Tag:Kansas
Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:37 am
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Posted on: August 9, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Chris Walker has five schools standing out early



By Jeff Borzello

Coming off an outstanding spring and summer, Chris Walker was running out of opponents to dominate.

Walker ranks No. 6 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 in 2013, using his athleticism and length to go from a very good prospect to a can’t-miss recruit.At Adidas Nations, Walker went up against Steven Adams, the New Zealand native who was drawing rave reviews for his play out in Harbor City, Calif. The 6-foot-10 Walker didn’t back down, though, racking up 24 points and 10 rebounds, once again proving he is one of the best prospects in the country. He also went for 15 points and seven boards against Andre Drummond in the Championship game.

“It was just me playing hard,” Walker told me in June. “I tried to show everyone what I could do. I put in the work. I improved my game tremendously.”

Not surprisingly, plenty of schools are in the mix for the Holmes County (Fla.) forward.

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Alabama, Louisville, Baylor and Tennessee called him immediately after the July live period ended, while Ohio State, Florida, Kansas, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Texas, Texas Tech and others have all offered.

One school noticeably absent from that list of offers is Kentucky. The Wildcats have offered juniors Kasey Hill and Malik Price-Martin, who also play in the Florida Rams AAU program.

“They may offer soon,” Walker said.

Although it’s still early in the process, five schools are standing out for the rising junior.

“I’m really feeling Florida, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas and Florida State,” he said.

With Adidas Nations over, he plans on taking trips to Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas and Alabama.

“I want to get a feel, for now,” Walker said.

While he is only entering his junior season, Walker did not say he planned on waiting until his senior campaign to make a college decision.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Whenever I feel comfortable, I will commit.”

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Christian Sanders stands out from most prospects

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – It took barely three minutes to figure out Christian Sanders is not your normal high-major prospect.

During interviews, the majority of high-major prospects discuss playing time and winning at the next level. Sanders, on the other hand, didn’t mention either.

“I’m looking for a coaching staff with integrity,” Sanders said. “And good academics.”

And you believe him about both – he has a 3.5 GPA, great test scores and plans to go into business.

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Sanders, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Saint Thomas (Tex.), played a major role in the Houston Defenders winning the AAU Super Showcase championship. He is a knockdown shooter who is also highly effective pulling up in the mid-range after a pump-fake and dribble. Sanders has a high basketball IQ, knows how to handle the ball and has good vision.

“I shot the ball well early, struggled a bit lately,” he said. “But my goal is to win. If we win, we all get what we want or what we need.”

Playing with the Harrison twins, Shaq Cleare and Derrick Griffin has undoubtedly helped his stock – and Sanders isn’t afraid to admit it.

“It forced me to raise my level of play,” he said.

In terms of recruiting, Sanders has offers from Maryland, Texas, Oklahoma State, Harvard and Colorado, with Stanford and Kansas on him as well.

Whichever school gets him better get prepared for an atypical player and person – in a good way.

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.

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“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: July 21, 2011 10:26 am
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Posted on: July 14, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:17 pm
 

Recruiting already busy for Justin Jackson

By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Houston Hoops swingman Justin Jackson doesn’t get much burn sitting behind Duke commit Rasheed Sulaimon and four-star guards J-Mychal Reese and L.J. Rose.

That hasn’t mattered so far, though, as the 6-foot-6 sophomore is ranked among the top 2014 prospects in the country.

“I want to prove I can hang with the older guys,” Jackson said.

Jackson has the potential to be a match-up nightmare down the road, given his outstanding length and accurate shooting ability from behind the arc. He'll need to add weight, but his range and form are among the best in the country. Jackson can go off the dribble, using his height and reach to make plays in the mid-range and with floaters.

He isn’t trying to show off in front of all the college coaches, though.

“I’m just playing my game, not doing too much,” Jackson said. “Just playing my game.”

The homeschooled Houston product is honest about what he needs to work on.

“I’m trying to get better at everything,” Jackson said. “Get strong, play better through contact.”

Despite not getting as much playing time as some other players, he already has plenty of suitors for his future destination.

Jackson said he has offers from Ohio State, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, with interest coming from North Carolina, Kansas, Washington, Georgetown, Marquette and Michigan.

Just imagine what will happen when he’s the star of the team.

Photo: USA Basketball


Posted on: July 14, 2011 1:50 am
 

Archie Goodwin works hard through injury



By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Archie Goodwin was quickly becoming one of the top scoring guards in the country, ranking as perhaps the elite finisher in the class.

Then, in the All-Star Game at the Pangos All-American Camp in early June, Goodwin injured himself and had to go on the shelf.

“It’s about 50 percent,” Goodwin said.

Despite the injury necessitating that Goodwin wear a protective brace on his left wrist, the 6-foot-5 Sylvan Hills (Ark.) prospect refused to sit out the Elite Youth Basketball League finals at the Peach Jam.

Originally slated to miss four-to-six weeks, Goodwin suited up for the Arkansas Wings this week.

“I’ve been told a lot of times that it would heal faster if I sat out,” he said. “There was no question, I love the competition.

“I wasn’t going to let my teammates go to war without me.”

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That mindset has helped Goodwin impress even without the use of his left hand. He said it affects his ability to finish with both hands at the rim, and also impact his off-hand dribbling.

The smooth and athletic wing has not stopped attacking the rim with reckless abandon, though. He is still playing aggressive, looking to beat his defender and get to the rim at every opportunity.

“It’s just instincts,” Goodwin said. “I’m a relentless guy. I’m going to try to dunk it. That’s the kind of guy I am.”

In terms of recruiting, Goodwin is taking his time. The No. 12 prospect in the latest CBSSports rankings has plans to narrow it down at the end of the summer.

“There’s a lot of schools,” he said. “The list is at about 20 now.”

Goodwin listed Kentucky, Connecticut, Baylor, Kansas, Arkansas, Memphis and Tennessee as the schools that have contacted him the most recently.

Unlike many five-star recruits that want a starting job on a silver platter, Goodwin is looking to work for whatever he gets in college.

“I want to go somewhere I feel comfortable,” he said. “And a school that’s not going to give me anything.”

Even if many schools want to.

Photo: Arkansas Wings

Posted on: July 11, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 11:13 am
 

Emmanuel Mudiay making early impression

By Jeff Borzello

AKRON, OHIO – Emmanuel Mudiay is one of the top players in the class of 2014 – and in a refreshing twist, he’s the proper age for his grade.

“I’m probably the youngest player here,” Mudiay said at the LeBron James Skills Academy last week. “I just turned 15.”

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The 6-foot-4 Grace Prep (Tex.) product is a tremendously gifted player for his age. He handles the point guard position well, and is very difficult to keep out of the lane due to his athleticism, length and size.

While he is certainly ranked near the top of his own class, Mudiay is aiming for something higher.

“I’m just trying to play my game, I want to send a message,” he said. “I want to show I can play with the best of the best.”

Although it’s early in his recruitment, Mudiay is already hearing from plenty of schools. Most of the Big 12 is on him, including Texas, Baylor and Kansas, while Arizona has also made an impression.

One school is standing out, but it’s too early to tell if they will be the favorite until the end.

“Texas is my dream school,” Mudiay said. “But I’m not going to think about it right now.”

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