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Top Secret Fyles; Jackson will be determined to leave imprint on Knicks


From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles while scouring the headlines:

n “Phil Jackson becomes Knicks team president”

The 11-time NBA champion coach will attempt to mold New York into a winner over the next couple of seasons.

The Knicks’ situation may not appear to be disastrous, as the team plays on the court.

Former Syracuse University star Carmelo Anthony may not be a franchise player because he’s mainly a scorer — and a very good one — and Jackson is not going to let him get away. Anthony could be awesome as a No. 2 option on offense.

The Knicks, who absolutely have to improve their defense if they are going to improve as a team, don’t have a No. 1 draft pick this summer, but once Amar’e Stoudemire’s salary comes off the books in 2015, the Knicks will mostly like go after a big-time free agent.

Some of the names who could be available in less than 16 months include the Timberwolves’ double-double machine Kevin Love, Celtics ultimate facilitator Rajon Rondo, Grizzles center Marc Gasol and Mavericks guard Monta Ellis.

Jackson, 68, who has had his share of physical ailments, is smart enough not to get involved in the daily grind of coaching again. The former Knicks player is a supreme motivator, and will get players to play at the top of their abilities, regardless of his job title.

I think the Knicks have a chance to be a decent team in about two years.

n“Millions filling out NCAA brackets”

Just like everybody else, I love to analyze the 68-team NCAA Tournament field. There’s no one great team, with a few very good teams.

Florida is senior laden; Wichita State (34-0) is under scrutiny because it didn’t play a Top 25 team and has maybe two quality road wins all season; Michigan State perhaps is the best-balanced team; Syracuse has been running on fumes the past three weeks and perhaps playing two less games in the ACC tournament will be a godsend; Kansas is intriguing because it has two future NBA stars; and Louisville and Kentucky are always dangerous because of the reputation of their coaches.

Stephen F. Austin, North Dakota State (each a 12th seed) or No. 14 Louisiana Lafayette will be one of the Cinderellas. Which one? Take your pick.

I like Florida, Michigan State, Arizona and Louisville in the Final Four.

n “Zakiya Saunders going to the NCAA Tournament”

The former Times All-North girls basketball player who starred at Carthage is a reserve at the University at Albany, playing limited minutes over 16 games. The Great Danes (28-4) are making their third straight trip to the Big Dance.

Richie Rich’s Final Top 10 in College Basketball: 1. Wichita State; 2. Florida; 3. Virginia; 4. Villanova; 5. Arizona; 6. Duke; 7. Louisville; 8. Michigan State; 9. Iowa State; 10. Michigan.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

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