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Tag:2013
Posted on: August 8, 2011 9:18 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 9:24 pm
 

Isaiah Hicks makes quick decision about UNC

By Jeff Borzello

Isaiah Hicks has never been shy about his interest in North Carolina.

The 6-foot-8 junior from Body of Christ (N.C.) has constantly listed the Tar Heels at the top of his recruiting pecking order, and has said in the past that he would likely commit upon getting an offer from Roy Williams and his staff

On Monday evening, Hicks picked up an offer from North Carolina. Only a few hours later, Hicks tweeted his decision.

“Just committed to Carolina,” Hicks wrote.

More on Recruiting

Hicks is the highest-rated player in the class of 2013 to commit thus far, ranking No. 18 heading into the summer. He is extremely long and athletic, creating mismatches with his leaping ability and speed in transition. He can beat bigger players down the court and is able to score around the rim. Hicks is also a very good shot-blocker.

Xavier, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Clemson and others were also in the mix for Hicks.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:55 am
 

Notebook: James Robinson nearing decision



By Jeff Borzello

While other top-100 prospects might be waiting out the process, James Robinson is ready to get it over with.

“I’m going to end it as soon as possible, hopefully,” Robinson said.

The 6-foot-3 point guard from DeMatha (Md.) is considering four schools: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Miami (Fl.) and Notre Dame.

“Each of them have coaches that have a history of winning, developing players and better young men,” Robinson said.

Robinson, who ranks No. 88 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, is a physical point guard who knows how to play the game and is a flat-out winner. He’s not going to blow you away with his quickness, but he uses his body well and is crafty with his finishes in the lane. Robinson is adept at knocking down mid-range jumpers near the foul line, and he controls tempo.

He hopes to have a decision made by the end of the month.

“[Waiting] for the right time,” Robinson said. “I haven’t really had the chance to sit down with my family and go in detail about it.”

More on Recruiting

News and Notes: Alex Caruso informed CBSSports.com on Saturday night that he had a final six, in order, of: Texas A&M, Colorado, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arizona State and Richmond . . . 2012 point guard Siyani Chambers has a top three of Harvard, Washington State and UC-Santa Barbara – he doesn’t plan on making a decision soon . . . Reports about Villanova commit Savon Goodman reclassifying to 2013 are completely false: “No that’s a rumor,” Goodman told me Sunday . . . Derek Willis officially decommitted from Purdue on Sunday night, after the kerfuffle earlier in the week regarding his father’s comments about John Calipari and Rick Pitino . . . Sanjay Lumpkin committed to Northwestern on Friday . . . Louisville nabbed a 2014 commitment when Quentin Snider pledged to the Cardinals . . . Chris Bolden chose Georgia Tech on Friday night, after rumors swirled for a few weeks that he was planning to commit to Harvard . . . Bobby Portis, a rising 2013 big man, popped for Arkansas on Friday . . . Loyola (Ill.) picked up a commitment from Matt O’Leary . . . Reggie McAdams, a guard from Ohio, committed to Akron on Sunday night . . . Top-50 2013 guard Davon Reed is visiting Harvard September 22.

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 7, 2011 3:11 pm
 

2013 guard Kendrick Nunn picks Texas A&M

By Jeff Borzello

In his first August on the job, new Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is making a major impact. On Friday, he nabbed a commitment from top-50 senior J-Mychal Reese, and on Sunday, he pulled off a major coup.

Kendrick Nunn, the No. 31-ranked prospect in 2013, popped for the Aggies. Nunn is a 6-foot-1 point guard from Simeon (Ill.) whose play in the spring and summer cemented his spot amongst the top guards in the country.

"Man, it's great down there," Nunn told CBSSports.com. "I like it a lot."

Nunn also held offers from Providence, Memphis, Florida State, Ohio, Saint Louis, Texas A&M, Arizona, Illinois and DePaul.

When he arrives in College Station in two years, Nunn's offensive ability should be noticeable immediately. The lefty is difficult to keep out of the lane, and his strength and athleticism enables him to finish at the rim with consistency.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Notebook: Chris Davenport stands out in Orlando

By Jeff Borzello

The magic of the July live period is the prospects one finds when watching someone else.

