Tag:Jeff Borzello
Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:41 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am

Maryland gets commitment from Jake Layman

By Jeff Borzello

The biggest knock on Gary Williams during his years at Maryland was that he couldn’t land big-time recruits. Well, Mark Turgeon has had no problem doing that.

Only two weeks after getting a commitment from top-25 big man Shaq Cleare, the Terrapins nabbed a pledge on Monday night from Jake Layman.

A source confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Layman, a 6-foot-8 forward from King Philip Regional (Mass.), was one of the biggest rising stars on the spring and summer AAU circuit. He is a versatile frontcourt player who runs the floor well and shoots it well from 3-point range. Defensively, his length and lateral movement make him perfect to put at the top of a zone or press. Layman checked in at No. 57 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

In addition to Cleare and Layman, Maryland also holds a commitment from Virginia native Seth Allen.

Commitment Catch-Up: Layman and Ricky Ledo weren’t the only commitments from the extended weekend, as plenty of high-major schools nabbed pledges . . . L.J. Rose, a Houston native, decided to stay in-state and play for Baylor. He is a tremendous passer . . . As I reported on Twitter, top-50 junior Deonte Burton committed to Marquette . . .  Athletic wing Montay Brandon is headed to Florida State, where his attacking style will mesh well . . . Brandon Taylor rose up the charts during the late spring and summer, and turned that performance into a commitment to Penn State . . . One of the more interesting situations involves Devin Thomas and Wake Forest. Multiple outlets reported that Thomas committed to the Demon Deacons, but Dave Telep of ESPN.com dispelled the rumors. Keep an eye on this as it evolves . . . UCF picked up two commitments, from DeVon Walker and Dylan Karell . . . 2014 prospect B.J. Stith popped for Virginia, following in his father’s footsteps. Bryant Stith is UVA’s all-time leading scorer . . . Skylar Spencer has great defensive potential, and he will get to live that out at San Diego State, as the big man chose the Aztecs over Washington . . . Georgia small forward Jarmal Reid is headed to Oregon State after visiting over the weekend . . . Nebraska picked up a commitment from Shavon Shields . . . D.J. Balentine, who impressed over the summer with the Eric Gordon Central Stars, pledged to Evansville . . . DeVontae Watson stayed in-state and picked Temple.

Photo: Sun-Chronicle

Posted on: September 5, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 6:27 pm

Wake Forest's J.T. Terrell withdraws after DWI

By Jeff Borzello

It keeps getting worse for Wake Forest.

Three days after Ty Walker was ruled ineligible for the first semester after violating the student conduct code, the Demon Deacons suffered another blow.

J.T. Terrell, a sophomore guard and the team’s second-leading scorer, is withdrawing from the University and leaving the basketball team after being arrested for DWI on Saturday.

“Due to circumstances surrounding his arrest, along with other recent indicators, it is obvious to J.T. and his family that J.T. suffers from a serious medical condition which requires immediate attention,” Mike Grace, Terrell’s attorney, said in a statement.

Terrell ranked second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 11.1 points per game. The sophomore guard from Burlington, N.C. started 18 games and shot nearly 36 percent from 3-point range.

“We wish J.T. well as he seeks to turn his life around,” head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “He is at an important crossroads in his life and needs to devote his full attention to recovering.”

Terrell expressed regret for his actions in a statement.

“I ask for your prayers and best wishes as I undertake the task of rebuilding my life over the next few months,” he said. “With your continued support, I hope to one day both complete my college education and play basketball at some level.”

Wake Forest went just 1-15 in the ACC last season, struggling to an 8-24 overall record. In addition to the departure of Terrell and ineligibility of Walker, the Demon Deacons have also lost double-figure scorer Gary Clark to graduation and starting forward Ari Stewart to a transfer. Leading scorer and rebounder Travis McKie returns, as well as point guard C.J. Harris, but the rest of the roster is thin.

Sophomores Tony Chennault and Carson Desrosiers will be counted on to step up and produce, while former Georgetown transfer Nikita Mescheriakov will also likely start.

Photo: US Presswire 

Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:11 pm

Prized UCF signee Mike Chandler needs prep school

By Jeff Borzello

The prized recruit of UCF’s incoming class will not be on campus this fall.

Michael Chandler, a top-50 prospect and one of the 10 best centers in the country, has not qualified and will head to prep school, a source told CBSSports.com.

