Posted on: September 20, 2011 9:27 pm

Twymond Howard is off the board to UTEP

By Jeff Borzello

Throughout the summer, Twymond Howard was tracked all over the country by schools from the SEC, ACC, Big 12 and Big East.

When it came down to it, though, Howard opted to go outside the power conferences. On Tuesday night, the Pearl (Miss.) product committed to UTEP.

“I just like the atmosphere and got along with the players and coaches well,” Howard told CBSSports.com. “I just felt comfortable around those guys.”

When we spoke with Howard in the summer, he said Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest were on him the hardest. Howard also held interest from Mississippi State, Arkansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Murray State and Southern Miss.

Howard, a 6-foot-6 forward, is ranked No. 72 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is a big-time athlete who is excels in transition and is very effective finishing at the rim. Howard has the potential to be a matchup problem due to his size, strength and quickness. He is powerful enough to be a solid rebounder and defender, and quick enough to beat bigger players.

Howard is looking forward to helping out immediately with the Miners.

“I believe I’m going to have a huge impact,” he said.

Posted on: August 16, 2011 4:19 pm

Jarrell Martin's recruitment taking center stage

By Jeff Borzello

Jarrell Martin would prefer to keep his attention on improving his all-around skills on the court.

Instead, Martin’s impressive summer on the AAU circuit with Brandon Bass Elite has thrust his recruitment squarely into the picture.

“It’s still really early, but the mail keeps coming,” said Jeff Jones, Martin’s coach at Madison Prep (La.). “He wants to be more focused on getting better in the gym.”

Martin, a 6-foot-7 forward ranked No. 48 in CBSSports.com’s 2013 rankings, is a very long and active prospect. He is able to score from the perimeter or in transition, and is very aggressive when attacking the offensive glass.

There’s always room for improvement, according to Martin.

“I think I played well, I could’ve played better though,” Martin said. “I could’ve knocked down wide-open shots, attacked the basket more, played better defense.”

Despite his supposed deficiencies during July, plenty of schools made their interest clear.

Martin has offers from Oklahoma State, Arizona, Tulane, Marquette, UTEP, New Mexico, West Virginia, St. John’s, Mississippi State, Baylor, LSU, Georgetown and Texas A&M. A few more could be on the verge of offering.

“Texas hasn’t offered yet, but they send a lot of mail everyday,” Jones said. “Georgia is another one, Florida State is another one. Alabama sends a lot of stuff too.”

Martin will trip to Tuscaloosa for the Crimson Tide’s elite camp on August 20, and unofficial visits are being planned for Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Mississippi State and LSU.

Although it’s early, a few schools are standing out to Martin: Texas, Arizona, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Marquette, with West Virginia also in the mix.

A top five? “I guess you can say that,” Jones said.

Already going through the process, Martin’s recruitment seems to be taking center stage – not bad for someone who would rather focus on his game.

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