Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 10:47 am
By Jeff Goodman
ACC Offseason Report
Boston College – Joe Jones left to become the head coach at Boston University and Steve Donahue has decided to promote Woody Kampmann and hire Izzi Metz as his new director of basketball operations. The Eagles will play in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and have non-league games against Providence (12-8) at home, UMass (11-21) and Penn State (11-30). Dallas Elmore transferred out of the program while Oregon transfer Matt Humphrey is eligible this season.
Clemson – The Tigers are in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii (12-22/25) and also have non-league games at Iowa (11-29), at Arizona (12-10) and against South Carolina (12-4). Donte Hill (Old Dominion), Noel Johnson (Auburn) and Cory Stanton (Lipscomb) all transferred out of the program.
Duke – The Blue Devils will go to China and Dubai from Aug. 14-26. Mike Krzyzewski brought back former player Jeff Capel, who was fired as head coach at Oklahoma in the offseason. He moves into the spot of Nate James, who was reassigned. The Blue Devils will play in the Maui Invitational and also have a loaded non-conference slate: vs. Michigan State in the Champions Classic in NYC (11-15), at Ohio State (11-29), vs. Washington in NYC (12-10), at Temple in Philadelphia (1-4), vs. St. John’s (1-28).
Florida State – Andy Enfield got the head job at Florida Gulf Coast and was replaced by Dennis Gates (Nevada). The Seminoles will play in the Battle of Atlantis in the Bahamas on Nov. 23-27 and also go to Florida (12-22) and play at Michigan State (11-30). Jeff Peterson transferred in from Arkansas and will be eligible this season as a graduate student.
Georgia Tech – New coach Brian Gregory brought Billy Schmidt from Dayton, hired Josh Postorino, Chad Dollar and Amir Abdur-Rahim as the director of operations. The Yellow Jackets will play in the Charleston Classic (11-17/20) and will have non-league games against Northwestern (11-29), at Georgia (12-7) and vs. Alabama (1-3). Brian Oliver transferred to Seton Hall and Brandon Reed is eligible this season after transferring from Arkansas State.
Maryland – Mark Turgeon brought Scott Spinelli and Dustin Clark (director of basketball operations) with him from Texas A&M, hired Dalonte Hill (Kansas State) and kept Orlando “Bino” Ranson. The Terps will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and also have non-league games vs. Illinois (11-29), against Notre Dame (12-4) in D.C. and against Temple at the Palestra (1-21). Haukur Palsson left the program to play pro ball back home.
Miami – Jim Larranaga brought his staff with him from George Mason: Chris Caputo, Eric Konkol, Michael Huger and he kept Mike Summey as the director of basketball operations. The Hurricanes will play at Purdue (11-29), vs. Rutgers (11-15), at Ole Miss (11-25), vs. Memphis (12-6) and at West Virginia (12-11). Trey McKinney-Jones (UMKC) and Kenneth Kadji (Florida) are both eligible this season after sitting last year.
N.C. State – Mark Gottfried put together the ex-Charlotte staff of Bobby Lutz, Orlando Early and Rob Moxley. He also hired Jeff Dunlap as his director of basketball operations. The Wolfpack will play in the Legends Classic and also will face Indiana (11-30) and Syracuse (12-17) at home, and will play at Stanford (12-4). Ryan Harrow (Kentucky) transferred out while N.C. State added one-year Cal State Bakersfield point guard Alex Johnson, who is eligible this season.
North Carolina – The Tar Heels will play Michigan State on Nov. 11 in San Diego on an aircraft carrier and will also play in the Las Vegas Invitational. Roy Williams’ team also plays Wisconsin at home (11-30) and at Kentucky (12-3) in the non-conference slate. Larry Drew transferred to UCLA.
Virginia – The Cavaliers will play in the Paradise Jam and also have non-league games vs. Michigan (11-29), vs. George Mason (12-6), at Oregon (12-18) and at LSU (1-2 or 1-3). Will Regan (Buffalo) transferred out of the program.
Virginia Tech – Adrian Autry (Syracuse) left and Dennis Wolff left the director of operations spot to become the head women’s coach at Virginia Tech. Robert Ehsan (Maryland) replaced Autry and Jeff Wulbrun takes Wolff’s spot. The Hokies will play in the Preseason NIT and also have non-league contests at Minnesota (11-30), vs. Kansas State (12-3 or 12-4), at Oklahoma State (12-31) and vs. BYU (1-25). Manny Atkins transferred out to Georgia State.
