Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 6:34 pm

Hampered Archie Goodwin attracts attention

By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Archie Goodwin was quickly becoming one of the top scoring guards in the country, ranking as perhaps the elite finisher in the class.

Then, in the All-Star Game at the Pangos All-American Camp in early June, Goodwin broke his left wrist and had to go on the shelf.

“It’s about 50 percent,” Goodwin said.

Despite the injury necessitating that Goodwin wear a protective brace on the wrist, the 6-foot-5 Sylvan Hills (Ark.) prospect refused to sit out the Elite Youth Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam.

Originally slated to miss four to six weeks, Goodwin suited up for the Arkansas Wings this week.

“I’ve been told a lot of times that it would heal faster if I sat out,” he said. “There was no question, I love the competition.

“I wasn’t going to let my teammates go to war without me.”

More on Recruiting

That mindset has helped Goodwin impress even without the use of his left hand. He said it affects his ability to finish with both hands at the rim, and also impacts his off-hand dribbling.

The smooth and athletic wing hasn't stopped attacking the rim with reckless abandon, though. He is still playing aggressive, looking to beat his defender and get to the rim at every opportunity.

“It’s just instincts,” Goodwin said. “I’m a relentless guy. I’m going to try to dunk it. That’s the kind of guy I am.”

In terms of recruiting, Goodwin is taking his time. The No. 12 prospect in the latest CBSSports rankings has plans to narrow his choices down at the end of the summer.

“There’s a lot of schools,” he said. “The list is at about 20 now.”

Goodwin listed Kentucky, Connecticut, Baylor, Kansas, Arkansas, Memphis and Tennessee as the schools that have contacted him the most recently.

Unlike many five-star recruits who want a starting job on a silver platter, Goodwin is looking to work for whatever he gets in college.

“I want to go somewhere I feel comfortable,” he said. “And a school that’s not going to give me anything.”

Even if many schools want to.

Photo: Arkansas Wings

Posted on: June 20, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:09 pm

Brandon Ashley stakes claim to top-five ranking


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – When discussing the top players in the class of 2012, Brandon Ashley is not always mentioned in the case for number one.

Ashley takes offense to that.

“I definitely feel like I belong in the top five,” he said. “I know I’m just as good or better. My skill level is not an issue. I just have to play harder, play more consistently.”

The 6-foot-9 forward from Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) certainly made his case at the NBPA Top 100 camp last week. Ashley showed off his all-around skill set, scoring with his back to the basket and knocking down face-up jumpers. He runs the floor better than most big men, and also handles the ball and passes well for someone his size.

Ashley’s potential is through the roof, and when he brings maximum effort, he is tough to contain.

“I’m trying to become an all-around better player, an inside-outside player,” he said.

Ashley has plenty of suitors at this point, but said he is ready to cut down his list in the near future. For now, though, it seems a number of colleges have a shot at him.

“I’m wide-open, but a lot of the same schools [are involved],” Ashley said. “The Pac-10, the SEC, Kansas, schools like that. Everyone is coming at me the hardest.”

In addition to the entire Pac-10 and Kansas, Wake Forest, Texas, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Connecticut and others are also recruiting him.

One school mentioned in association with Ashley in the past has been Kentucky, but he said the Wildcats’ pursuit has tailed off.

“They’ve sent me a few emails, but that’s it,” he said.

When Ashley does make a final decision – which doesn’t look like any time soon – he is looking for a school that already has established talent on the roster

 “I want to go to a place where I’m surrounded by good players, with a good coaching staff,” Ashley said.

Photo: Media 411

Posted on: June 20, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:13 pm

Fisher should be disappointed ... but not mad

By Gary Parrish

Steve Fisher said he's disappointed that Kevin Young decommitted from San Diego State to go to Kansas.

I think that's fair.

I'd be disappointed, too.

But what Steve Fisher shouldn't be is angry or even surprised. Because, as I've explained before, there is no loyalty in college basketball. A man's word in this sport is worth about as much as tickets to an upcoming Amy Winehouse show. Coaches routinely say they're happy and lucky to be where they're at, then leave for a better opportunity a week later. Assistants do the same. That prospects also sometimes do it has never really bothered me.

So I'm not mad at Kevin Young.

He committed to San Diego State back in November, i.e., when he believed San Diego State was his best option. But over time, Kansas became an option, presumably because the Jayhawks lost both Morris twins to the NBA Draft. So Young weighed Kansas against San Diego State and chose KU, which is what most players would do. It's also what most coaches would do, and they'd do it with little regard to any commitments they might've made to others. Coaches tell recruits every year they can't wait to coach them, then willingly change jobs before those same recruits enroll. We all acknowledge it's less than ideal but accept it as part of the deal. What happened with Kevin Young is also part of the deal.

