McDonald's Game to Have New York Flavor

The New York metropolitan area will be well represented in this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game.

Four players from New York and New Jersey will play in the prestigious game March 31 in Columbus, Ohio.

Duke-bound guard Kyrie Irving of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick; Tennessee-bound forward Tobias Harris of Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West; Villanova-bound JayVaughn Pinkston of Brookyn Bishop Loughlin; and uncommitted guard and Queens, N.Y. native Doron Lamb of Oak Hill Academy have all been invited. Harris, on left, and Pinkston are pictured at left during their recent battle at the Big Apple Invitational.

Tristan Thompson, a forward who has signed with Texas and plays at Findlay (Nev.) Prep, was also selected. Thompson previously played at Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s Prep.

The official list won’t be released until Feb. 11 on ESPNU. To read more of this story, click here

Cheek Emerging as Star at Villanova

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Coming out of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., Dominic Cheek was one of the most highly recruited players in the nation.

Nearly every major program in America wanted the long and lanky 6-foot-5 McDonald’s All-American from Jersey City.

But in a story first reported by, Cheek ultimately chose Villanova over Kansas, then the reigning national champion.

Asked the reason why, Cheek said, “Like I said, loyalty. Villanova was great to me.”

Read the full story here.

(Photo courtesy Villanova Athletics)

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Nova Torches RU in St. Anthony Reunion

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — With his team trailing by nearly 30 points in the second half before a listless crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center, Mike Rosario fired up a 3-pointer while his former St. Anthony teammate, Dominic Cheek, extended a long, lanky arm in his face and deflected the ball.

Rosario’s shot failed to touch the rim and Cheek and his Villanova teammates raced the other way on offense.

“I got a piece of it because me and Mike played in high school together and I know how Mike plays already,” said Cheek, a 6-foot-5 freshman who scored a career-high 17 points to lift the No. 4 Wildcats to their eighth straight victory, 94-68, over Rosario and Rutgers.

Read the full column here.

**No. 12 Georgetown drops No. 9 Pitt.

**UConn topples ST. John’s without Calhoun.

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Recruiting Update: J.J. Moore, Jamail Jones, Trevor Releford, Achraf Yacoubou

J.J. Moore is on the move.

The 6-foot-5 senior wing from Long Island visited Providence last week and will hit Pittsburgh on Tuesday and potentially St. John’s on Thursday.

“I think J.J. was really impressed with the new coach [at Providence, Keno Davis] and what they’re trying to build over there and he’s also impressed with the financial investment that the school and community has invested into making the program top notch,” said Hunt Bresky, Moore’s advisor who is making the trips with him.

“He was really pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. He wasn’t as familiar with Providence as some of the other programs.” To read more of this story, click here

LuHi Downs St. Anthony, Hurley Promises Changes; Tobias, Achraf Talk UConn

**Note: The game will be rebroadcast Wednesday on beginning at noon.

JERSEY CITY – Achraf Yocoubou scored a game-high 23 points and Long Island Lutheran went into New Jersey and handed St. Anthony its first home loss in six years.

With a large contingent of Long Island fans in the CERC gym, LuHi downed the Friars 60-58 after junior forward Tobias Harris blocked a shot attempt by Derrick Williams in the final seconds. To read more of this story, click here

Hurley Wins at Hall of Fame

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Bob Hurley was prowling the sidelines in the gym at Springfield College, yelling at players so loudly his voice could easily be heard above the crowd.”

“You’re supposed to guard him,” Hurley shouted at his star player, Dominic Cheek, after the opposing team’s star, Xavier Henry, scored a basket. “Where were you?”

Dressed in tan slacks, a short-sleeved maroon shirt and a black Reebok vest with “St. Anthony Friars Basketball” emblazoned on it, Hurley, 61, had to periodically sit down and towel dry his head because of all the sweat he generated.

Read the full story here.

(Photo courtesy Richard Orr)

St. Anthony Edges Eastside; St. Ben’s, St. Patrick Still Among Top 5

St. Anthony, the defending national high school champ, pulled out a narrow 57-54 victory over Paterson Eastside Sunday at the New Years Jump-Off at Teaneck High School.

The Friars improved to 8-1 but arent blowing out opponents like they did last year when they featured six Division I players.

“We made a lot of mistakes so it really came down to who made fewer mistakes, them or us,” St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley told the Jersey Journal.

“We’re still young and we haven’t yet worked it all out,” said Hurley. To read more of this story, click here

Dominic Cheek to Villanova

Dominic Cheek Chooses Wildcats from Collin Orcutt on Vimeo.

Dominic Cheek officially declared his intention to attend Villanova University Friday at a press conference in Jersey City, choosing that school over defending NCAA champion Kansas.

The story was first reported by ZAGSBLOG early Friday morning.

Read the full story here.

***Check out the video above from the press conference taken by CUNY graduate students Collin Orcutt and Michael Preston.

***And see the stellar documentary on Cheek by those guys: “A Star Emerges from City Streets.”

Lance, Lincoln Come Up Short on ESPN; Born Ready Says He'll Attend College

With Kansas head coach Bill Self looking on courtside, Lance Stephenson scored a game-high 32 points but the Lincoln Railsplitters came up on the losing end, 77-57, against Duncanville (Texas) in the Old Spice Classic on ESPN.

After repeatedly powering his way to the basket and also showing his long-range shooting skills by draining a 3-pointer from two feet behind the line, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Stephenson was named MVP of the game upon making 13 of 21 from the field. He entered averaging 34.3 points per game.

“He’s got the God-given body, and he’s blessed with quickness to go with it,” Duncanville coach Phil McNeely told the Dallas Morning News prior to the game. “That’s a deadly combination.”

Coach Self sat courtside with a Diet Coke. Stephenson says he is considering Kansas, Memphis, USC and St. John’s, and Self is clearly interested. Stephenson told the Star-Telegram he intended to attend college and not play overseas like Brandon Jennings.

“That’s not an option,” Stephenson said. “I’m just taking my time, and I will decide after the season in April.”

To read more of this story, click here

Cheek Down to Two; Hurley on Taylor, Rosario; Drummond Gets Releases

**[Read the Rivals story I wrote on Cheek here].

Dominic Cheek will choose between Kansas and Villanova and will announce his decision Friday at a 6 o’clock press conference at the Golden Door Charter School in Jersey City, according to a report in the Jersey Journal.

“For six months I thought it was going to be Villanova or Kansas and I don’t think anything has changed,” St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said Wednesday by phone. “The decision is being made by this kid.”

The 6-foot-5 Cheek, the No. 6 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, had initially included Memphis, Pittsburgh and Rutgers on his list but has apparently cut them.

Hurley said he plans to run a two-hour practice beginning at 3:30 on Friday and no announcement will be made until it’s over, probably around 6. To read more of this story, click here