Posted on: June 11, 2011 8:04 pm

Auburn picks up second 2012 commitment

By Jeff Borzello

At this rate, Tony Barbee is going to field one of the most athletic teams in the SEC in a couple of years.

Adding to a recruiting class that includes explosive leaper Shaquille Johnson, Barbee picked up a commitment from top-100 guard Jordan Price on Saturday.

“I just felt like it was the best fit for me and my family,” Price told Evan Daniels of Scout.com. “It’s not too far away from my home so family and friends can come watch.”

Price, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Southwest Dekalb (Ga.), has a thick body and is able to overpower opponents with his strength. He is adept at getting to the basket, but can also knock down jumpers from the mid-range and outside the arc. Despite his stocky frame, Price is also very athletic when it comes to finishing at the rim. Due to his strength, he is a good rebounder and defender at his position.

He visited the Auburn campus on Saturday morning, and clearly liked what he saw. Price chose the Tigers over Georgia, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Mississippi, Miami (Fl.) and others.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:58 am

New UCLA hire doesn't sway Jordan Adams


By Jeff Bo

If UCLA fans expected immediate results from the hiring of Atlanta Celtics AAU coach Korey McCray as an assistant coach, they won’t get it from Jordan Adams.

Adams, who plays on the Celtics, has UCLA on his list but said the hiring of McCray wouldn’t change his perception of the Bruins.

“I think it’s great for him,” Adams said. “He knows a lot about coaching, he’s a great trainer. He will help their program out a lot.”

However, he would add: “All schools are equal.”

Adams, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), is one of the top recruits from the South in the class of 2012. His strength and scoring ability makes him tough to guard for opposing wings. Adams doesn’t shy away from contact around the basket and can also knock down perimeter shots.

He will never be mistaken for someone who can jump out of the gym, but that doesn’t faze him.

“[I’m a] shooter, rebounder, scorer. An unathletic skilled guard,” Adams said. When questioned about his lack of athleticism, he quipped: “I am, but I’m not gonna dunk on no one.”

The Atlanta Celtics were one of the “preseason” favorites for the No. 1 spot in AAU basketball, but they have struggled against the elite teams. With the talent on the roster, though, a big-time summer could be in order.

The same could be said for Adams, who commented that he hasn’t really broken out yet.

“Being selfish, really,” Adams said when asked what he needs to work on. “I like to get teammates involved, but you never get noticed for those things – like LeBron the other day.”

Plenty of schools have already liked what they saw from Adams, who listed Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Memphis, Georgetown, Tennessee and UCLA. He said there were other schools in the mix too, but he forgot them.

Although he doesn’t have any favorites, Adams does plan on visiting Memphis at the end of June. If everything goes well, he said there is a chance he might commit to the Tigers.

“There could be [a chance],” Adams said. “[I need to see] things I’ve never seen at other colleges. They’ve been attractive to me for awhile.”

Damien Wilson, Adams’ teammate on the AAU and high school scene, committed to Josh Pastner and Memphis last month. Not surprisingly, that could play a factor in where Adams ends up.

“Yes, that’s [going to play] a big role,” he said. “I want to play on a wing across from him.”

Adams has already taken visits to UCLA, Georgia and Miami, with the Bruins and Hurricanes standing out.

“The coaches are honest, cool and I like their programs,” he said.

While there is no timetable for a decision, Adams was succinct when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Good coaching, a winning season,” he said.

McCray’s presence at UCLA seems like it will keep the Bruins in the hunt for Adams, but Westwood – and many other schools – will have to wait and see.

Photo: Brian Ing/SL

Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:38 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 10:16 am

Omar Calhoun commits to UConn

By Jeff Borzello

Omar Calhoun took a surprise visit to Connecticut’s campus on Thursday afternoon, and the rising high school senior clearly liked what he saw.

Friday, Calhoun – no relation to the Huskies’ head coach – committed to UConn.

"After spending time with coach [Jim] Calhoun and the rest of the coaching staff, we felt it was a place we needed to be," Omar Calhoun Sr. told CBSSports.com.  

Calhoun, who trimmed his list to nine schools on Thursday, chose the Huskies over North Carolina, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Maryland and Georgetown.

When asked what put UConn over the top, Calhoun Sr. responded: "A national championship." 

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Christ the King (N.Y.) led the NIKE EYBL in scoring over the past two months, averaging 25.0 points in 15 games. He put in 38 points in one game, and dropped 31 in another.

Calhoun has deep range on his outside shots and is absolutely lethal on pull-up jumpers from inside the arc. He can also beat defenders and finish at the rim. When watching him, it doesn’t seen as if Calhoun is taking over a game, yet he manages to fill it up while letting the game come to him. He also continues to improve his athleticism, while his strength allows him to be a solid on-ball defender.

"He believes he fits well," Calhoun Sr. said. "Coach Calhoun has had a tremendous amount of success with NYC guards." 

Calhoun is Connecticut’s first commitment for 2012, although the Huskies received a 2011 commitment from DeAndre Daniels earlier in the week.

