Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:52 pm
 

St. John's loses another: Darrick Wood decommits

By Jeff Borzello

St. John’s continues to take hits.

After losing two members of its vaunted recruiting class from 2011, the Red Storm also received a decommitment from top-50 2012 prospect Ricardo Gathers. Now, both 2012 commits are gone.

Darrick Wood, a 6-foot-5 guard from Washington D.C., rescinded his pledge to St. John’s on Thursday.

“I just wanted to open up my recruitment,” Wood told CBSSports.com. “Weigh my options a little more before the spring hits.”

However, St. John’s remains as his favorite.

“I still consider STJ my top school,” Wood said.

While there are rumors about potential NCAA clearinghouse issues with Wood, he maintains his academics are in good shape. He is currently enrolled at Bridgton Academy in Maine.

When Wood committed to St. John’s, he also considered Oklahoma State, USC, Virginia Tech and South Florida.

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 30, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Five-star junior Troy Williams trims list to five

By Jeff Borzello

Five-star junior Troy Williams celebrated his birthday on Friday. He also trimmed his list to five schools.

Williams announced on Twitter that his final five choices were North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Villanova.

“They’re schools that play my style of play, and they’re also not that far for my family,” Williams told CBSSports.com in a text message.

Williams has visited all of the schools on his list, outside of Villanova. He leaves today for a weekend trip to Kentucky.

Williams, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Pheobus (Va.), is one of the best scoring wings in the class. He has deep range on his 3-point shot, and he has a very solid mid-range game as well. On the defensive end, Williams’ length and athleticism are assets in the passing lanes.

He is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013.

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 22, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 9:56 am
 

Isaiah Lewis ready to commit, leaning toward KU



By
Jeff Borzello

While it’s not even halfway through junior year for 2013 prospects, the dominoes are beginning to fall for several top-50 guards.

Brannen Greene popped for Kansas on Tuesday, Anton Gill went with Louisville on Wednesday – could Isaiah Lewis be next?

“I may commit this month,” Lewis said. “I’m weighing all my options.”

Right now, there are five schools on Lewis’ list, in order: Kansas, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Florida. All have offered.

While he’s not ready to make a commitment just yet, he’s leaning toward one school in particular: Kansas.

“I like how coach [Bill] Self lets his guards play,” Lewis said. “It starts with the guards. The tradition is great and coach Self knows how to win.”

With Greene announcing for the Jayhawks on Tuesday, one might expect Lewis would be afraid to go to a place with a star guard already in place. Not so – his friendship with Greene only helps Self’s chances with the New York native.

“Everyone is expecting me to go to Kansas because of Brannen,” Lewis said. “Everyone knows we are best friends, so it doesn’t matter to me.”

Moreover, Lewis said he has been playing on the ball more this season at Christ the King (N.Y.), as opposed to primarily a shooting guard role last year. So far, he is averaging 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Christ the King – where he plays alongside Connecticut-signee Omar Calhoun – is off to a 2-1 start.

Lewis had to transform his body and his game over the summer in order to prepare for his new role.

“I think I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” he said. “I’m playing the point now, so getting strong was a big part of my summer. I think I’ve had to give up some shots for guys, but if that’s what I need to do to win, I’m in for it.”

Lewis, a 6-foot-3 prospect, is ranked No. 40 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Lewis is a high-level scorer who is very good in the mid-range. He has a good floater and pull-up jumper, and also knows how to get into the lane. Lewis has good athleticism, and has been developing into more of a facilitator than a scorer since moving over to the point. He said he is working on his 3-point shot.

While he’s not rushing into a decision, he is looking forward to finishing up the recruiting process.

“Just to have all the weight off me,” Lewis said. “I think it’s going to help me focus more on basketball and school.”

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: December 21, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 5:09 pm
 

2013 star Anton Gill commits to Louisville

By Jeff Borzello

Anton Gill had his choice of places to visit for Midnight Madness, but the star junior chose to take a trip to Louisville for the Cardinals’ Red-White Scrimmage.

It turns out that was just a preview of what was to come. On Wednesday, Gill made a commitment to Rick Pitino and Louisville.

His father informed CBSSports.com of the news in a text message.

Gill is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Ravenscroft (N.C.). He’s a big-time scorer who has proved he can hold his own against anyone. He gets to the rim effectively, and knows how to finish once in the lane. The lefty is more explosive off the dribble, but he has shown the ability to knock down outside shots.

Miami (Fl.) was strongly in the mix, while Gill also held offers from East Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Louisville, South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech and Xavier. North Carolina had thrown its hat into the ring recently.

Gill ranks No. 36 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:24 am
 

Brannen Greene ends it early, goes with Kansas

By Jeff Borzello

Brannen Greene had always said he wanted to make his college decision fairly early, and he stuck to that.

On Tuesday, the 2013 prospect made his decision: he’s headed to Kansas.

He confirmed the news in a text message to CBSSports.com

Greene, a 6-foot-6 scoring wing from Mary Parsons (Ga.), is ranked No. 16 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is a tremendous shooter from the behind the arc and creates matchup problems for defenders due to his length and size. Greene has a smoothness about his game, and is destined to be a big-time scorer at the next level once he works out the kinks in his game.

Harvard, Florida, Connecticut, Memphis, Ohio State, Louisville and many others were also in the mix for Greene.

He’s the second commitment in Kansas’ 2013 class, joining Connor Frankamp.

Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Six players make Naismith watch list



By
Jeff Borzello

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday the preseason watch list for the Naismith High School Player of the Year.

On the boys’ side, six players made the cut: Shabazz Muhammad (uncommitted and ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100); Kyle Anderson (UCLA, No. 4); Brandon Ashley (Arizona, No. 3); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State, No. 9); Isaiah Austin (Baylor, No. 7); and Alex Poythress (Kentucky, No. 12).

“We’re extremely excited to watch this year’s nominees battle it out for the right to be called the best high school basketball player in 2012,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The players ranked in our top 10 who weren’t recognized were Mitch McGary (No. 2), Kaleb Tarczewski (No. 5), Archie Goodwin (No. 6), Cameron Ridley (No. 9) and DaJuan Coleman (No. 10.

The Naismith Awards national voting academy, comprised of basketball writers around the country, made the selections. The winner will be announced on March 22.

Last year’s winner was Austin Rivers.

On the girls’ side, the seven players were: Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut), Alex Jones (Duke), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame), Jordan Adams (USC) and junior Diamond DeShields (undecided).

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

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