Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:41 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:45 pm

Joell James out to prove he's more than hype


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Despite standing 6-foot-10 and hovering around the 300-pound mark, Joell James knows he won’t dominate against other big-time players on size alone.

“I have to hustle,” James said. “You can have no talent, and still be a better player than someone else just by hustling.”

James, a rising senior from Dwyer High School (Fla.), certainly has talent. For someone so big, he runs the floor and moves around without the ball effectively. James can face-up and knock down shots inside the arc, and he is also adept at scoring around the rim. Because of his size, he is a presence defensively and on the glass.

Rising up the rankings in the spring, James went to the NBPA Top 100 Camp to prove he wasn’t all hype.

“It’s not about your name, it’s about what you do out there,” he said. “I need to show I can do it.”

Because of his stellar play over the last few months, James has been hearing from Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Ohio State, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisville and Miami the most.

He said Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Ohio State and North Carolina are standing out to him as a top five, with the Gators currently on top.

“It’s a state school, and coach [Billy] Donovan is a great guy,” James said. “It’s a great program, and they’re known for putting out big men.”

The Floridian has taken trips to in-state schools Florida, Miami (Fla.) and UCF in the past.

A decision does not appear to be on the horizon for James, although he does have more immediate goals for the summer.

“I’m too heavy, I want to lose about 20 pounds,” he said. “And I just want to improve.”

Photo: Pack Pride

Posted on: June 20, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 4:07 pm

Kareem Canty nearing end of process


By Jeff Borzello

Over the past year, Kareem Canty has undergone several changes in his recruitment.

Canty, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New York, started out as a class of 2011 prospect with mostly mid-major offers but then decided to reclassify and head to Bridgton Academy (Me.). Once there, he became one of the top-10 players at his position in the class of 2012, and therefore had plenty of big-time schools on his trail.  

Now, it looks like Canty is nearing the end of his process – he has trimmed his list of schools to three: Florida State, Miami (Fl.) and Xavier.

“I chose those three because of the winning tradition at Xavier; the coaching staff at Miami has been recruiting me since George Mason and wanted me before anybody else saw me; and Florida State lets his guards play,” Canty said on Monday.

With the schools so close to each other at this point, Canty said his next destination will be determined by where he can come in immediately and get on the floor.

“The school I feel I could play right away and make the biggest impact,” he said.

Canty took a trip recently to Xavier and will visit Miami next week, and will wait to decide until after his trip to Coral Gables.

He is ready to get the process finished.

“Real soon – like the next two to three weeks,” Canty said. 

Photo: NY Post 

Posted on: June 17, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 5:43 pm

Javan Felix in search of exposure


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Although the common perception is that the point guard class in 2012 is fairly weak, there are still some players looking to increase their exposure.

Javan Felix is one of those prospects. The Saint Augustine (La.) point guard is one of the lesser-known players at the NBA Camp this week, but he has impressed with his ability to run a team and take care of the ball.

“I have to make a name for myself,” Felix said. “I know I’m overlooked, so I’m trying to put my name on the map.”

Felix, who stands 5-foot-11, is confident people will start giving him attention as long as plays well at the defensive end of the floor.

“I know I can play with those guys that are at the top,” he said. “I have to play defense. If I guard well, I’ll get noticed.”

Several colleges are already aware of Felix, namely UCLA, Arizona, Baylor, Texas A&M and Miami (Fl.).

He plans on visiting all of those but Miami by the end of the month.

“Somewhere I can go as a freshman and play,” Felix said. “Somewhere with a good coach that’s like a second father to me.”

Photo: 247Sports.com

Posted on: June 17, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 6:05 pm

Charles Mann boosts recruitment in spring


By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Heading into the Real Deal in the Rock in April, Charles Mann was looking to make a name for himself.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Union Grove (Ga.) was scheduled to go up against Dream Vision and Shabazz Muhammad, the nation’s best perimeter player.

“I just wanted to play my game,” Mann said. “I got out there and didn’t worry what his name was.”

Mann said he outscored Muhammad, 28-13, and was the primary defender on him the entire game.

“I held him,” Mann said.

Since then, his recruitment has blown up, with Connecticut, Georgia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.), UCF, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee all pursuing Mann.

Six schools are standing out: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Florida State and Virginia Tech.

“I definitely want to take officials to Georgia, Florida State and Georgia Tech,” he said. “I haven’t decided on the other two.”

When it comes time to decide on a school, Mann knows he wants to contribute immediately once he gets there.

“I’m looking for playing time," he said. "I want to come in as a freshman and start. I’m trying to get better, get to the next level.”

Unfortunately for Mann, he injured his ankle recently and was only at 70 percent entering the camp. After playing with the injury for one game, it was decided that he would shut it down for the rest of camp.

Before that, Mann wanted to continue his momentum from earlier in the spring.

“I want to show I’m just as good as everybody else,” he said. “I don’t worry about my ranking.”

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