Tag:Mitch McGary
Posted on: November 3, 2011 5:03 pm

No. 2 prospect Mitch McGary goes with Michigan

By Jeff Borzello

Michigan couldn’t get a top-five prospect, right?

That was the popular line of thought for many throughout Mitch McGary’s recruitment. The last five-star recruit the Wolverines received a commitment from was Daniel Horton back in 2002, and John Beilein has never been known to pick up top-50 guys on a consistent basis.

With Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Florida and others in the mix, the Gary, Indiana native still always kept Michigan at or near the top of his list. On Thursday, McGary made it official – he’s going to be a Wolverine.

This is a monster commitment for Beilein and Michigan. He’s the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country, shooting up the charts with a dominant spring and summer for the SYF Players. Beilein runs an offense that allows for the big man to play multiple positions and do different things on the court, which is perfect for McGary.

McGary will fit in with Michigan and could take them to the next level in the Big Ten. He’s a high-energy big man whose attitude and personality are infectious to his teammates. He can score around the basket and also knock down face-up jumpers out to the arc. McGary runs the floor very well, and his shot-blocking ability and athleticism have improved greatly. Moreover, he is strong and makes an impact on the glass.

There are only two seniors on the Wolverines’ roster right now, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak. Tim Hardaway Jr. is poised to become a star on the perimeter, while Jordan Morgan is developing into a consistent option down low. With freshman Trey Burke set to be the point guard and Beilein’s usual assortment of shooters, Michigan is a Sweet 16 threat this season. With McGary and two other top-100 recruits – Glenn Robinson and Nik Stauskas – coming into the fold next year, do the Wolverines have Final Four potential?

That’s how big this commitment is for Michigan; it immediately makes them a major factor in 2012-13, and also potentially opens the door for more high-level recruits to make their way to Ann Arbor.

There’s no longer questioning whether Michigan can get a top-five recruit. The Wolverines just did.

Photo: Indy Star

Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:02 pm

No. 2 prospect Mitch McGary on verge of decision

By Jeff Borzello

It seemed like Mitch McGary was set to make his commitment last month – likely to Michigan – but he canceled his announcement and went back through the recruiting process.

Apparently he’s ready to announce once again.

“I’m planning to make my commitment next week sometime,” McGary wrote in his blog for ESPNHS.

The final three for him are Florida, Duke and Michigan. Maryland and North Carolina seem to be out of the picture.

“I love Maryland, but I just don’t think that it’s the best fit for me,” McGary said of the Terrapins.

As for North Carolina, he doesn’t think they have a scholarship available for him, and he hasn’t talked to the Tar Heels lately.

McGary is CBSSports.com’s No. 2-ranked player in the class of 2012. The 6-foot-10 power forward from Brewster Academy (N.H.) catapulted up the rankings with a dominant spring and summer performance.

He’s a player who everyone wants as a teammate, due to his infectious energy and nonstop motor. He can impact a game in a variety of ways, from scoring around the rim with either hand or knocking down face-up jumpers from the perimeter. The lefty is effective in transition and very active defensively.

As for his decision, it should be an interesting week for McGary. As Jeff Goodman wrote in September, McGary’s parents favor Duke, while his AAU coach with the SYF Players, Wayne Brumm, would prefer Michigan. Florida is still very much in the mix, though.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:24 pm

Podcast: Where will uncommitted stars end up?

By Matt Norlander

Recruits are becoming savvy to the game. Each year, it's taking longer and longer for more and more high-level recruits to commit to a school. Makes sense -- this is pretty much the last bastion of legitimate power they'll have until they get out of college and go on to earn buck at some sort of professional level.

