Tag:Florida State
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 1:09 pm
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Joel James not content with recruitment just yet

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By Jeff Borzello

Joel James is one of the most sought-after big men in the class of 2012. The massive senior is ranked at No. 54 overall and as the No. 12 center in CBSSports.com’s rankings.

James holds offers from Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Georgetown, Maryland and St. John’s.

Plenty of reasons to be happy, certainly.

But one school is showing interest and hasn’t offered just yet: North Carolina.

“I don’t know why they haven’t,” James said. “I’m starting to get tired of waiting. If they want me, offer. If they don’t, just tell me and let me move on with my choices. They haven’t said anything.”

The Tar Heels began pursuing James after stellar play during the spring circuit. They weren’t the only ones – his upside makes him attractive to many schools. James is a mammoth post player who runs the floor and moves around without the ball effectively.  He uses his size and strength to overpower opponents in the lane and doesn’t shy away from contact.

Many coaches were hoping to get a look at him during the second half of July after another impressive performance at the Adidas Invitational. Unfortunately for them, James did not suit up with the Florida Rams at the Adidas Super 64 – or any team, for that matter.

“As you could see, the team I was on wasn’t fitting me,” James said. “They were not passing the ball inside. So I felt I was wasting my time playing with them.”

Instead of playing on the AAU circuit during the latter part of July, the 6-foot-10 big man returned home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and worked out on his own at the gym and on the basketball court.

That could end up being a smart decision down the road – if James improves his conditioning, his upside is through the roof.

By then, we expect James will be very content with the status of his recruiting.

Photo: Scout.com

Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:31 pm
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Posted on: August 9, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Chris Walker has five schools standing out early



By Jeff Borzello

Coming off an outstanding spring and summer, Chris Walker was running out of opponents to dominate.

Walker ranks No. 6 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 in 2013, using his athleticism and length to go from a very good prospect to a can’t-miss recruit.At Adidas Nations, Walker went up against Steven Adams, the New Zealand native who was drawing rave reviews for his play out in Harbor City, Calif. The 6-foot-10 Walker didn’t back down, though, racking up 24 points and 10 rebounds, once again proving he is one of the best prospects in the country. He also went for 15 points and seven boards against Andre Drummond in the Championship game.

“It was just me playing hard,” Walker told me in June. “I tried to show everyone what I could do. I put in the work. I improved my game tremendously.”

Not surprisingly, plenty of schools are in the mix for the Holmes County (Fla.) forward.

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Alabama, Louisville, Baylor and Tennessee called him immediately after the July live period ended, while Ohio State, Florida, Kansas, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Texas, Texas Tech and others have all offered.

One school noticeably absent from that list of offers is Kentucky. The Wildcats have offered juniors Kasey Hill and Malik Price-Martin, who also play in the Florida Rams AAU program.

“They may offer soon,” Walker said.

Although it’s still early in the process, five schools are standing out for the rising junior.

“I’m really feeling Florida, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas and Florida State,” he said.

With Adidas Nations over, he plans on taking trips to Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas and Alabama.

“I want to get a feel, for now,” Walker said.

While he is only entering his junior season, Walker did not say he planned on waiting until his senior campaign to make a college decision.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Whenever I feel comfortable, I will commit.”

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:20 pm
 

Sherron Dorsey-Walker waiting out the process

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By Jeff Borzello

August is always a busy month for commitments – and 2012 scorer Sherron Dorsey-Walker has been one of the players mentioned as nearing a decision.

In reality, Dorsey-Walker will likely take his time going through the process.

“Right now, I plan to make [my commitment] in October or November,” he told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

Dorsey-Walker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Pershing (Mich.), holds offers from Boston College, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Temple, Florida State, Minnesota, Providence and Iowa State.

He plans on taking his visits before making a decision – and he knows three of the schools he wants to take trips to in the fall.

“I know I’m going to take visits to Boston College and Virginia Tech, and Baylor too,” Dorsey-Walker said. “Those are the three I know right now.”

He did say that those three are not favorites right now, just schools he wants to check out.

The most important factors in Dorsey-Walker’s decision will be his comfort level and familiarity with the coaching staff.

“Trust in the coaches,” he said. “Somewhere I’m comfortable at, somewhere I can win and make an impact. Somewhere I can get better at, but also help the team get better too.”

Dorsey-Walker is a lanky scorer who can get to the basket and finish against bigger players due to his body control and length. He plays very well in transition and he has a nice stroke from long range. Dorsey-Walker is a savvy perimeter player who can find teammates and also rebound at both ends.

