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 9, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 1:11 pm

Kahari Beaufort breaks out at N.C. AAU event


By Jeff Borzello

UPDATE: After this story was published, Beaufort's high school coach called him to notify him that Providence, St. John's and Florida have all reached out regarding Beaufort. 

It’s not often a player is considered a high-major prospect yet has not heard from a single college yet.

That’s the case with Kahari Beaufort, a 2014 prospect from Connecticut who blew up at the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend.

Playing with the Long Island Lightning, Beaufort impressed nearly everyone who caught a glimpse of his game. One scout said he’s “big time,” while Dave Telep of ESPN.com wrote that Beaufort “has the ability to be a high-major guard.”

It’s apparently taken awhile for colleges to catch on, though.

“Not one school,” Beaufort said Thursday morning. “No schools, no letters, no anything. That’s crazy, but I just still work. I know there are a few colleges that [will] look at me.”

Beaufort, a 6-foot-4 point guard, has a strong body and gets after it at both ends of the floor. He can get to the rim and finish or knock down outside shots. Although Beaufort was overshadowed somewhat by Kuran Iverson, he still made a name for himself in North Carolina.

“I was so happy because I’m only 15 and I’m just starting to get noticed,” he said of the attention he received from scouts and reporters. “To tell the truth, I always played like that. The only thing I tried to step up on is my D, because that’s my weak point so I will take charges or anything to help my team.”

While Iverson, a top-10 recruit in the class of 2013, owned most of the eyeballs watching the Lightning, the star prospect has helped Beaufort in other ways. Beaufort even compares the relationship between the two to that of Baylor signees Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello.

When asked which one can dunk like Bello, Beaufort responded: “Me . . . well, no one can jump like Deuce.”

“I grew up with him, I knew him since I was in third grade,” Beaufort said of Iverson. “That’s really like my brother.”

He said there is a 99.9 percent chance he transfers to Northwest Catholic (Conn.), which Iverson currently attends. 

With a higher-profile due to his performance at the TOC and a potential move to team up with Iverson in high school, Beaufort knows he has to keep improving his game to get colleges on his trail.

“I look at it like, if I work hard at everything, good things would happen, but if I settle for good, what about my best? My games have strong and weak points,” he said. “On offense, I know I can score whenever, but on defense, I have to work harder.”

He made second-team all-New England Class B while he was at the Pomfret School (Conn.), but is continuing to work on his defense. Early-morning workouts with Iverson have already helped his game.

While no schools are coming at him right now, Beaufort did say Connecticut, Kansas and Georgetown are his top three dream schools.

“I think I can go high D1 because of the fact I’m only a freshman and I’m 15,” he said. “I have a lot more time to work on my game." 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 7, 2011 8:36 pm

DeAndre Daniels ends process, picks Connecticut

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the latter stages of DeAndre Daniels’ recruitment, most of the discussions revolved around two schools: Kansas and Texas.  

Would Daniels go back to the school where he gave his original commitment (Texas) or would he head to the Longhorns’ conference rival?

On Tuesday evening, Daniels finally made his decision. The 6-foot-7 California native chose . . . Connecticut?

“With the style of play and with what [Jeremy Lamb] did last year, we think that he’ll be able to be successful,” IMG Academy coach Vince Walden told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, who broke the story. “With his ability to put the ball on the floor he could be a nightmare matchup. He’s a winner. We truly believe that.”

Based on Daniels’ entire recruitment, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that his commitment ended up being a curveball. He originally committed to Texas, but opened up his recruitment and has since had multiple supposed “favorites.” At one time, it was Kentucky; another time, Duke. Daniels was also going to leave IMG Academy (Fla.) at the semester break and head to college this past January.

In the last few weeks, schools like San Diego State and Oregon joined the seemingly random fray of options.

But, it seems to be over now. Sources told Scout.com that Daniels will sign a financial aid agreement, as the date to sign a letter-of-intent has passed.

Daniels joins Ryan Boatright in Connecticut’s recruiting class for the fall.

Photo: NBA Camp

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 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

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