Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 11:23 am

No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad will wait until the spring

By Jeff Borzello

Several of the remaining five-star prospects have plans to announce their decisions over the next week or two.

One player who will undoubtedly wait until the spring to make a commitment, though, is the No. 1 prospect in the country, Shabazz Muhammad.

Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Bishop Gorman (Nev.), has been atop the rankings for much of the past year. His performance in the summer only cemented his spot at No. 1. The lefty is a dominant scorer, especially going to the basket. He has great mid-range ability and is also very effective finishing at the rim. If Muhammad can knock down 3-pointers with consistency, he is going to be a huge problem.

Of course, a whole list of teams would love to get Muhammad’s pledge for next fall. His list has stayed mostly the same for the past few months, with UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Kentucky, Texas A&M, USC, UNLV and Arizona all chasing the talented prospect.

It’s not a surprise that Muhammad won’t make a decision. He has only taken two official visits – to Texas A&M and Kentucky – and has not seemed to be in a rush to get the other trips out of the way. Muhammad plans to visit Duke for its game against North Carolina in the fall.

The team thought to be the leader for most of his recruitment has been UCLA. The Bruins have received an unofficial visit from Muhammad, and there have been rumors that Muhammad wants to play with current Bruin commit Kyle Anderson. Without a pledge yet, though, UCLA can’t feel safe.

Kentucky, Duke and UNLV are on UCLA’s heels. The Wildcats have made up ground in the past several months, and Muhammad was on campus for Big Blue Madness. John Calipari going hard after other forwards makes one think he has plenty of backup plans. Duke has always been in the mix for Muhaammad; he’s impressed with Mike Krzyzewski. UNLV isn’t the power that the other three are, but the Runnin’ Rebels have the location advantage.

It’s tough to count the other teams out, too, especially since he’s taken unofficial or official visits to each of them and could take more trips throughout the year.

More on recruiting

Unlike some other prospects, Muhammad could wait as long as he wants to make a decision; coaches and teams won’t back off of him because he’s taking his time choosing a school. He wants more information on each of the schools; it’s refreshing to see a kid go through the entire process and make an education decision after much deliberation.

Some star players will have stressful decisions to make in the next week, but Muhammad definitely won’t be one of them.

Photo: MaxPreps

Posted on: November 9, 2011 1:03 am
Edited on: November 10, 2011 11:22 am
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Posted on: November 8, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 3:19 pm

Notebook: Pre-signing day action

By Jeff Borzello

The early signing period hasn’t even started yet, but the commitments and news has been rolling in on Tuesday. Let’s recap.

- Shaq Goodwin said he would announce his college decision on Tuesday – and he stayed to his word. The five-star forward said on Twitter that he would be heading to Memphis, choosing the Tigers over UCLA.

- Chicago guard Adonis Filer had planned to decide between Clemson, Tennessee, Utah and Purdue on November 22. However, Filer didn’t want to wait – he pulled the trigger and committed to Clemson.

- Jordan Goodman had already decommitted from Georgetown and Rutgers in the past, and now he’s onto his fourth school after retracting his pledge to Texas Tech and reopening his recruitment. Who’s next? Who knows.

- Daniel Dingle, a forward from St. Raymond’s (N.Y.), committed to Temple this morning. Seton Hall, Auburn and Miami (Fl.) were also in the mix.

- Former Mississippi State decommit Josh Gray has decided to sign with Mississippi State during the early signing period, after all.

- Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) forward Charles Buggs committed to Minnesota. He will sign on Wednesday.

- Southern Miss picked up a commitment from junior college transfer Charles Hammork, a 6-foot-6 forward from Coffeyville Community College.

- It’s not a 2012 commitment, but junior guard Geno Thorpe popped for Penn State. Thorpe is a scoring guard from Shaler (Pa.) who was also looked at by Wisconsin, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Rutgers and others.

- Monday commitments: A.J. Astroth (Vanderbilt), Tyrone Wallace (California), Chris Horton (Austin Peay), Andrew Poulter (Arkansas-Little Rock), Damyean Dotson (Oregon), Ben Carter (Oregon).

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:45 pm

Shaq Goodwin chooses Memphis over UCLA

Jeff Borzello

If a five-star prospect is uncommitted the day before the early signing period begins, chances are he will wait until at least the next day to announce his decision.

