Posted on: July 13, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 4:04 pm
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Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 1:11 pm

Kahari Beaufort breaks out at N.C. AAU event


By Jeff Borzello

UPDATE: After this story was published, Beaufort's high school coach called him to notify him that Providence, St. John's and Florida have all reached out regarding Beaufort. 

It’s not often a player is considered a high-major prospect yet has not heard from a single college yet.

That’s the case with Kahari Beaufort, a 2014 prospect from Connecticut who blew up at the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend.

Playing with the Long Island Lightning, Beaufort impressed nearly everyone who caught a glimpse of his game. One scout said he’s “big time,” while Dave Telep of ESPN.com wrote that Beaufort “has the ability to be a high-major guard.”

It’s apparently taken awhile for colleges to catch on, though.

“Not one school,” Beaufort said Thursday morning. “No schools, no letters, no anything. That’s crazy, but I just still work. I know there are a few colleges that [will] look at me.”

Beaufort, a 6-foot-4 point guard, has a strong body and gets after it at both ends of the floor. He can get to the rim and finish or knock down outside shots. Although Beaufort was overshadowed somewhat by Kuran Iverson, he still made a name for himself in North Carolina.

“I was so happy because I’m only 15 and I’m just starting to get noticed,” he said of the attention he received from scouts and reporters. “To tell the truth, I always played like that. The only thing I tried to step up on is my D, because that’s my weak point so I will take charges or anything to help my team.”

While Iverson, a top-10 recruit in the class of 2013, owned most of the eyeballs watching the Lightning, the star prospect has helped Beaufort in other ways. Beaufort even compares the relationship between the two to that of Baylor signees Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello.

When asked which one can dunk like Bello, Beaufort responded: “Me . . . well, no one can jump like Deuce.”

“I grew up with him, I knew him since I was in third grade,” Beaufort said of Iverson. “That’s really like my brother.”

He said there is a 99.9 percent chance he transfers to Northwest Catholic (Conn.), which Iverson currently attends. 

With a higher-profile due to his performance at the TOC and a potential move to team up with Iverson in high school, Beaufort knows he has to keep improving his game to get colleges on his trail.

“I look at it like, if I work hard at everything, good things would happen, but if I settle for good, what about my best? My games have strong and weak points,” he said. “On offense, I know I can score whenever, but on defense, I have to work harder.”

He made second-team all-New England Class B while he was at the Pomfret School (Conn.), but is continuing to work on his defense. Early-morning workouts with Iverson have already helped his game.

While no schools are coming at him right now, Beaufort did say Connecticut, Kansas and Georgetown are his top three dream schools.

“I think I can go high D1 because of the fact I’m only a freshman and I’m 15,” he said. “I have a lot more time to work on my game." 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:39 pm
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Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:22 pm

Race to the Top: Looking at the elite recruits

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The book is just about closed on the class of 2011. 
Sure, there are still players like DeAndre Daniels, Trevor Lacey, Joseph Uchebo, Kevin Ware and others dragging out their recruiting process, but it’s almost time to put the senior class in our rearview mirror.

There was no clear-cut number one player in the class, with different rankings placing Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers or Michael Gilchrist at the top of the class. Davis came out of nowhere in the spring of his junior season, making his case for No. 1 on the AAU scene. Rivers simply kept lighting it up no matter whom he played, while Gilchrist was steady and solid and probably held the No. 1 spot for the longest of anyone in the class.

But that’s all in the past. The final rankings are out, and it’s time to look at them as incoming college freshman, not high school players. As for the high school players, who’s got next? With only one month of the AAU circuit in the books, there is still plenty of spring and summer ball to be played.

This is the first in a summer-long “Race to the Top” feature at CBSSports.com where we gauge which players helped their case as the top player in the class and which players might have dropped a bit in the eyes of observers. We will likely update it after each major event we attend. To start, here’s a look at the candidates for the No. 1 ranking in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014.


Photo: Lonnie Webb/MaxPrepsAndre Drummond (pictured): 6’10”, C, St. Thomas More (Conn.) 
Why No. 1: When motivated, he’s unstoppable; combo of size and skill is unparalleled. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate consistently; disappears and fails to play hard at times.

Shabazz Muhammad: 6’6”, SF, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 
Why: Outstanding lefty scorer and unstoppable in the mid-range; good size and build. 
Why Not: Perimeter shooting is inconsistent right now; not as effective going to his right.

DaJuan Coleman: 6’10”, C, Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) 
Why: Has the ability to dominate the interior with his size and bulk; beginning to score in other ways. 
Why Not: Needs to become more toned and get in better shape; does not dominate consistently.

Cameron Ridley: 6’10”, C, George Bush (Tex.), committed to Texas 
Why: Late bloomer continues to improve and has a high ceiling; scores and rebounds effectively. 
Why Not: Needs to develop interior offense more; doesn’t have a wide variety of post moves.

Isaiah Austin: 7’0”, C, Grace Prep (Tex.), committed to Baylor 
Why: Absolute match-up nightmare due to his size and skill; tremendous inside-outside option. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight; spends too much time on the perimeter for a 7-footer.