So, with that in mind, I had Borzello hop onto the podcast and give you the most likely landing spots for these 10 undecided guys:
  1. Shabazz Muhammad
  2. Mitch McGary
  3. Kyle Anderson
  4. Archie Goodwin
  5. Kaleb Tarczewski
  6. DaJuan Coleman
  7. Amile Jefferson
  8. Alex Poythress
  9. Rodney Purvis
  10. Jarnell Stokes
Some seem inevitable, while a few others are true toss-ups. Listen to find out which guys on the list could very well drag out their recruitments all the way until April. That's right -- after the upcoming college basketball season, which is still seven weeks away from having games on television. We also discuss how Houston was able to pull off getting two top-100 guys, and why that label is actually a little misleading in this case.

And, as always, if you want the latest news and scoops on recruitments in hoops, we've got an entire blog wholly dedicated to that. Borzello does most of the housekeeping there. Boost the pageviews and his ego all at once!

Here's the link for iTunes subscription. The podcast goes up a few minutes after it's live here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe. Or, if you're just hanging out, click the player below and enjoy.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 4:17 pm

Top 100 Analysis: Questions and Answers

By Jeff Borzello

The reaction of fans is always one of the best parts of putting out player rankings. Since the concept of ranking high school prospects is completely subjective and up for debate, there is plenty of room for discussion when it comes to certain rankings. As a result, we sent out a few tweets looking for questions and reactions to the rankings. Then, we chose 15 or so that encompassed different players, teams and regions. If you were left out, ask me on Twitter @jeffborzello and I’ll answer there. Thanks!

What do you like about Jarnell Stokes over Anthony Bennett?

To me, Stokes (above) is one of the best low-post scorers in the class. He has a great body and uses his strength to finish through contact on a consistent basis. He is also a great rebounder and is improving his face-up game. Bennett shot up the rankings in the spring and summer, but I still like Stokes because of his consistency.

How does Kareem Canty fall out of the top 100?

While Canty is extremely quick and very difficult to defend, he lacks the leadership gene that elite point guards need. He sometimes makes poor decisions and turns the ball over too often. Moreover, while he is tough to stay in front of offensively, he also struggles to guard opposing point guards. His injury at NBA Camp probably didn’t help him, either.

Grant Jerrett No. 30? Was wondering what he did to drop that far.

Jerrett (right) didn’t drop that far – he was No. 22 in the pre-July rankings. He is very effective offensively, but he struggles at times to finish through contact and does get pushed around in the paint. That’s not to say he’s a bad player, though: Jerrett is still one of the best frontcourt players in the country and is going to make a big-time impact at the next level.

Steven Adams dominated at Adidas Nations. Where is he?

We only rank players that are at high schools in the United States. Word has it that Adams will attend Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) this fall, so we will get a chance to see him in November and December and will adjust for our January rankings accordingly.

How much do you factor attitude into the rankings?

Depends on the player, and how severe the attitude problem is. If he constantly berates teammates or referees to the point that it affects his game or his teammates’ games, then it will factor more into his ranking. If it’s more of a competitive streak that sometimes goes over the line, then it will be less of a factor.

What’s the Tyler Lewis fascination?

Well, Lewis did drop 21 spots, so I’m not sure there’s a fascination. But Lewis is outstanding offensively, and doesn’t back down from anyone despite his size. He has great handle and is adept at getting his shot off against any defender. Lewis has the confidence and quickness to make consistently make plays in transition or in a half-court setting.

What’s your reasoning for Brice Johnson being so high?

Johnson was unbelievable at the Peach Jam in mid-July. One high-major head coach sitting next to me thought he was a future lottery pick. Johnson isn’t great in his back-to-the-basket game, but no one’s asking him to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon. He has a very good mid-range game, and is excellent in transition. His potential is through the roof.

Marcus Paige is the No. 1 point guard for most services; why low for you, especially with performance on his bum ankle this summer?

We don’t have Paige that low – he’s the No. 3 point guard in our rankings and only six spots lower in the overall rankings than our No. 1 point guard, Kris Dunn. It’s not a knock on Paige. We just feel Dunn is more explosive and Yogi Ferrell has the potential to take over a game offensively. Paige is a great playmaker and point guard, and he will make an impact at North Carolina.

