Tag:2012
Posted on: May 14, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Griffin is a two-sport star

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Watching Derrick Griffin run the floor and grab alley-oops – over and over and over – you would think he doesn’t even hesitate when going up for a dunk.

Interestingly, the 6-foot-6 forward from Terry (Tex.) does have second thoughts the split-second before he skies over defenders.

“Sometimes, I do get nerves,” Griffin said.

Of course, those thoughts quickly dissipate, turning into a confidence where he knows he can out-leap nearly any opponent.

“Then I just jump,” Griffin said. “If it’s there, I’m going to get it.”

Teamed with two top-10 prospects in twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Griffin was the one who stole the show at last weekend’s Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational. He wowed the crowd with one-handed finishes, alley-oops when he rose high above the rim and big-time blocks on the defensive end.

Although he can certainly make an impact at the next level in basketball, Griffin is also a stud football player. As a wide receiver, Griffin reportedly caught 18 touchdown passes, proving to be an impossible match-up with his athleticism and strength.

Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, Kansas and USC have already reached out to the sophomore for both sports.

He has not made up his mind as to which sport he will play in the future, but Griffin knows his development might be better suited for the hardwood.

“If I get taller, I’m going to play basketball,” he said.

Lee to take it to the next level

Britton Lee understands.

The Roman Catholic (Pa.) sophomore knows he’s 5-foot-10 and isn’t yet a pure point guard or a big-time shooter. He knows he has room to improve and has a lot of work to do in order to reach his goals.

“I need to work on my jump shot, need to work on my handle,” Lee said.

With that said, Lee also envisions himself as a major conference player.

“I think I can go high-major,” he said.

For now, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Xavier and Niagara are showing varying levels of interest.

Other Notes:

- The U-16 group of the Team Final AAU program is one of the top groups in the country, although they also play up an age group in a few tournaments. In addition to Lee and high-major prospects Austin Colbert, Rondae Jefferson and Davon Reed, head coach Rob Brown also has plenty of other players at his disposal.

Yosef Yacob, a 6-foot point guard from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), is hearing from Canisius, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s and Drexel. Yacob is long and an effective facilitator.

Johnnie Davis might be undersized at 6-foot-4, but the Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) forward is productive. Davis is hearing from schools like Niagara and George Mason, but also has high-majors like Pittsburgh tracking him.

- At the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational last weekend, the New Jersey Playaz should have run roughshod over Threat 220. One player wouldn’t let that happen, though: Junius Thomas.

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 forward from Anacostia (D.C.), was outstanding. He blocked shots, finished above the rim, dominated the glass and single-handedly kept an undermanned Threat team in the game. While they eventually lost, Thomas might have been the most impressive player all game.

If he can get his academics in order, he has the potential to be at least a mid-level player. Thomas did mention hearing from St. Bonaventure and Clemson

Photo: iHigh.com 

Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Thornwell on the rise

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The class of 2013 is going to be known for its depth at the wing position, and one player making his way up the rankings is Sindarius Thornwell.

Thornwell, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Lancaster (S.C.), makes an immediate impact because of his length and athleticism. He handles the ball and distributes well for someone his size, and is also adept at finishing.

“I’m quick and I can handle the ball,” Thornwell said. “I’m always attacking and I play defense.”

Plenty of colleges have taken notice of the versatile 2013 prospect.

Thornwell currently holds offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and Charlotte. He also has interest from Louisville, UCF and the entire ACC besides North Carolina and Duke.

Thornwell, who has visited Clemson and South Carolina, knows exactly what he needs in a school.

“I’m looking for playing style, good academics and playing time,” he said. “That’s it.”

2013 big man looking to improve

Most 6-foot-10 sophomores can get by on size and length alone. Andre Walker, on the other hand, is constantly looking to get better.

As it stands, he is a talented but raw big man who can run the floor and finish after he catches it.

“I need to make strong moves and play better defense,” Walker said. “I need to get better, get stronger. I also want to work on my perimeter game. I’m working hard.”

The Clarksburg (Md.) native is hearing from DePaul, Washington State, VCU, Northwestern, George Mason and Maryland.

Whitfield transfers to team with Tyler Lewis

North Carolina is loaded with prospects in the class of 2012. One player flying under the radar is Shane Whitfield, a 6-foot-5 forward.