Wake Forest – Walt Corbean has been moved up from director of operations, replacing Mark Pope, who left for BYU. Jeff Nix, a former NBA assistant, takes Corbean’s old spot. The Demon Deacons will play in the Old Spice in Orlando and also have non-conference games at Nebraska (11-30), at Seton Hall (12-10) and vs. Richmond (12-3). Ari Stewart (USC) transferred out of the program and Melvin Tabb was suspended and is leaving as well.
Offseason reports: Big 12 | Pac-12 | Big Ten
Posted on: June 9, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 1:41 am
By Jeff Borzello
One of the first recruits Clemson head coach Brad Brownell contacted after the season ended and then watched during the evaluation period was point guard Jordan Roper.
That hard work paid off on Thursday, as Roper gave his commitment to Clemson.
“They were the best opportunity for me, they play at a high level and against elite competition,” Roper told CBSSports.com. “They’re also close to home.”
The other finalists were VCU, UNC-Asheville and Tulane. Georgia Tech was showing interest at one point, while Roper also held offers from High Point, Presbyterian and Tennessee State.
Roper is a 6-foot-1 lead guard from Irmo High School (S.C.). His quickness and penetration ability made him attractive to a variety of schools at different levels. Roper can get into the lane using his speed, and also makes plays at the defensive end.
He is the second member of Brownell’s 2012 recruiting class, joining 6-foot-6 forward Jaron Bloosomgame.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:58 am
RALEIGH, N.C. – He may go by “Baby,” but Kennedy Meeks is a grown man on the basketball court.
Meeks is listed at 6-foot-8 and 260 lbs., and dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him in the paint. He has great hands and knows how to finish at the rim with post moves and a soft touch. Meeks can pass out of a double team, and is also a very solid rebounder. The West Charlotte (N.C.) product is improving all facets of his game.
One of the top centers in the class of 2013, Meeks is receiving tons of college interest.
“Everybody in the ACC besides Duke and Georgia Tech,” Meeks said. “Also, Georgetown, Louisville and North Florida.”
North Florida? “North Florida.”
Meeks said his favorites are Georgetown and Maryland, and he wants to check out the campuses of Maryland and Miami (Fl.) at some point in July.
The exceptional campaigns by Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and Maryland’s Jordan Williams over the last two seasons are part of the reason Meeks is drawn to those two programs – they utilize their post players.
“They feed the big man,” he said. “I want to go to a place where they use their big man.”
Despite his nickname, Meeks certainly fits the profile.Photo: Charlotte Observer
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
RALEIGH, N.C. – For Sam Mader, there are positives and negatives to being on a team with North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto, Wisconsin-bound Sam Dekker and 2013 stud Bronson Koenig.
“I do feel like I get overshadowed,” Mader said. “But it’s a team game, and they’re great players. I still feel like I get looks, because people are coming to games. It doesn’t affect me.”
Mader, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Appleton East (Wisc.), made his presence known over the weekend at the Tournament of Champions. He is a good high- and low-post big man, with the ability to pass to teammates from the free-throw line or make plays around the rim with his back to the basket. Mader has good hands and makes himself available with good positioning.
Several high-majors – like Minnesota, Northwestern, Oregon State and Stanford – have shown interest in Mader in the past, but he mentioned five schools last Friday.
UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay have offered him, while Ball State and Drake are showing plenty of interest. Mader wants to take a visit to Northern Illinois.
“I want to make a decision in August,” he said.
Jordan Scott taking his time
One of the more underrated teams at the Tournament of Champions last weekend was the Colorado Chaos. Despite having two high-major commits in Josh Scott (Colorado) and Kaileb Rodriguez (California), not many people knew about this team.
A player who made people take notice was Jordan Scott. A 6-foot-5 forward, Scott knows how to finish around the rim and plays well in transition. He is also a very good defender and can guard multiple positions.
For now, the Lewis-Palmer (Colo.) product is hearing from Colorado, Air Force, Denver and Arizona.
“I want to make a decision during my senior season,” the 2013 prospect said. “I’m taking my time.”
Terrell Rogers follows in father’s footsteps
Despite standing just 5-foot-4, Shawnta Rogers terrorized the Atlantic-10 for three years in the late 90s, averaging 20.7 points in his final season at George Washington.
Now, he has a son who is looking to continue that reputation.