I know Butler commit Chris Harrison-Docks was in the MaxPreps Top 100 at one point. What caused him to fall out?

I’m honestly not sure when Harrison-Docks was in the Top 100, but he’s still a solid pick-up for Brad Stevens. He is a big-time competitor who doesn’t mind talking trash to opponents. He plays off his confidence, and can get hot from 3-point range when he is feeling it. His fearlessness is his biggest asset – and biggest weakness.

Rosco Allen No. 83? Seriously? Seen him play lately?

Yes, we have seen Allen lately. To us, he still needs to expand his game beyond being a 6-foot-8 outside shooter. He is not that strong or quick, and isn’t very effective playing in the paint. On the other hand, because of his size and perimeter ability, he is a match-up problem for most opponents.

So how is that Butler still can’t land a Top 100 guy?

I don’t think Brad Stevens’ goal is to land top-100 players. He goes for players that will fit into the Butler system, and he lands most of the players that he truly targets. Also, many of the players he gets are in the 125-175 region. Kellen Dunham and Chris Harrison-Docks are both very good guards – albeit with completely different personalities.

What are the chances of Maryland landing Mitch McGary?

Since the second part of this question said I couldn’t say “one out of six,” I’ll choose something else. For most of June, McGary constantly said that Maryland was coming at him the hardest – in fact, the Terrapins were one of the few colleges he would actually name. Obviously, Maryland was named into his final six, and he has already visited the school. Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke are likely to get visits soon, so we will have a better idea of where McGary stands in a couple of weeks.

Why the fall for J.P. Tokoto? I know he had a down 2010 summer but what’s the deal now? Has he actually regressed or is it just the overall quiet summer he’s had?

Received multiple questions about Tokoto. The bottom line is that players have simply caught up to him, and he hasn’t improved. Tokoto still has great athleticism and can get to the rim and finish, but he is struggling to expand his game. He lacks strength and is not a good enough ball-handler to play the point guard position full-time. Moreover, his outside shot is inconsistent, enabling defenders to play off of him. The length, athleticism and natural talent is there – but he needs to work on his weaknesses.

I was just wondering where you rank Fred Van Vleet, the point guard out of Illinois?

Van Vleet, who committed to Wichita State before the live period, had a great July. He is an absolute steal for the Shockers, as he definitely rose up the pecking order of point guards with his play during the month. Van Vleet isn’t going to blow you away with his quickness, but he gets into the teeth of the defense and creates shots for himself and teammates.

Curious to hear your thoughts on Josh Scott of Colorado. He seems to be a fast riser. Is CU getting a steal with him?

Scott is an interesting case. When we saw him at the Tournament of Champions in May, he was excellent. However, at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, he struggled mightily in nearly every game. In July, though, he was back to the form that made people so high on him in the spring. The fact is, Scott is a different player with his AAU team and is tough to evaluate in a camp setting. He scores very well around the rim and makes smart decisions in the post. Scott, along with Wesley Gordon, is a very good pickup for the Buffaloes.

Photos: Point Guard U, Cali High, ESPN

Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 12:02 pm

Mitch McGary trims list to six

By Jeff Borzello

Mitch McGary has kept his recruitment very close to the vest since skyrocketing up the 2012 rankings in the spring.

On Tuesday, though, he showed his cards for the first time, trimming his list to six schools: Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan and North Carolina.

“I’ve got strong feelings about these six schools,” McGary told Dave Telep of ESPN.com.

McGary, a 6-foot-10 Indiana native who plays at Brewster Academy (N.H.), came into the summer ranked as the No. 5 player in the class of 2012 by CBSSports.com. After an impressive month on the circuit, though, he could move even higher.