The source said Chandler has not decided on which prep school to attend.

Chandler, a 6-foot-10 big man from Lawrence North (Ind.), originally committed to Louisville as a sophomore. He then decommitted and chose Xavier last October. On signing day, though, Chandler chose not to sign with the Musketeers and put his recruitment on hold. The roller coaster seemed to end on New Year’s Day, when Chandler committed to UCF.

In April, however, the New York Times revealed ties between Chandler and an alleged runner. Since then, questions have been raised about Chandler's eligiblity and his status with the Knights.

Sources told CBSSports.com that UCF is still involved in his recruitment and hopes to have him on the roster in 2012.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 4:31 pm

Brandon Ashley is off the board to Arizona

By Jeff Borzello

Despite being considered an Arizona lean for much of his recruitment, Brandon Ashley still had a long list of suitors on his trail.

On Monday, Ashley confirmed popular opinion and committed to Arizona.

“He committed minutes ago,” Findlay Prep assistant coach Todd Simon told CBSSports.com.

Ashley visited Arizona’s campus on Sunday after the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game in Venice Beach, Calif. He chose the Wildcats over Oregon, Kentucky and UCLA.

Ashley, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Oakland who transferred to Findlay for the fall, is ranked No. 6 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He has one of the best skillsets of any frontcourt prospect, using his athleticism and length to make plays in a variety of ways. Ashley can run the floor and finish in transition, but he also has effective post moves around the basket. He can step out and knock down face-up jumpers, and he is also solid on the defensive end and on the glass.

Ashley is the third top-30 commit in Arizona’s 2012 class, joining guard Gabe York (No. 24) and forward Grant Jerrett (No. 30).

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 29, 2011 12:50 pm

Rayvonte Rice remains loyal to Drake

By Jeff Borzello

Drake head coach Mark Phelps had to fight off several high-major schools for Rayvonte Rice when he came out of high school.

The past few months, Phelps unexpectedly had to do the same thing.

“We had to fight off some unscrupulous people here in the offseason to keep him,” Phelps said.

Rice averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Bulldogs during his freshman campaign, leading major-conference schools to make a run at him.

“It’s what happens in college basketball,” Phelps said. “Every time a guy has a good year at this level, there’s indirect contact from other places. You know, people saying, ‘If you were to transfer, so and so would be interested.’ And it spreads like wildfire.”

In some cases, the player listens to the hype and makes the move to a bigger conference for the rest of his college career. Brandon Reed went from Arkansas-Little Rock to Georgia Tech two years ago, while Brandon Wood recently moved from Valparaiso to Michigan State for his fifth year.

To Rice’s credit, he never entertained the idea of leaving Drake.

“It was never initiated by him, it was innuendo and rumor,” Phelps said. “He was true the whole time. Every time it came up, he would squash it. ‘Coach, this is my place, this is where I want to be.’ We put out the little fires, so it was never a threat.”

If Drake is to make a run in the Missouri Valley this season, Rice will be the key factor. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard averaged more than 20 points per game on the preseason trip to Australia, leading the team in scoring. He uses his strength to score going to the rim, but he also shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range last season.

Phelps is confident his go-to-guy could play in any league.

“He’s better than the Valley,” Phelps said.

Fortunately for Phelps, Rice will continue to show that while in a Bulldog uniform.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 27, 2011 9:19 am

BYU reinstates Brandon Davies

By Jeff Borzello

It’s not Jimmer, but BYU received great news on Friday night when it was announced that Brandon Davies had been readmitted to the university and reinstated onto the basketball team.

Davies, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, had been suspended for the final month of last season for breaking the university’s Honor Code. It was later found out that Davies had violated the provision that prohibits premarital sex.

“I’m excited to be back at BYU and look forward to the future,” Davies said in a statement. “I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

Davies averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds last season, earning third-team all-conference honors despite missing the final six games of the campaign, as well as the NCAA tournament.

“Our staff and our players are pleased that Brandon has been readmitted for the fall semester,” head coach Dave Rose said. “We’re excited to have him back on the team, and we look forward to a great season.”

Three of the team’s five losses last season came with Davies on the sidelines, as the Cougars were 27-2 with him in the lineup. He brought an element to the frontcourt that BYU struggled to replace down the stretch, running the floor in transition and also providing a legitimate inside option.

