Tag:Villanova
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:19 am
 

Unselfish Troy Williams ready for big year

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By
Jeff Borzello

Junior Troy Williams has lofty individual goals for the upcoming season – but the unselfish five-star prospect doesn’t want it to revolve around his personal offensive exploits.

“I want to get Player of the Year this year, but not by just scoring – but how I involved my teammates on the floor with me,” Williams said.

The 6-foot-6 small forward from Pheobus (Va.) is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013. He doesn’t mind being the go-to-guy for his high school team, but he prefers getting his teammates shots too.

“Definitely [going to] have a bigger role this year, and again this year, I have players around me who can ball, so I’m looking for their help too,” Williams said.

Williams is one of the best scoring wings in the class. He has good range on his jump shot, and he is tough with his mid-range game as well. Defensively, he uses his athleticism and tremendous length to be a factor in passing lanes. The nephew of famed AAU coach Boo Williams has one of the higher ceilings in the class.

Not surprisingly, Williams isn’t settling, working to expand his game in the offseason.

“Shooting, defense, ball-handling and being a better leader on and off the court,” he said when asked what he improved in the fall.

A slew of colleges stopped by his Hampton, Va. high school during the fall to check him during workouts. Villanova, Georgetown, Florida, Texas, DePaul, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Louisville all came through.

In addition to those schools – besides the Tar Heels – Kentucky, Alabama and Miami (Fl.) have also offered him a scholarship.

As for North Carolina, they continue to eye Williams but have yet to pull the trigger on an offer.

“They were ready to offer but they either offered too many people or are just holding off,” he said. “But they do have high interest.”

Williams has already taken trips to North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky and Louisville.

“They were great,” he said. “I learned a lot of history about the schools, and met some of the players and coaches.”

Villanova, Georgetown and Virginia Tech are next on his unofficial visit list, although no dates have been set. There are no favorites for Williams, but he knows what he’s looking for in a prospective school.

“High graduation percentage of the players that went there,” he said. “Great relationship with the coach, and a school that can shape me into an NBA player.”

Don’t expect a decision anytime soon from Williams; he’s going to wait out the process.

“I probably won’t commit until next summer.”

Photo: 247Sports.com

Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:12 am
 

Brandon Austin quietly going through recruitment

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By
Jeff Borzello

I walked into a gym in central Maryland last spring for an AAU tournament, and the first player I watched was a 6-foot-6 guard who could do everything. He was handling the ball, running the break, knocking down shots – but there was no name for him in the roster book.

I went up to the coach after the game, and asked who that was. “Oh, that’s Brandon Austin.”

Well, that made sense. Austin is one of the more versatile perimeter players in the country, with the ability to play up to three positions. The Imhotep Charter (Pa.) product’s recruitment has been fairly quiet so far, but it will pick up soon.

“It has been going good so far,” Austin said. “Everything’s coming along well.”

He currently holds offers from Syracuse, Villanova, Rutgers, Penn State, Saint Joseph’s and Temple, with interest from Georgetown and Connecticut.

Austin has taken trips to Rutgers and Penn State. “I like them both very much,” he said.

Austin is ranked No. 75 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013.

News and Notes: Anthlon Bell announced on Twitter that he chose Arkansas over Massachusetts . . . Arkansas hit the daily double by also nabbing a commitment from forward JaCorey Williams . . . Marquette dipped into Texas once again, this time for Aaron Durley . . . Beau Beach popped for North Florida. 

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: August 27, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Savon Goodman decommits from Villanova

By Jeff Borzello

Villanova lost a key component of its No. 2-ranked recruiting class on Saturday, as Savon Goodman decommitted from the Wildcats.

A source informed CBSSports.com that Goodman has reopened his recruitment.

Goodman, a 6-foot-5 forward from Academy of the New Church (Pa.), chose Villanova last November. Arizona, Kentucky, Texas, Penn State and Pittsburgh were also in the mix for Goodman when he made his decision.

He is an extremely athletic forward who does most of his damage along the baseline, despite his size. Goodman finishes above the rim effectively, and is outstanding in transition. He uses his strength and leaping ability to be a factor on the boards. Ranked No. 59 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, Goodman is a hard worker who has improved his mid-range game in the past year.