More than his performance on the court, McGary is a player who everyone wants as a teammate. He never runs out of energy and is constantly boosting up his teammates from the sidelines. In terms of his game, McGary has a nonstop motor and can make an impact in a variety of ways. The lefty power forward can score around the rim with both hands, knocks down face-up jumpers from the perimeter and is effective in transition. Defensively, he blocks shots and rebounds. 

Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:29 pm

Notebook: Jerami Grant starts to stand out

By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Jerami Grant has been overshadowed for much of his basketball career. Besides being the younger son of Harvey Grant and younger brother of former Clemson forward Jerai Grant, Jerami has always played second fiddle at DeMatha (Md.) and on the AAU circuit with Team Takeover.

That all changed this spring, though, as Grant played a major role in leading Takeover to an undefeated record in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

“My confident has shot up,” Grant said. “I had no other choice. My coaches had been telling me I had to play like that.”

The 6-foot-7 small forward is long and athletic, and he has improved his passing and ball-handling skills. Throw in his ability to knock down jumpers and attack the rim, and Grant is become more and more difficult to defend.

“I bring mismatches to the table,” he said. “I’m a playmaker.”

While being the son of an 11-year NBA veteran might add some pressure, Grant said having someone who has made it to the NBA giving advice is a huge asset.

“It definitely helps because my dad is a guy that pushes you,” he said. “Even if I played good, there’s always something I can improve.”

In terms of recruiting, Grant is hearing from Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, Georgetown, Clemson and Rutgers.

“I’m visiting Syracuse sometime soon,” he said.

Grant, who likes Virginia Tech, NC State and Syracuse right now, said he wants to decide before his senior season.

Robert Upshaw looks to improve

Robert Upshaw was one of the most impressive players at the NBPA Camp in the workouts. He has plenty of post moves and a soft touch in his jump hook.

The 6-foot-11 big man from San Joaquin Memorial (Calif.) struggled at times to bring his whole repertoire into the games, though, and he was visibly frustrated.

“Coach [Tony] Allen and Coach [Michael] Peck talked to me,” Upshaw said. “They said, ‘Cut the bull out, just work 100 percent. If you don’t score, but get a rebound or a block at the other end, it’s all good.”

Upshaw has a simple goal for the rest of the summer: “I want to be a beast.”

While he doesn’t talk much about recruiting, he did say he took a visit to UCLA.

Ricardo Gathers has four standing out

Ricardo Gathers is a physical specimen. If he showed up at a football camp, no one would bat an eye.

For now, though, Gathers is doing just fine on the hardwood.

“I want to prove I’m just as good as they are,” he said.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Riverside Academy (La.) has four schools at the top of his list: St. John’s, Texas, Arizona and LSU. Other schools in the mix include Baylor, Oregon, California and Syracuse.

Gathers plans on visiting Arizona in August, and he also wants to see Oregon and Syracuse.

A.J. Hammons determined to make an impression

A.J. Hammons has had a wild ride around the rankings in the class of 2012. He was once considered one of the top big men in the class, but injuries and sitting out hindered his reputation.

This summer, Hammons is looking to show everyone he is still the player he once was.

“I need to get back in shape,” he said. “I took off too long.”

Several schools are courting the 6-foot-10 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) big man, including Texas, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Purdue and Maryland.

“I want to come in and play,” Hammons said. “I don’t have to start, but I want to play.”

Mitch McGary remains mum on school list

Despite being the fastest-rising player in the country, Mitch McGary isn’t talking much about potential schools.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss schools right now,” McGary said.

The 6-foot-10 Brewster Academy (N.H.) product did take trips to Maryland, Connecticut and Kansas recently, though.

Commitment Catch-up

-- Former Texas Tech commit Mervyn Lindsay signed a grant-in-aid agreement Wednesday night with Kansas.

-- 2013 guard Jalen James went to the Illinois team camp Wednesday with his high school, Hope Academy (Ill.). While there, Fighting Illini coach Bruce Weber offered James a scholarship, and James quickly committed.

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