Posted on: September 19, 2011 12:30 pm

Perry Ellis set to announce decision

By Jeff Borzello

Kyle Anderson isn’t the only star recruit making his decision this week.

Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita Heights (Kan.), will announce his commitment on Wednesday during a press conference at his high school. The announcement will take place at 2:45 local time.

Ellis is down to four schools: Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State.

“Ellis plans to sign a letter of intent with his final choice in November, during the early signing period,” Joe Auer, his high school coach, stated in an email.

Ellis can score in a variety of ways, with his back to the basket or in the mid-range while facing up. He knows how to finish at the rim, and runs the floor effectively. Ellis is ranked No. 27 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.  

Posted on: September 16, 2011 6:53 pm

Syracuse lands commitment from Jerami Grant

By Jeff Borzello

The last month of Jerami Grant’s recruitment had been a roller coaster. He was rumored to have trimmed his list to Maryland and Rutgers, and then a new list of Rutgers, Notre Dame and Syracuse was released.

Throughout it all, though, sources close to the situation continued to say Syracuse was squarely in the mix – and even in front for Grant’s services.

On Friday, Grant justified all the Syracuse talk by announcing his commitment to the Orange.

Team Takeover coach Keith Stevens confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Grant, a 6-foot-7 forward from DeMatha (Md.) and the son of former NBA veteran Harvey Grant, chose Syracuse over Big East rivals Notre Dame and Syracuse. The high schooler is also the younger brother of Jerian Grant, a sophomore at Notre Dame, and Jerai Grant, who just finished his career at Clemson.

On the court, Grant made a name for himself over the past couple of years. He is long and athletic, and improved his passing and ball-handling skills. He is a menace in the mid-range, using his ability to attack the rim and knock down jumpers to create matchup problems. His length should be an asset in Syracuse’s zone defense.

Grant is ranked No. 49 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: 247Sports.com 

Posted on: September 14, 2011 8:04 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 8:07 pm
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Posted on: September 14, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 6:01 pm

Alex Caruso commits to hometown Texas A&M

By Jeff Borzello

Since Alex Caruso burst onto the scene in June, Texas A&M has always been associated with his recruitment.

After all, Caruso is from College Station and his father is the associate athletic director at A&M. While other schools came into the mix, the Aggies seemed at the forefront thoughout the summer.

On Wednesday, Caruso made it official and committed to Texas A&M. He confirmed the news to CBSSports.com in a text message.

"Love this place," Caruso said. "Was going to be happy for four years." 

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) told us on Monday that he was down to the Aggies and Colorado, and would likely decide this week.

Caruso, ranked No. 55 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is an athletic wing who is highly effective when driving the lane. He uses floaters and non-traditional finishes at a high rate, and is also very solid in transition.

The Aggies now have two guards for their 2012 class, with Caruso joining J-Mychal Reese.

Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:12 pm

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera dives back into recruiting

By Jeff Borzello

While high-major point guards have been committing left and right over the past couple of months, combo guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has been playing it close to the vest.

Smith-Rivera isn’t worried about that at all.

“He’s choosing between some great programs,” Kelana Rivera, his mother, said. “And we’re more confident that wherever he goes, it will be a great fit for him.”

The 6-foot-3 Indiana native left for Oak Hill Academy (Va.) a few weeks ago, and is just beginning to dive back into the recruiting process.

According to his mother, two official visits have been set: Georgetown the weekend of September 23 and Louisville the weekend of October 14.

“He won’t be deciding before then,” Rivera said.

A trip to Xavier – where Smith-Rivera originally committed – was in the works, but there was scheduling conflicts. The Musketeers are still very much in the mix, though.

“He has always been very high on Xavier, and still is,” Rivera said. “The weekend that we wanted to visit them, D’Vauntes has a game and SAT. So we are still trying to figure that one out.”

Michigan State is another school often mentioned with Smith-Rivera, although talks between the two have slowed down since Smith-Rivera left the Midwest.

“We haven’t talked to Michigan State much since D has been at school,” Rivera said.

Rivera said North Carolina State and Memphis are also trying to get involved in her son’s recruitment lately, and they are both very much under consideration.

Smith-Rivera is a scoring guard who has the ability to handle the ball and initiate offense for other, but he is much more dangerous when looking to create his own shot. He has deep range on his jumper, and his strong frame enables him to finish effectively in the lane. Smith-Rivera ranks No. 39 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Since he has already committed to a school once, Smith-Rivera knows what he wants in a school and wants to be sure he makes the right choice.