In an attempt to make a name for himself, Whitfield is transferring next year to Forsyth Country Day School (N.C.). There, he will team up with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis in hopes of increasing his recruitment.

“It’s better competition,” Whitfield said. “I want to get better everyday.”

Right now, Whitfield has offers from Delaware, American, Campbell and Holy Cross, with interest from Richmond, Charlotte and East Carolina.

Other notes:

- A Texas team in need of impact players could pick up one this weekend. Recently available Sterling Gibbs and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow are both visiting Austin this weekend.

- Unsigned 2011 center Daouda Soumaoro is currently on an official visit to Washington. Soumaoro took a trip to St. John’s recently, and said he enjoyed it.

- Top-50 2012 forward Ricardo Gathers is taking an unofficial visit to St. John’s this weekend. The Louisiana native also wants to take a trip to Florida.

Photo: 6manbasketball.com 

Posted on: May 12, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Warren and his "old man's game" attract suitors

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Some say T.J. Warren has an “old man’s game” or is coasting through games, but Warren doesn’t let that bother him.

He simply continues to get the job done.

Warren, a 6-foot-7 forward from Word of God (N.C.), starred this past season alongside Torian Graham and Joseph Uchebo and continues to impress on the AAU circuit with Garner Road. He has a versatile offensive game, with the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers and also finish at the rim with his strength. Warren has good hands and runs the floor well.

His skill set makes him a difficult match-up for most opponents.

“It’s because of my size,” Warren said. “I can put it on the floor, I have the ability to handle and I can shoot.”

While he is currently a combo forward who can play inside, Warren is looking to make the transformation to a wing.

“Colleges see me as a three,” he said. “I’m improving my foot speed and my 3-point shooting. I’m trying to get a killer instinct.”

Warren has seen his recruiting take off recently, picking up offers and interest from a variety of schools.

“Right now, in no order, it’s Florida, North Carolina State, Georgetown, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville,” he said.

Warren also mentioned Arizona State, Arizona and Virginia Tech at one point.

He said he has no favorites or a timeline for a decision.

“I’m wide open,” Warren said. “I’m looking for style of play and location.”

Photo: Highschoolhoop.com

Posted on: May 12, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Jerome Hairston on the high-major radar

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – Jerome Hairston has flown under the radar for most of his basketball career, but that might change soon.

With the lack of big-time point guards in the class of 2012, Hairston’s performance this spring has put him on the map with various high-major schools.

This past weekend, Hairston helped lead East Coast Fusion to a U-17 title at the Southern Jam Fest in Hampton, Va. He can get into the lane using the dribble, and then finish at the rim or kick out to a teammate. Hairston plays well in transition, getting baskets with contact and also running the break. He can knock down 3-pointers with consistency as well.

“I’m used to being underrated,” Hairston said. “Being from Wyoming, it happens a lot. It happened to my brother and it happened to my cousin, [former Wake Forest star and current NBA player] James Johnson. I moved out here for exposure.”

Hairston, a 6-foot-3 point guard, is now at Liberty Christian Academy (Va.). With his recent play in Pittsburgh and Hampton, his recruitment is starting to pick up.

“South Carolina is on me really hard,” Hairston said.

He also mentioned UNC-Asheville, Virginia, Boston College, Yale and James Madison as teams currently in the mix.

Recruiting

Hairston is not in any rush to make a decision, but he knows what level he's gunning for.

“Of course I want to play high-major,” he said. “But wherever I play, I want to help the team out, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench.”

Photo: Roanoke Times 

Posted on: May 11, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Shaq Goodwin continues national rise

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

Shaq Goodwin was always highly-regarded in the class of 2012. He was a top-50 recruit that took a backseat to many of his teammates on the Atlanta Celtics and Memphis YOMCA.

This spring, though, Goodwin has taken off. He is now ranked in the top-15 by most scouts, and as high as No. 10 by one service.

“It’s really a privilege,” Goodwin said. “I would have never thought.”

The 6-foot-8 forward from Southwest Dekalb (Ga.) is a long and athletic combo forward that runs the floor and finishes in transition. Goodwin is one of the best passers in the country for his position, and he is a match-up nightmare due to his ability to make shots and post up players around the rim.

He said his rise in the rankings is due to more publicity and a chance in focus.

“People just noticing me,” Goodwin said. “And really taking the game serious. I was [before], but I was having too much fun.”

