Posted on: June 9, 2011 4:22 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 4:37 pm

Omar Calhoun visits UConn, trims list


By Jeff Borzello

After leading the Elite Youth Basketball League in scoring – with no one even close to him – it’s clear Omar Calhoun will be able to make an immediate impact at the next level.

The 6-foot-5 Calhoun averaged 25.0 points in the 15 EYBL games, including a 38-point performance in April and a 31-point performance in the next-to-last game over Memorial Day weekend.

On Thursday, Calhoun took a surprise visit to Connecticut.

“He just finished,” Omar Calhoun Sr. said. “The visit went well.”

For several months, Calhoun has had a long list of schools under consideration, but that group has been trimmed.

According to his father, the schools Calhoun is focused on are North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Maryland and Georgetown.

“Those are the guys we built the best relationship with,” Calhoun Sr. said.

Calhoun, a shooting guard from Christ the King (N.Y.), has taken trips to North Carolina, Pitt, Villanova, Connecticut and Seton Hall.

No schools stand out in particular right now.

“All the schools I listed are on equal playing ground,” Calhoun Sr. said.

Photo: NY Post 

Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:58 am

2013 big Kennedy Meeks with plenty of interest


Posted by Jeff Borzello

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 5, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 2:22 pm

Former Maryland signee Martin Bruenig chooses UW

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Luckily for Lorenzo Romar, a pipeline from Germany to Washington helped the Huskies secure one of the best available players in the class of 2011.

On Saturday, former Maryland signee Martin Breunig informed Romar and the rest of the Washington coaching staff that he was headed to the Pacific Northwest.

“He wants to be part of a winning program and sees a lot of potential at Washington to win championships and develop as a player,” Martin Esters, Breunig’s mentor, told CBSSports.com. “Paul Fortier was also key in his recruitment.”

Interestingly, two Germans playing their college basketball at Washington in the 1980s played a part in bringing Breunig, also a Germany native, to the Huskies.

“The fact that two other Germans, Chris Welp and Detlef Schrempf, who is from his hometown, had great careers there also helped,” Esters said.

Welp ended his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer in 1987, while Schrempf went on to a have a productive 16-year NBA career, the majority coming with the Seattle SuperSonics.

Breunig, a 6-foot-9 forward who attended St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Wisc.), chose the Huskies over South Florida.

"I know he will work as hard as anyone to get on the floor," Esters said. "The greatest thing about him is his potential. He will be a star at that level; it is just hard to say how soon." 

Posted on: May 26, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 10:59 am

Justin Anderson reverses course, chooses UVA

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the past week, rumors have been swirling that Maryland commit Justin Anderson was wavering on his pledge to the Terrapins. There was talk that he already made another commitment to Virginia and just hadn’t announced yet.

Anderson made it a done deal on Thursday.

“Great day to be a Cav!” Anderson tweeted.

"The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland," Anderson said in a statement released by his high school. "Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach [Gary] Williams and Coach [Robert] Ehsan it just feels like the right fit." 

Anderson, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Montrose Christian (Md.), is one of the most athletic players in the country. He is a menace in transition and uses his energy and motor to be a lockdown defender at the other end. Anderson is one of the few players in the country that can impact a game without scoring due to his leadership qualities. The lefty has improved his outside shot and excels at crashing the offensive glass.

"Justin decided to revisit his options after Gary [Williams] retired," Montrose coach Stu Vetter said. "Although Mark Turgeon wanted to begin recruiting him, Justin and his family decided to conclude the process."

He joins a solid 2012 class for Tony Bennett that also includes top-100 prospects Evan Nolte and Mike Tobey.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 12:00 pm

Conference Catch-ups: The ACC

Posted by Jeff Borzello

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.

Previous Conference Catch-ups: Big East, Pac-12 

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 17, 2011 9:48 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 10:37 pm

Nick Faust recommits to Maryland

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Mark Turgeon picked up a program-changing assistant Tuesday afternoon when he hired Dalonte Hill.

Tuesday night, Turgeon landed a huge recruit – again.

Nick Faust, who was released last week from his letter-of-intent to Maryland, recommitted to the Terrapins.

"Coach Turgeon's goal is to win a national championship and I would play a big part in that immediately," Faust told CBSSports.com. 

When he opened up his recruitment, Faust said, “I want to weigh all my options on the best fit.”

Faust admitted that he looked around a little bit after receiving his release, but the Terrapins won out once again.

"I was considering other schools," he said. "Just weighed out everything. Maryland was the best place for me." 

