Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:48 am

Twymond Howard ready to focus on basketball

By Jeff Borzello

Twymond Howard has had an on-again, off-again relationship with football over the past few years.

The Pearl (Miss.) product was one of the top players in the state as a high school freshman, but he gave it up to focus on basketball. In the spring, Howard decided he wanted to give football another shot. However, after thinking about it, he is no longer planning to play two sports.

“I’ve decided not to play,” Howard said. “I’m really just ready to focus in on one sport and basketball is my favorite.”

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Howard, a 6-foot-6 forward, is ranked No. 81 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Not surprisingly, he is a big-time athlete who excels in transition and when finishing at the rim. Howard can be a matchup problem when defended by bigger players, and he also uses his strength to be an adept defender and rebounder.

Over the summer, Howard felt like he held his own.

“I believe I did pretty good,” he said. “Just play hard at all times.”

Howard said he noticed Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest the most at his games during the July live period. He holds offers from those three, as well as Mississippi State, Arkansas, Baylor and West Virginia.

He doesn’t have any plans on a timetable for a decision.

“I have no clue yet,” Howard said. “I’m gonna take my time and talk to my mom about it.”

Performance on the court and in the classroom is important to Howard when it comes to what he is looking for in a school.

“Just a great education and how they develop players,” he said.

And we now know football certainly won’t play a factor in his decision.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 3:38 pm

Martavious Newby commits to Ole Miss

By Jeff Borzello

For the past few years, Martavious Newby was known as a football player who doubled on the AAU circuit. That all changed at this summer’s Peach Jam, when Newby used his physical brand of play to make an impact at both ends of the floor.

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Newby capitalized on his impressive performance on Thursday, committing to Ole Miss. The news was first reported by the RebelGrove.com and confirmed to CBSSports.com by YOMCA Memphis coach DuJuan Taylor.

Taylor said the commitment is just for basketball, though, not football and basketball.  

The 6-foot-4 guard from Booker T. Washington (Tenn.) also had offers from Auburn and Arkansas in both football and basketball, as well as from Missouri and Nebraska on the hardwood. When CBSSports.com spoke to him in July, he expressed interest in playing both sports at the next level.

Newby has a very strong body, and can finish at the rim in transition or in a half-court setting. He knocked down outside shots when needed and was able to create his own shots. Defensively, Newby is difficult to beat off the dribble due to his strength.

News and Notes: Harvard will have perhaps the biggest weekend in the country on September 22. The Crimson will host Brannen Greene, Austin Colbert, Stephen Domingo, Zena Edosomwan and Chris Bolden . . . Josh Gray, a Texas guard who played on the Franchize All-Stars, committed to Mississippi State Wednesday night. “He felt they wanted him bad and he felt like home,” a teammate said . . . Arizona State picked up a commitment from Calaen Robinson . . . Virginia native Aaron Bacote popped for Old Dominion . . . Talented but raw big man Andre Walker could be reclassifying to 2014, according to a source. He would sit out this season at Bullis (Md.) and play as a junior in 2012-13. DePaul and Maryland are sniffing around . . . Toledo picked up a commitment on Thursday from Nathan Boothe

Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 1:24 pm

Recruiting Notebook: Gabe York advances process

By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- With a relatively weak point guard group in the class of 2012, Gabe York could establish himself as one of the best -- if he is able to handle the position full time.

“I’m trying to be a point guard, still getting the hang of it,” York said. “The biggest thing is learning the position.”

York, a 6-foot-1 prospect from Orange Lutheran (Calif.), is one of the best scorers in the country. He has tremendous range and lift on his 3-point shot, and he finishes effectively at the rim.

York doesn’t want to change his scoring prowess.

“I want to be a scoring point guard,” he said. “I don’t want to take away that part of my game.”

Recently, York trimmed his list to 10 schools: Marquette, Notre Dame, Kansas, Louisville, Washington, Oklahoma, UNLV, Arizona, Memphis and Connecticut.

Recently, he took a trip to Washington, and he went to Chicago after the NBPA Top 100 Camp to check out Marquette and Notre Dame. York also plans on going to Arizona at the end of the month.

“I’ll have a better feel for what I want after that,” he said.

Poythress feels pressure to stay home

Playing alongside Tony Parker and several other high-major players on the Georgia Stars this spring, Alex Poythress stood out.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Northeast (Tenn.) made an impact with his athleticism and length. He can power around the rim and is one of the better rebounders in the class. Poythress also has the ability to face-up and knock down jumpers.

“I didn’t do anything different,” he said. “I just played hard and tried to show what I could do.”

Plenty of schools were impressed, as Poythress currently boasts a long list. Vanderbilt, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Stanford, Duke, Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State are all on him.

While Poythress has no favorites, three schools are on him the most, and they all have something in common.

“The in-state schools are probably coming at me the hardest -- Memphis, Vanderbilt, Tennessee,” he said.

Howard has a future in two sports

For all the athletes at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Twymond Howard might be the best overall athlete.

The 6-foot-6 Howard is a star on the hardwood -- and on the gridiron. As a result, he is being pursued in both sports.

Howard, a small forward from Pearl (Miss.), wanted to prove himself on the basketball court last week in Virginia.

“Just to show I’m one of the top players,” Howard said of his goals. “I feel like I’m one, so I have to play hard. I want everybody to know who I am.”

For now, Howard is hearing from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Alabama and Auburn.

“I’ve taken unofficials to Tennessee, Mississippi State and Ole Miss,” he said.

Photo: MaxPreps.com 

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