Posted on: September 23, 2011 10:53 am

Zach Auguste picks Irish; Barnette pops for UCF

By Jeff Borzello

The relationship between Notre Dame and Zach Auguste was on-again, off-again for much of the past year.

The Fighting Irish were one of the first schools involved in Auguste’s recruitment, but they did not make his list of four when he cut it to Florida, Georgia Tech, Marquette and West Virginia.

They suddenly got back in the mix last week, and Auguste completed the turnaround by committing to Notre Dame on Friday morning. The news was confirmed by a source to CBSSports.com.

Auguste is a 6-foot-9 power forward from New Hampton School (Mass.). The lefty has loads of potential, but needs to bring it consistently. He runs the floor extremely well, and can block shots at a high rate. Auguste has the ability to knock down shots from the mid-range and continues to develop his game in the paint.

Barnette pops for UCF

Despite an injured ankle during the summer, Taylor Barnette consistently boosted his stock due to his shooting ability. In Las Vegas, Barnette proved he was one of the better shooters in the country – and UCF took a chance and offered him.

On Thursday night, Barnette took advantage of that offer and committed to the Knights. Wofford and several mid-major programs were also in the mix.

“I liked it down there,” Barnette said. “Through hard work, I can help the team.”

Barnette is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Lexington Christian Academy (Ken.). He feels relieved that the recruiting process is completed.

“I wanted my senior year to be about my team, not about me,” he said. 

Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:09 pm

UCF's Michael Chandler will head to prep school

By Jeff Borzello

The prized recruit of UCF’s incoming class will not be on campus this fall.

Michael Chandler, a top-50 prospect and one of the 10 best centers in the country, has not qualified and will head to prep school, a source told CBSSports.com.

The source said Chandler has not decided on which prep school to attend.

Chandler, a 6-foot-10 big man from Lawrence North (Ind.), originally committed to Louisville as a sophomore. He then decommitted and chose Xavier last October. On signing day, though, Chandler chose not to sign with the Musketeers and put his recruitment on hold. The roller coaster seemed to end on New Year’s Day, when Chandler committed to UCF.

In April, however, the New York Times revealed ties between Chandler and an alleged runner. Since then, questions have been raised about Chandler's eligiblity and his status with the Knights.

Sources told CBSSports.com that UCF is still involved in his recruitment and hopes to have him on the roster in 2012.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 2:46 pm

Kasey Hill makes statement in Indianapolis


By Jeff Borzello

With three top-40 players in its frontcourt, the Florida Rams’ Blue team gets most of the attention from Matt Ramker’s AAU program.

At the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, though, it was the Black U-17 team that stole the show and surprisingly won the championship. They won all nine games, capped with a victory over New Heights (N.Y.) in the title game.

The main reason for the run? Look no further than 2013 prospect Kasey Hill, whose performance has some people calling him the best point guard in the country.

“I can create and shoot, score off the dribble,” Hill said. “I can slash, I can pass.”

Hill, a 6-0 Montverde Academy (Fla.) product, was clutch too – he knocked down a stepback 20-footer to give the Rams a two-point win over Gateway Basketball Club in the first round of the tournament.

Since his MVP performance at the Adidas Invitational, Hill made headlines by picking up an additional offer from Kentucky. Florida, Louisville, Florida State, Miami (Fl.) and Kansas State had each already offered him.

He said he is also hearing from South Florida, UCF and Providence.

“The school that I fit in the best at – with the school and on the team,” Hill said when asked what he is looking for in a school.

Expect his recruitment to pick up even more as coaches now trek to see more than just the Rams’ Blue team.

Photo: Orlando Sentinel 

Posted on: June 17, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 6:05 pm

Charles Mann boosts recruitment in spring


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Heading into the Real Deal in the Rock in April, Charles Mann was looking to make a name for himself.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Union Grove (Ga.) was scheduled to go up against Dream Vision and Shabazz Muhammad, the nation’s best perimeter player.

“I just wanted to play my game,” Mann said. “I got out there and didn’t worry what his name was.”

Mann said he outscored Muhammad, 28-13, and was the primary defender on him the entire game.

“I held him,” Mann said.

Since then, his recruitment has blown up, with Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.), UCF, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee all pursuing Mann.

Six schools are standing out: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

“I definitely want to take officials to Georgia, Florida State and Georgia Tech,” he said. “I haven’t decided on the other two.”

When it comes time to decide on a school, Mann knows he wants to contribute immediately once he gets there.

“I’m looking for playing time," he said. "I want to come in as a freshman and start. I’m trying to get better, get to the next level.”

Unfortunately for Mann, he injured his ankle recently and was only at 70 percent entering the camp. After playing with the injury for one game, it was decided that he would shut it down for the rest of camp.

Before that, Mann wanted to continue his momentum from earlier in the spring.

“I want to show I’m just as good as everybody else,” he said. “I don’t worry about my ranking.”

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