So it's OK for Steve Fisher to be disappointed.

But it would be wrong to be angry or even surprised.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 12:05 pm

Kansas appears set to host ex-Louisville pledge

By Jeff Goodman

After missing on DeAndre Daniels, Kansas has focused on another potential late addition.

Former Louisville commit Ryan Taylor is expected to take an unofficial visit to Lawrence this weekend, according to his uncle/high school coach, Paul Handley.

Handley told CBSSports.com that Kansas coach Bill Self called and offered a scholarship on Monday.

Handley also said the 6-foot-6 Taylor is just a couple points shy on his test score – and took another shot at it this past weekend. Louisville coach Rick Pitino, according to sources, did not feel as though Taylor would qualify academically - and also wasn’t quite as high on his abilities as he was a couple years ago.

Taylor, who transferred to Louisville Western High prior to this past season after three years at Lawrence North in Indianapolis, also has offers – per Handley – from West Virginia, Indiana and South Carolina.

However, a source close to the Indiana program told CBSSports.com that the Hoosiers have not offered Taylor.  

``He still loves Louisville, but I don’t know if they have a scholarship now,” Handley said. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 12, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 3:03 pm

Finally comfortable, Michael Carey is motivated


By Jeff Borzello

BRONX, N.Y. – After going through multiple high schools in the span of five months last summer and fall, Michael Carey is content with where he is now.

He attended Lamar Consolidated (Tex.) this past year, and is happy with the way things turned out there.

“I’m going to be there for good,” the rising senior said.

One thing Carey is not content with is his standing nationally. Not ranked in anyone’s top 100, the Bahamas native is out to prove people wrong.

“I want to become an elite point guard in the country,” Carey said. “People are starting to see me as a point guard, that’s what they’re going to see at the next level.”

The 6-foot-5 Carey is an offensive-minded player who can handle both guard positions. He is extremely aggressive off the dribble, getting past defenders into the lane and using his length and athleticism to finish strong at the rim. With his size, Carey is able to see over most opponents and also make plays inside.

In order to get recognized as a full-time point guard, Carey realizes there’s work to do.

“I can run a team and break down anybody,” he said, “but I need to get faster. I’m fast, but not fast enough. I need to get quicker.”

After an impressive spring, Carey was set to continue to make a name for himself with a solid June heading into the July live period. Unfortunately, at the Rumble in the Bronx on Saturday, Carey reinjured a toe that he had originally hurt during the school season.

It is unclear the extent of the injury, but Carey will undergo an X-ray back home on Thursday to determine whether he needs surgery now or after the July period.

“My coaches think I should do it now,” Carey said. If he decides to do that, he likely won’t be able to play in any events until the Desert Duel in late July.

“Just as I was playing really well,” Carey said, showing signs of disappointment.

Even the injury won’t keep him down for too long, though.

On Monday, Carey will take a trip to Tallahassee, Fla. for Florida State’s elite camp. The Seminoles are one of the schools to offer Carey, with new assistant coach Dennis Gates taking the lead in his recruitment. Carey has also spoken to head coach Leonard Hamilton.

“I like their style of play, and the way they develop players,” he said. “They have good players, and they can take me to the next level. I’m looking forward to [the visit].”

Carey also holds offers from Nebraska and Houston, and has been offered in the past by Marquette, USC, Baylor, Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Kansas, Auburn, Florida, West Virginia and Tennessee are also in the mix.

One interesting facet in his recruitment is his relationship with highly-touted forward Wannah Bail. Bail is also a native of the Bahamas, and plays on the same high school and AAU team as Carey.

“I mean, we’ve talked about it,” Carey said of going to the same college. “That’s my boy, but I’ve gotta do what’s best for me.”

Carey does not have any visits planned besides Florida State, although he did say he wanted to take a trip to Tennessee at some point.

Despite not having a favorite or a specific timeline for a decision, Carey could be ready to end his recruitment.

“It could happen anytime,” he said. 

Photo: Houston Roundball Review

Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:22 pm

Bronson Koenig dealing with recruiting attention


Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – Not many high school sophomores receive scholarship offers from Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The ones that do are usually very confident in their abilities to deal with the attention.

Bronson Koenig, though, admits he is struggling with the additional pressures brought on by the early offers from big-name schools.

“I mean, I’m handling it,” Koenig said last week at the Tournament of Champions, minutes from UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. “I’m not very good at it yet. But I’m trying to get better.”

Koenig, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Aquinas (Wisc.), is also looking to get better with his game. Right now, Koenig has the ability to play both guard positions, but is best attribute is his 3-point shooting ability. He has tremendous range and a very nice stroke on his jumper. While Koenig isn’t explosive or extremely quick, he has good ball-handling ability and the swagger to run a team.

