Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:33 pm

2014's top player has Florida State at the top

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – It’s three years until the class of 2014 takes center stage, but Andrew Wiggins has already made a name for himself on a national level.

In fact, Wiggins might be the top player in his class.

The 6-foot-7 Canada native is explosive athletically and can score at will against most defenders. He has great speed and can get to the rim in traffic. Wiggins shoots the ball well from the perimeter and also crashes the offensive glass for second-chance opportunities. He handles the ball effectively and finds teammates for open shots.


In terms of recruiting, Kentucky, North Carolina State, USC and a host of other schools are pursuing Wiggins, but one university is the heavy favorite.

“Florida State is standing out right now,” he said. “Both my parents went there.”

Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles picked up a five-star prospect in every class from 2007 to 2010, and could be on the verge of landing another big fish in 2014.

Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:34 pm

Barber, Williams next in line for Boo Williams

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – As the host program of the Nike EYBL Hampton event, the Boo Williams AAU program was under the microscope.

They consistently drew the biggest crowds and were involved in some of the most intense games of the weekend.

Luckily, the new wave of young talent in the program came to play.

Troy Williams, a 6-foot-6 wing, is a big-time scorer who can shoot from deep and uses his length and size to create match-up problems and score around the rim. The Phoebus (Va.) product is also solid defensively due to his athleticism.

Williams is a top-25 prospect in the class of 2013, and has the school list to prove it.

“Georgetown is coming strong,” he said. “North Carolina is in the mix.”

Williams also mentioned Virginia Tech, Virginia and South Florida as schools showing the most interest so far.


Anthony Barber is another rising junior who is ready to prove himself with the 17s this spring and summer. The 6-foot-2 point guard has a non-stop motor that gets after it defensively with his speed and length. Offensively, he loves pushing the ball in transition, using his aggressiveness to get into the lane and finish.

“I just want to play my game,” Barber said. “I don’t want to show any fear. When I have a shot, I’m going to make it.”

Although it’s early in the recruiting process, the Hampton (Va.) prospect seems likely to stay within the state for college. He mentioned Virginia and Virginia Tech as the two primary schools on his list right now.

Expect to hear a lot more from these two players in the next four months.

Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:35 pm

Gathers transitioning to the perimeter

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Built like a defensive end, Ricardo Gathers is a guy you don’t want to deal with inside the paint.

The 6-foot-6, 240-lb. forward is looking to make himself even more dangerous on the offensive end, though, working on his perimeter game and becoming a match-up nightmare for opponents.

“I’m working on being a perimeter player,” Gathers said over the weekend. “I’m working on my shooting and ball-handling. I’m gonna have to be [a three] at the next level.”

The next level is right around the corner for Gathers, one of the top players in the class of 2012.


Right now, he has a long list of suitors, including St. John’s, Baylor, Syracuse, Connecticut, West Virginia, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Kansas.

Gathers said he wants to visit St. John’s and Florida in the near future.

“I’m looking for atmosphere and the coaching style,” he said.

Gathers is a beast inside, dominating the glass at both ends of the floor against taller opponents. He runs the floor extremely well and can finish at the rim. His physical style makes him an imposing presence around the basket. Gathers used those attributes to average 18.2 points and 12.8 rebounds over the weekend.

If he continues to improve his perimeter play, he will be a force over the next couple of years.

Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:35 pm

Two Oklahomans raise stock at Boo Williams

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – They don’t have top-25 talent and won’t contend for the Peach Jam title in July, but Athletes First featured several breakout players at Boo Williams.

There’s no headliner on the team, but that could change in the coming months, as multiple players on Gary Vick’s team helped their cause in Hampton last weekend.

Juwan Parker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Booker T. Washington (Okla.), is a lights-out shooter who can really heat up from distance. He has a very good stroke and good range on his jumper.

In terms of recruiting, Parker has taken a visit to Oklahoma State, and is also receiving interest from Baylor, Clemson, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Parker wasn’t the only 2013 prospect from Athletes First to improve his stock at the EYBL.


Jordan Woodard, a 6-foot-1 guard from Edmond Memorial (Okla.), got off to a great start in the first two games of the event and continued to impress the entire weekend.

He can finish at the rim and also knock down perimeter shots. Woodard plays the passing lanes well defensively and is excellent at leading the break going the other way.

Right now, Oklahoma is the only school with heavy interest in Woodard, but expect that to change very soon.

“I did pretty good, better than I expected,” Woodard said. “I think I helped myself a lot.”

Posted on: April 12, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:36 pm

Notebook: Calhoun separates himself as scorer

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – He’s not overly explosive or extremely quick, but Omar Calhoun has cemented himself as one of the best pure scorers in the country.

Calhoun, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Christ the King (N.Y.), has deep range on his outside shots and is lethal on pull-up jumpers from inside the arc. He can also beat defenders and finish at the rim.

Over the weekend at the Boo Williams EYBL event, Calhoun averaged 29.4 points in five games, including a 38-point performance against All Ohio Red.

In terms of recruiting, Calhoun currently lists offers from West Virginia, Virginia, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, St. John’s, Rutgers and Vanderbilt, with interest from North Carolina and Kentucky.

“I visited UNC, it was nice,” he said. “I’ve also been to Pittsburgh, Villanova, Connecticut and Seton Hall.”

Calhoun plans to trim his list after the July live period.

Several schools courting Marcus Hunt

With Tony Parker and Alex Poythress dominating the paint for the Georgia Stars, Marcus Hunt gets plenty of opportunities to impress on the perimeter.

