Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:04 am
Edited on: June 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Archie Goodwin commits to Kentucky

By Jeff Borzello

It’s been an exciting, confusing and interesting few weeks for Archie Goodwin.

He trimmed his list to 10, then eight, then five. Goodwin then said he would likely wait until the spring to make a decision, planning to take all five official visits before sitting down and then committing. On Monday, he suddenly dropped Connecticut and Kansas from his final five and said he would decide within a few weeks from between Kentucky, Arkansas and Memphis.

The whirlwind couple of days continued Tuesday night, when he sent out a tweet: “Everyone stay tuned tomorrow morning it’s going down!!!”

Everything culminated right before midnight on Tuesday, when Goodwin announced for Kentucky.

“If you don’t know by now, I’m a Wildcat!!!” Goodwin tweeted.

Goodwin, a 6-foot-5 guard from Sylvan Hills (Ark.), might be the best scoring guard in the country. He attacks the rim with reckless abandon whenever there is an opening, and he knows how to finish with authority. Goodwin is very difficult to stop off the dribble, and his first step is one of the best.

He should fit perfectly into Kentucky’s offensive system, which allows for creativity off the bounce. The Wildcats were often considered a favorite for Goodwin, although the in-state Razorbacks put a lot of their eggs in his basket. In the end, the allure of going to Lexington outweighed the nostalgia of staying at home.

Goodwin, ranked No. 6 by CBSSports.com, is the first Kentucky commit in the class of 2012. Some were worried about the lack of Wildcat pledges; those people shouldn’t worry any longer.

Photo: Paul Fimpel

Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:09 am

Multiple suitors in need of (Wannah) Bail

By Jeff Borzello

Wannah Bail certainly has the name of a basketball player. Extremely long and athletic, Bail also has the build and body of a highly-touted prospect.

This summer, however, Bail felt he didn’t get a chance to show his full host of talents due to a toe injury.

“Not my best, especially coming off injury,” he said. “I had always felt as if I could have done something better, even after giving it my all.”

When healthy, Bail has the physical tools to be a dominant performer. Ranked No. 68 in the CBSSports.com Top 100, the 6-foot-7 power forward runs the floor extremely well and uses his strength to make plays at both ends of the court. He can get solid position for offensive post-ups, and he is a very good shot-blocker and rebounder. If he refines his offensive game, Bail could be a stud.

Bail, a native of the Bahamas, is now enrolled at Lamar Consolidated (Texas) after bouncing around a few high schools in the Lonestar State last year. His recruitment will also begin to sort itself out with coaches finally able to track him during the school season.

“It’s going good,” Bail said of his recruitment. “I’m really enjoying it.”

For now, Bail is hearing from Auburn, St. John’s, Houston, Texas Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Kansas, South Florida, Indiana, Texas A&M, Baylor, Washington State and others. All besides Kansas have offered.

Bail plans to take his recruitment slowly, but did take a visit to Houston on Saturday, when the Cougars beat UCLA in the football season opener. Michael Carey and Chicken Knowles also joined him on campus.

Don’t look for a decision soon.

“I have no favorites,” he said.

Photo: Adidas Nations

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: 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 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 24, 2011 11:27 am

Top-25 big man Shaq Cleare pops for Maryland

By Jeff Borzello

In a class filled with great big man, Shaquille Cleare is perhaps the biggest of them all.

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-9, 280-lb. center ended his recruitment by committing to Maryland. Aaron Harrison Sr., Cleare’s AAU coach with the Houston Defenders, confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Long thought to be a Maryland lean, Cleare chose the Terrapins over Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Florida, Arizona and others. The pick-up is huge for new head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff.

“A place where I fit in,” Cleare told me in June when asked about the biggest factors in his decision. “A coach that is there all the time.”

Cleare, ranked No. 25 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is a space-eater down low that carves out areas on the block and goes to work. He has very good strength and solid footwork, which he uses in a variety of post moves. Cleare moves well without the ball and gets great position for entry passes. Once he improves his stamina and conditioning, his ceiling will rise tremendously.

Cleare, a Village School (Tex.) product, is the second commitment in Turgeon’s 2012 class, joining guard Seth Allen.

Photo: ESPN Rise

Posted on: August 24, 2011 8:56 am
Edited on: August 24, 2011 9:00 am

No. 1 PG Kris Dunn committing to Providence

By Jeff Borzello

When Ed Cooley was hired from Fairfield as Providence’s new head coach, there were some questions regarding his ability to recruit top-flight talent.

Those concerns will be alleviated on Wednesday, as sources have told CBSSports.com that Kris Dunn will announce for Providence over Connecticut.

Dunn, the No. 1 point guard in CBSSports.com’s 2012 rankings, will be on the Friars’ campus on Wednesday. He recently trimmed his list to Providence and UConn, with Louisville and Marquette among the main schools left off his list.

Dunn is a 6-foot-3 New London (Conn.) product who was one of the fastest-rising players on the spring and summer AAU circuit. He has great size for the position, and his explosiveness is unparalleled in the class. Dunn can get by his defender at will, penetrating into the teeth of the defense and making plays for himself and teammates.

His commitment does wonders for Providence, which is also pursuing several other marquee players. Chief among them is Ricardo Ledo, who cut his list to five earlier this week and will likely take an unofficial visit to Providence on Wednesday.

Photo: Max Preps

Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 2:29 pm

Georgia picks up in-state guard Kenny Gaines

By Jeff Borzello

Once Kenny Gaines trimmed his list to a top five last week, it seemed inevitable that the 6-foot-3 Georgia native would make his decision quickly.

On Tuesday, Gaines made it official by announcing he would stay in-state and play at Georgia.

“I was really feeling them from the get-go,” Gaines told CBSSports.com.

More on Recruiting

The Whitefield Academy (Ga.) guard, who ranks No. 99 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, chose the Bulldogs over South Carolina, Clemson, Iowa and Georgia Tech. Gaines has good size for his position, and he is quick enough and strong enough to get by defenders and then finish against bigger players at the rim. He is a good distributor who can also knock down shots from the perimeter.

The Yellow Jackets were the other team squarely in the mix, but a commitment last week eliminated Tech from consideration.

“It was a top two, but when Chris Bolden committed to Georgia Tech, I crossed them off the list,” Gaines said.

AAU teammate Charles Mann popped for Georgia in late July, while fellow Peach State native Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will suit up for the Bulldogs this fall. Those two being in Athens with Gaines helped him make the decision.

“Me, Charles and Kentavious at the 1, 2 and 3 spots could be a pretty strong backcourt,” Gaines said. “I can come in and make a big impact.”

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