“I try to bring leadership and distributing the basketball,” he said. “And score when they need me to score.”

While schools like Virginia are also coming after Koenig, the three he is focused on are Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kansas. The Badgers offered him last June, but he really made headlines when North Carolina offered him in February.

Roy Williams is notorious for waiting until a prospect’s junior year to offer players, but the Tar Heels had been highly-interested in Koenig since watching him nail multiple 3-pointers last summer alongside North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. 

“I don’t know how to explain it, but it felt really good,” Koenig said of the early offer.

Kansas joined the fray last month after Koenig and the rest of his AAU team went to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Invitational.

The three schools are clearly in front for Koenig, but neither of the three stands out in particular at this point.

“They’re all recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “I like them all the same. I feel comfortable, I like the coaching staffs. I want to go to a program that can go to the NCAA national championship – because I just like to win.”

Clearly, all three schools have very good histories and traditions, but Koenig discussed the specifics of each school that appealed to him.

With North Carolina, Koenig seemed to like everything about the Tar Heels.

“Just the program in general, with McDonald’s All-Americans,” he said. “The coaches, the facilities.”

The hometown Badgers have the local angle.

“I just felt comfortable there,” Koenig said. “Some guys are from Playground [his AAU team].”

Kansas is the most recent to enter his top three, but the Jayhawks are squarely in the mix.

“Me and my parents got to sit down with coach Self,” Koenig said. “I like how he plays ball.”

The comparisons have already begun for Koenig. While he likens himself to former Wisconsin guard Devin Harris, the most common one is Kirk Hinrich, who played under Williams at Kansas.

Not surprisingly, the comparison stems from Williams, who showed tape of Hinrich to Koenig when he checked out the Tar Heels’ campus.

“I see myself as more of a point guard,” Koenig said. “At Wisconsin, they wanted me as a point guard, but Roy Williams said I can play the point guard, 2-guard or 3-guard.”

By the time he is ready to make a college decision, Koenig will undoubtedly be able to handle either guard position – and better deal with the pressures that come from being a big-time recruit.

Photos: Lacrosse Tribune

Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:23 pm

Jayhawks looking at Vandy grad Andre Walker

Posted by Eric Angevine

The grad-student loophole is gaining popularity. Even the steady recruiting machine at the University of Kansas is considering adding a refurbished gear next season.

Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World says 6-foot-7 forward Andre Walker, who has graduated from Vanderbilt with a year of Andre Walker has one year of eligibility left after graduating from Vanderbilt.eligibility remaining, is considering Kansasamongst a handful of schools vying for the rights to his final tour of duty.

The former Brewster Academy player from Flossmoor, Ill., this week will set up some campus visits, according to a Twitter post from a Brewster coach. The tweet says Walker is considering KU, Northwestern, Xavier and Wichita State.

Walker averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists while logging 17.7 minutes a game for Vandy his junior season. He red-shirted the 2008-09 season after tearing his right ACL and has had some injury problems since. He has one year of eligibility remaining. He does not have to sit out a year after transferring, since he’s already graduated.

With both Morris brothers headed for the NBA, the Jayhawks took a major hit in the areas of size and experience in the frontcourt. Reserve Thomas Robinson is expected to flourish in a starting role next season, but the team is looking for depth and support at the forward position. Walker is clearly more of a backup option rather than a star, but his size and experience, as well as his ability to pass out of the post, must be coveted by KU head coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks recently struck out in an attempt to nab La Salle transfer Aaric Murray, a 6-10 post player who will instead sit out a season at West Virginia before getting back on the floor.

The real prize is still out there, as Bedore points out in the article. Uncommitted 6-8 recruit DeAndre Daniels has Kansas on his list as a possible destination in 2011, but Big 12 rivals Texas and Oklahoma State have the big man's ear as well. Walker might be a nice stopgap measure, but Daniels could develop into a true weapon under the tutelage of KU assistant Danny Manning. **UPDATE** Per Evan Daniels of Scout.com, DeAndre Daniels has committed to UConn, likely making Walker even more of a target at KU.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: May 27, 2011 2:46 pm

Conference Catch-ups: The Big 12

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.

The Big Stories

The Big 12 is now the Big 10 . . . kind of: The Big 12 will have a new look next season, going from 12 teams to 10 as Colorado heads to the Pac-12 and Nebraska goes to the Big Ten. It won’t be too big of a loss for the conference, quality-wise, as neither team was a consistent NCAA tournament contender in recent years. Both teams were in the mix for a bid last season, but fell short down the stretch. Without the two teams, though, the divisional scheduling in which the six teams from the “North” play each other twice and the same in the “South.”