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 9, 2011 2:03 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 1:41 am

Clemson gets second 2012 recruit in Jordan Roper

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.

"I hope to be one of the best guards in the ACC," he said. "But that all comes with work. So we'll see." 

He is the second member of Brownell’s 2012 recruiting class, joining 6-foot-6 forward Jaron Bloosomgame. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 4:52 pm

Andrew White looking to prove himself on circuit


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Some players rest on their laurels after rising up rankings and becoming high-major recruits.

Andrew White is not one of them.

“I now have to prove I’m as good as advertised,” White said last weekend at the Tournament of Champions.

White parlayed an impressive winter and spring into a top-100 ranking by many services, and the 6-foot-6 small forward from The Miller School (Va.) is making sure it stays that way.

He put his reputation on the line against fellow 2012 prospect T.J. Warren at the Ravenscroft School (N.C.) last week.

“I heard he played the same position as me, so I was looking forward to it,” White said. “It’s good to have the top players. It’s good to matchup with someone as good or better than you.”

While White struggled to defend Warren and also faded somewhat in the second half, his complete skill-set was on display.

His size and athleticism makes him a difficult matchup on the offensive end, as he runs the floor extremely well and attacks the basket with a purpose. White is improving his outside jumper, and is highly-effective with his mid-range game.

Since reclassifying to 2012, White has seen his recruitment skyrocket from mostly mid-majors to a smattering of schools at a variety of levels. He mentioned George Mason, Old Dominion, Connecticut, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Boston College, Providence, Utah, BYU and South Florida.

“I’m wide open,” White said.

While he holds at least 15 offers, he is still very motivated to make sure everyone knows he can compete at the highest level.

“Some schools passed up on me in 2011,” White said. “I’ve got to show I’m worthy of a place like that.”

Photo: Charlottesville Daily Progress

Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:58 am

Versatile Devonta Pollard shoots up the rankings


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – It certainly doesn’t take long to see why Devonta Pollard is one of the fastest-rising players in the class of 2012.

Pollard, a 6-foot-7 forward from Kemper County (Miss.), immediately impresses due to his long and lean frame, and his eye-popping athleticism. But he’s more than just a talent on paper.

Need to see him make a play in the paint? Pollard outleaps everyone and finishes well above the rim.

Need to see him get other players involved? Pollard draws the defense and finds a wide-open teammate near the bucket with an excellent jump-pass.

Need to see him extend his game to the perimeter? Pollard knocks down a couple of outside jumpers with range.

Of course, with all of his talents, Pollard draws attention because of his versatility. He might be the most explosive leaper in the country, but his dexterity around the rim and ability to knock down jumpers make him a must-have prospect.

“I think of myself as a three man,” Pollard said at last weekend's Tournament of Champions, where he led the Southern Phenoms to the U-17 title. “I’m being recruited as a three.”

Among the schools recruiting him include Mississippi State, Alabama, Georgetown, Mississippi, LSU, Kentucky and Missouri.

Pollard insists he has no favorites, and will take his time with a decision.

“I want to take some more visits, then make a decision in my senior year,” he said.

While roundball is in his immediate future, Pollard said the factors that go into his college choice will include more than just the basketball program and coaching staff.

Academics are important to Pollard.

“I don’t want to just be good at basketball,” he said.

For now, he’s more than just “good” when it comes to the hardwood. Pollard is a lock to be ranked in everyone’s top 20 after the spring and summer.

While it’s a nice feeling, Pollard said the high rankings also motivate him.

“It’s good,” he said. “But it also lets me know that I have to work harder."

Photo: Meridian Star 

Posted on: June 2, 2011 1:00 pm

Gavin Ware "50/50" on going to Mississippi State


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Ever since Gavin Ware transformed his body and became one of the top low-post players in the class, he has been hearing from a variety of high-major schools.

Some people have assumed he would be a Mississippi State lean, though. After all, the 6-foot-9 big man is from Starkville, Miss. and attends Starkville High School (Miss.).

It turns out that it will indeed be tough to pull Ware away from Rick Stansbury and the Bulldogs.

“There’s a 50/50 chance [I go to Mississippi State] because it’s right there,” Ware said over the weekend. “Most of my family is in Starkville. It would be easier to go there, and it would help me.”

He did say Georgetown and Alabama were also in his top three, and Tennessee and other SEC schools are pursuing him, but it would take a lot for one of those schools to swoop in and steal Ware from the hometown program.

“That’s a hard question to answer,” Ware said when asked what would make him leave Starkville. “But my decision is based on the coaches and if I like the school better.”

Ware is still developing at both ends of the floor, but he has a very strong body and great hands. He runs the floor very well and has the athleticism to beat most defenders down the court and finish at the rim. Ware gets good position in the paint and can also knock down face-up jumpers in the mid-range.

After landing Fred Thomas two weeks ago, it looks like Mississippi State could be poised to pick up its second big-time Southern Phenoms prospect.

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