Terrell Rogers, a 5-foot-8 guard from Indiana Land (S.C.), impressed with his scoring ability at the Tournament of Champions. He is supremely quick with the ball and has an ability to get into the lane and finish against bigger players. Rogers adjusts his body well to avoid getting blocked.
The rising senior said he is hearing from Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Providence and Charleston.
“Not yet,” Rogers said when asked about a decision. “At the end of the summer.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: May 27, 2011 10:54 am
Posted by Eric Angevine
In spring and summer - the time when college hoops goes on the back burner for most sports fans - it pays to keep an ear to the ground. Or, more realistically, to stuff one's RSS reader with so many local newspaper feeds that even blips of salient information end up being read.
That's how the Wyoming Tribune Eagle ended up in my purview, and that's where I read this tidbit, from new University of Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt, who came back to Laramie to a job he held previously in 1997-98. Shyatt left to become head coach at Clemson and also served as an assistant at Florida from 2004-2011. Wyoming beat reporter Robert Gagliardi asked Shyatt how it felt to be back in charge of recruiting at the MWC level after having been in the power conference world for so long, and got this interesting answer:
"Coaches are under a great deal of pressure to make a couple of key decisions. One, do I go after the most amount of talent that the eyes tell me and maybe look the other way in terms of either academics or value system? Or do I try to get a better combination?
Shyatt's no dummy. He doesn't come right out and say who he's labeling a 'sellout', or which coaches have fallen from grace in his estimation, but he does the next best thing. He gives Gagliardi a list of coaches he does admire. "The people I talk the most to, whether I'm looking for advice or friends, would be (current UW assistant head coach) Scott Duncan. Matt Driscoll, Donnie Jones, Anthony Grant, Billy Donovan in the Florida family. Then Rick Barnes, Gary Colson and probably Herb Sendeck and Jeff Van Gundy." Within the MWC, he cites Air Force head coach Jeff Reynolds as his closest friend.
Famous people often do such a good job of managing their images that we in the general public have no idea what they're really like. Top-level basketball coaches are essentially celebrities, who spend much of their time selling a persona to recruits, donors and the general public. It's interesting to hear from a coach who's been to the mountaintop (two national championships as a Florida assistant) and come back home to finish his career, reveal that some of those sterling faces might be just masks.
Wyoming is always going to be a tough place to recruit, no matter who's coaching there, so it'll be interesting to see how far Shyatt gets with his stated commitment to doing things the honest way.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: May 24, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 12:00 pm
It may still feel like the Final Four just ended, but for most schools, the offseason is now more than two months old. With that in mind, all of us at the blog are going to take this week to give you what we’re calling “Conference Catch-Ups.” The motive is to recap the biggest storylines in college basketball’s offseason so far, plus keep your appetite whetted in what is the longest offseason in major American sports.
The Big Stories
New faces on the sidelines: The ACC took more turns in the coaching carousel than any major conference in the country. It started before the season ended, when Georgia Tech and Paul Hewitt parted ways after 11 seasons. Dayton’s Brian Gregory was hired to replace him. Frank Haith left Miami (Fl.) for the Missouri job, with the Hurricanes reaching into the CAA for George Mason’s Jim Larranaga. North Carolina State wasn’t lucky with their search, getting turned down by multiple coaches before going with former Alabama head man Mark Gottfried to replace Sidney Lowe. Obviously the most high-profile of the changes came at Maryland, where Gary Williams abruptly retired after 22 seasons in College Park. Mark Turgeon came over from Texas A&M to replace Williams. Overall, one-third of the programs in the conference will have a new face at the helm.
North Carolina is preseason No. 1: With Kentucky losing Brandon Knight and DeAndre Liggins to the NBA, the clear-cut favorite going into the preseason should be North Carolina. The Tar Heels return Harrison Barnes, who came on strong in the latter half of the season. John Henson and Tyler Zeller also come back in the frontcourt, while Kendall Marshall will get a chance to run the show for a full season. Five-star recruits James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston will get a chance to make an impact off the bench.
Duke loses top three players, needs to reload: When Kyrie Irving, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith were healthy and hitting on all cylinders, Duke was the best team in the country. Now, all three are gone and Mike Krzyzewski is left with . . . well, a pretty good team. Coach K brings in a tremendous recruiting class, led by top-three prospect Austin Rivers, McDonald’s All-Americans Quinn Cook and Marshall Plumlee, as well as top-30 recruit Michael Gbinije. Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins will still snipe from 3-point range, while Ryan Kelly and Mason and Miles Plumlee return down low. Don’t cry for the Dukies.