Brandon Ashley, Ricardo Ledo, Rodney Purvis, Grant Jerrett (Arizona), Kaleb Tarczewski, Amile Jefferson


Julius Randle: 6’9”, PF, Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) 
Why: Unbelievably versatile, can score and defend in different ways; motivated to be No. 1. 
Why Not: Could improve his outside jumper; tends to force drives at times against bigger players.

Jabari Parker:
6’7”, SF, Simeon (Ill.) 
Why: Coming on strong for the top spot; can score inside and out and is becoming quicker. 
Why Not: Struggles defensively to guard quicker or bigger players; working on his handle.

Nerlens Noel: 6’10”, C, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Defensively ability is out of this world in terms of blocking shots and rebounding; developing offensively. 
Why Not: Has to add weight to his frame; still somewhat raw on offense and struggles with contact.

Kuran Iverson:
6’8”, SF, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) 
Why: Very high ceiling due to his skill and size; very versatile and knows how to score in different ways. 
Why Not: Takes possessions off and does not play hard all the time; needs to dominate like he can.

Chris Thomas:
6’5”, SG, Westwind Prep (Ariz.) 
Why: Outstanding offensive player; he can shoot from the perimeter, score inside and rack up assists. 
Why Not: Jump shot can disappear at times; defense takes a backseat to his offense in terms of effort.

Others: Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Aaron Gordon, Keith Frazier


Andrew Wiggins: 6’7”, SF, Vaughan (Can.) 
Why: Multi-skilled and can play a variety of positions; has the ability to score on the perimeter or at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to develop a mean streak; not at the point where he takes over games.

Wayne Selden: 6’4”, SF, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Powerful body and an imposing player for his age; is unstoppable going to the rim and can shoot. 
Why Not: He’s simply more physically developed than his peers; has to be more explosive as he ages.

Theo Pinson:
6’5”, SG, Oak Ridge (N.C.) 
Why: Long and athletic, very tough matchup; has excellent passing ability and can finish at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight to his frame and get stronger; ball-handling is getting better.

Jahlil Okafor:
6’8”, PF, Whitney Young (Ill.) 
Why: Already has good post moves and back-to-the-basket game; finishes at the rim and likes contact. 
Why Not: Not an explosive athlete right now; tends to play below the rim despite his size.

Dakari Johnson: 6’8”, C, St. Patrick (N.J.) 
Why: Dominant space-eater with great skill for his age; very difficult to stop once he gets the ball. 
Why Not: His athleticism needs work; struggles at times against taller players as a result.

Trey Lyles: 6’7”, PF, Arsenal Technical (Ind.), committed to Indiana 
Why: His mix of size and skill is tough to match; can run the floor and scores inside and out. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate against inferior opponents; could add strength and weight to his frame.

Others: Justin Jackson.

Photo: Lonnie Webb/MaxPreps
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Pinson impresses at every level

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – When a player can compare himself to Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant and still come off humble, you know you have something special on your hands.

Theo Pinson, a 6-foot-6 wing from Oak Ridge (N.C.), is one of the top players in the class of 2014 and has the potential to be an NBA lottery pick in the future.

He is arguably the best long-term prospect in North Carolina right now, and that includes top-five 2012 guard Rodney Purvis. Pinson is extremely long and athletic, and creates match-up problems with his ability to pass the ball and knock down shots from the perimeter.

Pinson’s vision and awareness on the offensive end of the floor is superior to nearly all of his peers in the class of 2014. He can find teammates in transition or in the half-court, utilizing skip passes and no-look dimes to fill up the highlight reel.

“I really like to get my teammates involved,” Pinson said. “Nine out of 10 times, if I don’t have an open shot, I’m going to pass the ball.”

For a player going against guys two years his senior, Pinson is an eye-opening prospect.

“They just keep moving me up,” Pinson said of playing at the 17U level. “It’s a chance to see where I’m at with my game.”

“He was 14 years old at Nationals last year,” CP3 All-Stars assistant coach Antone Williams said. “He showed he could play with the best.”


Pinson played on D-One Sports for most of last season’s AAU circuit, looking like the next stud in a lineage that included John Wall and Quincy Miller.

Maybe it was the Jordan Brand gear that persuaded him, but Pinson seems happy with CP3.

“At the time, [D-One] was a good fit,” his father, Theo Pinson Sr., said. “But CP3 gave him the opportunity to play in the EYBL.”

Added the younger Pinson: “I like it a lot. We got a lot of players in our class that are very good.”

As far as recruiting, Pinson is hearing from a long list of schools, but he pinpointed Syracuse, Clemson, Georgetown and Virginia Tech.

Photo: Tag 

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 11, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 2:40 pm

Top performers at EYBL Hampton

Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Although the AAU circuit started three weeks ago, the NIKE Elite Youth Basketball League event in Hampton this past weekend is recognized as the official start to the travel team season. With 40 of the best 17s teams gathered in one place, as well as top teams on the 16s and 15s levels, there were hundreds of future Division I players in attendance at Boo Williams. From Friday to Sunday, though, several players consistently stood out from the rest of the pack.