Faust is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Baltimore City College (Md.). He is a big-time scorer who can shoot from the perimeter or finish at the rim. Despite his slim build, Faust is an excellent playmaker that also uses his length to defend multiple positions.

He has high expectations for the future in College Park under Turgeon.

"Special," Faust said. "Maryland is definitely on a mission from day one." 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 17, 2011 2:25 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 2:29 pm

Turgeon ups the ante with hiring of Dalonte HIll

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Mark Turgeon just upped the ante in the nation’s capital.

As Gary Parrish confirmed on Tuesday, Kansas State associate head coach Dalonte Hill has accepted an offer to join Turgeon’s staff at Maryland.

Hill will join Texas A&M associate head coach Scott Spinelli and Maryland assistant coach Bino Ranson on the new Terrapins’ staff.

As most people know, Hill helped transform Kansas State into a national power, poaching players from the DC Assault AAU program where he used to play and coach, and bringing them into the Midwest. He started with Michael Beasley, getting him to commit to Charlotte when Hill was an assistant there and then wooing him to Manhattan, Kan. when Hill got a job there.

Hill did more than that at Kansas State, though. He brought Wally Judge and Rodney McGruder from D.C., courted New Yorker Curtis Kelly and picked up Jacob Pullen from Chicago. He is one of the best recruiters in the country – and he immediately makes Maryland a force to be reckoned with on the Beltway recruiting scene.

Combine him with Ranson, who is to Baltimore what Hill is to D.C., and the DMV might be locked up for several years.

As Baltimore native – and Missouri guard – Kim English tweeted, “With Dalonte Hill and Bino Ranso[n] both at Maryland, all other schools might as well stop recruiting the Baltimore and DC area.”

The reaction from different people in the area has already begun.

“Hill will have a huge impact,” said Jay Watford, who runs a scouting service in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area. “He has great connections to several of the big-time AAU programs and even more personal relationships with high school coaches in the area, as well as influential basketball people in the DMV. Many people like an respect him.”

AAU and high school coaches aren’t underestimating the hire, either.

“Great hire!,” Team Takeover (D.C.) head coach Keith Stevens said. “I think he will make a major impact on the Maryland program.”

“The hiring of Dalonte Hill will have a major impact on recruiting for Maryland basketball,” Kevin Jones, head coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Potomac, Md., added. “I think Maryland will start to attract and sign local talent they have been unable to in the past.”

For the past several years, Gary Williams was unable to keep the best talent in the Baltimore/D.C. area at home. The two high-profile ones were Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay, who left the state to attend Syracuse and Connecticut, respectively.

Many people have said that Williams shied away from getting involved with the AAU teams in the area. D.C. Assault and Team Takeover kids have left to go to Duke, Rutgers and many others in the last year.

“He is able to recruit DC Assault effectively,” Watford said of Hill. “That was a struggle for Gary Williams. [Hill] is very well connected with both power teams in the area.”

Jones summed up the hire.

“Hill has strong connections to AAU coaches in the D.C. area,” he said. “And he was a former All-Met player at Newport School, so he knows the area. This hire by Turgeon shows he plans to compete at a national level.”

The questions about Turgeon adapting to the area have now been answered – get ready for plenty of recruiting wars.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 16, 2011 8:01 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 8:19 pm

Ex-Maryland signee Sterling Gibbs makes decision

Posted by Jeff Borzello

It didn’t take long for Sterling Gibbs to end his recruitment this time around.

Gibbs, the former Maryland signee who received a release from his letter-of-intent last week, took a visit to Texas this past weekend and saw all he needed.

The 6-foot-1 point guard is headed to the Longhorns, he announced on Twitter Monday night..

Ashton Gibbs told CBSSports.com his brother also considered Connecticut, UCLA, Louisville and Seton Hall, in addition to Maryland.

The Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) product is a very good player at both ends of the floor, and has developed into an impact point guard over the past couple of seasons. Gibbs can shoot the ball consistently from behind the arc and also makes plays for himself and teammates when driving into the lane.

The chance for immediate playing time must have been attractive to Gibbs, who will team with fellow freshman Myck Kabongo and returnee J’Covan Brown in Rick Barnes’ backcourt. Barnes needs to replace his entire perimeter, namely NBA draft early-entries Jordan Hamilton and Cory Joseph, and Big 12 defensive player of the year Dogus Balbay. 

Gibbs joins a recruiting class that includes Kabongo, guards Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis, and forwards Jonathan Holmes and Kevin Thomas. 

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