Where did everyone go? Despite North Carolina’s frontcourt trio all returning, the ACC was hit hard by graduation and the NBA draft. All five players on the all-ACC first team will be gone, as well as two players on the second team and three players on the third team. Including the top five honorable mention vote-getters, only seven of the top 20 players in the conference are returning next season.
The Great Unknown
What does the future hold for Maryland? Under Gary Williams, the Terrapins were widely-regarded as one of the top programs in college basketball but never consistently made deep runs in the NCAA tournament. They had not reached the Sweet 16 since 2003 after winning a national championship in 2002. With Williams retiring and Mark Turgeon taking over, it will be interesting to see what happens in College Park. Maryland is considered one of the best jobs in the country due to its fertile recruiting base. Turgeon has already made a splash in that regard, hiring Kansas State assistant Dalonte Hill for Washington D.C. and keeping Bino Ransom for Baltimore.
NBA Draft report
The ACC had its wins and losses when it came to early-entries and the NBA draft. It did take some serious hits, with Duke’s Kyrie Irving, Florida State’s Chris Singleton and Boston College’s Reggie Jackson all leaving early with near-guarantees that they will each be drafted in the first round. Moreover, Maryland’s Jordan Williams and Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert also made the leap to the NBA draft.
While the conference certainly had headline departures, plenty of talent also made the decision to return. As mentioned earlier, North Carolina’s frontcourt trio of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller are all coming back to college despite being projected as first-round picks. Reggie Johnson of Miami (Fl.) entered his name into the draft pool without an agent, but pulled out at the last minute to return to South Beach.
- Alex Johnson (from Cal State Bakersfield) to North Carolina State
- Dallas Elmore (from Boston College)
- Ryan Harrow (from North Carolina State)
- Will Regan (from Virginia)
- Ari Stewart (from Wake Forest) to USC
- Manny Atkins (from Virginia Tech) to Georgia State
My commentary in 20 words or less
Boston College: Steve Donahue will have his hands full next season, as he brings back just 7.9 points and three returnees.
Clemson: Brad Brownell surprised many in his first season, but Milton Jennings and Devin Booker have to take a step forward.
Duke: The Blue Devils lose plenty, but freshman Austin Rivers will immediately be one of the top scorers in the country.
Florida State: When a team as bad offensively as FSU loses its top two scorers, returning to the Sweet 16 seems ambitious.
Georgia Tech: Brian Gregory could hit speed bumps in his first year; the Jackets are going to get dominated in the paint.
Maryland: The Terrapins will be fun to watch as a program in the next few years; next season’s a stepping stone.
Miami: The move by Jim Larranaga to Miami raised some eyebrows, but Durand Scott and Reggie Johnson are a formidable duo.
North Carolina: The preseason No. 1 team in the country, the Tar Heels will make headlines for the right reasons next season.
North Carolina State: Another program that will be fun to keep an eye on – Mark Gottfried is making his mark on Tobacco Road.
Virginia: Tony Bennett has this team on the precipice of a big year, but it’s still unclear when exactly that’s happening.
Virginia Tech: Next season, the Hokies won’t be good enough to be disappointed on Selection Sunday yet again.
Wake Forest: Coming off a one-win ACC season, there’s nowhere to go but up. We think.
Photos: US Presswire
Posted on: May 14, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 1:35 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
Watching Derrick Griffin run the floor and grab alley-oops – over and over and over – you would think he doesn’t even hesitate when going up for a dunk.
Interestingly, the 6-foot-6 forward from Terry (Tex.) does have second thoughts the split-second before he skies over defenders.
“Sometimes, I do get nerves,” Griffin said.
Of course, those thoughts quickly dissipate, turning into a confidence where he knows he can out-leap nearly any opponent.
“Then I just jump,” Griffin said. “If it’s there, I’m going to get it.”
Teamed with two top-10 prospects in twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Griffin was the one who stole the show at last weekend’s Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational. He wowed the crowd with one-handed finishes, alley-oops when he rose high above the rim and big-time blocks on the defensive end.
Although he can certainly make an impact at the next level in basketball, Griffin is also a stud football player. As a wide receiver, Griffin reportedly caught 18 touchdown passes, proving to be an impossible match-up with his athleticism and strength.
Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, Kansas and USC have already reached out to the sophomore for both sports.
He has not made up his mind as to which sport he will play in the future, but Griffin knows his development might be better suited for the hardwood.
