- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
This story appears in the September 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
Rob Thomas shouldn't be here.
He shouldn't be running full-court -- foiling one defender with a deft crossover and another with a wickedly awkward, no-look, over-the-shoulder layup, in a summer scrimmage at St. John's. Any number of places would be a more logical destination than a college campus, his college campus.
Like the graveyard, because at 11 he was sleeping on park benches and in subway stations, fighting off older kids, on one occasion even having a gun jammed in his face. Or jail, because at 15 he was a truant who helped to support his family by selling weed on the street. Or the playground, because the guy couldn't read so much as a birthday card the day he turned 18, putting his future somewhere other than on the hardwood. Or the sideline, at best, because doctors thought he might not play high-level ball again after he tore up his knee.
"I don't think anyone in college basketball has been through so much," says St. John's strength and conditioning coach Pat Dixon. "Maybe they have a learning disability or had a tough upbringing or serious injury. But all three? No one."
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Kentucky coach John Calipari said he will no longer use a platoon playing-time system with the Wildcats.
The Florida Gators have been collecting information on potential successors to Billy Donovan since at least February in preparation for the possibility the coach would depart.
Mississippi has agreed to a contract extension with men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy that will keep him at the school until 2019.
While VCU lost its basketball coach to the University of Texas, its trademarked "havoc" label is staying in Virginia.
An arrest warrant has been issued for former Minnesota basketball player Daquein McNeil after he failed to appear in court on assault charges.
The NCAA has named J.D. Collins its new national coordinator of men's basketball officiating, effective immediately.
Forward Willie Carmichael is transferring from Tennessee.
The Wildcats were tough to figure last season, and with a roster overhaul ongoing, a tough season could be coming.
Players, like Sterling Gibbs, are looking for new places to play during a busy offseason for transfers.
For Shaka Smart to succeed in his first season at Texas, he'll need to get the most out of Isaiah Taylor and use the Longhorns' big men effectively.
Jeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello offer their Top 20 transfers and the complete transfer list.
Cuonzo Martin and the California Golden Bears just scored a recruiting coupe with a Friday night pledge from ESPN 100 Jaylen Brown.
Billy Donovan enjoyed unprecedented basketball success at a football school, a feat that no one thought could be accomplished before he arrived in Gainesville.
The Sooners return all the pieces needed to compete for the Big 12 title and make a run in March.
A week ago, Duke was searching for a point guard. Now the Blue devils have the No. 1 class in the country after they landed two top-20 prospects.
The Iowa State Cyclones want to redeem themselves for a round of 64 upset at the hands of UAB. As usual, they'll rely on transfers to do it.
The rivalry between Maryland and Georgetown will resume, and that's a good thing for college basketball.