The Wildcats' 2012 recruiting class still includes four-star prospects Daniel Ochefu and Ryan Arcidiacono.

 

Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Allerik Freeman trimming list to nine

By Jeff Borzello

June was the key month for Allerik Freeman.

Prior to it, he was considering a prospect that could play at the high-major level. After big-time weekends at the Nike Elite 100 and NBPA Top 100 Camp, Freeman became one of the most sought-after players in the country.

An impressive July vaulted him to the No. 15 spot in the CBSSports.com Top 100.

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and I played more on the main stage this year,” Freeman said.

While he has always been able to use his strength and finishing ability to execute off the dribble, Freeman expanded his game in the past few months to make himself more dangerous.

“My pull-up three ball,” he said. “I’ve zoned in on my mid-range game, and just using my speed and size.”

In terms of recruiting, so many schools are pursuing Freeman that he barely remembers all of them.

He holds offers from North Carolina State, Miami (Fl.), Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Xavier, UNLV, Georgetown, Baylor, Oklahoma, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Memphis, Texas, Villanova and Wake Forest, while also hearing from North Carolina, Clemson, Marquette, DePaul, Florida State and Arizona.

With upwards of 30 schools vying for his services, Freeman is ready to start eliminating suitors.

“I’m cutting it to nine by August 25th,” he said.

Photo: VUHoops.com 

Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Top-10 Harrison twins plan to attend same college

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two of the most sought-after recruits in the class of 2013 are twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison.

Not surprisingly, both will likely attend the same college.

“I’ll tell you this: I have a six-bedroom house, they’re my only children and they sleep in the same room,” Aaron Harrison Sr. said.

While both players may look the same, they have differing games.

Andrew, a 6-foot-5 point guard ranked No. 5 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is tremendous off the bounce. He can get to the lane on nearly any defender and finish at the rim. On the other hand, Aaron is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard and ranked No. 10 in the top 100. He is a better long-range shooter who can fill it up in a hurry.

“They like each other, they believe in each other,” Harrison Sr. said of how they co-exist on the court.

In terms of recruiting, there is a top five for both: Villanova, Baylor, Kentucky, Maryland and Texas. Aaron also mentioned interest from Georgetown, Arizona, Kansas and North Carolina, while Andrew said Georgetown, Texas A&M and Kansas were in pursuit.

The twins plan to visit Villanova, Kentucky, Baylor and Maryland in the coming weeks.

“There’s six or seven schools they told me they want to go back and see, and talk to them,” Harrison Sr. said.

One school Harrison Sr. named in particular was Kentucky. "[John Calipari] has made them a priority," he said.

The best backcourt in high school basketball could soon be the best in college as well.

Photo: MaxPreps

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: June 30, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:12 pm
 

Amile Jefferson continues to star despite injury

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By Jeff Borzello

Amile Jefferson went into the NBPA Top 100 camp in Virginia with the mindset of giving 100 percent effort and impressing everyone.

When Jefferson injured ligaments in his left hand and the trainer told him not to play, it remained to be seen what sort of week he would have.

Jefferson, a 6-foot-7 forward from Friends Central (Penn.), bounced back to lead the camp in scoring, putting up 20.8 points per game. He scored at least 20 points on four occasions, which is even more impressive considering there were only fourteen 20-point performances from the entire camp.

“I just needed to bring intensity and play hard,” Jefferson said. “It’s been tough for me since I messed up my finger in the second game.”

Jefferson is a very difficult match-up for most defenders, given his size, length and athleticism. He is lanky and needs to add strength, but he can post up around the basket or knock down shots from the perimeter. Jefferson runs the floor well and can also take opponents off the dribble.

After his performance at the camp, Jefferson has risen to No. 14 in the CBSSports.com/MaxPreps rankings. Plenty of schools are on his trail.

Currently, he is hearing from Villanova, North Carolina State, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Stanford, Connecticut and Temple.

Although many people think Jefferson might be leaning toward hometown Villanova, he insists there is no favorite.

“I’m wide open,” Jefferson said.

Photo: Pack Pride

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