Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:42 am

Notebook: Texas, Purdue pick up big men

By Jeff Borzello

The biggest weakness with this year’s Texas team will be its lack of post players and inside depth. Rick Barnes has clearly made sure that won’t be the case next season.

Prince Ibeh, a 6-foot-11 big man from Naaman Forest (Tex.), committed to the Longhorns on Thursday night. He chose Texas over Arkansas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Ibeh joins a very good recruiting class that also includes Cameron Ridley, a 6-foot-10 center and the No. 9-ranked player in 2012. Although the two are both inside players, they are very different. Ridley is a massive body in the post who has good hands and is tough to stop once he gets the ball.

Ibeh is an excellent shot-blocker who has very good timing and defensive instincts. He is long and athletic, and is improving offensively. On the glass, he uses his leaping ability to snare rebounds and make plays at both ends. Ibeh is ranked No. 82 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

In addition to Ibeh and Ridley, Texas also has pledges from Javan Felix and Connor Lammert. The Longhorns had a borderline top-10 class before the Ibeh’s commitment – expect them to move up in the rankings.

Purdue nabs A.J. Hammons

A.J. Hammons has had an interesting high school career thus far. He was once considered one of the top centers in the class of 2012, but a variety of factors contributed to hinder his reputation.

When Hammons focuses and plays hard, though, he has the potential to be an impact big man.

Purdue is hoping the light switch turns on sooner rather than later for Hammons, as the 6-foot-10 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) product popped for the Boilermakers on Thursday night.

Minnesota, Cincinnati and Dayton were also in the running for Hammons, who ranks No. 98 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He joins Ronnie Johnson, Raphael Davis and Jay Simpson in Matt Painter’s recruiting class.

Photo: Dallas Morning News

Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:52 pm
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Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:44 pm

Stefan Jankovic down to five, plans visits


By Jeff Borzello

Heading into the summer, Stefan Jankovic was looking forward to showing off his versatile game in front of coaches and increasing his recruiting interest.

That all changed when he suffered a stress fracture at the Pangos All-American Camp in June and then reinjured himself at Peach Jam.

“It kind of put my recruitment to a halt because I wasn’t able to play and coaches weren’t able to see me,” Jankovic said. “And it gave me time to look at the schools that were recruiting me previously and the ones that stuck with me.”

His extra time on the sidelines helped him advance his recruitment after the AAU season ended, as the 6-foot-9 Serbian native and Canadian resident recently trimmed his list to five: Wake Forest, Purdue, Georgetown, Florida State and Missouri.

“My whole plan was to cut my list down sometime after the AAU season, that’s why I did it now,” Jankovic said.

He currently has four of his five visits set up: Missouri on September 2, Florida State on September 10, Purdue the first weekend of October and Wake Forest the weekend after that. Jankovic’s trip to Georgetown hasn’t been planned yet.

Jankovic, a versatile small forward who plays at Huntington Prep (W.Va.), gave a brief reason as to why each of his quintet made the list. 

Wake Forest: “They’re my leader, first school to really recruit me hard.”

Purdue: “Great relationship with assistant coach Greg Gary. I like their system.”

Georgetown: “I have a great relationship with the coaching staff. I’ve visited before, enjoyed the campus.”

Florida State: “They’ve developed versatile players like me and coach [Leonard] Hamilton is a great coach.”

Missouri: “Showed me an unbelievable amount of love – both head coach [Frank] Haith and assistant coach [Tim] Fuller.”

With Wake Forest at the top of the list, Jankovic also said Georgetown was likely No. 5 out of the schools. “The other ones are in the mix for second,” he said.

It might seem like the Demon Deacons will be tough to beat, but Jankovic isn’t ending the race just yet.

“I mean, they’re a leader,” he said. “And I haven’t really seen any other schools than Georgetown and Wake, so I want to see how the campuses and teams are at the other schools.”

Jankovic has a long list of criterion for when he eventually makes a final decision after his visits.

“Great relationship with the coaching staff; system fits my game; good academics,” he said. “Good conference, playing time and a great history in the program.”

While Jankovic had time to make progress in his recruitment during the summer, he is still several weeks away from making a decision.

In the meantime, he’s focused on getting healthy for his senior campaign.

“I’m recovering well,” Jankovic said. “I’ll be back in time for the season.”

Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:05 pm

Five-star guard Gary Harris cuts list to top five


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Gary Harris has been notoriously quiet when it comes to recruitment, keeping it close to the vest.

At the NBAPA camp on Thursday, Harris made it clear he’s making advancements in the process.

“Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue are coming at me the hardest,” Harris said. “That’s my top five.”

Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard from Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), is one of the more intriguing prospects in the class of 2012. He is physical and long, which makes him tough on the defensive end and difficult to stop on the offensively. Harris is deadly with his mid-range game, and is working on getting to the basket.

The five schools on his list will have to wait to see him make his next move.

“After the summer is over, or after this June and July, my parents and I are going to sit down and talk about it,” Harris said. “I’m looking for a school where I can get playing time.”

Harris, rated as a five-star recruit by most services, is also looking to demonstrate his ability to run an offense and facilitate for others.

“I want to come here, play my total game, show off my versatility,” he said. “I want to show what I can do, show that I’m not one-dimensional.”

“I want to be a combo guard, I’m working on my ball-handling,” Harris added.

If the Midwesterner is able to consistently handle the ball and switch between the two guard positions, he will have no problem making an impact at the next level.

Photo: Nation of Blue

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