Tag:Arizona
Posted on: June 8, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Momo Jones transferring to Iona

Posted by Jeff Borzello

As soon as Lamont “Momo” Jones announced he was transferring from Arizona, rumors began to swirl that the New York native was planning to return home.

While moving to St. John’s didn’t work out due to NCAA regulations, Jones did end up going closer to home.

On Wednesday, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com that Jones is transferring to Iona. He chose the Gaels over Seton Hall and Hofstra.

Jones played at Rice High School (N.Y.) before transferring to American Christian (Pa.) and later Oak Hill Academy (Va.). After high school, Jones committed to Louisville, Virginia Tech and signed with USC before finally settling on Arizona.

The 6-foot point guard averaged 9.7 points and 2.4 assists last season for the Wildcats, helping lead them to the Elite Eight.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Sam Mader finds way to shine

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: June 2, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Solomon Poole continues to make adjustments

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Because of a flight delay, the Dwight Howard Warriors did not arrive at Ravenscroft School (N.C.) until nearly 10 p.m. last Friday at the Tournament of Champions. Despite the late tip time, there were still plenty of media and scouts in attendance, with many staying to watch Solomon Poole, one of the top-25 players in the class of 2013.

As the game went on, and Poole continued to miss outside shots, people began to question his ranking. With the clock winding down, though, Poole reminded everyone why he is so highly touted.

Down one to the Charlotte Nets, Poole put up a stepback jumper that splashed through the net as time expired. That one play demonstrated his quickness, strength and scoring ability, and how tough he is to stop when it all comes together.

It might have been enough to make people forget his early struggles.

“I just focused,” Poole said of the way he bounced back. “I knew I had to keep going. I knew my teammates would pick me up.”

Poole, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Terry Parker (Fla.), is the younger brother of Kentucky’s Stacey Poole and the son of former Florida standout Stacey Poole Sr. The basketball bloodlines are hard to miss when gauging Poole’s natural talent. He is a big-time scorer who finishes tremendously well in traffic and controls his body effectively in the lane. Poole can beat his man off the dribble and is strong enough to pull-up in the mid-range against defenders. While inconsistent from 3-point range, Poole does have range behind the arc.

Because of his size, though, Poole might have to play the one at the next level, and he knows it.

“I need to work on my pace,” he said. “I need to work on changing speeds.”

A long list of schools are courting the talented sophomore. Poole and his AAU coach, Antwain Tennell, rattled off offers from local schools Central Florida and South Florida, as well as Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Providence, North Carolina, Arizona, Memphis, Florida and Oklahoma State are all showing interest. 

Decision time is a long way away for Poole, but he knows what he’s looking for in a school.

“First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that,” Poole said. “And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”

Based on the way he makes adjustments during the game, though, it seems Poole is getting by just fine on his own.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:58 am
 

Shabazz Muhammad continues to protect his turf

INTERESTED TEAMS: 



Posted by Jeff Borzello

Rankings of the top prospects in the country have different impacts on different players. Some don’t pay attention to them; some live and die by their ranking. Others are cognizant of where they stand and know opponents are gunning for them.

Shabazz Muhammad, one of the top three players in the class of 2012, is in the latter group.

“I think everyone thinks they’re the number one player, but I don’t worry about that,” Muhammad said in a phone interview. “But it affects the way I play, big-time. Having a target on my back, it’s a great opportunity for me.”

The 6-foot-5 swingman from Bishop Gorman (Nev.) has been ranked near the top of his class since he was a freshman in high school. Every game, camp or tournament, Muhammad has had to stand his ground to retain his stature.

Unlike many players who drop in the rankings as their high school careers progress, Muhammad is still in the mix for the top spot.

“That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” he said. “I’m the best player on the court and I have to prove it.”

Muhammad is a lefty scoring machine, using his strength to simply overpower most of his opponents when driving to the rim. He is an excellent finisher in the paint and is deadly in the mid-range. Once he improves his outside shooting, Muhammad could be unstoppable on the wing.

At the high school level, Muhammad can get away with playing inside the arc, but he knows he has to improve his guard skill set at the next level.

“Schools are recruiting me as a shooting guard,” he said. “So I’m working on handling the ball. Schools like Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, they have their shooting guards handle the ball a lot. And the most important thing is my perimeter shooting. The athleticism is already there.”

Muhammad has offers from dozens of schools, but he has trimmed some of the fat and is focusing on seven schools: Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, Kansas and Texas.