BYU lost Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery from last season, but the return of Davies gives the Cougars one of the better frontcourt groups on the West Coast. A return to health by junior Chris Collinsworth and a breakout season from Charles Abouo could have BYU back in the national picture. Furthermore, UCLA transfer Matt Carlino becomes eligible in December, giving the Cougars a big-time scoring threat on the perimeter.

Photo: US Presswire

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:57 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 8:00 pm

Andre Drummond commits to UConn for 2011

By Jeff Borzello

What a way to make an announcement: a Friday night at 7:30 p.m., on Twitter.

Andre Drummond, the No. 2 prospect in the class of 2012, is headed to Connecticut – in the fall.

“It’s official,” Drummond tweeted. “I’m heading to the University of Connecticut to be a Husky this year!”

The news was confirmed to CBSSports.com by a source with knowledge of the situation.

Earlier this month, Drummond made an announcement that he was doing a prep year at Wilbraham & Monson, and also narrowed his list of schools to five: Connecticut, Georgetown, Kentucky, Louisville and West Virginia.

With Connecticut out of scholarships, sources have told CBSSports.com that Drummond could become a walk-on and pay his own way this year.

He joins a 2011 recruiting class that also includes Ryan Boatright and DeAndre Daniels.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:52 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 8:05 am

Trippin': Hawai'i experiments in Asia

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Borzello

Going into his team’s 15-day trip to China and Japan, Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold knew it might be a culture shock.

And it was – the team ate bugs, cow tongue, chicken feet, duck tongue and other local delicacies.

“You name it, we ate it,” Arnold said. “We didn’t shy away from anything. If it was on my plate, we were eating it.”

There was only one thing Arnold wouldn’t eat: friend scorpion.

“It wasn’t PF Chang’s or Panda Express,” he said. “It was the real deal.”

What Arnold learned: “I was pleased with how well they got along. We only traveled with 10 guys, and over half didn’t play for me last year. They really gelled. The veteran guys helped the new guys out. It wasn’t just on the basketball floor; it was fun seeing those guys at the markets, trying to buy fake watches and bartering. I think that was as much fun as watching the games.”

What impressed him: Freshman guard Shaq Stokes – “He was our leading scorer. You saw some real, real talent in him. He has the ability to score in bunches. He’s a freshman, so he has a long way to go, but he was fun to watch.”

What concerned him: Zone offense and fatigue – “We only had 10 practices, so we didn’t put in a lot of plays. We ran a lot of basic motion, a lot of ball-screen action. We didn’t really have a zone offense, and in the first game, the team came out and zoned us. That had to do with the amount of time before the trip, though. I was also worried about fatigue, and guys had to play a lot of minutes. By the end of our trip, our legs were pretty much gone. But we’ll have Vander [Joaquim] and Zane [Johnson] back, and a couple of recruits will join us.”

- Hawaii was without perhaps its two best players. Vander Joaquim, a 6-foot-10 big man, was playing with the Angola national team, while former Arizona transfer Zane Johnson was injured. Johnson turned his ankle in a pre-trip practice and wasn’t able to play on it in Asia. “He’s a couple weeks away from playing again,” Arnold said. “We were being pretty cautious with him. We need him more during the season than we did on the trip.”

- Junior college transfer Hauns Brereton was impressive on the trip, according to Arnold. Brereton averaged 20 points and seven rebounds at Western Nebraska Community College, racking up about 25 scholarship offers before choosing Hawaii in mid-April.

- Former USC transfer Davis Rozitis, who hasn’t played in nearly two years, got back on the court. The 7-footer held his own. “It was real good for him just to play games again,” Arnold said. “It was good to see his progress.”

- Bobby Miles, Trevor Wiseman and Joston Thomas stood out among the returnees. “They knew what I expected of them and they delivered,” Arnold said.

- Hawaii picked up former Nebraska transfer Christian Standhardinger earlier this week. Two things helped the Rainbow Warriors’ recruitment of Standhardinger: assistant coach Walter Roese coached Standhardinger at Nebraska, and Arnold speaks fluent German. “I don’t know if that helped us, but I was able to talk to his mom in German,” Arnold said.

- Arnold expects basketball in China to explode in the next few years. “The amount of basketball being played – there’s hundreds and hundreds of basketball courts,” he said. “The number of kids playing it. China’s going to become a major, major power in basketball.”

CBSSports.com’s list of teams taking preseason trips

Photo: US Presswire

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