Not Shaq Goodwin – he couldn’t hold out any longer.

“#memphisbound,” Goodwin tweeted around noon on Tuesday.

A source confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Goodwin, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Southwest DeKalb (Ga.), chose the Tigers over UCLA, with Florida, Georgia and Arizona also in the mix. The Bruins were assumed to be in the driver’s seat for much of the last few weeks, especially after Goodwin visited this past weekend. Moreover, Goodwin’s former AAU coach, Korey McCray, is now an assistant coach with the Bruins.

Despite that, the commitment to Memphis is a major get for Josh Pastner. The two-sport star – he also wants to play football in college – is athletic and tough around the rim. He loves drawing contact around the rim, and is not afraid to bang in the paint. Goodwin gets to the free-throw line as well as anyone in the country, and is also adept at running the floor. He can also pass effectively and has good hands down low.

Goodwin ranks No. 21 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He joins Damien Wilson in Memphis’ 2012 recruiting class.

Photo: Memphis Commercial Appeal

Posted on: November 3, 2011 5:03 pm

No. 2 prospect Mitch McGary goes with Michigan

By Jeff Borzello

Michigan couldn’t get a top-five prospect, right?

That was the popular line of thought for many throughout Mitch McGary’s recruitment. The last five-star recruit the Wolverines received a commitment from was Daniel Horton back in 2002, and John Beilein has never been known to pick up top-50 guys on a consistent basis.

With Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Florida and others in the mix, the Gary, Indiana native still always kept Michigan at or near the top of his list. On Thursday, McGary made it official – he’s going to be a Wolverine.

This is a monster commitment for Beilein and Michigan. He’s the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country, shooting up the charts with a dominant spring and summer for the SYF Players. Beilein runs an offense that allows for the big man to play multiple positions and do different things on the court, which is perfect for McGary.

McGary will fit in with Michigan and could take them to the next level in the Big Ten. He’s a high-energy big man whose attitude and personality are infectious to his teammates. He can score around the basket and also knock down face-up jumpers out to the arc. McGary runs the floor very well, and his shot-blocking ability and athleticism have improved greatly. Moreover, he is strong and makes an impact on the glass.

There are only two seniors on the Wolverines’ roster right now, Stu Douglass and Zack Novak. Tim Hardaway Jr. is poised to become a star on the perimeter, while Jordan Morgan is developing into a consistent option down low. With freshman Trey Burke set to be the point guard and Beilein’s usual assortment of shooters, Michigan is a Sweet 16 threat this season. With McGary and two other top-100 recruits – Glenn Robinson and Nik Stauskas – coming into the fold next year, do the Wolverines have Final Four potential?

That’s how big this commitment is for Michigan; it immediately makes them a major factor in 2012-13, and also potentially opens the door for more high-level recruits to make their way to Ann Arbor.

There’s no longer questioning whether Michigan can get a top-five recruit. The Wolverines just did.

Photo: Indy Star

Posted on: November 2, 2011 4:09 pm

T.J. Warren goes with North Carolina State

By Jeff Borzello

Before T.J. Warren’s stock skyrocketed on the spring and summer AAU and camp circuits, he loved North Carolina State.

Once he began getting attention and offers from Kentucky, North Carolina and everyone else, the Wolfpack took a backseat in the media when discussing Warren’s recruitment.

However, in the end, it was still North Carolina State for Warren.

“I feel like they are on the come up,” Warren told Scout.com. “I just want to go in there and help bring the excitement back to Raleigh, N.C.”

Warren chose the Wolfpack over Georgetown. He cut North Carolina from his list last week when the Tar Heels picked up a commitment from Brice Johnson.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Brewster Academy (N.H.) is ranked No. 32 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Warren is one of the most versatile scorers in the class, with the ability to get baskets against any defender and from any spot on the floor. He is a tough matchup because he can score around the rim, in the mid-range or from behind the arc. No matter the opponent, Warren is a threat to fill it up.

For Mark Gottfried, this is another monster pickup. He joins five-star guard Rodney Purvis and four-star playmaker Tyler Lewis in the Wolfpack’s 2012 class. More importantly, all three are from the state of North Carolina, meaning Gottfried is keeping the top in-state talent home. He’s fighting off out-of-state powers and also keeping up with North Carolina so far on the recruiting trail.

