Tag:2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:38 am
 

Notebook: Kasey Hill commits to Florida

By Jeff Borzello

While everyone was focused on their New Year’s Eve plans, Florida snuck in and grabbed a commitment from the class of 2013.

Kasey Hill, a 6-foot-1 junior from Montverde Academy, committed to the Gators on Saturday evening. Hill chose Billy Donovan over Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State, North Carolina State and others.

Florida Rams AAU coach Matt Ramker confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Hill is ranked No. 10 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013. He shot up the rankings over the summer, leading his AAU team to a championship at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. His performance there had some people calling him the best point guard in the country. 

Hill is virtually unstoppable at times, using his speed and explosiveness to make plays in transition or get to the rim in a half-court setting. He has a very good first step that enables him to beat his defender off the bounce and he has a variety of scoring moves in the lane. Hill is also a solid passer with good vision.

He is the Gators’ first commitment from the junior class.

Indiana picks up junior Luke Fischer

It looks like Luke Fischer was among the growing number of people impressed by Indiana’s big-time win over Ohio State on Saturday.

Shortly after Fischer watched the Hoosiers beat the Buckeyes at Assembly Hall, Fischer decided to go ahead and commit to Tom Crean’s program.

Fischer, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, chose Indiana over Iowa, Creighton and others.

“I’m just really excited to be a part of this program,” he told the Indianapolis Star.  “I just think it’s really cool to see where the program is today and the directions it is heading. I want to be a part of that.”

Fischer joins Colin Hartman and Devin Davis in Indiana’s class of 2013.

Jefferson trims list to five

Despite being a five-star prospect, Amile Jefferson has played his recruitment pretty close to the vest. Over the weekend, though, he gave some insight as to where he stands right now.

Jefferson revealed his final five schools, according to Philly.com: North Carolina State, Villanova, Ohio State, Kentucky and Temple.

According to the report, Duke is also still a potential destination even though the Blue Devils are not in his final five.

Jefferson is a 6-foot-9 scoring forward from Friends Central (Pa.). He is one of the most difficult matchups in the country, and is extremely tough to stop along the baseline. Jefferson ranks No. 13 in our top 100.

Photo: Adidas

Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Torian Graham and NC State part ways -- again


By
Jeff Borzello

UPDATE: Torian Graham has again decommitted from North Carolina State. "Something came up . . . I don't really want to talk about it," he told PackPride.com. "But, no sir, I'm not committed anymore."

It’s not often a player recommits to a school after parting ways only months earlier.

North Carolina State lucked out on Thursday, though, when Torian Graham decided to pledge to the Wolfpack – again.

A source confirmed the decision to CBSSports.com.

When Graham decommitted in August, he said he rushed into his announcement.

“I just feel like I made a decision too fast,” he told PackPride.com at the time. “I don’t feel like I gave everyone a chance to recruit me.”

It’s been mostly quiet on his recruiting front, though, with little information available about the schools in pursuit. Louisville, Memphis, Xavier, Baylor, Connecticut, Villanova and Maryland and others all showed interest at one time or another.

With Graham back in the fold, Mark Gottfried has one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Graham joins top-55 prospects Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis in the Wolfpack’s class of 2012.

Graham ranks No. 41 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Arlington Country Day (Fla.) is a big-time scorer who get can points in a variety of ways. He knocks down mid-range shots and is very good in transition or off the dribble around the rim. Graham is also very adept at finishing with leaners and floaters, and has good body control.

Photo: Slam Online 

Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:40 pm
 

Baker, Morris decommit from South Carolina

By Jeff Borzello

Darrin Horn hasn’t lost his job – but the constant questions about his future with South Carolina have already cost him two recruits.

Ian Baker and Carlos Morris have both decommitted from the Gamecocks, a source told CBSSports.com.

The source pointed to job security as the primary reason for the change of heart.

“We don’t want to lose out on other schools it they lose their job,” the source said. “They are still one of the schools on the list.”

If Horn stays, the Gamecocks will remain in the mix.

According to the source, Arkansas, Cincinnati, West Virginia, San Diego State and South Florida have already reached out about Baker and Morris.

Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:26 am
 

Jarnell Stokes to enroll in college in January?



By
Jeff Borzello

Jarnell Stokes was expected to provide a boost to whichever school he committed to for 2012. However, could that boost be coming in one month?

According to Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, there is a “good chance” Stokes will enroll at a college in January. Stokes was ruled ineligible to play at Southwind (Tenn.) this season after transferring in from Central High (Tenn.) over the summer. His hardship appeal was also denied, meaning he won’t be able to play at all this season.

Moreover, Stokes said he is on pace to graduate this month from Southwind.

“I’ve set myself up to go to college midyear,” Stokes told Smith. “I really don’t know yet, but that’s definitely an option. I have other options that me and my dad don’t want to reveal.”

Stokes is currently considering six schools: Memphis, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. According to Stokes’ father, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida and Tennessee have scholarships available for January.

Smith also wrote that Stokes could qualify for an academic scholarship at Memphis, thereby becoming a walk-on for a semester.

Stokes is apparently not ready for a decision.

“I wish I could just choose right now and get it all out the way, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a decision right now,” Stokes said. “Maybe I will be next week, but I can’t give you a timetable right now.”

Stokes, a 6-foot-8 power forward, is ranked No. 16 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is tough to matchup with, given his strength and the improvement on his perimeter game. He has the ability to outmuscle smaller defenders, and beat slower opponents to the rim. Stokes can score effectively in the paint, and is also adept at getting to the foul line. He is also one of the best rebounders in the class.

With a college-ready body, there is little doubt Stokes could help out a school in the second semester.

Photo: Wildcat Blue Nation

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 23, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Prep Showcase Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables



By
Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The unofficial start to the high school basketball season is the National Prep Showcase. Held at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn., the Showcase gathers around 20 of the best prep school teams in the country. Most of the teams play two games during the weekend, giving everyone a chance to see where they stack up compared to the competition. Brewster Academy (N.H.) and Tilton (N.H.) were the marquee teams, but New Hampton (N.H.) and South Kent (Conn.) were also standout teams. With plenty of college coaches in the stands – including John Calipari, Steve Lavin, Chris Mack, Ed Cooley and others – unsigned players were looking to make an impression. Who stood out? Let’s take a look.

Top Performers

Noah Vonleh, 2014, New Hampton: At an event mostly focused on upperclassmen, Vonleh really stood out. He’s a tremendous rebounder at 6-foot-8, using his length and athleticism to dominate the glass. He’s also developing his offensive arsenal to become a matchup nightmare.

Nerlens Noel, 2013, Tilton: Tilton had an easy win against Kiski, but Noel still showed why he’s in consideration for the top spot in 2013. He’s a tremendous shot blocker, but he’s also improved his offensive game. He face-up and knock down shots and also worked on his ball-handling.

Ricardo Ledo, 2012, South Kent: Ledo is a flat-out dominant scorer when he is focused. He has tremendous range on his outside jumper, and his length and size makes him tough to stop when going to the basket. Cooley must have loved what he saw over the weekend.

Ryan Taylor, 2012, Hargrave Military Academy: The former Louisville commit (right) made an impact and showed off a versatile game. He dominated the inside in his Friday game, but then went and worked on his mid-range jumper against a bigger team on Saturday.

Semaj Christon, 2012, Brewster Academy: Christon continues to rise up the charts with his stellar play. The future Xavier Musketeer is nearly impossible to stop going to the basket, and he knows how to finish at the rim. He can make a case for best point guard in the class.

T.J. Warren, 2012, Brewster Academy: Warren comes off the bench for Brewster, but his scoring arsenal is nearly unparalleled. He can score in so many different ways, from getting to the rim and finishing in the lane to pull-up jumpers and baseline leaners.

Dominic Woodson, 2013, Vermont Academy: The junior big man is one of the more dangerous scorers at his position. He is a big, strong body who can finish inside but what makes him tough is his face-up game. Woodson is not afraid to shoot jumpers from the perimeter.