Kansas needs to reload: The Jayhawks are certainly not the same team they were in late March when they lost in the Elite Eight. Twins Marcus and Markieff Morris left early for the NBA, as did freshman guard Josh Selby. In addition, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little were all seniors. Bill Self does return Tyshawn Taylor on the perimeter and Thomas Robinson down low, but a host of freshmen and inconsistent returnees need to step up immediately.

Turnover in Texas: The Lonestar State will be very different next season. It starts in Texas, where Rick Barnes lost nearly everyone from last year’s NCAA tournament team. Three players left early for the NBA draft, while five players used up their eligibility. Texas A&M will have a new coach in former Murray State head man Billy Kennedy, who replaces Mark Turgeon. Turgeon went east to Maryland. At Texas Tech, Billy Gillispie enters the fold, taking over for Pat Knight after several disappointing seasons in Lubbock. Baylor returns plenty of talent, but needs to replace LaceDarius Dunn, the conference’s all-time leading scorer.

Coaching carousel hits hard: Texas Tech and Texas A&M weren’t the only two schools to undergo coaching changes. At Missouri, Mike Anderson left with the highest winning percentage in school history to coach at Arkansas. In his place, the Tigers brought in Miami (Fl.) head coach Frank Haith. It was a move that raised eyebrows across the college basketball world. Oklahoma also made a move, getting rid of Jeff Capel and replacing him with UNLV head coach Lon Kruger.

Transfer central: Iowa State is going to be a tremendous case study next season. The Cyclones struggled mightily last season, fighting their way to three Big 12 wins. Next year will be different, though. Royce White (Minnesota), Chris Allen (Michigan State), Chris Babb (Penn State) and Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois) are all eligible after sitting out. Fred Hoiberg has plenty of talent in those five; will they be able to coexist?

The Great Unknown

How will Baylor play together? The Bears have some of the best talent in the country, with future lottery picks Perry Jones and incoming freshman Quincy Miller anchoring the frontcourt. Quincy Acy is another extremely athletic frontcourt player, while Anthony Jones brings length and versatility. The perimeter should be bolstered by California transfer Gary Franklin, JC transfer Pierre Jackson and freshman Deuce Bello. On paper, Scott Drew could have the most talent in the Big 12. With that said, Drew also had a loaded roster last season – and didn’t even reach the postseason. If everything comes together, Baylor has the potential to make a deep run in March. If not, the Bears can implode again.

NBA Draft report

The NBA draft only hit two teams in the Big 12, but it decimated both squads. Kansas lost twins Marcus and Markieff Morris, as well as freshman Josh Selby. All three could be first-round picks, but the Morris twins would have anchored another deep run had they returned. Texas went from a top-five team to a borderline NCAA tournament team when Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton left for the NBA. 

The biggest surprise return was easily Baylor’s Perry Jones. Jones would have been a lottery pick this season and is also suspended for the first five games in the fall. No one would have batted an eye had Jones entered his name into the draft pool. Alas, he decided to return to Waco. Missouri received good news when Kim English and Laurence Bowers withdrew their names, while Texas A&M was also happy when David Loubeau returned to College Station.



- Will Clyburn (from Utah) to Iowa State

- Amath M’Baye (from Wyoming) to Oklahoma


- Stargell Love (from Baylor)

- Dragan Sekelja (from Baylor) to Florida Atlantic

- Calvin Godfrey (from Iowa State) – dismissed

- Eric McKnight (from Iowa State)

- Royce Woolridge (from Kansas)

- Nick Russell (from Kansas State)

- Juevol Myles (from Kansas State)

- Nick Thompson (from Oklahoma)

- Roger Franklin (from Oklahoma State) to North Texas

- Ray Penn (from Oklahoma State)

- Jarred Shaw (from Oklahoma State) to Utah State

My commentary in 20 words or less

Baylor: The Bears have the most talent in the league; will everyone mesh and play together? Or will they collapse?

Iowa State: Might be the most interesting team in the league – five transfers are eligible. The talent is there.

Kansas: After losing seven players from last season, Bill Self has work to do. Thomas Robinson is ready to take the next step.

Kansas State: They lose the heart and soul of the program in Jacob Pullen. Frank Martin faces a rebuilding year.

Missouri: Mike Anderson didn’t leave the cupboard bare, but it’s not clear how the players will adapt to Frank Haith’s playing style.

Oklahoma: Jeff Capel is gone, but the Sooners have a lot of young pieces. Lon Kruger needs to get consistency from them.

Oklahoma State: There’s a chance freshman LeBryan Nash leads the conference in scoring next season.

Texas: Very little returns from last season; Myck Kabongo leads a deep group of talented freshmen that need to make an impact.

Texas A&M: The Aggies are being overlooked as a conference title contender. Khris Middleton is vastly underrated nationally.

Texas Tech: Completely unpredictable at this point. Red Raiders have a new coach and nine fresh faces entering the fold.

Photos: 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