While he says he has no favorites, he did go through each school to discuss what he liked about each one.

Many people think UCLA is the frontrunner for Muhammad, but he denied it.

“It was a great experience,” he said about UCLA. “I’ve been to California and I love the weather. Coach [Ben] Howland is a great guy; I talked to him for a couple of hours. I got to see how it is to be a Bruin.”

Not surprisingly, Kentucky is also on Muhammad’s list. He said it’s different than the other schools on his list because of the location.

“I can be very focused there, since it’s not a city,” Muhammad said. “It’s a good place for a person who is serious about basketball. There are no distractions.”

UNLV is the closest school to Muhammad’s Las Vegas home and high school, and is therefore still in the mix. Proximity could play a factor.

“It’s a local school, and they have really good match-ups every year,” he said. “It’s only 10 minutes away.”

Early in May, Muhammad and his Dream Vision AAU team took a trip to the Jayhawk Invitational in Kansas. While there, he got a chance to check out the Kansas campus.

“Coach [Bill] Self is a nice guy,” Muhammad said. “I took a visit up there a couple weeks ago.”

What impressed Muhammad the most about Duke was head coach Mike Krzyzewski, but it wasn’t his charm or recruiting pitch that opened Muhammad’s eyes.

“Coach K, I talked to him a lot,” he said. “He’s very intellectual, he know what he’s doing. The guy is just smart. It’s a great place to be at.”

The most recent trip Muhammad took was to Arizona, ironically taking place the day after head coach Sean Miller spurned Maryland to stay in Tucson.

“I’ve been talking to them a lot,” Muhammad said. “They have a great coach and a great team. And their system is running, getting up and down.”

He plans on taking a trip to Texas sometime in June; at that point, Muhammad will have taken unofficial visits to all seven schools.

Still, no particular school is standing out.

“Everyone I named is coming at me the hardest,” Muhammad said. “They’re all great [coaches]. I can’t really compare one, two, three.”

Nearly every school on his list is a perennial Final Four contender, making Muhammad’s decision even harder. The main factor in his decision will be program success, both past and future.

“The school’s tradition,” Muhammad said. “I’m looking for the school that has the best opportunity for me to win a national championship.”

Despite going on plenty of unofficial visits and knowing exactly what he is looking for in a school, he has no plans to make a decision anytime soon.

Muhammad doesn’t want to rush into anything.

“I’m taking the process slowly. I probably will take all five of my visits,” he said. “I want to make sure I make the right choice.”

Photos: Wildcat Blue Nation, Lawrence Journal-World

Posted on: May 25, 2011 8:54 pm
 

Arizona transfer Daniel Bejarano lands at CSU

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the first time in years, Colorado State was in the hunt for an at-large bid last season before fading down the stretch. With the way Tim Miles is pulling in players, the Rams could take the next step sooner rather than later.

Miles added Minnesota transfer Colton Iverson earlier this offseason, and made another move on Wednesday, picking up Daniel Bejarano from Arizona.

“Daniel will bring a great skill set to CSU basketball,” Miles said in a statement. “He is a tremendous shooter, he plays well without the ball and he competes well. I expect him to be a very productive player in the Mountain West and we are excited to have him joining us.”

Bejarano, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, was a touted recruit out of high school but only played in eight games for the Wildcats last season.

He will sit out next season and have three years of eligibility remaining with the Rams.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Conference Catch-ups: the Pac-12

Everybody say 'hey' to the new guy!

Posted by Eric Angevine

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

Twelve to tango: It’s the Pac-12 now, which might take some getting used to. At least it’s numerically correct, unlike the 10-member Big 12 and the 12-member Big Ten. In adding Utah from the Mountain West, the Pac-12 has brought aboard a once-dominant squad (The Utes reached the Sweet 16 in 2005 and the final game in 1998) that has fallen on hard times. Head coach Jim Boylen was jettisoned after a second straight losing season, and former Montana and NBA head coach Larry Krystkowiak was brought on board. Colorado, despite finishing out of the running in their final season in the Big 12, comes in with a lot of momentum, most of it attached to the person of second-year head man Tad Boyle, a Colorado native who calls the Buffs his “dream job”. Both squads may start out rough, but a change of scenery might do them good.