“How well the school, staff and style suits the type of person and player he is,” Rivera said. “Many other things, like player development, as well. But all those are key.”

All signs point to a decision being made in the fall, but not for at least another month.

“Not sure yet exactly when he will be deciding,” Rivera said. “No real timeline just yet.”

Photo: Indy Star

Posted on: September 12, 2011 3:52 pm

Notebook: Langston Morris-Walker to Oregon St.

By Jeff Borzello

Playing on an Oakland Soldiers AAU team filled with nearly a dozen top-100 prospects, Langston Morris-Walker was often overshadowed.

Morris-Walker still managed to prove his worth, though, using his athleticism and aggressiveness to make plays at the rim. The 6-foot-5 small forward from Berkeley (Calif.) is also effective on the defensive end.

Oregon State certainly noticed him, and the Beavers’ interest paid off on Monday, as Morris-Walker decided to play his college ball in Corvallis.

“The instant comfort I felt from the town, players and coaching staff,” he said. “They are all high-character people that I would love to be around for the next four years.”

Georgia picks up in-state prospect

Georgia head coach Mark Fox is making a killing by picking up in-state prospects, and he nabbed his third in the class of 2012 on Monday.

Brandon Morris, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Miller Grove (Ga.), popped for the Bulldogs, a source told CBSSports.com.

Morris is very athletic and long, and he plays hard at both ends of the floor. While his shooting needs work, his aggressiveness bodes well for the future.

He chose the Bulldogs over Auburn and Arkansas.

Recruiting Notes: Ohio State continues to wait for freshman LaQuinton Ross’ clearance. “It hasn’t been determined one way or the other,” a source said . . . Louisville picked up its next point guard on Sunday, as Terry Rozier committed to the Cardinals . . . Illinois needed a point guard in the class of 2012, and the Fighting Illini got him on Sunday in Michael Orris . . . Texas Tech freshman Daouda Soumaoro has left the program, a source told CBSSports.com. The source said he is likely headed back to the New York area, where he went to high school . . . USC nabbed a surprising commitment on Sunday in Serbia native Strahinja Gavrilovic, who plays at La Jolla Prep (Calif.) . . . Isaiah Miles told CBSSports.com that he committed to Saint Joseph’s on Friday . . . James Woodard chose in-state school Tulsa.

Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:47 pm

Alex Caruso deciding between A&M, Colorado

By Jeff Borzello

Alex Caruso is back from his Colorado visit, and he seems to be preparing for a decision.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) took a trip to Boulder this weekend, one week after checking out hometown Texas A&M.

“Not ready for a decision,” Caruso said, before adding that he was pretty much deciding between the Buffaloes and Aggies. “Not likely any other visits.”

Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arizona State and Richmond were the other schools on his list before he trimmed it to four.

Caruso is a surprisingly athletic wing who shot up the rankings with stellar play during June. He is outstanding once he leaves his feet in traffic, and is adept at using floaters and other non-traditional finishes.

Although he said he’s not quite ready to make a commitment just yet, expect his recruitment to end soon.

“Anywhere from two days to a week,” Caruso said.

He ranks No. 55 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: Texas Basketball Inc. 

Posted on: September 11, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 7:45 pm

Houston picks up two four-star commitments

By Jeff Borzello

Houston might have had its biggest recruiting day since the early 1980s on Sunday.

Danuel House and Danrad “Chicken” Knowles, two consensus top-100 recruits, both announced their commitments to the Cougars.

Texas Pro AAU coach Marland Lowe informed CBSSports.com of their decisions immediately after they announced it at the “Rucker on Wood” event in Texas.

"Danuel House and Chicken Knowles have just chosen head coach James Dickey and the Univ. [of] Houston as their college choice," the text stated. 

House, ranked No. 37 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is a 6-foot-6 small forward from Hightower (Tex.) who uses his athleticism and aggressiveness to make plays at the rim. He runs the floor tremendously well and is very difficult to stop in transition. House handles the ball fairly well, and his outside shot is getting more consistent. Due to his length and leaping ability, he has a solid defender and rebounder.

House began receiving in-home visits on Friday, with Baylor, Georgetown, Ohio State, Texas and Kansas as the other finalists.

Knowles, a 6-foot-10 forward from Texas, blew up at the NBPA Top 100 camp and continued his strong play on the AAU circuit in July. He’s very long and athletic, but has great face-up ability out to the 3-point line. Knowles, ranked No. 79 in the top 100, can dribble the ball fairly well for someone his size, and is a major matchup problem for most opponents due to his skill-set.

The last schools on Knowles' list included Baylor, Arkansas and Missouri. 

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