Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:03 am

Top-50 big man Willie Cauley pledges to Kentucky

By Jeff Borzello

It’s been an interesting and unpredictable several months for Willie Cauley.

He blew up on the spring and summer circuit after a solid school season, nabbing offers from a long list of high-major schools. Once Kentucky came into the picture, it looked like the Wildcats were the favorites for Cauley’s services. However, over the past two weeks or so, Kansas State, the local school, seemed like it became the leader for Cauley.

On Monday morning, Cauley ended his recruitment – by picking Kentucky.

In addition to Kansas State, the other two schools on his final list were Florida and Alabama.

The 6-foot-11 Cauley is the big man that John Calipari desperately needed in this class, providing an immediate defensive presence and shot-blocker in the paint. His offense is still raw, but he has very good athleticism and is developing his low-post game.

Interestingly, Cauley is also a star football player for Olathe Northwest (Kan.) and has expressed interest in playing wide receiver in college. His length and coordination make him a tough matchup on the gridiron and hardwood.

Cauley, the No. 46-ranked prospect in 2012, joins five-star guard Archie Goodwin in Kentucky’s 2012 class.

Photo: Lawrence Journal World

Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:44 am

Rosco Allen ends recruitment, picks Stanford

By Jeff Borzello

Despite fielding interest from North Carolina, UNLV , Oregon and others, Rosco Allen said he never wavered from Stanford.

“They have always been my leader and I just decided on Friday,” Allen said Monday morning shortly after pledging to the Cardinal.

Allen, a 6-foot-9 forward from Bishop Gorman (Nev.), visited the Palo Alto campus in September and it seems the trip really put Stanford over the top. He constantly commented on the atmosphere and how the campus stood out.

When it came down to it, Allen liked what Stanford offered.

“It was just a great fit for me, both from an educational and athletic side,” he told CBSSports.com.

Allen ranks No. 82 in our top 100. He is an excellent face-up forward and can pose a matchup problem for most defenders. Allen possesses good shooting range and improved his ability to attack the rim over the summer. Due to his skill set, Allen could develop into a star for Stanford.

“I’m just excited to be a part of a great league, which has a style of play I fit into,” he said.

Allen joins center Grant Verhoeven and guard Christian Sanders in Johnny Dawkins’ 2012 recruiting class.

Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:26 am
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Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:04 pm

Landen Lucas has one more visit, then a decision


Jeff Borzello

Landen Lucas is one of the top big men left on the board, but he seems to be closing in on a decision.

The 6-foot-8 Findlay Prep (Nev.) product has taken three official visits, to California, Stanford and Tennessee. Lucas is also planning his fourth – and final – trip for November 5, to Washington.

“Hopefully after it, I’ll have a good feeling about one of the schools and make my decision easier,” he said.

“My goal is to have one by the fall signing period.”

Visiting all four schools within a month of each other will allow Lucas to compare all four efficiently.

He said he liked the coaching staff at Tennessee, the entire team at Cal, and the campus at Stanford.

“Just a good fit on and off the court,” Lucas said of what he’s looking for in a school.

Lucas is an Oregon native who landed just outside CBSSports.com’s Top 100 after the July period. He is a good low-post scorer who has a variety of moves in the paint and knows how to get baskets with either hand. His hands and basketball savvy make him an asset as well.

While his rating has taking a bit of a hit in the past couple of years, Lucas is optimstic he will make an impact at the next level.

“A bigger one than most people are expecting from me,” he said. “I’m very confident heading into my first year.”

Photo: Courier-Journal (Louisville)

Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:02 pm

No. 2 prospect Mitch McGary on verge of decision

By Jeff Borzello

It seemed like Mitch McGary was set to make his commitment last month – likely to Michigan – but he canceled his announcement and went back through the recruiting process.

Apparently he’s ready to announce once again.

“I’m planning to make my commitment next week sometime,” McGary wrote in his blog for ESPNHS.

The final three for him are Florida, Duke and Michigan. Maryland and North Carolina seem to be out of the picture.

“I love Maryland, but I just don’t think that it’s the best fit for me,” McGary said of the Terrapins.

As for North Carolina, he doesn’t think they have a scholarship available for him, and he hasn’t talked to the Tar Heels lately.

McGary is CBSSports.com’s No. 2-ranked player in the class of 2012. The 6-foot-10 power forward from Brewster Academy (N.H.) catapulted up the rankings with a dominant spring and summer performance.

He’s a player who everyone wants as a teammate, due to his infectious energy and nonstop motor. He can impact a game in a variety of ways, from scoring around the rim with either hand or knocking down face-up jumpers from the perimeter. The lefty is effective in transition and very active defensively.

As for his decision, it should be an interesting week for McGary. As Jeff Goodman wrote in September, McGary’s parents favor Duke, while his AAU coach with the SYF Players, Wayne Brumm, would prefer Michigan. Florida is still very much in the mix, though.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: October 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Notebook: T.J. Warren to announce next week

By Jeff Borzello

T.J. Warren is ready to making his college decision.

Warren said on Wednesday that he would be making his announcement next Wednesday. Per a text to CBSSports.com, he will choose between Georgetown and North Carolina State.