“I can shoot, I can drive to the hole, get my teammates involved,” he said. “A little bit of everything.”

Whichever school gets his commitment will be getting a big-time scorer. We just won’t know the destination anytime soon.

Photo: UMHoops.com

Posted on: July 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Isaiah Lewis loading up on college offers

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – The July AAU circuit is normally the pinnacle of a top prospect’s season, considering all the high-profile events they attend and big-time coaches they see.

For Isaiah Lewis, improving his all-around skillset takes precedence.

“I mean, the tournaments are cool, but working on my game is more important,” Lewis said. “This year, I’m going to play the point guard in high school, so I’m learning how to be a passer and still score at the same time.”

Lewis, a 6-foot-3 junior from Christ the King (N.Y.), shares the spotlight in high school with Connecticut-bound Omar Calhoun, but he is receiving plenty of notice on his own.

So far, Lewis claims offers from Miami (Fl.), Florida, Florida State, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Arkansas, Oregon State, West Virginia and Memphis. Other schools showing interest include Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Villanova.

He said Kansas, Memphis and Florida are showing the most interest right now.

“Grades are a big factor in the school I chose,” Lewis said. “Also, the fan base and whether I think the coaching staff can get me ready for the next level.”

He plans to visit Florida, Florida State and Memphis during August, and could trip to Kansas for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness in October.

Two schools are currently standing out for Lewis: Kansas and Memphis.

More on Recruiting

“Coach [Josh] Pastner, I just liked the way he talked to me and my father,” he said of Memphis. “He told from the gate, he thinks I can come in, play and contribute. He also told me what he likes about my game.”

Kansas offered Lewis during his sophomore season, and the Jayhawks remain near the top of his list.

“The tradition there is crazy,” Lewis said. “Coach [Bill] Self loves winning. He also compared me to a similar version of Deron Williams, being a big guard who can score and pass.”

While it may seem like the New York City product is going through the process pretty quickly, Lewis has no plans on making a decision anytime soon.

“I’m going to take my time with everything,” he said. “I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to wait, but I may commit after my junior year.”

As we’ve seen with Lewis, getting better is more important than anything.

Photo: The Shiver

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

Kasey Hill makes statement in Indianapolis

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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: July 7, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Brannen Greene enjoys increased attention

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – When most people wake up at 9 a.m. with 15 missed calls, it’s an immediate cause for panic.

In Brannen Greene’s case, it was expected for the morning of June 15, the first day college coaches could call rising high school juniors. He had about 10 schools call him when midnight hit, but then he couldn’t stay awake anymore.

“I feel asleep at 2:30 and woke up at 9 with about 15 missed calls,” Greene said. “I was switching from one call to another -- ‘Hey coach, hold on’, ‘Hey coach, hold on.’”

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Greene, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard from Mary Persons (Ga.) who runs with the Atlanta Celtics U-16 team on the AAU circuit, has skyrocketed up the charts this past spring.

The long wing is a lights-out 3-point shooter with deep range and a release that is nearly unguardable. With his size, he has the ability to see over the defense and also make plays around the rim. Greene runs the floor well, but he does need to move better without the ball. He is now ranked No. 20 in the latest CBSSports.com top 100 for his class.

Greene is being pursued by Memphis, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Marquette, Florida State, UCLA, Tennessee, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Ohio State and Louisville.

“At the end of July, I want to cut it down to a short list,” Greene said. “And then in October, November, I’ll make a decision.”

He plans on making a trip to Louisville on Aug. 3 and will also visit Ohio State this summer.

With all the increased attention, one might think Greene would be nervous playing with a target on his back. That’s certainly not the case.

“It’s fun, seeing all these coaches on the sidelines,” he said. “I want to show coaches what I can do. It’s simple -- you’re just playing basketball.”

Posted on: July 6, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 1:11 pm
 

2014 prospect Craig Victor impressive early

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the July live period kicked off in Indianapolis, most players, coaches and scouts were lethargic in the early going.

One player who took no time to ratchet up the intensity was Craig Victor, a 2014 prospect from St. Augustine (La.) who runs with New Orleans Elite.

“I’m young, but I can compete with the older guys,” Victor said. “I want to show coaches I can play with them too.”

Victor is a 6-foot-8 forward who can run the floor and finish in transition. He has a good back-to-the-basket game, complete with a solid turnaround jumper and efficient footwork. Victor also rebounds and defends at a high level.

It’s early in his recruitment, but Victor is hearing from Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Georgetown.

“I like Georgetown, Alabama, North Carolina, and I like Tennessee’s game too,” he said.

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