It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there: The Pac-12 still gets its share of top players, but stars continue to leave after spending just a year or two out West. This season saw the departures of Derrick Williams (Arizona), Alec Burks (Colorado), Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto (Washington State), Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Nikola Vucevic (USC) and Isaiah Thomas (Washington).  Even Colorado’s Ryan Kelly and Jeremy Green of Stanford took the plunge, though neither has any real chance of getting the call.

Miller puts down roots in the desert: Who can blame the players for wanting to leave when the coaches are burning up the revolving door? With more than half the league’s head men logging less than five years at their respective jobs, sticking around almost seems like a bad career move. That didn’t stop Sean Miller from turning down overtures from just about every other power conference in the nation this spring. He flirted more heavily with Maryland than with anyone else, but eventually accepted an extension to stay in Tucson. It’s sunny there, and he just came off of an Elite Eight appearance. Sounds like a pretty good deal, no?

The Great Unknown

Can this conference recover? Ben Howland’s teams made the Final Four (or better) in every year from 2006 to 2008. Then success bred failure as all of the program’s most talented players jetted off to the golden shores of the NBA long before their eligibility could expire. The league is still reeling from frequent transfers, as well. The strongest programs right now look to be Arizona, Washington and, with more talent on the way, UCLA again. In fact, had the Wildcats broken through to the final weekend this past March, would we even be asking this question?

NBA Draft report

As pointed out above, half the darn league seems to be out the door each season. The superstar out of this bunch is Williams, who has the athleticism and size to throw down some nasty inside dunks, paired with a sweet outside stroke that keeps opponents whirling. Toss in a tendency to make the big, sometimes game-winning play on offense and defense and you’ve got an easy lottery pick.

Alec Burks, who played his career in the Big 12, is considered to be a likely first-rounder, as are Klay Thompson and Tyler Honeycutt. Big man Nikola Vucevic looks like a high second rounder, and everything else is a crapshoot. It would be one thing if all those players left for obvious gain, but so many of them are unlikely to see their dreams come true.

Transference

Coming
              
--Larry Drew II (from North Carolina).

--Glen Dean (from Eastern Washington to Utah)

--Aaron Dotson (from LSU to Utah)

--Evan Gordon (from Liberty to Arizona State)

Going
              
--Lamont ‘MoMo’ Jones (from Arizona)

--Malcolm Armstead (from Oregon)

--Teondre Williams (from Oregon)

--Daniel Berejano (from Arizona to Nevada)

--Will Clyburn (from Utah to Iowa State)

 

Team commentary in 20 words or Less

Arizona: The Derrick and MoMo show is no more, but Miller is staying put. Wildcats rebuilt fast, however, and look good to go under Sean Miller.

Arizona State: Herb Sendek is playing small-ball with guys who can’t shoot straight. Will freshman PG Jahii Carson be able to turn the bus?

Cal: The Bears struggled with a wet-behind-the-ears starting lineup, but all that teaching time could pay off this year.

Colorado: The Buffs have a couple of decent young players, a hot head coach and a little momentum going into their new digs. With little certainty at the top of the Pac-12, they could have opportunities.

Oregon: Dana Altman proved he can coach by building a CBI championship team out of E.J. Singler and duct tape. Year two could be fun.

Oregon State: Craig Robinson is going to be up for re-election around the same time as his brother in law. Running mate Jared Cunningham could make the race exciting.

Stanford: Johnny Dawkins reeled in one of the best young point guards in the nation in Chasson Randle. Still looking for a reliable scorer with Jeremy Green gone.

UCLA: The Wear twins plus Josh Smith makes this a huge team, but the Bruins are still in need of a reliable point guard.

USC: The Trojans are losing Nikola Vucevic to the NBA and don’t look to have anything spectacular on the way in.

Washington: Top scorers Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning are gone, but the Huskies have a loaded freshman class coming in.

Washington State: Klay Thompson was a predictable loss, but the toughness of DeAngelo Casto will be missed as well. This team needs to find a new personality.

Utah: With a new head coach and transfers going in and out all over the place, this team is starting from scratch.


Photos: US Presswire

Big East Conference Catch-up

Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Sean Miller has leverage coming out of his ears

Posted by Eric Angevine

As fan bases in Tucson, College Park, and several cities in-between wait nervously to hear any news of Sean Miller's rumored meeting with Maryland about the open coaching job there, the Arizona Daily Star has finally mentioned the infamous "L" word.

Leverage.

