Tag:2013
Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Kris Jenkins uses versatility to his advantage

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By
Jeff Borzello

WASHINGTON D.C. – Kris Jenkins doesn’t have a true position.

He’s not a small forward, he’s not a power forward, and he’s not a shooting guard. And Jenkins is just fine with that.

“I don’t really have a definite position,” Jenkins said. “I’m a basketball player. You can’t limit me to one position.”

Jenkins is a 6-foot-5 junior from Gonzaga (D.C.) who has been on the radar for several years. He’s a physical player who can step outside and knock down 3-pointers, and is still effective at scoring around the rim. Jenkins seems to have become more athletic in the past few months, too.

At the next level, Jenkins might have to make the move to the perimeter on a full-time basis, so he’s working on other skills.

“I need to be more assertive,” he said. “I’m working on lateral movement, handling the ball under pressure.”

Jenkins is getting plenty of college interest. He holds offers from Rutgers, Miami (Fl.), Xavier, George Washington and Penn State, with interest coming in from Villanova and Boston College.

He’s looking for a school that will help advance him both athletically and academically.

“Good academics, a place that’s going to prep me for the real world,” Jenkins said. “Also, a good basketball program that gives me an opportunity to fulfill my dream.”

Jenkins took trips in October to Penn State and George Washington, but he’s not close to making a decision.

“I’m focused on the season,” Jenkins said.

Photo: Washington Post

Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Josh Hart gets bigger, expands his game

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By
Jeff Borzello

WASHINGTON D.C. – For many players, shooting outside jumpers and finishing at the rim is all that matters. For Josh Hart, it makes him want to expand his game.

“My coach said I was always settling for a 3 or dunking,” Hart said at the Gonzaga DC Classic. “I need that in-between game.”

Hart, a 6-foot-4 guard from Sidwell Friends (D.C.), is one of the top shooting guards in the mid-Atlantic region for the class of 2013. He has gotten stronger and bigger since the summer, giving him another asset to use offensively. He constantly attacked the rim with aggression, despite taking a few hard spills. On the defensive end, Hart also showed good athleticism, contesting shots and grabbing boards.

In addition to his mid-range game, Hart is also working on his ball-handling ability. Once he irons out the wrinkles offensively, he is going to be a big-time scorer.

As a result, several schools are in the mix for Hart. He holds offers from Georgetown, North Carolina State, VCU, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Penn State and Xavier. Moreover, Georgia Tech, Maryland, DePaul, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s are all showing interest.

“I want to play up-tempo, and a good coaching staff,” Hart said when asked what he was looking for in a school.

He is not ready to make a decision in the near future.

“I’m focusing on school,” Hart said. “I’m just letting everything happen.”

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: November 28, 2011 6:49 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Five-star junior Matt Jones commits to Duke

By Jeff Borzello

It looks like Duke has a new go-to recruiting area for talented shooting guards.

Last year, the Blue Devils dipped into Texas for five-star guard Rasheed Sulaimon. On Monday, Mike Kryzewski picked up another stud recruit from the Lonestar State.

Matt Jones, the No. 12-ranked player in the class of 2013 by CBSSports.com, committed to Duke. Jones is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from DeSoto (Texas).

"After long consideration with my parents and people around me, we felt it was best that I commit to Duke University!," Jones tweeted on Monday evening.

Jones had offers from North Carolina, Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Louisville, Kansas and others.

What set Duke apart, though, was the all-around feel he got from the Blue Devils.

“Just how they play,” Jones told CBSSports.com when asked why he chose the Blue Devils. “Academics. It felt like coaches could take me to the next level. It felt like home away from home. Plus, my whole family liked my decision.”

Jones is one of the best shooters in the entire class, with deep range and a quick release on his jumper. He moves well without the ball and knows how to get his shot off over defenders. Moreover, he’s improved his ability to get into the lane and finish. He can knock down pull-up jumpers or score in transition.

Jones is Duke’s first commitment in the class of 2013.

