Tag:Texas
Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:58 pm
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Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:21 am
 

Julius Randle begins taking unofficial visits

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Julius Randle is still about a year from making his college decision, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking steps in the recruiting process.

Earlier this month, the No. 3-ranked prospect in 2013 spent some time on Tobacco Road, visiting North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke.

“They’re three programs that have great tradition,” Randle said. “It was just an honor to visit. It was a lot of fun.”

Randle, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (Texas), is not tipping his hand as to which visit was the best – or to which specific schools are recruiting him.

“I don’t have a list,” he said. “If you name a team, they’re probably recruiting me.”

However, Randle did say he wants to take unofficial visits to Texas and Kentucky in the near future.

“I like the versatility of the players they have,” he said.

In addition to the aforementioned five schools, Ohio State, Kansas, Baylor are also among the colleges heavily pursuing Randle. He won’t make a decision until after he takes his five official visits, which will happen next fall.

While academics rank high on the priority list for Randle, coaching style is also going to be a major factor when he eventually makes a decision.

“A coach that will push me,” he said. “He’s not going to always tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. Someone that will make me the best player I can be.”

Photo: Bleacher Report 

Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:44 am
 

Jordan Mickey shoots up the rankings



By
Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – With Isaiah Austin, Emmanual Mudiay, Jelon Hornbeak and others on the Grace Prep (Texas) roster, it might be hard for a player to break out.

For Jordan Mickey, the increased attention to the team enabled him to demonstrate his skills on a bigger stage.

“I was able to show what I can do,” Mickey said.

Mickey, a 6-foot-8 forward, is one of the fastest-rising players in the class of 2013. The hype surrounding him has been increasing throughout the fall and he backed it up with his performance at the National High School Hoops Festival against Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Mickey is very athletic and can run the floor extremely well. He knows how to finish at the rim, and his length enables him to be a factor on the glass. Mickey can also block shots well.

Against Oak Hill, he was the one Grace Prep player who took his game to a new level.

“My team needed me to step up in the second half,” Mickey said. “I needed to be more aggressive, grab more rebounds, step up on defense.”

Although Grace Prep lost, Mickey solidified himself as a lock to be in the next Top 100 when it’s released later in the season. Once he adds weight and refines his offensive game – all things he is working on – he is going to be a major talent.

Mickey currently has offers from Texas A&M, Kansas, Providence and Houston, with interest coming from Texas.

For someone who loves to run the floor and make plays in transition, it’s no surprise as to what he’s looking for in a school.

“One that lets you get up and down,” Mickey said.

Photo: Adidas 

Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Slimmer BeeJay Anya holds his own down low

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – When the National High School Hoops Festival schedule came out, many people look at DeMatha vs. Jamesville-Dewitt.

BeeJay Anya vs. DaJuan Coleman. Two big guys pushing 300 lbs. going at it in the paint.

Then something happened. Anya lost 40 lbs. in the past few months and is looking considerably slimmer. He was still able to hold his own against the Syracuse-bound Coleman, bodying him up in the paint and using his length to make up for the height disadvantage.  

“I think he came out and played well and it was a good showing for both of us,” Anya said.

Anya was certainly more mobile and active than he was in the summer, getting open in the post and showing off a variety of post moves. His rebounding is still a huge asset at both ends of the floor.

His conditioning has helped in all facets of his game.

“Last year, that’s what was holding me back from being a better player,” Anya said. “I am more agile and athletic than I was last year.”

Anya isn’t focusing on his recruitment, but he has a long list of schools pursuing him. Syracuse, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Florida and Georgia Tech have all extended offers to the 2013 big man.

Anya ranks No. 30 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: National Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:19 am
 

Unselfish Troy Williams ready for big year

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

Junior Troy Williams has lofty individual goals for the upcoming season – but the unselfish five-star prospect doesn’t want it to revolve around his personal offensive exploits.

“I want to get Player of the Year this year, but not by just scoring – but how I involved my teammates on the floor with me,” Williams said.

The 6-foot-6 small forward from Pheobus (Va.) is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013. He doesn’t mind being the go-to-guy for his high school team, but he prefers getting his teammates shots too.

“Definitely [going to] have a bigger role this year, and again this year, I have players around me who can ball, so I’m looking for their help too,” Williams said.

Williams is one of the best scoring wings in the class. He has good range on his jump shot, and he is tough with his mid-range game as well. Defensively, he uses his athleticism and tremendous length to be a factor in passing lanes. The nephew of famed AAU coach Boo Williams has one of the higher ceilings in the class.

