Report: Key to possible John Calipari to Knicks move could be agents


The John Calipari-to-the-NBA rumor mill will keep turning, but Frank Isola of the New York Daily News pointed out a connection that could prove to be important: agents.

As Isola reports, Creative Artists Agency, which represents Calipari, also represents New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. It is reportedly through the agency that the Knicks have pursued Calipari.

“Do I think they’ve spoken directly to Cal? No,” a source told the Daily News. “Do I think he knows they’re very interested? Definitely.”

New York head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned in mid-March and has since been replaced by interim coach Mike Woodson. The Knicks are 9-3 under Woodson and currently hold the 8th-seed in the Eastern Conference.

As one would expect, considering Calipari is hot on the recruiting trail for blue-chip prospects Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad, and Anthony Bennett, the Kentucky coach wanted to close the door on any speculation, so as to dismiss any notion of coaching instability in Lexington.

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” said Calipari. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.”

Had Calipari mentioned anything about the Knicks, how ironic a situation could that have created?

If a prospect like Muhammad saw Calipari’s future as uncertain, that would make Ben Howland look like a solid rock at UCLA, just months after his job security was called into question, following a less-than-flattering Sports Illustrated story on his program.

Trust this, though: Calipari will keep fishing for prospects in the spring signing period and, if all stays the same and he remains in Lexington, the Wildcats could have another No. 1 recruiting class on their hands in 2012.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)