Warren also took an official visit to North Carolina, but the Tar Heels are out of scholarships and picked up forward Brice Johnson earlier Wednesday. Kentucky was in the mix at one point, but the Wildcats backed off and Warren trimmed them from his list.

Warren, a 6-foot-7 forward from Brewster Academy (N.H.), is ranked No. 32 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is a big-time scorer who can get points at all three levels off the floor – around the rim, in the mid-range and from behind the arc. Warren saw his stock rise in the spring and summer due to his ability to create matchup problems with opponents.

News and Notes: Stefan Jankovic will announce his decision on Friday . . . Anthlon Bell will decide Thursday between Massachusetts and Arkansas . . . Virginia Tech picked up a commitment on Tuesday from Marshall Wood . . . New Hampton (N.H.) product Olivier Hanlon popped for Boston College . . . Venezuela native Anthony Joseph Perez Cortesia is headed to Ole Miss . . . Cole Huff is off to Nevada . . . Northside Christian (N.C.) prospects L.C. Cooks and Dionta Adams are both going to Hampton . . . Hawaii received a commitment from Caleb Dressler . . . Jordan Montgomery committed to Kennesaw State . . . Tilton (N.H.) guard Kevin Crezcenzi gave a pledge to Darmouth . . . Philly native Malik Garner is off to Maryland-Baltimore County, while Maryland Eastern-Shore picked up a commitment from Jarrod Davis . . . Saint Mary’s got a nice recruit in forward Chris Reyes . . . St. Francis (Pa.) nabbed shooter Ben Millaud . . . Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) product John Burke committed to UMKC.

Photo: High School Hoop

Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:12 am

Brice Johnson announces for North Carolina

By Jeff Borzello

Brice Johnson played his recruitment close to the vest the entire time, not giving out too many hints or bringing too much attention upon himself.

It ended in similar fashion, with a simple tweet on Wednesday morning.

“I will be a UNC Tar Heel,” Johnson tweeted. “Thanks for all the support…..#TarHeel Nation.”

Johnson chose North Carolina over Florida and North Carolina State, with Clemson also in the mix down the stretch.

Prior to the summer, Clemson and South Carolina were two of the only high-major schools in contention for Johnson’s services. However, after his breakout performance at the Peach Jam in July, several ACC and SEC schools came knocking at his door. Johnson took three official visits, to North Carolina, Florida and NC State, deciding to announce his commitment prior to his Clemson trip.

Johnson, ranked No. 29 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is a long and athletic big man who blocks shots as well as anyone in the class and can run the floor very well. He improved his face-up game during the summer, and had one high-major head coach calling him a future lottery pick.

He joins Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto and Joel James in North Carolina’s 2012 class.

Posted on: October 25, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 2:43 pm

DaJuan Coleman stays home, picks Syracuse

By Jeff Borzello

The first time a big man named Coleman came out of Syracuse, he was an All-American in college and an NBA All-Star.

Now, head coach Jim Boeheim will get the closest thing to Derrick Coleman, as five-star center DaJuan Coleman committed to the Orange on Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at his high school.

"The school I'll be attending this coming fall will be . . . ," Coleman said, before donning a Syracuse hat. He said that he has known he wanted to pick the Orange for the last month, but took visits to Ohio State and Kentucky just to make sure.

"I wanted to make the right decision," he said. 

While DaJuan Coleman has no blood relation to Derrick Coleman, they have similar build and both are legends in Upstate New York. The elder Coleman did his damage at the college level, but the high school version has dominated at Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) for years.

Make no mistake; this was a recruit Syracuse could not afford to lose.

Coleman was right in the Orange’s backyard, and had been on the Syracuse campus a number of times. His high school teammate, Brandon Triche, is currently a starting guard for Boeheim, and the Orange have been the favorite since the beginning for Coleman’s services.

"It's close to home," Coleman said. "Hanging out with the players, they made me feel like I was home."

Moreover, whenever Kentucky’s involved, the smart money seems to always be on John Calipari and the Wildcats. In head-to-head battles over the past few years, Calipari has rarely lost, racking up the top recruiting class in the country more often than not. For Syracuse to defend its home territory and beat Kentucky – and Ohio State – for a five-star recruit, it’s a big win for the Orange.

As for Coleman, he should make an immediate impact for the Orange. With Fab Melo potentially leaving after this coming year, and Baye Moussa Keita and Rakeem Christmas very raw offensively, Coleman will add a dimension Syracuse will be lacking.

The No. 9-ranked recruit in CBSSports.com’s class of 2012, Coleman is a 6-foot-9 center who is one of the more dominant low-post prospects in the country. He carves out space down low with his mammoth, 280-lb. body. Once he gets position, his good hands and assortment of moves make him difficult to stop with his back to the basket. He rebounds extremely well in his area, and controls the lane defensively. Coleman has improved his passing and face-up game, but he still needs to get in better shape on a consistent basis.

"A double-double guy every game," Coleman said.  

With his talent level and potential, Syracuse could have its next All-America big man – and his last name just happens to be Coleman.

Photo: MaxPreps

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