The Florida Rams Black team is home to top-20 point guard Kasey Hill, as well as stock-risers Landry Nnoko and Dillon Graham. In Orlando, though, the player who stood out to some onlookers was Chris Davenport.

More on Recruiting

A junior from Montverde Academy (Fla.), Davenport is a 6-foot-7 combo forward who is explosive off the floor and has a wide-ranging skill set. He can make plays in a variety of ways. While best-suited for the wing, Davenport is not afraid to mix it up in the paint and can play the power forward spot in a smaller lineup.

“I want to show coaches my talent and make players around me better,” he said. “I’ve played good so far. I’m rebounding the ball, playing in transition.”

It turns out colleges have already been turned onto Davenport.

He holds offers from Florida State, Clemson and South Florida, with interest coming from Georgia Tech, Penn State and UCF.

“I’m keeping it open, I like them all so far,” Davenport said.

He’s still at least a year from making a decision, but Davenport is looking to be successful at the next level – both on and off the court.

“Great education,” he said. “And a program with a good coaching staff that is dedicated to winning.”

Sanjay Lumpkin stays within himself

With the bright lights of Las Vegas and the staring eyes of big-time coaches following a prospect’s every move, many players start to do too much.

Sanjay Lumpkin went the opposite route: he tried to ignore the coaches in the bleachers.

“I want to play as if no coaches are watching, not let it affect me,” Lumpkin said. “It’s not about individually showing off. Coaches didn’t come to see you do that.”

Lumpkin, a 6-foot-6 guard from Benilde-Saint Margaret (Minn.), is a difficult match-up due to his size and ball-handling ability. He is long and can finish around the rim, while also able to initiate offense for teammates.

He holds offers from Northwestern and Richmond, with interest from Stanford, Colorado and Washington State.

Lumpkin is looking to make a decision in the near future.

“I’m looking for a place to play my game, a place where I fit well in the system,” he said.

Lights-out gunner pops for George Mason

Team Takeover (D.C.) guard Patrick Holloway committed to George Mason, choosing the Patriots over Saint Joseph’s, Kent State, George Washington and Delaware.

Holloway, a 6-foot-1 shooter from Paul VI (Va.), is lights-out from behind the arc.

“My family and I really liked the coaching staff and the experience they have,” he said. “It was a good distance from home and my family can be a part of this experience. Also, they are looked at to be a top team.”

News and Notes: Louis Dabney, a 6-foot-3 guard from Riverside Academy (La.), popped for Tulane on Tuesday . . . UC-Riverside picked up a commitment from Dayton Boddie, a 6-foot-3 guard from El Camino High School (Calif.) . . . Western Carolina picked up two commitments this week: Rhett Harrelson and Justin Browning, both from Alabama . . . Tuesday afternoon, Hofstra hosted 2012 prospects Jimmy Hall and Maurice Watson . . . Top-25 2013 wing Brannen Greene visited Louisville on Wednesday . . . Four-star senior Jerami Grant, from DeMatha (Md.), took a trip to Syracuse. Word on the street is the Orange could be the leader for Grant . . . C.J. Jones, from Meanstreets (Ill.), committed to Manhattan Monday night . . . Indianapolis guard Mike Ramey committed to Ball State . . . After nabbing Zac Irvin on Sunday, Michigan got another 2013 commitment, as top-75 guard Derrick Walton pledged to the Wolverines.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Notebook: Nigel Hayes emerging from the shadows

By Jeff Borzello

Nigel Hayes is used to being slightly overshadowed. He is the younger brother of Ken Hayes, who signed with Ohio State to play football, and he shares the same AAU frontcourt with Ohio State-commit Marc Loving.

For Hayes, though, his standing nationally doesn’t really matter.

“I really don’t know [how I stack up],” he said. “I just go out and play hard.”

Hayes, a 6-foot-7 forward from Whitmer (Ohio), is a versatile inside-outside prospect who can knock down perimeter shots or get baskets around the rim. He has a nice array of post moves, and his length and strength make him a factor on the boards.

Ranked No. 82 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, he came into the summer looking to impress the onlookers.