“If I get taller, I’m going to play basketball,” he said.
Lee to take it to the next level
Britton Lee understands.
The Roman Catholic (Pa.) sophomore knows he’s 5-foot-10 and isn’t yet a pure point guard or a big-time shooter. He knows he has room to improve and has a lot of work to do in order to reach his goals.
“I need to work on my jump shot, need to work on my handle,” Lee said.
With that said, Lee also envisions himself as a major conference player.
“I think I can go high-major,” he said.
For now, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Xavier and Niagara are showing varying levels of interest.
- The U-16 group of the Team Final AAU program is one of the top groups in the country, although they also play up an age group in a few tournaments. In addition to Lee and high-major prospects Austin Colbert, Rondae Jefferson and Davon Reed, head coach Rob Brown also has plenty of other players at his disposal.
Yosef Yacob, a 6-foot point guard from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), is hearing from Canisius, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s and Drexel. Yacob is long and an effective facilitator.
Johnnie Davis might be undersized at 6-foot-4, but the Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) forward is productive. Davis is hearing from schools like Niagara and George Mason, but also has high-majors like Pittsburgh tracking him.
- At the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational last weekend, the New Jersey Playaz should have run roughshod over Threat 220. One player wouldn’t let that happen, though: Junius Thomas.
Thomas, a 6-foot-5 forward from Anacostia (D.C.), was outstanding. He blocked shots, finished above the rim, dominated the glass and single-handedly kept an undermanned Threat team in the game. While they eventually lost, Thomas might have been the most impressive player all game.
If he can get his academics in order, he has the potential to be at least a mid-level player. Thomas did mention hearing from St. Bonaventure and Clemson
Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 4:39 pm
Posted by Jeff Borzello
The class of 2013 is going to be known for its depth at the wing position, and one player making his way up the rankings is Sindarius Thornwell.
Thornwell, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Lancaster (S.C.), makes an immediate impact because of his length and athleticism. He handles the ball and distributes well for someone his size, and is also adept at finishing.
“I’m quick and I can handle the ball,” Thornwell said. “I’m always attacking and I play defense.”
Plenty of colleges have taken notice of the versatile 2013 prospect.
Thornwell currently holds offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and Charlotte. He also has interest from Louisville, UCF and the entire ACC besides North Carolina and Duke.
Thornwell, who has visited Clemson and South Carolina, knows exactly what he needs in a school.
“I’m looking for playing style, good academics and playing time,” he said. “That’s it.”
2013 big man looking to improve
Most 6-foot-10 sophomores can get by on size and length alone. Andre Walker, on the other hand, is constantly looking to get better.
As it stands, he is a talented but raw big man who can run the floor and finish after he catches it.
“I need to make strong moves and play better defense,” Walker said. “I need to get better, get stronger. I also want to work on my perimeter game. I’m working hard.”
The Clarksburg (Md.) native is hearing from DePaul, Washington State, VCU, Northwestern, George Mason and Maryland.
Whitfield transfers to team with Tyler Lewis
North Carolina is loaded with prospects in the class of 2012. One player flying under the radar is Shane Whitfield, a 6-foot-5 forward.
In an attempt to make a name for himself, Whitfield is transferring next year to Forsyth Country Day School (N.C.). There, he will team up with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis in hopes of increasing his recruitment.
“It’s better competition,” Whitfield said. “I want to get better everyday.”
Right now, Whitfield has offers from Delaware, American, Campbell and Holy Cross, with interest from Richmond, Charlotte and East Carolina.
- A Texas team in need of impact players could pick up one this weekend. Recently available Sterling Gibbs and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow are both visiting Austin this weekend.
- Unsigned 2011 center Daouda Soumaoro is currently on an official visit to Washington. Soumaoro took a trip to St. John’s recently, and said he enjoyed it.
- Top-50 2012 forward Ricardo Gathers is taking an unofficial visit to St. John’s this weekend. The Louisiana native also wants to take a trip to Florida.
Tags: 2011, 2012, 2013, American, Andre Walker, Campbell, Charlotte, Clemson, Daouda Soumaoro, Delaware, DePaul, East Carolina, George Mason, Georgia Southern, Holy Cross, Louisville, Maryland, Northwestern, Recruiting, Ricardo Gathers, Richmond, Ryan Harrow, Shane Whitfield, Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina, St. John's, Sterling Gibbs, Tennessee State, Texas, UCF, VCU, Washington, Washington State