Jakarr Sampson, 2012, Brewster Academy: Easily the best unsigned 2012 prospect at the event. Sampson is still raw offensively, but he knows how to get points in the lane using his athleticism and length. Defensively, he is aggressive and loves to get out in transition 

Other Notables: Was really impressed with the improvement of Jalen Reynolds. He’s extremely active at both ends and has a strong body . . . France native William Howard made a name for himself as one of the best unsigned players at the event. He has a good frame and can do different things . . . New Hampton sophomore Jared Terrell is a tough scorer who can get to the rim or shoot from the perimeter . . . A sleeper prospect could be Hargrave’s Ambrose Mosley. He can knock down shots and handle the ball . . . Myles Davis and Sam Cassell Jr. are a very good scoring duo, but they’re both volume shooters . . . Adonis Filer needs to be more of a facilitator for Notre Dame Prep, but he’s strong and quick . . . Virginia Tech-bound Montrezl Harrell is an absolute beast down low. He’s so strong and looks to dunk everything . . . Former Arkansas commit Aaron Ross played pretty well; he just needs to improve his quickness . . . Amir Garrett was quietly productive, while Malik Nichols was a very good scorer from the wing . . . At St. Thomas More, Chier Ajou replaced Andre Drummond. He’s 7-foot-2, and is fairly mobile . . . When Chris Thomas is hot, look out. He can fill it up . . . La Jolla Prep wing Jarion Henry is a tremendous passer for his size. Loves the one-handed pass . . . Future Cleveland State forward Darnell Harris is one of the best 6-foot-8 shooters in the country . . . Morehead State got a sleeper in Corey Heyward . . . Codi Miller-McIntyre is a dynamite offensive player; gets to the rim at will . . . Nehemias Morillo is a high-major sleeper . . . Mitch McGary wasn’t overly impressive on the offensive end, but his enthusiasm is unmatched . . . Purdue signee Raphael Davis was really good at getting to the basket. Used his body effectively . . . Virginia-bound Mike Tobey is healthy and played well. He runs the floor well for someone his size.

Photos: Nation of Blue (Ricardo Ledo), Indy Star (Ryan Taylor)

Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: November 23, 2011 11:27 am
 

Schools pursue foreign import William Howard

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There always one or two sleepers that emerge at the National Prep Showcase, especially with the increasing foreign influence on some of the prep teams.

New Hope Academy (Md.) had a distinct international flavor, with players from Puerto Rico, Kosovo, Canada and France on the roster.

The best prospect on the squad is William Howard, a France native who created a buzz with his play in Europe. NBA types have known about Howard for a while, and college coaches are beginning to get acquainted with the 6-foot-8 forward.

He’s a 2012 prospect but will not sign until the spring.

“He still has to take the SATs and, even though he’s in prep school, he’s still young,” coach Chris Chaney said. “He just turned 18.”

Howard really made an impact over the weekend, going for 19 points and 11 rebounds in an easy win on Friday night. He followed that up with 30 points in a high-scoring loss to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.).

He has a good frame and strong legs, but is also long and athletic. He can rebound effectively and knows how to score in different ways.

“He’s a good player,” Chaney said. “He played better.”

In terms of recruiting, Washington, Providence, Rhode Island and Maryland have all shown interest in Howard.

One Pac-12 school stands out, though. “We’re leaning Washington,” Chaney said.

Other notes: Top-three 2013 prospect Nerlens Noel said he plans to visit Florida when down for the City of Palms Classic . . . Junior big man Dominic Woodson listed Michigan, Michigan State and Connecticut . . . South Kent Prep (Conn.) coach Kelvin Jefferson said Xavier and Seton Hall have contacted him about Chris Thomas . . . Dominican Republic native Nehemias Morillo is new to Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), but Ole Miss and Iowa State are already showing interest . . . Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd listed Maryland, TCU, Oregon State, Washington and Texas Tech for Sam Cassell Jr. . . . 2014 guard Jared Terrell has offers from Rutgers, Miami (Fl.), Boston College, Cincinnati and Providence. He also likes Connecticut. 

Posted on: November 20, 2011 2:20 pm
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