Photo: Memphis Roar 

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

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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 9, 2011 5:34 pm
 

In recruiting, the future is even brighter



By
Jeff Borzello

Once the early signing period for the class of 2012 is over, the dominoes will stop falling and the dust will begin to settle. There will only be a handful of five-star prospects left on the board, and the late signing period won’t have an overwhelming amount of drama.

The current senior class was certainly talented and had its fair share of impact players and next-level prospects. However, looking ahead, the class of 2013 should blow it out of the water.

At the top, the current junior class might have the three best players in high school basketball right now. Jabari Parker (pictured) is a future NBA star – provided the lockout ends before he gets out of college. Julius Randle is nipping at Parker’s heels due to his outstanding inside-outside offensive ability, and Nerlens Noel is the best defensive player to come across the high school ranks in years.

Unlike the class of 2012, which saw several players move in and out of the top-three spots in the rankings, those three have a stranglehold on the top of the class. If someone ranked the classes of 2012 and 2013 together, there is a good chance Parker, Randle and Noel would be leading the way.

More on recruiting

Before moving on, we should mention there is a chance Noel reclassifies to the class of 2012. He said he’s set in 2013 for now, but there is talk that he could go to college next fall or graduate in the spring and then prep for 2012-13. If you were looking for more Andre Drummond-esque drama, here you go.

After those three, the depth continues. Andrew and Aaron Harrison are fantastic guards, Chris Walker has limitless potential, Aaron Gordon keeps getting better and there are scorers galore in the top-20.

It is very difficult to find deficiencies with this class. There was a lack of point guards in 2012, but 2013 doesn’t have that problem. 2012 was loaded with bigs; 2013 can come close to matching it. The juniors are also loaded with high-level wing prospects.

The best part about the class? We should get plenty of decision-making drama at the top of the rankings. Only about five players in the top 50 of the rankings are currently committed, with just Isaiah Hicks (North Carolina) and Marc Loving (Ohio State) off the board when it comes to five-star prospects.

There are certainly going to be heavy hitters involved with these kids. None of the top players seem too far along in their recruitments, with an endless stream occupying these prospects’ lists.

Everyone is still focused on 2012, and rightfully so – there are still plenty of decisions to be made in the senior class.

When we move on to 2013, though, the real fun will start.

Photo: ESPN.com

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Jonathan Williams III more focused on improving

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By
Jeff Borzello

Most five-star prospects love the attention and recognition that comes along with being ranked among the top players in the country.

Jonathan Williams III, however, has no problem avoiding the spotlight.

“I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” Williams III said. “I’m just trying to stay focused. It gets you a big head, gets you slacking off.”

Williams III, a 6-foot-8 forward from Southwind (Tenn.), is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for the class of 2013. Naturally, he holds a host of high-major offers.

Among the schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Williams are Florida, Tennessee, Memphis, Texas, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Georgetown, UCLA, Arkansas, Virginia and Kentucky. All of them have also come by his high school to watch him work out.

“It’s going pretty good,” Williams III said of his recruitment. “I know I’m being recruited highly, but I’m more worried about staying focused and staying humble, working hard.”

He took a trip to Tennessee this past weekend, and has also been to the campuses of Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Williams III visited Lexington during his freshman year, when the Wildcats hosted North Carolina.

“The fans were just so crazy,” he said. “The gym was packed, everything was live. It was a nice arena, but I haven’t really visited the campus. I’ll do that when I go back up there this year.”

As for Ole Miss, Williams III was very impressed with the dedication to academics from the athletic department.

“They really focus on your education,” he said. “If you go to Ole Miss and you’re an athlete, you should not fail. I also watched them practice; they have a nice practice facility. Everything is brand new, and they’ll have a new arena built in the next two years.”

Williams III has no plans to cut down his list or even plan more visits in the coming months; he’s more focused on winning a state championship and wading through Southwind’s difficult schedule.

However, his versatile skill set will play a factor in the school he eventually chooses to attend.

“I’m looking at how they play; will I be able to play the one through the four?” Williams III said. “I’m not a position player, I can play any position on the floor. I can post, shoot the 3, run the fast break, do a little bit of everything.”

However, he’s not yet content with his all-around game.

Said Williams III: “I’m trying to be unstoppable.”

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