Tag:Louisville
Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:12 pm
 

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera dives back into recruiting

By Jeff Borzello

While high-major point guards have been committing left and right over the past couple of months, combo guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has been playing it close to the vest.

Smith-Rivera isn’t worried about that at all.

“He’s choosing between some great programs,” Kelana Rivera, his mother, said. “And we’re more confident that wherever he goes, it will be a great fit for him.”

The 6-foot-3 Indiana native left for Oak Hill Academy (Va.) a few weeks ago, and is just beginning to dive back into the recruiting process.

According to his mother, two official visits have been set: Georgetown the weekend of September 23 and Louisville the weekend of October 14.

“He won’t be deciding before then,” Rivera said.

A trip to Xavier – where Smith-Rivera originally committed – was in the works, but there was scheduling conflicts. The Musketeers are still very much in the mix, though.

“He has always been very high on Xavier, and still is,” Rivera said. “The weekend that we wanted to visit them, D’Vauntes has a game and SAT. So we are still trying to figure that one out.”

Michigan State is another school often mentioned with Smith-Rivera, although talks between the two have slowed down since Smith-Rivera left the Midwest.

“We haven’t talked to Michigan State much since D has been at school,” Rivera said.

Rivera said North Carolina State and Memphis are also trying to get involved in her son’s recruitment lately, and they are both very much under consideration.

Smith-Rivera is a scoring guard who has the ability to handle the ball and initiate offense for other, but he is much more dangerous when looking to create his own shot. He has deep range on his jumper, and his strong frame enables him to finish effectively in the lane. Smith-Rivera ranks No. 39 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Since he has already committed to a school once, Smith-Rivera knows what he wants in a school and wants to be sure he makes the right choice.

“How well the school, staff and style suits the type of person and player he is,” Rivera said. “Many other things, like player development, as well. But all those are key.”

All signs point to a decision being made in the fall, but not for at least another month.

“Not sure yet exactly when he will be deciding,” Rivera said. “No real timeline just yet.”

Photo: Indy Star

Posted on: September 9, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Louisville's Kevin Ware not cleared to play

By Jeff Borzello

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will have one fewer playing time problem to worry about this fall – until Dec. 14, at least.

Freshman guard Kevin Ware will not enroll at the school this fall after failing to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements, according to a release.

“I’ve never seen anyone this close to being eligible,” Pitino said in a statement. “He is just fractions away and he fully intends to enroll here.”

Ware, a 6-foot-4 guard from Georgia, has had a whirlwind recruitment. He originally signed with Tennessee, but requested a release from his letter-of-intent after head coach Bruce Pearl was let go by the Volunteers. A month later, Ware committed to UCF, but then decommitted after it was found the Knights used a convicted felon with ties to a sports agency to recruit players, including Ware.

According to the release, Ware will continue to work on his standing and could become eligible for the spring semester. If successful, he will become eligible on Dec. 14.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Andrew White plans three visits

By Jeff Goodman

Andrew White has set up three official visits, but that doesn't mean those are his three leaders.

The Miller School (Va.) senior wing, whose stock soared as much as just about anyone's this past summer, will visit Kansas (9-23), Texas (9-30) and Louisville (10-14), according to coach Scott Willard.

"Andrew is still wide open," Willard told CBSSports.com.

White has already taken a bunch of unofficial visits to the likes of Virginia Tech, N.C. State, West Virginia, Cincinnati and George Mason. Therefore, he may not take official visits to those schools.

Bob Huggins and Seth Greenberg will both be at Miller School Friday, the first day coaches are allowed to go back on the road recruiting. Willard said that Mark Gottfried and Paul Hewitt will visit on Sunday and that Rick Barnes (Tuesday), Jeff Bzdelik (Wednesday) and Oliver Purnell (Monday) are all scheduled to stop by.

White checks in at No. 49 in CBSSports.com's latest rankings.
Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Brannen Greene begins the recruiting process

By Jeff Borzello

Given his 6-foot-6 size and versatile shooting ability, it was only a matter of time before Brannen Greene truly blew up.

Greene, a scoring wing from Mary Persons (Ga.), took his game to a new level in the spring and summer, catapulting into potential five-star status in the class of 2013.

“I thought I played some really good ball,” Greene said. “I just enjoyed myself and played hard. It feels great and it makes me want to work that much harder.”

Greene is ranked No. 16 in the latest CBSSports.com Top 100, due to his ability to knock down shots from behind the arc and create matchup problems for most defenders. While he needs to move better without the ball, Greene has a smoothness about his game that is impressive.

Prior to the summer, Greene had offers from plenty of schools in the South, but his recruitment certainly picked up in the summer.

“I just had regional high-majors on me before,” he said. “Now I have just about everybody from the West Coast to the East Coast.”

Greene now holds offers from Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Marquette, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Louisville, North Carolina State, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia and others. There are no favorites at this point, although Greene plans to start going through the process in November.

“I’m considering anybody and everybody, but I’m looking to slim down my list pretty quickly so they better jump in,” he said.