Miller can rant and rave like Gary Williams always did.As in, Tucson's a nice place, and the Wildcats have a pretty luminous basketball history. Could it be that Miller is just using the Maryland opening to wring some money out of his employers in tough economic times?

That sounds selfish, but read what the Daily Star's Bruce Pascoe has to say about it before you judge:

(Hoover High School head coach Ollie) Goulston said he believed Miller was trying to ensure his assistant coaches get raises, which, despite the Pac-12's incoming television money, is not an easy thing to do politically in Arizona these days.

Miller's planned contract extension, for one, was not brought before the Board of Regents in April possibly because of the controversy over tuition increases.

As of now, both remaining assistants, James Whitford and Book Richardson, make about $200,000 (they were hired for $190,000 in 2009) and the other staffers all make considerably less.

Looking out for his assistants is a noble goal. It's also (hey, we have to be realistic here), a perfect excuse to jet if his demands aren't met. This way, it's not a selfish decision if he leaves, he did it for his homeboys.

Goulston was apparently sought out by the newspaper because he coaches incoming big man Angelo Chol, and knows Miller in that capacity.  "I talked to him last night but I think there's all kind of reasons to stay at the end of the day," Goulston told Pascoe. "Sometimes these coaches use these situations for leverage."

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Realistically, this is a no-lose situation for Miller. If he gets what he wants from Arizona, he stays in a sunny paradise, riding a wave of good feeling based on this past season's NCAA tourney appearance, and a nice recruiting class coming in. He has the potential to rule the Pac-12 in relatively easy fashion, despite being one of the most recent hires in the conference.

If he gets what he wants from Maryland, he slides into one of the better jobs in the ACC, where he will be instantly loved for his fiery intensity, which will bring back (slightly less sweaty) visions of Gary Williams, who retired this past week after 22 years at the school.

Sean Miller is on top of the world right now. That's a mighty big plank, resting on a rock-solid fulcrum.

Leverage.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Too soon? A look at next season's holiday games



Posted by Eric Angevine

Our season just ended, but it's never too soon to start thinking about what will happen next. Certainly not for the organizers of early season tournaments, those resume-building events that often give us meaningful matchups. Recall that UConn and Kentucky met on Maui on November 24, 2010 in a preview of an eventual Final Four game. These early battles usually play out in front of few specatators, but they get a lot of scrutiny come Selection Sunday.

So, with that in mind, let's look at some of the evolving fields that organizers are putting together. Not all participants are settled as of right now, and personnel may change radically over the next month or so, but you can keep track of any changes by visiting the CBSSports.com early season tournament guide.

Some highlights:

Coaches vs. Cancer, Nov. 7-11 and 17-18: The automatic qualifiers -- meaning the four power conference teams that advance even if they lose in the first round -- are set. Arizona will be trying to carry over some momentum without Derrick Williams, and they'll be thrown into a field that includes Mississippi State, St. John's and Texas A&M. MSU was an absolute shambles last season, so it will be interesting to see if that's a thing of the past, or if Rick Stansbury is in a downward spiral in Starkville. SJU will be looking to prove that this season's resurgence was no fluke, and A&M has just been consistently good under Mark Turgeon.

Maui Invitational, Nov. 21-23: You don't need my persuasive arguments to see the value in this field. Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA, Georgetown and, of course, plucky Chaminade. One thing that jumps out, however, is Michigan getting another shot at one or more of the programs they faced during their growing season last year. Obviously, this will be quite the melee of blue-blood programs.

Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25 & 25: This one isn't as loaded as the first two we looked at, but it has some intriguing possibilities. There are a couple of big-name programs looking for early statement games in Clemson and Kansas State, plus the always-intriguing mid-majors UTEP and Xavier.

Those three tourneys represent the best fields to date. There are several interesting teams in weak fields elsewhere, such as Marquette showing up in the Paradise Jam, experienced Notre Dame in a field of transitioning programs in the CBE Classic and defending national champs UConn slumming it in the amusingly-named Battle 4 Atlantis. The Puerto Rico Tip-Off throws Purdue in with a whole slew of NIT teams like Alabama, Colorado and Wichita State. Both VCU and Richmond show up as unexpected heavy-hitters in off-off-Broadway productions, as well.

These early tournaments are often just something to have on in the background while digesting heavy holiday meals and conversing dutifully with relatives, but there's usually a little intrigue if you scratch past the surface. There will be new coaches, new players and, best of all, a new basketball season coming, just as the weather starts to turn chilly again this year.

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