In terms of recruiting, he now has a top five of UCLA, Memphis, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. In April, Miami (Fl.) was in the top four but the recent coaching change has dropped them back in the pack.

“I don’t know,” Goodwin said. “I just don’t know them.”

While he said he has no favorites, he did say Alabama and Florida are coming after him the hardest. Both teams picked up their interest after Goodwin’s performance during the spring.

He also wants to take an unofficial visit to UCLA in June.

“Somewhere where I can play and won’t get in trouble,” Goodwin said when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Certain cities where they let me do what I want there. Maybe I’ll get in trouble there.”

For now, opponents are the only ones in trouble.

Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Race to the Top: Looking at the elite recruits

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The book is just about closed on the class of 2011. 
Sure, there are still players like DeAndre Daniels, Trevor Lacey, Joseph Uchebo, Kevin Ware and others dragging out their recruiting process, but it’s almost time to put the senior class in our rearview mirror.

Recruiting
There was no clear-cut number one player in the class, with different rankings placing Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers or Michael Gilchrist at the top of the class. Davis came out of nowhere in the spring of his junior season, making his case for No. 1 on the AAU scene. Rivers simply kept lighting it up no matter whom he played, while Gilchrist was steady and solid and probably held the No. 1 spot for the longest of anyone in the class.

But that’s all in the past. The final rankings are out, and it’s time to look at them as incoming college freshman, not high school players. As for the high school players, who’s got next? With only one month of the AAU circuit in the books, there is still plenty of spring and summer ball to be played.

This is the first in a summer-long “Race to the Top” feature at CBSSports.com where we gauge which players helped their case as the top player in the class and which players might have dropped a bit in the eyes of observers. We will likely update it after each major event we attend. To start, here’s a look at the candidates for the No. 1 ranking in the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

2012


Photo: Lonnie Webb/MaxPrepsAndre Drummond (pictured): 6’10”, C, St. Thomas More (Conn.) 
Why No. 1: When motivated, he’s unstoppable; combo of size and skill is unparalleled. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate consistently; disappears and fails to play hard at times.

Shabazz Muhammad: 6’6”, SF, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 
Why: Outstanding lefty scorer and unstoppable in the mid-range; good size and build. 
Why Not: Perimeter shooting is inconsistent right now; not as effective going to his right.

DaJuan Coleman: 6’10”, C, Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) 
Why: Has the ability to dominate the interior with his size and bulk; beginning to score in other ways. 
Why Not: Needs to become more toned and get in better shape; does not dominate consistently.

Cameron Ridley: 6’10”, C, George Bush (Tex.), committed to Texas 
Why: Late bloomer continues to improve and has a high ceiling; scores and rebounds effectively. 
Why Not: Needs to develop interior offense more; doesn’t have a wide variety of post moves.

Isaiah Austin: 7’0”, C, Grace Prep (Tex.), committed to Baylor 
Why: Absolute match-up nightmare due to his size and skill; tremendous inside-outside option. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight; spends too much time on the perimeter for a 7-footer.

Others:
Brandon Ashley, Ricardo Ledo, Rodney Purvis, Grant Jerrett (Arizona), Kaleb Tarczewski, Amile Jefferson

2013

Julius Randle: 6’9”, PF, Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) 
Why: Unbelievably versatile, can score and defend in different ways; motivated to be No. 1. 
Why Not: Could improve his outside jumper; tends to force drives at times against bigger players.

Jabari Parker:
6’7”, SF, Simeon (Ill.) 
Why: Coming on strong for the top spot; can score inside and out and is becoming quicker. 
Why Not: Struggles defensively to guard quicker or bigger players; working on his handle.

Nerlens Noel: 6’10”, C, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Defensively ability is out of this world in terms of blocking shots and rebounding; developing offensively. 
Why Not: Has to add weight to his frame; still somewhat raw on offense and struggles with contact.

Kuran Iverson:
6’8”, SF, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) 
Why: Very high ceiling due to his skill and size; very versatile and knows how to score in different ways. 
Why Not: Takes possessions off and does not play hard all the time; needs to dominate like he can.

Chris Thomas:
6’5”, SG, Westwind Prep (Ariz.) 
Why: Outstanding offensive player; he can shoot from the perimeter, score inside and rack up assists. 
Why Not: Jump shot can disappear at times; defense takes a backseat to his offense in terms of effort.