Kyle Anderson, 2012, Playaz: Despite his supposed weaknesses, Anderson continues to separate himself as one of the top players in the class. He simply has unbelievable feel for the game, using a variety of crafty floaters and finishes in the lane to score. Anderson doesn’t rely on explosiveness or quickness to get baskets, but the point-forward from St. Anthony (N.J.) knows how to make plays. He is a very good rebounder and showed some athleticism on a couple of impressive blocks.

Anthony Bennett, 2012, CIA Bounce: Bennett impresses nearly every time out, but the problem has been his ability to stay healthy. He is seemingly injured for every big event. Bennett was certainly not injured for Boo Williams this weekend. He took his game to a new level this weekend, scoring in a variety of ways and demonstrating his ability to be a match-up problem for most opponents. Bennett hustles defensively and loves to run the floor.

Rodney Purvis, 2012, CP3 All-Stars: Purvis opened the EYBL with a big-time performance against Team Takeover, and never looked back from there. He was consistently impressive offensively, dominating whichever opponent attempted to defend him. Purvis is explosive at that end of the floor, with the ability to blow by defenders and finish at the rim, or knock down perimeter shots. He is fantastic in transition and can also find teammates for open shots.

Shaq Goodwin, 2012, Memphis YOMCA: When the 2012 rankings are updated, Goodwin is a lock to be in the top 20, if not higher. His ceiling is as high as anyone in the class, due to his 6-foot-8 size and versatile skill set. Goodwin is a tremendous passer for someone his height, and his length makes him very difficult to defend around the basket. He runs the floor with the best of them and crashes the offensive boards. Defensively, he can block shots and control the glass.

Omar Calhoun, 2012, NY Gauchos: He’s not as athletically impressive as some of the other top players in the class, but Calhoun can score with anyone in the country. His mid-range jump shot is deadly and he has the ability to create his shot off the dribble. Calhoun has a solid build for a 6-foot-5 wing, and he uses his strength to score at the rim. He has very deep range from behind the arc and is nearly impossible to contain when he gets hot from three.


Ricardo Ledo, 2012, Albany City Rocks: Not playing with his usual Expressions AAU team, Ledo still managed to showcase his all-around offensive game and demonstrate why he is one of the top-three perimeter players in the class. He was knocking down perimeter shots over defenders; getting to the rim at will and finishing with both hands; and hitting difficult step-back jumpers and other mid-range shots. Ledo changes directions quickly, and is effective with ball fakes.

Alex Poythress, 2012, Georgia Stars: Poythress continues to rise up the charts. He is long and athletic, and can score in a variety of ways. In the half-court, he can post up defenders and score around the basket. Poythress improved his face-up game and his ability off the dribble, driving to the rim and finishing in traffic. He also added an outside jumper to his repertoire. Going into the weekend, Poythress had a reputation as a very good rebounder; that didn’t change one bit.

Nerlens Noel, 2013, BABC: Noel staked his claim to the No. 1 spot in the class of 2013 this past weekend. Offensively, he is still raw and has plenty of room to develop. However, he had a nice jump hook that was effective and he ran the floor well, finishing in transition. What separates Noel from most players is his defense. His length, timing and athleticism make him the best shot-blocker in the class. Noel isn’t muscular or physically imposing, but his ability to block or deter shots makes him intimidating.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, 2012, Spiece Indy Heat: Smith-Rivera isn’t a pure point guard, but his scoring ability ranks among the best backcourt players in the country. When he gets it going, Smith-Rivera is difficult to stop. He has deep range on his jump shot, knocking down 3-pointers with consistency. He is quicker than one might think, while his strength and build enable him to finish over bigger players in the paint. Smith-Rivera works off screens effectively and is smart with the ball.

Arnaud Adala-Moto, 2012, Team Takeover: Adala-Moto has been impressive in the past, but this weekend was different. He showed that he is a clear-cut high-major recruit, showing abilities at both ends of the floor that will make him attractive to college coaches. Adala-Moto has lost weight in the past year, looking quicker and more athletic. He is no longer an undersized forward; he can knock down perimeter shots and is a legitimate wing. Adala-Moto runs the floor extremely well and finishes in transition.

Also Impressive:

Andrew Wiggins, 2014, CIA Bounce: Separated himself as the top prospect in the class of 2014. Wiggins has a versatile skill set and is still developing.

Wayne Selden, 2014, BABC: Physically dominant, Selden simply owned the 15s division. He is extremely strong and is impossible to stop when driving to the rim.

Matthew Jones, 2013, Texas Titans: Overshadowed by Julius Randle, Jones knocked down perimeter jumpers with consistency and can also get to the basket.

Aaron Gordon, 2013, Oakland Soldiers: Gordon is simply too active and aggressive offensively for most opponents. He runs the floor and can also post up.

Photo: Highschoolhoop.com

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