Clearly, Hunt is intriguing to many schools.

Over the weekend, the 6-foot-6 swingman from North Clayton (Ga.) listed Florida State, Nebraska, Alabama, Miami (Fl.), UTEP, Louisville, Missouri, Florida and Georgia as schools currently tracking him. Hunt also has an offer from Georgia Tech.

Hunt is a very good offensive player who can score from the perimeter and around the rim, and his strength and size make him a tough match-up.


Nunn and Tate lead loaded Meanstreets 16s

It’s not often that an AAU program 16s squad is better than its 17s, but that might be the case with Meanstreets this season.

There’s no Anthony Davis on the 17s team, or even a Phil Greene. However, the 16s boast several high-major prospects, led by guards Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate.

Nunn is a high-level guard who can create his own shot and get to the basket against most defenders. The lefty from Simeon (Ill.) finishes in traffic and also draws fouls. Over the weekend, he listed Memphis, Alabama, Saint Louis, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Arizona as schools on him early.

Tate, a 6-foot-2 De La Salle (Ill.) product, had several nice offensive plays at the Boo Williams EYBL event, knocking down perimeter shots and also driving baseline for finishes at the rim. Tate picked up an offer from Northwestern in March, while also receiving interest from Marquette, Xavier, Florida and a host of Big Ten schools. 

Photo: Nypost.com

Posted on: April 12, 2011 5:04 pm

New UT coach Martin pursuing Memphis talent

Posted by Eric Angevine

I've said before that Cuonzo Martin's first job at Tennessee is to refrain from embarrassing the school any further. He should be able to do that easily. The hard part comes next. He must try to retain Bruce Pearl's recruits and find a few more who can play. That's not going to be easy at all with NCAA sanctions looming on the horizon.

Related links
In addition to the chilling effect of likely sanctions, Martin will have to deal with an uncertain scholarship situation in the short term. Both Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris are flirting with the NBA, which means their two scholarships are not definitively available when the signing period begins on April 13. That has never stopped a coach from over-recruiting, but neither does it help Martin stabilize a tough situation.

Right now, Martin seems to be pursuing mostly guards. He has offered 6-foot-5 Oklahoma native Josh Richardson and is expecting a visit from 6-4 Kevin Ware from Georgia as well. Aside from those out-of-staters, Martin is, quite sensibly, zeroing in on talent from relatively nearby Memphis, Tennessee.

His first goal was to nail down the commitment of 5-10 Chris Jones, a Pearl signee who seems to be leaning toward honoring his commitment. GoVolsExtra.com details several other players from the city who could form the backbone of UT's team if the chips fall Martin's way:

A list of Memphis players Martin is recruiting with graduating class in parenthesis: Jarnell Stokes, Memphis Central (2012); Andre Applewhite, Memphis Central (2012); Austin Nichols, Briarcrest Christian (2013); Jonathan Williams, Southwind (2013), Leron Black, White Station, (2014).

Martin has also looked into some possible junior college transfers with size, but has yet to gain much of a foothold with anyone who can play inside.

Martin recently offered a scholarship to 6-1 Iowa point guard Wes Washpun, so at least one of those 2011 spots may be spoken for.

Martin has a tough job ahead of him, and the early recruiting period will be his first major test. His earnest ways may sway some recruits, but a serious sales pitch will be required if he is to convince top-level talent to take a chance on the Volunteers.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:37 pm

Torren Jones shows flashes of potential

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – All it took was one play.

Torren Jones struggled during the early stages of the Nike EYBL Hampton event this past weekend, but he would soon show why he is considered a top-100 prospect in the class of 2013.

Against Team Takeover, the Basha (Ariz.) forward had one of the top plays of the entire event. He blocked a shot at one end, then ran the floor and finished a tremendous alley-oop at the other end.

After watching that, it’s easy to see what is so attractive about Jones. The 6-foot-7 forward has a great build and is very long and athletic. He can score around the rim and has the potential to dominate the glass. Jones is still a little raw when it comes to post moves, but he has time to improve.

“I’m always working hard,” Jones said.


Several colleges have taken notice, with Arizona, UCLA, USC, Oregon and UNLV on his list right now.

Although it’s still early in his recruitment, Jones said he wants to visits Arizona, UCLA and USC.

Expect more schools to enter the picture as his play with California Supreme increases.

Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:37 pm

Former UCF commit taking time with new decision

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – When Shawn Smith committed to Central Florida in January, the general thinking was that the Conference-USA school picked up a major coup.

That excitement quickly soured, as Smith decommitted from the Knights about six weeks later, in early March.

“When I went there, I fell in love with the school,” Smith said over the weekend at the Nike EYBl Hampton. “The campus was like, whoa.”

Clearly, those feelings didn’t last – Smith had a change of heart after thinking about his decision.

“I decommitted because I was thinking about the conference,” he said. “I didn’t think we could make the NCAA tournament.”

Now, the 6-foot-4 Smith has a host of high-major schools expressing interest, and he plans on taking his time before making a final decision.


Smith claimed offers from Cincinnati, Florida State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Mississippi and South Carolina, with interest coming from Louisville. Florida was in the mix, but the Gators picked up commitments from two guards and have since backed off.

Smith, who plays at Providence School (Fla.) and runs with Nike Team Florida on the AAU circuit, said Florida State and Cincinnati are coming at him the hardest.

“I have no favorites,” he said. “I’m going to decide at the end of the summer.”

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com