Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm

Slimmer BeeJay Anya holds his own down low

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – When the National High School Hoops Festival schedule came out, many people look at DeMatha vs. Jamesville-Dewitt.

BeeJay Anya vs. DaJuan Coleman. Two big guys pushing 300 lbs. going at it in the paint.

Then something happened. Anya lost 40 lbs. in the past few months and is looking considerably slimmer. He was still able to hold his own against the Syracuse-bound Coleman, bodying him up in the paint and using his length to make up for the height disadvantage.  

“I think he came out and played well and it was a good showing for both of us,” Anya said.

Anya was certainly more mobile and active than he was in the summer, getting open in the post and showing off a variety of post moves. His rebounding is still a huge asset at both ends of the floor.

His conditioning has helped in all facets of his game.

“Last year, that’s what was holding me back from being a better player,” Anya said. “I am more agile and athletic than I was last year.”

Anya isn’t focusing on his recruitment, but he has a long list of schools pursuing him. Syracuse, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Florida and Georgia Tech have all extended offers to the 2013 big man.

Anya ranks No. 30 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: National Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:18 pm

Andrew White announces for Kansas

By Jeff Borzello

Throughout his recruitment, Andrew White kept everyone guessing. No one knew where he was going or when he was announcing.

On Friday, we got answers to both – White is headed to Kansas.

“I think it was a huge opportunity there to play,” White said during his announcement on NBC12 in Richmond. “I have a great relationship with the staff. They’ve been good to me.”

Ranked No. 51 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, the 6-foot-6 small forward from Miller (Va.) really improved his stock over the spring and summer. White is a versatile scorer who is one of the top shooters in the class, either from behind the arc or in the mid-range. His confidence skyrocketed on the AAU circuit, and he became more aggressive as a result. White is only getting better.

This is a huge recruit for Kansas, even though White falls just outside the top 50. Bill Self had not had the most impressive of recruiting classes thus far in 2012, but the past few weeks make it very good. He already had Perry Ellis and Zach Peters in the fold, but big man Landen Lucas joined the group during the early signing period and Anrio Adams committed two weeks ago.

Picking up White gives the Jayhawks two legit players – Ellis and White – who could be immediate impact players in the Big 12. Both are versatile offensive players who can create matchup problems.

With the recent commitments, Kansas could make a case for being part of the top 25 classes in the country. The Jayhawks aren’t done, either. They always seem to pick up a player or two late after the coaching carousel and decommitments.

Photo: Daily Progress

Posted on: November 20, 2011 2:20 pm
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Posted on: November 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 3:16 pm

Anrio Adams plans to verbal to Kansas

By Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – With only two commitments heading into November, Bill Self and Kansas looked like they were in trouble on the recruiting trail.

The Jayhawks landed a surprise commitment from Landen Lucas last week, and now it seems they are on the verge of another pledge.

Anrio Adams, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Rainier Beach (Wash.), said on Saturday that he wants to attend Kansas.

“It’s a verbal commitment,” Adams said by text.

Should Adams qualify, he confirmed the Jayhawks would accept his commitment.

UPDATE: Just to clarify, Kansas has not yet accepted Adams' commitment. He would like to verbally pledge to the Jayhawks, but since he is not yet qualified, Kansas has not accepted. Stay tuned. 

Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 4:37 pm

What's going on in Lawrence, Kansas???

By Jeff Goodman

There's no logical explanation.

Bill Self is regarded as one of the elite recruiters in the country and Kansas is obviously a program that is soaked in tradition.

Self is as likable as just about any coach in the nation and is a fixture on the recruiting trail - whether it's during the season or in the July recruiting period.

Kansas has just about everything to offer a kid - exposure, Phog Allen Fieldhouse and all the bells and whistles that many top-tier recruits yearn for nowadays.

So, why are the Jayhawks struggling mightily to land big-time players?

There is clearly playing time available in Lawrence these days, yet Self and his staff haven't been able to secure any of the big boys.

Sure, they got Perry Ellis.

But he's no program changer - and he's a local kid that may have gone there no matter who was in charge.

Oh yeah, they also got an unranked power forward named Zach Peters.

Kansas is hardly intimidating on paper this season and next year it could be even worse. Tyshawn Taylor will be gone - and Thomas Robinson could well explore the NBA route if has the season many (including me) expect.

The Jayhawks recently swung and missed on 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, their top target in the Class of 2012. Assistant coach Joe Dooley put in more work with the New Hampshire native than anyone else - but they lost out to Arizona.

More on recruiting
They've also struggled to secure a big-time guard - which is a necessity with the departure of Taylor. Marcus Smart went with Oklahoma State in a package deal with Phil Forte and J-Mychal Reese also paired up, with his father to Texas A&M. Kansas missed on Danuel House, who is headed to Houston, and Ioannis Papapetrou went with Texas over the Jayhawks.

There's still the top-ranked player in the Class of 2012, Shabazz Muhammad, but I'm not sure anyone - even Self - thinks Kansas has any chance over UCLA and Kentucky.

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate Self as one of the elite-level recruiters in the nation.

Or maybe this is just one of those years where all the stars aligned in a way that went against the Jayhawks.

Whatever the case, it's baffling. There's no clear explanation for what's gone on in Lawrence lately, but that wealth and excess of talent that was found at Kansas a couple of years ago?

