Tag:Jeff Borzello
Posted on: July 19, 2011 12:04 pm

Notebook: Winston Shepard expanding game

By Jeff Borzello

With the way Shabazz Muhammad is playing lately, it might be tough for anyone else on Dream Vision to get attention – especially offensively.

Winston Shepard is finding other ways to make an impact on the court, though.

“I can handle the ball, I’m a playmaker,” Shepard said. “I get to the rim, I shoot free throws. I can defend one through four.”

The 6-foot-8 Findlay Prep (Nev.) product has improved his all-around game, using his versatility and wide-ranging skill set to create match-up problems at both ends of the floor. He is very athletic and finishes efficiently at the rim and in transition. Shepard has a great motor and is active defensively.

He insists he is not being overshadowed by Muhammad’s offensive exploits on the AAU circuit.

“I don’t look at it like that,” Shepard said. “We both do good things. People know I can play, I know I can play.”

There are 11 schools currently in the mix for Shepard: Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Memphis, New Mexico, San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV, UTEP, Kentucky and Missouri.

He said there are no favorites, but he plans to cut his list in July and then take all five of his visits in the fall before making a decision. 

Demetris Morant dominates defensively

For a player who is still in the early stages of his offensive game, Demetris Morant gets an awful lot of exposure.

The reason is simple: Morant is one of the best shot-blockers in the country.

The 6-foot-8 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) big man has outstanding timing on the defensive end, using his length and athleticism to dominate that side of the floor. He can rebound effectively, and is extremely quick off the ground.

Clearly, Morant needs to improve his offense – but he is aware of his deficiencies at that end.

“I’m working on my post moves, doing shooting drills, working on my ball handling,” he said.

Morant is hearing from San Diego State, UNLV, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Drake, New Mexico, Arizona State and San Francisco. Back in January, he said Arizona was in the mix but now says he hasn’t heard from the Wildcats recently.

“I’m looking for a good basketball program, a good academic school,” Morant said.

Photo: Lawrence Journal-World

Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:51 am

Nigel Williams-Goss waits his turn

By Jeff Borzello

After playing alongside incoming Arizona freshman Nick Johnson last year, Nigel Williams-Goss knows his time to shine is coming up.

“We’ve had great players in the past, and I think I played well last year,” Williams-Goss said. “I wouldn’t say I was overshadowed. I’ll have my chance this year.”

Williams-Goss, a 6-foot-2 guard from Findlay Prep (Nev.), committed to UNLV last December, but decided to open up his recruitment after head coach Lon Kruger left the desert to go to Oklahoma.

With Dave Rice coming on board, Williams-Goss said the Runnin’ Rebels are still under consideration.

“They’re definitely in there,” he said.

The talented lead guard has good size for his position and is also adept at finding teammates in areas where they can score. He has good basketball IQ for someone his age, and uses his strength to finish through contact at the rim.

Williams-Goss ranked No. 48 in CBSSports.com’s 2013 rankings, but he is sure to move up when they are updated in August.

“I’ve been playing pretty good, but there’s always room for improvement,” he said.

In addition to UNLV, Williams-Goss said Washington is also in heavy pursuit. He is hearing from Oklahoma, Miami (Fl.), Georgia Tech, Harvard, Saint Mary’s and the entire Pac-12 besides California and Stanford.

Williams-Goss will likely take his time with his second college decision.

“Definitely, I have to be there for four years,” he said.

Photo: MaxPreps

Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:53 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 12:21 am

Myles Davis chooses Xavier

By Jeff Borzello

Myles Davis planned on announcing his college decision during the championship game of the Peach Jam if the NJ Playaz made it that far.

While his AAU team fell short, Davis didn’t wait much longer to announce his decision.

“I would like to announce that I will be a Musketeer at Xavier University,” Davis tweeted late Monday night, also confirming the commitment to CBSSports.com in a text message.

The 6-foot-1 guard from Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) chose Xavier over Pittsburgh, Georgetown and West Virginia.

When CBSSports.com spoke to Davis last week, he said he liked nearly everything about the program and its campus.

“I think I could do a lot of things there,” he said at the Peach Jam.

The New Jersey native is one of the best 3-point shooters in the class. Davis has deep range behind the arc and is quick enough off the dribble to make defenders respect his driving ability. He has improved his ball-handling ability and point guard skills in a major way over the last year and a half, becoming more than just a gunner that could light up a scoreboard.

Davis joins 7-foot-5 Sim Bhullar and forward James Farr in Xavier's 2012 recruiting class. 

Posted on: July 18, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 6:49 pm

Notebook: Phil Nolan has chip on his shoulder

By Jeff Borzello

Phillip Nolan has seen his stock drop somewhat over the past year, but he entered the summer with a chip on his shoulder.

“I want to show people I still got it,” Nolan said. “I’m at least top 50, maybe top 30.”

Nolan, a 6-foot-10 Milwaukee native who plays at St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.), is a long and athletic forward. He runs the floor like a gazelle and has extended his game to include 3-point shooting. The lefty is a good shot-blocker and can put the ball on the floor.

Nolan, who ranked No. 89 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is hearing from Texas, Clemson, Missouri, Baylor and West Virginia. Maryland and Arizona have also offered.

“I want to narrow it down by the end of the month,” he said.

Nolan is looking for a variety of factors in his future destination.

“I want a place to help me improve my game, but I also want to play my first year,” he said. “Basically, a place that’s willing to work with me.”

Dakari Johnson without a home for now

One of the top players in the class of 2014 is still without a high school.

Dakari Johnson, a New York native who played at St. Patrick (N.J.) last season, is looking for a new school since Kevin Boyle left to take the Montverde Academy (Fla.) job.

“I will make a decision in a few weeks,” Johnson said, without providing any of his current options.

Johnson is a 6-foot-10 force in the paint that can score with his back to the basket and dominate the boards with his size and strength.

He has long held his own in the lane against players older than him.

“I compete with them well,” Johnson said.

The big man listed Kentucky, Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, Louisville and Ohio State.


- Tyrone Wallace, a 6-foot-4 point guard from California, holds offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Gonzaga, UNLV, Nevada, Fresno State, California and San Diego State, with interest coming from UCLA and Arizona.

- 2014 shooting guard Shaqquan Aaron already has an offer from UCLA, with the entire Pac-12 on his trail, along with Connecticut and Marquette.


Posted on: July 18, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 10:53 am

2014's Noah Vonleh keeps growing -- literally

By Jeff Borzello

Right now, Noah Vonleh is one of the top-10 prospects in the class of 2014. At 6-foot-7, he is a matchup nightmare due to his versatility and wide-ranging talents.

The scary part? Vonleh isn’t done growing.

“My doctor said I could grow to be 6’10”,” he said.

If the New Hampton (N.H.) product gets taller and keeps his current skill set, his potential is through the roof. Vonleh is very long and rangy, and has the ability to handle, pass and finish at the rim.

“I want to prove that I’m one of the best in my class,” he said. “One of the top five in my class.”

Despite his rapid improvement over the last year, Vonleh is still working on certain things in his game.

“I want to attack the basket better, and not get in too deep. I have to work on my pull up,” he said. “I’m in the gym everyday.”

It’s very early in his recruitment, but Vonleh already has offers from Boston College, Pittsburgh, Providence, Syracuse and Georgia Tech, with interest also from Tennessee, North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut and West Virginia.

At his current size, Vonleh is a five-star prospect. If he gets to 6-foot-10? The sky is the limit.

Photo: Mass Rivals 

Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 1:17 am
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