Not surprisingly, Williams isn’t settling, working to expand his game in the offseason.

“Shooting, defense, ball-handling and being a better leader on and off the court,” he said when asked what he improved in the fall.

A slew of colleges stopped by his Hampton, Va. high school during the fall to check him during workouts. Villanova, Georgetown, Florida, Texas, DePaul, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Louisville all came through.

In addition to those schools – besides the Tar Heels – Kentucky, Alabama and Miami (Fl.) have also offered him a scholarship.

As for North Carolina, they continue to eye Williams but have yet to pull the trigger on an offer.

“They were ready to offer but they either offered too many people or are just holding off,” he said. “But they do have high interest.”

Williams has already taken trips to North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky and Louisville.

“They were great,” he said. “I learned a lot of history about the schools, and met some of the players and coaches.”

Villanova, Georgetown and Virginia Tech are next on his unofficial visit list, although no dates have been set. There are no favorites for Williams, but he knows what he’s looking for in a prospective school.

“High graduation percentage of the players that went there,” he said. “Great relationship with the coach, and a school that can shape me into an NBA player.”

Don’t expect a decision anytime soon from Williams; he’s going to wait out the process.

“I probably won’t commit until next summer.”

Photo: 247Sports.com

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Jonathan Williams III more focused on improving

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

Most five-star prospects love the attention and recognition that comes along with being ranked among the top players in the country.

Jonathan Williams III, however, has no problem avoiding the spotlight.

“I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” Williams III said. “I’m just trying to stay focused. It gets you a big head, gets you slacking off.”

Williams III, a 6-foot-8 forward from Southwind (Tenn.), is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for the class of 2013. Naturally, he holds a host of high-major offers.

Among the schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Williams are Florida, Tennessee, Memphis, Texas, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Georgetown, UCLA, Arkansas, Virginia and Kentucky. All of them have also come by his high school to watch him work out.

“It’s going pretty good,” Williams III said of his recruitment. “I know I’m being recruited highly, but I’m more worried about staying focused and staying humble, working hard.”

He took a trip to Tennessee this past weekend, and has also been to the campuses of Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Williams III visited Lexington during his freshman year, when the Wildcats hosted North Carolina.

“The fans were just so crazy,” he said. “The gym was packed, everything was live. It was a nice arena, but I haven’t really visited the campus. I’ll do that when I go back up there this year.”

As for Ole Miss, Williams III was very impressed with the dedication to academics from the athletic department.

“They really focus on your education,” he said. “If you go to Ole Miss and you’re an athlete, you should not fail. I also watched them practice; they have a nice practice facility. Everything is brand new, and they’ll have a new arena built in the next two years.”

Williams III has no plans to cut down his list or even plan more visits in the coming months; he’s more focused on winning a state championship and wading through Southwind’s difficult schedule.

However, his versatile skill set will play a factor in the school he eventually chooses to attend.

“I’m looking at how they play; will I be able to play the one through the four?” Williams III said. “I’m not a position player, I can play any position on the floor. I can post, shoot the 3, run the fast break, do a little bit of everything.”

However, he’s not yet content with his all-around game.

Said Williams III: “I’m trying to be unstoppable.”

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
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Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:11 pm
 

Demarquise Johnson goes with Washington State

By Jeff Borzello

It was clear that Demarquise Johnson wanted to stay on the West coast for college, as his final four were Washington, Washington State, UNLV and Gonzaga.

On Saturday morning, Johnson announced his decision: he’s heading to Pullman to play for Washington State.

“The opportunity to play in the Pac 12 against some of the top players in the country, and have a major impact early, was too good to pass up,” Klint Parks, his AAU coach for Team Eleate, told CBSSports.com.

Johnson is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Westwind Prep (Ariz.) who would rate as a three-star recruit by CBSSports.com. He’s a good shooter from long range, and is also a good slasher to the rim.

He will certainly play early for the Cougars.

“I think he’s going to have a major impact on that program,” Parks said. “He has a chance to have a special career there. His best basketball is still ahead of him. Don’t let the rankings fool you; he’s a tremendous talent.”

Johnson joins Richard Longrus, Richard Peters and Brett Boese in Washington State’s 2012 class.

Other commitments

- Ioannis Papaetrou, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Florida Air Academy (Fla.), chose Texas over Kansas earlier Saturday. The news was first reported by Scout.com.

- Former DePaul commit and Kansas signee Braeden Anderson is headed to Fresno State next year. Anderson was deemed a partial qualifier at Kansas in September, but he will head west in 2012.

Photo: Husky Haul

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