Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:49 pm

Javonte Hawkins backs up top-100 ranking

By Jeff Borzello

One of the last players in the pre-July CBSSports.com Top 100 rankings was Javonte Hawkins, a 6-foot-5 wing from Powers Catholic (Mich.).

After his performance with the Michigan Mustangs on the AAU circuit, though, it’s clear Hawkins isn’t content with his standing.

“I want to show that I’m a player,” he said. “I wanted to come out and play defense. I can shoot, I can get to the hole.”

More on Recruiting

Hawkins is a big-time athlete who uses his length and leaping ability to make plays off the bounce and in transition. He can knock down 3-pointers with consistency, and is not afraid to elevate in traffic around the goal. Defensively, he is aggressive and looks to force turnovers.

Michigan, Cincinnati, USC, Miami (Fl.), South Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, West Virginia, Marquette, Colorado and Providence are all showing interest in the Flint, Mich. product.

Hawkins said Iowa, Iowa State, West Virginia, Colorado and Marquette are showing the most interest at this point.

“A place that likes to run,” he said when asked what he is looking for in a school. “A team that plays hard, plays defense and runs the floor.”

His mindset is certainly that of a top-100 player; after July, he has the game to back it up. 

Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:31 pm

Christian Sanders stands out from most prospects

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – It took barely three minutes to figure out Christian Sanders is not your normal high-major prospect.

During interviews, the majority of high-major prospects discuss playing time and winning at the next level. Sanders, on the other hand, didn’t mention either.

“I’m looking for a coaching staff with integrity,” Sanders said. “And good academics.”

And you believe him about both – he has a 3.5 GPA, great test scores and plans to go into business.

More on Recruiting

Sanders, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Saint Thomas (Tex.), played a major role in the Houston Defenders winning the AAU Super Showcase championship. He is a knockdown shooter who is also highly effective pulling up in the mid-range after a pump-fake and dribble. Sanders has a high basketball IQ, knows how to handle the ball and has good vision.

“I shot the ball well early, struggled a bit lately,” he said. “But my goal is to win. If we win, we all get what we want or what we need.”

Playing with the Harrison twins, Shaq Cleare and Derrick Griffin has undoubtedly helped his stock – and Sanders isn’t afraid to admit it.

“It forced me to raise my level of play,” he said.

In terms of recruiting, Sanders has offers from Maryland, Texas, Oklahoma State, Harvard and Colorado, with Stanford and Kansas on him as well.

Whichever school gets him better get prepared for an atypical player and person – in a good way.

Posted on: July 23, 2011 9:04 pm

Ikenna Iroegbu hopes to join Oak Hill greats

By Jeff Borzello

LAS VEGAS – Oak Hill Academy (Va.) has been a point guard factory throughout its history, producing the likes of Nolan Smith, Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake in recent years. The lineage goes all the way back to Rod Strickland, who spent 17 seasons in the NBA.

Ikenna Iroegbu hopes to be the next stud lead guard for the Warriors.

“I just wanted to play on the national stage, get more looks,” Iroegbu said. “They’ve produced a lot of good point guards, and I want to join the history.”

More on Recruiting

Iroegbu, a 6-foot-1 junior from California, certainly has the talent and potential to be a factor when he arrives in Virginia, currently ranking No. 66 in CBSSports.com's Top 100. He is extremely fast with the ball, and has the quickness to beat defenders off the dribble. Iroegbu knows how to finish in the lane and can also knock down jumpers. 

While he has some of the tools necessary to be a big-time player, there are some areas he needs to improve.

“I could handle the ball better, take care of the ball better,” Iroegbu said. “I need to step it up.

“I want to show everyone that I’m a good player and one of the best point guards in my class. I think I stack up well, but I could do better.”

Currently, he holds offers from Arizona, USC, Colorado, Oklahoma State and Washington State, with interest coming from Virginia Tech and most of the Pac-12. Iroegbu said Washington State and USC are coming at him the hardest.

He wants to play in a fast-paced offense where his speed and ability to push the ball in transition will be a huge asset.

“I’m also looking at how the coaching staff treats the players,” Iroegbu said.

If he stands out at Oak Hill as the next great point guard, though, one can only assume he will be a favorite amongst the coaches at whichever school he chooses.

Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 1:21 pm

Danuel House's school list goes from 2 to 35


By Jeff Borzello

Before the Best Buy Classic in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend, Danuel House was hearing from two schools, TCU and Jacksonville.

After a breakout performance in the Windy City, House has seen his stock skyrocket.

“It was at two, then 32, now 35,” he said. “It’s still new to me.”

House, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Elkins, Texas, has offers from Louisville, Baylor, Texas, California, Colorado, USC, Houston and, yes, TCU and Jacksonville. Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Florida State, South Florida, Gonzaga and Providence have also reached out to the rising senior.

“It’s good exercise for the brain,” said House, referring to rattling off his long list of suitors. “It’s fun.”

House is a terrific athlete who is at his best when driving to the basket and finishing at the rim. He is great in transition and also handles the ball fairly well. His outside shot needs work, but he does have the ability to knock down 3-pointers. With his length and athleticism, he is a solid defender.

It doesn’t take long to see his potential, which makes it even more surprising that it took so long for House to burst onto the scene.

“People were seeing me for the first time,” he said.

Playing alongside Isaiah Austin on Texas Pro, don’t expect House's stock to collapse anytime soon.

Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 1:28 pm

Katin Reinhardt starts over after decommitment


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Katin Reinhardt has had the rep of a long-range shooter since he burst onto the scene at Mater Dei (Calif.) a couple of years ago.

The 6-foot-5 guard is no longer just a 3-point gunner, though. At the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Virginia last week, Reinhardt showed the ability to handle the ball effectively and set up teammates for open shots.

“I’m working on all aspects of my game,” he said. “I’m just trying to get better, playing really well on the defensive end.”

Reinhardt had committed to USC on New Year’s Eve, but the two schools parted way in May. Since then, his recruitment has picked up in a major way.

He holds offers from Arizona, Baylor, Arizona State, Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Colorado, with interest coming from Syracuse, Florida and Kentucky.

Reinhardt can’t point to a specific reason as to why his recruitment is heavier now than it was before his commitment to USC.

“I don’t really know,” he said. “They’re starting to see I’m playing hard.” 

There is no timetable for a decision from Reinhardt, but he does plan on trimming his list.

“I don’t have any favorites, I’m wide open,” he said. “But I’m going to cut it down to five.”

There are no leaders this point, but the schools that are coming after him the hardest will get the longest looks.

“The schools that offered will be looked at right away,” Reinhardt said.

Photo: MaxPreps.com

Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:22 pm

Jordan Tebbutt takes time to develop his game


By Jeff Borzello

During the spring before a prospect’s senior year, most players are focused on two things: recruiting and the AAU circuit.

For Jordan Tebbutt, though, neither of those is at the forefront of his thought process. Tebbutt has taken the past few months to work on himself, as both a basketball player and a person.

“This has been a good season for him,” Tebbutt’s father, Brad, said. “He is working on lots of personal things, as well as his game. It’s been a real season of growth.”

After Jordan’s Pump-N-Run Elite AAU team struggled during April and he continued to be hampered by a hand injury, he decided to step off the circuit for a bit.

“It ended up being a good break for Jordan for a few weeks,” Brad Tebbutt said.

He still participated in Adidas Nations, attended the Pangos All-American Camp and will be in Charlottesville, Va. for the NBPA Top 100 camp this week. Tebbutt will also be back on the AAU scene during the July live period.

Tebbutt, a 6-foot-4 wing from Oregon, is not lacking for exposure. He will attend powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.) in the fall, making the move from Tualatin (Ore.).

“It’s been a dream of his for years,” Brad Tebbutt said. “It fits the parents’ criteria of a strong school, help with academics and spiritual environment, but [it also] raises the level of ball several times over and makes a great transition year between high school and college, as far as living on your own and in developing his game.”

Tebbutt has a tremendous frame, checking in at around 215 pounds. He is a bulky swingman who is still looking to regain his explosion. Because of his size, he can overpower smaller defenders and score around the rim. Tebbutt can also knock down mid-range jumpers and is very effective when shooting leaners in the lane. He has great body control and can absorb contact when he finishes.

His stock has dipped a little bit in the past year because of an injury, but that hasn’t slowed his recruitment.

“We really have put recruiting on the side shelf, as opposed to the back shelf,” his father said. “A few new schools since the summer coaching shuffle, still waiting to create a list or determine preferences. We have really played it low-key and probably made a few think we are not interested, which is not true.”

The Pac-12 is heavily involved with Tebbutt, with Colorado, Washington State, Washington and Oregon State showing the most interest from the West Coast programs. Louisville, Virginia Tech, Kansas, Virginia and West Virginia are also on the list.

Tebbutt plans on taking his time with the process, with no favorites standing out or visits planned.

“[We’re] trying to decide on our timeline, throwing a new wrinkle in with the move to Oak Hill next year,” Brad Tebbutt said. “Just not ready to make too many decisions yet.”

Photo: Oregonlive.com 

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