be careful.” To read more of this story, click here

Kentucky-Bound Briscoe Hoping for McDonald’s Nod


NEWARK — Kentucky-bound point guard Isaiah Briscoe will find out soon whether he’s a McDonald’s All-American.

If the 6-foot-3 Briscoe gets the nod on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPNU, he will become 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.

“It would be an honor playing in the McDonalds game,” Briscoe told Sunday after going for 11 points and 5 steals in a 70-44 beatdown of his former school, St. Benedict’s Prep, in the Newark National Invitational at The Prudential Center. “After watching it growing up, and for me to be a part of it, it just shows that hard work pays off.”

Fans can vote for Briscoe and other McDonald’s All-American candidates in this ZAGSBLOG poll, and we will reveal our results on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

The McDonald’s Game is set for April 1 at Chicago’s United Center. To read more of this story, click here

Melo impressed by Okafor as Duke star helps Coach K get Win No. 1,000

Originally posted on The Knicks Blog:

Jahlil Okafor played his first-ever game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, but Knicks President PhilNCAA Basketball: Duke at St. John
Jackson and star Carmelo Anthony probably hope it wasn’t his last.

The 6-foot-11 Duke star and projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft went for 17 points and 10 rebounds as the No. 5 Blue Devils stormed back from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat St. John’s, 77-68, before a sellout crowd of 19,812.

“I like him,” Anthony told and several other reporters after Duke closed the game on a 26-7 run after trailing 61-51. “He’s got a great feel for the game and a great touch. He’s a big body for sure down there, he’s a load.”

Okafor said he wasn’t aware during the game that Jackson, Knicks GM Steve Mills and Anthony were in the arena along with many other NBA personnel and 209 media members.

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New Zealand Star Wynyard to Kentucky (UPDATED)

Tai Wynyard, the 6-foot-9 16-year-old power forward from New Zealand who is the son of world champion woodchoppers, has committed to Kentucky.

Wynyard also considered Texas and Villanova and recently visited all three schools.

Wynyard is Kentucky’s first commit in the Class of 2016.

“Why Kentucky? Well it was amazing,” Wynyard told New Zealand’s 3news in this interview.

“They were my first college [visit] and I just wanted to sign up just there and then. To read more of this story, click here

Rhody Lands Memphis Transfer Kuran Iverson

Kuran IversonRhode Island has landed former Memphis sophomore forward Kuran Iverson.

“It’s where he wanted to go,” Andre Harrington, Iverson’s AAU coach, told

Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley has done well with transfers, including Gil Biruta (Rutgers),  Jarelle Reischel (Rice) and Biggie Minnis (Texas Tech).

If sophomore guard E.C. Matthews, a projected 2016 Draft pick, stays for next season, the Rams will be loaded in 2015-16.

The 6-foot-9 cousin of Allen Iverson is transferring from Memphis after being suspended from the team twice.

“Kuran and I visited and he will be transferring at the end of the spring semester,” coach Josh Pastner said in a statement. “We thank Kuran for his contributions to the program and wish him well in his future academic and athletic endeavors.”

To read more of this story, click here

Malik Newman Watches Ole Miss Beat Florida

malik newmanInstead of going to Ohio State this weekend as originally planned, Malik Newman reportedly visited Ole Miss and saw the Rebels beat Florida, 72-71, in SEC action.

Jarvis Summers went for 16 points, including two free throws with 3.5 seconds left in the win at Tad Smith Coliseum.

The 6-foot-4 Newman is considering Ole Miss, along with Kentucky, Kansas, N.C. State and Mississippi State, among others.

“I think he liked Coach [Andy] Kennedy’s style of play, but he also liked Coach [Rick] Ray’s style of play so, both of them are upcoming programs,” his father, Horatio Webster, told last month. “They’re both upcoming programs.” To read more of this story, click here

Kentucky Freshmen Booker, Lyles Now Among 5 Projected First-Round Picks From Undefeated Wildcats; Arizona’s Stanley Johnson Continues to Climb

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at KentuckyKentucky freshmen Devin Booker and Trey Lyles continue to climb up the 2015 NBA Mock Draft, according to, the most well-respected mock draft in the business.

The 6-foot-5 Booker moved to No. 14 from No. 20, while the 6-10 Lyles was moved to the No. 25 spot in 2015 after previously appearing in the 2016 Mock.

Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns remained at No. 3 behind Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay, while junior big man Willie Cauley-Stein is No. 6 and sophomore center Dakari Johnson is No. 30.

That puts five players from top-ranked and unbeaten Kentucky (19-0) in the first round of the draft, with two more in the second round: Andrew Harrison at No 47 and Aaron Harrison at No. 51. To read more of this story, click here

St. John’s Chris Obekpa Can Help Draft Stock With Good Game Against Jahlil Okafor

NCAA Basketball: St. John at DePaulChris Obekpa has a golden opportunity in front of him on Sunday.

The 6-foot-10 St. John’s junior center will go head-to-head with presumed No. 1 draft pick Jahlil Okafor when the Red Storm host No 5 Duke at Madison Square Garden.

Obekpa, who ranks third in Division 1 with 3.6 blocks per game, has virtually no offensive game but is a defensive force and could cause trouble for the 6-11 Okafor. Obekpa, averaging 7.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, is projected as the No. 48 pick in the Draft by, but could help himself with a strong showing.

“Of course, any time you play well against the best offensive big man in the NCAA, you’re going to help yourself,” Jonathan Givony of told “He needs to step up on the glass. He’s been inconsistent as a defensive rebounder most of his career and that’s one of St. John’s biggest weaknesses as a team because of how small they are.” To read more of this story, click here

Fan Poll: Who Should Be A McDonald’s All-American?


On April 1, the United Center in Chicago will be home to the 38th McDonald’s All-American games showcasing some of the best boys high school basketball seniors from around the country.

Highly recognized as the most prestigious All-American honor a high school player can receive, the McDonald’s All-American game has been the home to many future NBA stars.

Names like Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Jerry Stackhouse, Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph, LeBron James and Kevin Durant are just a few of the stars who have worn the red and yellow. This year is no different with the 24 of the top boys seniors getting their chance to make a lasting memory. To read more of this story, click here

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

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

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

St. John’s Hosts Diallo, Yakwe for Duke Game

NEWCheick Diallo YORKCheick Diallo had a courtside seat for history on Sunday afternoon.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Our Savior New American on Long Island sat courtside with teammate Kassoum Yakwe as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski won the 1,000th game of his career with a come-from-behind 77-68 win over St. John’s.

“Out here At #MSG watched #St. John’s vs #DUKE 😏,” he Tweeted with this picture.

St. John’s could’ve made quite an impression — on the college basketball world and on recruits — by knocking off the No. 5 Blue Devils but couldn’t close it out after taking a 10-point lead in the second half. To read more of this story, click here