Others: Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Aaron Gordon, Keith Frazier

2014

Andrew Wiggins: 6’7”, SF, Vaughan (Can.) 
Why: Multi-skilled and can play a variety of positions; has the ability to score on the perimeter or at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to develop a mean streak; not at the point where he takes over games.

Wayne Selden: 6’4”, SF, Tilton (N.H.) 
Why: Powerful body and an imposing player for his age; is unstoppable going to the rim and can shoot. 
Why Not: He’s simply more physically developed than his peers; has to be more explosive as he ages.

Theo Pinson:
6’5”, SG, Oak Ridge (N.C.) 
Why: Long and athletic, very tough matchup; has excellent passing ability and can finish at the rim. 
Why Not: Needs to add weight to his frame and get stronger; ball-handling is getting better.

Jahlil Okafor:
6’8”, PF, Whitney Young (Ill.) 
Why: Already has good post moves and back-to-the-basket game; finishes at the rim and likes contact. 
Why Not: Not an explosive athlete right now; tends to play below the rim despite his size.

Dakari Johnson: 6’8”, C, St. Patrick (N.J.) 
Why: Dominant space-eater with great skill for his age; very difficult to stop once he gets the ball. 
Why Not: His athleticism needs work; struggles at times against taller players as a result.

Trey Lyles: 6’7”, PF, Arsenal Technical (Ind.), committed to Indiana 
Why: His mix of size and skill is tough to match; can run the floor and scores inside and out. 
Why Not: Doesn’t dominate against inferior opponents; could add strength and weight to his frame.

Others: Justin Jackson.

Photo: Lonnie Webb/MaxPreps
Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: May 12, 2011 4:22 pm
 

Louisville loses top-10 recruit

Posted by Jeff Borzello

A top-10 recruit is back on the board. 
Rodney Purvis, who had pledged to Louisville back in December, announced he has decommitted from the Cardinals.

"I just want to develop relationships with the new staff," Purvis told CBSSports.com. 
The news comes on the heels of former Louisville assistant Tim Fuller leaving to join Frank Haith at Missouri. Fuller ran point on Purvis' recruitment to Louisville. 
Purvis said Rick Pitino and the Cardinals are still in the mix, though. 

"Yes definitely," he said. 
Purvis is a 6-foot-4 combo guard from Upper Room Christian Academy (N.C.) and is one of the best guards in the class of 2012.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 29, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 9:52 am
 

Xavier lands big, big commitment

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Xavier picked up an enormous commitment Thursday night.

No, not in the hyperbolic, “enormous” impact sense – the Musketeers literally received a commitment from an enormous player.

Sim Bhullar, a 7-foot-5, 350-lb. Canada native who plays his high school ball at Huntington Prep (W.Va.), popped for head coach Chris Mack and Xavier.

“I felt really comfortable around the Xavier staff and players and family,” Bhullar told CBSSports.com late Thursday. “And I found they would be the best for my development and just the best situation for me.”

He is more than just a gimmick. Although Bhullar needs to improve his stamina and lateral movement, he has improved drastically over the past few years. His size obviously makes him a factor immediately, but his skill has also gotten better.

Bhullar thinks people might underestimate him when he arrives on campus in two years.

“I think I’m gonna come in and surprise a lot of people and make a huge impact for the Xavier basketball program,” he said.

Bhullar – and his younger brother, talented 7-foot-3 2013 prospect Tanveer – started the high school season at Kiski Prep (Pa.), but transferred to Huntington in the winter (Tanveer ended up at Montverde Academy in Florida). The move has been beneficial, as Bhullar demonstrated on the AAU scene with CIA Bounce two weeks ago.

Recruiting

Whereas he would tire after one or two trips up the floor at Kiski, Bhullar was able to keep up for several possessions and make plays at both ends. He has great hands and can dunk over anyone.

“I think I bring a great inside presence, both on offense and defense,” Bhullar said. “I can dominate the opposing big men, and make sure no one scores on my end with blocks.”

While the long-term effectiveness of players Bhullar’s size can be questioned, he should be able to contribute during his career in the Atlantic-10.

He said Mack is already looking forward to his arrival.

Said Bhullar: “He was excited and he told me that he couldn’t wait to coach me and help me get better.”

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