Those days are gone. At least for now.

Instead, it can be found in other places - like Lexington, Tucson and Chapel Hill.

Photo: Getty Images 
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Notebook: Blaise Mbargorba goes with SMU

By Jeff Borzello

If SMU indeed moves to the Big East in the next couple of years, the Mustangs will need Big East-level talent.

They started the process on Friday, getting a commitment from Blaise Mbargorba. The news was first reported by Scout.com.

Mbargorba is a 6-foot-11 Cameroon native, who burst onto the scene in 2009 as a relative unknown. The Peddie School (N.J.) product is very strong and athletic, and he moves fairly well for someone his size. He knows how to get position inside, and he has soft hands. Mbargorba’s offense is still somewhat raw, but he continues to improve.

He was considered a Vanderbilt lean for most of his recruitment, but the Mustangs made a late run to snag him. Mbargorba also held offers from Temple, Virginia Tech, Saint Joseph’s, West Virginia, George Mason, Northwestern, Clemson, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Columbia.

Commitment Catch-Up:

  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
  • Jordon Granger, Auburn
  • Ashauhn Dixon-Tatum, Auburn
  • Jordan Hare, Rhode Island
  • Brett Boese, Washington State
  • Richard Longrus, Washington State
  • Mychael Qualls, Arkansas
  • Ryan Rosburg, Missouri
  • Clyde Smith, TCU
  • Charles Hill, TCU
  • Kyle Molock, Saint Joseph’s
  • Zach En’Wezoh, Columbia

Important Visitors:

  • Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
  • Willie Cauley, Kansas State
  • Phil Nolan, Clemson
  • Alex Poythress, Memphis
  • T.J. Warren, Georgetown
  • DaJuan Coleman, Ohio State
  • Gary Harris, Kentucky
  • Amile Jefferson, Kentucky
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame (2013)
  • Allerik Freeman, Villanova (2013)
  • Keith Frazier, Arizona (2013)
  • Stephen Domingo, Arizona (2013)

Decision Time:

Dermarquise Johnson, a 2012 wing from Arizona, will choose Saturday between Washington, Washington State, Gonzaga and UNLV.
- Ioannis Papaetrou will choose between Texas and Kansas on Saturday
- On Monday, Terry Henderson will decide between NC State, Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Rutgers, George Mason and Richmond.

News and Notes:
2012 point guard Josh Gray decommitted from Mississippi State. 

Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:14 am

Ishmail Wainright happy with move to Montrose

By Jeff Borzello

When Ishmail Wainright made the move from Raytown South (Mo.) to Montrose Christian (Md.), a lot of things changed.

Wainright was suddenly nearly 1,000 miles from home, with new friends, new teammates, new style of play and more pressure. But the biggest difference for Wainright?

“The weather,” he said. “It rains too much.”

Not surprisingly, Wainright is extremely happy with his decision to leave home and go to the vaunted private school near Washington D.C.

“This was one of the best moves by far,” he said. “The only move, really. It’s a great education.”

Although the season has not yet started, Wainright has already noticed a difference in the attendance at the preseason workouts. The door leading to the gym is a revolving door of high-major head coaches and some of the best recruiters in the country.

UCLA, Texas, Kansas State, Alabama, Providence, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, UMKC, Georgetown, Maryland, Villanova have all stopped by. St. John’s, Texas A&M, Baylor and Missouri were there on Wednesday. Louisville is expected to come soon, while Memphis set up a date to check out Wainright as well.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this,” Wainright said. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘I don’t know who is going to see me, I don’t know who likes my game.’

“When I got there, coach [Stu] Vetter sat me down and said, ‘Now you know you will be hearing from coaches that you’ve never heard from, right?’ I just giggled. I thought he was playing, but it was for real.”

Wainright has had an interesting recruitment so far. He committed to Missouri in May, becoming new head coach Frank Haith’s first big-time recruit since taking over the Tigers. In late June, though, but suddenly decommitted and reopened his process.

After a few underwhelming performances with Memphis YOMCA on the Nike AAU circuit in the spring, Wainright won back his reputation with the KC 76ers in Las Vegas. He led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title, outplaying No. 1 prospect Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Wainright currently holds offers from Syracuse, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado, St. John’s, UMKC, Florida, Nebraska and Louisville.

While he doesn’t have any specific visits planned, he wants to attend Louisville’s Midnight Madness festivities.

“I don’t have [a favorite] right now,” Wainright said.

Wainright, a 6-foot-5 small forward, is ranked as a five-star prospect in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 rankings for 2013. He is No. 17 in the country.

Photo: STLToday

Posted on: September 19, 2011 12:30 pm

Perry Ellis set to announce decision

By Jeff Borzello

Kyle Anderson isn’t the only star recruit making his decision this week.

Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 forward from Wichita Heights (Kan.), will announce his commitment on Wednesday during a press conference at his high school. The announcement will take place at 2:45 local time.

Ellis is down to four schools: Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State.

“Ellis plans to sign a letter of intent with his final choice in November, during the early signing period,” Joe Auer, his high school coach, stated in an email.

Ellis can score in a variety of ways, with his back to the basket or in the mid-range while facing up. He knows how to finish at the rim, and runs the floor effectively. Ellis is ranked No. 27 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.  

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