North Carolina State is back on the rise – and Warren’s commitment continues that upward swing.

Photo: High School Hoop

Posted on: November 1, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 5:33 pm

Decision date nears for Junior Lomomba

Jeff Borzello

In today’s game, where long and bouncy wings are sought after by countless coaches, Junior Lomomba is the exception.

The 6-foot-4 swingman from Memorial (Wisc.) is a strong-bodied power scorer who uses his strength and versatility to make plays offensively. He’s also one of the more underrated players in the Midwest – but coaches have certainly taken notice.

“The whole recruiting process has been overwhelming but very fun,” Lomomba said. “All the phone calls, visits from coaches, as well as the ‘pressure’ coming from the people in the community.”

Lomomba is ready to get his recruitment over with, though; he has a decision date set for November 9.

The five schools on his list are Washington State, Cleveland State, Cincinnati, New Mexico State and UCLA. All five stopped by his high school to watch him work out last month, and he claims offers from the entire quintet.

“I feel like all five of those schools in some ways fit my style of play and they have good history,” Lomomba said. “They are all schools where I can see myself playing and having an impact my freshman year. I also get along with the coaches.”

He has taken visits to Cleveland State and Washington State, and is trying to finalize a visit to Cincinnati before his decision. Lomomba also took a trip to New Mexico State last season.

“I liked them a lot,” Lomomba said of his two official visits. “It was fun. I got to see how it was to actually go to the schools, hung out with the guys and saw how they practiced.”

As for UCLA, he’s not concerned about his lack of a visit to Westwood.

“The school name speaks for itself,” Lomomba said.

He said he likes all five of the schools and he hasn’t yet decided on his future destination.

In his mind, though, all five would be a good fit.

“I think it’s going to be a matter of my feeling for the school and the coaches,” Lomomba said. “I don’t think any of these schools would be a bad decision.”

Photo: Wisconsin.com

Posted on: October 31, 2011 2:58 pm

Tarczewski cements top spot for Arizona's class

By Jeff Borzello

Barring multiple major moves from another school, the No. 1 recruiting class for 2012 will belong to Arizona.

With three top-30 recruits already in the fold, Monday’s announcement by Kaleb Tarczewski that he would attend Arizona – over Kansas – only cemented the Wildcats’ spot atop the rankings.

Tarczewski, a 7-foot center from St. Mark’s (Mass.), is ranked No. 7 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He runs the floor extremely well for a player his size, and knows how to finish around the basket. Tarczewski can score with both hands and he continues to develop various post moves.

He will join No. 6 Brandon Ashley, No. 23 Gabe York and No. 29 Grant Jerrett in the Wildcats’ 2012 class. Essentially, Sean Miller now has two top-10 prospects as well as two other players who could end up as McDonald’s All-Americans. It’s not Kentucky getting four of the top-17 players like John Calipari did in 2011, but it’s close enough – and certainly good enough to be the No. 1 class around.

Tarczewski’s commitment also means more than just giving Arizona the top-ranked recruiting class in 2012. The Wildcats might be the preseason favorite to cut down the nets next season.

Miller brought in a top-five recruiting class last season, and all four of those players will likely stick around for next season. Just think about this lineup:

  • Point guard: Josiah Turner
  • Shooting guard: Nick Johnson
  • Small forward: Kevin Parrom or Solomon Hill
  • Power forward: Brandon Ashley
  • Center: Kaleb Tarczewski

Turner and Johnson were both five-star guards in 2011, while Parrom or Hill will provide a veteran presence in the lineup. The bench will include Jordin Mayes, York, Jerrett, Sidiki Johnson, Angelo Chol and either Parrom or Hill. That team is certainly capable of winning a national championship in two seasons.

Just think about where Arizona was a few years ago. Prior to last season, Arizona had not won more than 21 games since 2005, and even snapped their 25-year streak of reaching the NCAA tournament when they missed out on the Big Dance in 2010. With Derrick Williams leading the way last year, Arizona came within a game of the Final Four, and Miller has the Wildcats as a top-20 team again this season even without Williams.

There were rampant rumors this offseason that Miller would leave Arizona for the vacant head coaching job at Maryland. However, he decided to stay in Tucson and continue to rebuild Arizona.

It looks like the rebuilding is over – the Wildcats are back among the nation’s elite.

Photo: Adidas Nations

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