Right now, Greene has unofficial visits planned to Florida (August 27), Harvard (September 20) and Kansas (Midnight Madness).

He briefly discussed what he likes about each school on the visit list.

Florida: “I like Florida’s style of play, coaching staff and proximity to home.

Kansas: ”I like Kansas’ tradition and coaching staff.”

Harvard: “The academics and the opportunities I have outside of basketball.”

Overall, Greene – an excellent student in the classroom – is looking both on and off the court when he chooses his future destination.

“Just the opportunity to get better physically and also get a great education,” he said.

Photo: Recruiting Spotlight

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.

More on Recruiting

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 3, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Notebook: Chris Davenport stands out in Orlando

By Jeff Borzello

The magic of the July live period is the prospects one finds when watching someone else.

The Florida Rams Black team is home to top-20 point guard Kasey Hill, as well as stock-risers Landry Nnoko and Dillon Graham. In Orlando, though, the player who stood out to some onlookers was Chris Davenport.

More on Recruiting

A junior from Montverde Academy (Fla.), Davenport is a 6-foot-7 combo forward who is explosive off the floor and has a wide-ranging skill set. He can make plays in a variety of ways. While best-suited for the wing, Davenport is not afraid to mix it up in the paint and can play the power forward spot in a smaller lineup.

“I want to show coaches my talent and make players around me better,” he said. “I’ve played good so far. I’m rebounding the ball, playing in transition.”

It turns out colleges have already been turned onto Davenport.

He holds offers from Florida State, Clemson and South Florida, with interest coming from Georgia Tech, Penn State and UCF.

“I’m keeping it open, I like them all so far,” Davenport said.

He’s still at least a year from making a decision, but Davenport is looking to be successful at the next level – both on and off the court.

“Great education,” he said. “And a program with a good coaching staff that is dedicated to winning.”

Sanjay Lumpkin stays within himself

With the bright lights of Las Vegas and the staring eyes of big-time coaches following a prospect’s every move, many players start to do too much.

Sanjay Lumpkin went the opposite route: he tried to ignore the coaches in the bleachers.

“I want to play as if no coaches are watching, not let it affect me,” Lumpkin said. “It’s not about individually showing off. Coaches didn’t come to see you do that.”

Lumpkin, a 6-foot-6 guard from Benilde-Saint Margaret (Minn.), is a difficult match-up due to his size and ball-handling ability. He is long and can finish around the rim, while also able to initiate offense for teammates.

He holds offers from Northwestern and Richmond, with interest from Stanford, Colorado and Washington State.

Lumpkin is looking to make a decision in the near future.

“I’m looking for a place to play my game, a place where I fit well in the system,” he said.

Lights-out gunner pops for George Mason

Team Takeover (D.C.) guard Patrick Holloway committed to George Mason, choosing the Patriots over Saint Joseph’s, Kent State, George Washington and Delaware.

Holloway, a 6-foot-1 shooter from Paul VI (Va.), is lights-out from behind the arc.

“My family and I really liked the coaching staff and the experience they have,” he said. “It was a good distance from home and my family can be a part of this experience. Also, they are looked at to be a top team.”

News and Notes: Louis Dabney, a 6-foot-3 guard from Riverside Academy (La.), popped for Tulane on Tuesday . . . UC-Riverside picked up a commitment from Dayton Boddie, a 6-foot-3 guard from El Camino High School (Calif.) . . . Western Carolina picked up two commitments this week: Rhett Harrelson and Justin Browning, both from Alabama . . . Tuesday afternoon, Hofstra hosted 2012 prospects Jimmy Hall and Maurice Watson . . . Top-25 2013 wing Brannen Greene visited Louisville on Wednesday . . . Four-star senior Jerami Grant, from DeMatha (Md.), took a trip to Syracuse. Word on the street is the Orange could be the leader for Grant . . . C.J. Jones, from Meanstreets (Ill.), committed to Manhattan Monday night . . . Indianapolis guard Mike Ramey committed to Ball State . . . After nabbing Zac Irvin on Sunday, Michigan got another 2013 commitment, as top-75 guard Derrick Walton pledged to the Wolverines.

Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Five-star Alex Poythress adds Duke offer

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Alex Poythress continues to expand his game, his recruitment is also widening.

On Tuesday night, after the AAU Super Showcase, the 6-foot-7 Northeast (Tenn.) forward picked up an offer from Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“It felt pretty good,” Poythress said Thursday morning. “It was pretty exciting to talk to Coach K. He said he saw me play at the Super Showcase and Peach Jam, and he liked what he saw.”

More on Recruiting

Poythress has spent much of the month looking to become more of a perimeter-oriented player, showing off his range and shooting ability. He sees himself as a small forward at the next level, and the improvement in his ball-handling and off-the-dribble game are prime examples.

“I’ve played pretty decent,” Poythress said. “I was trying to get better as player overall.”

Poythress, who ranks No. 15 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is also hearing from Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Memphis, Louisville, Connecticut, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama.

He said there is no favorite right now, despite the new offer.

"There's no pecking order," Poythress said. “I’ll probably cut my list in a week or two."

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 

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