“I want to show coaches how good of a player I am,” Hayes said.

He currently holds offers from Xavier, Cincinnati, Dayton, Central Michigan and Toledo, with interest coming from Memphis, Ohio State, Butler, Purdue and West Virginia.

“Great academics, athletics and location,” Hayes said when asked what he was looking for in a school.

In college, it won’t be a surprise to see Hayes finally get his due.

Javion Ogunyemi getting used to process

By the time high-major prospects are entering the summer before their junior year, most are already used to the AAU grind, with coaches watching every move.

Javion Ogunyemi never had this opportunity before, though.

“This is the first time I got a chance to play in front of coaches,” Ogunyemi said.

A 6-foot-8 2013 forward from Troy (N.Y.), Ogunyemi has seen his stock rise considerably over the past few months. Several coaches have commented on his potential.

“I’m just rebounding the ball, playing defense,” he said.

Ogunyemi has an early offer from Iowa State, with Virginia Tech, Temple, Providence and Florida showing interest.

“I’m not rushing,” he said. “I’m going to wait it out.”

More on Recruiting

Desmond Ringer scratching the surface

Georgia has been churning out big men in recent years like few areas in the country, producing studs from Derrick Favors to Tony Parker.

The next one could be Desmond Ringer, a 2013 prospect from Eagles Landing (Ga.).

Ringer, ranked No. 78 by CBSSports.com, overpowers most defenders with his strength. He is productive and powerful, and is adept at controlling the boards at both ends.

Right now, his recruiting is in the early stages. Ringer holds offers from Mercer, Jacksonville and Tennessee, with interest from Xavier, Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Memphis, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

Photo: Toledo Blade

Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:21 am
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Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:48 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 1:49 am
 

Orlando AAU Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables


By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – While Las Vegas gets more publicity for the events held there during the second July live period, the AAU Super Showcase and AAU Nationals have just as much talent and competition as the Sin City. Sure, it doesn’t have the Strip, but there are 12 air-conditioned courts in one area – as opposed to the constant driving and navigation of the Vegas deserts.

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This year, Orlando was even more loaded than usual. Some of the top U-17 teams were there for the Super Showcase, including Peach Jam champion BABC, EYBL regular-season champion Team Takeover, Peach Jam semifinalist Georgia Stars and the top-five Houston Defenders. Mitch McGary, Rodney Purvis, Robert Carter, Devonta Pollard, Gary Harris, Archie Goodwin and plenty more top-25 players were on hand as well. Both Florida Rams teams arrived for Nationals, as did CBC, Houston Hoops and the studs of Texas Pro. 2013 was well represented, with five-star prospects Nerlens Noel, the Harrison twins, Chris Walker, Troy Williams, Anthony Barber, Jonathan Williams III, Brannen Greene and Isaiah Hicks present in Florida.

At the Super Showcase, the surprise was the semifinal run made by Hoop Heaven Heat Elite, an under-the-radar team from New Jersey headlined by Alabama-commit Jaren Sina. BABC ended their run in the semifinals, while the Houston Defenders bounced Team Takeover on the other side of the bracket. In the title game, BABC couldn’t create offense from its defense and the Defenders ended BABC’s string of dominance in convincing fashion. The AAU Nationals will go until the end of the month, but many coaches, scouts and players are checking out early. While there are still great games happening, it wasn’t hard to see that nearly everyone was hitting a wall. With that said, here’s a look at who impressed at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World this week.

Top Performers

Andrew Harrison, Houston Defenders: With a game that reminds some of Dwyane Wade, Harrison is unarguably the best guard in the country – regardless of class. He is impossible to stay in front of because of quickness and handle, and his 6-foot-5 size makes him a matchup nightmare. 

Aaron Harrison, Houston Defenders: While his twin brother is the point guard, Aaron is the scorer. He has tremendous range on his jumper, and is good enough to knock down several in a row. Harrison also finishes well at the rim.

Georges Niang, BABC: He won’t impress you with his size, athleticism or length, but the Iowa State-bound Niang is simply productive. He is not afraid to do the dirty work inside, and will bang with anyone. No matter the opponent, Niang gets the job done.

Danuel House, Texas Pro: Teammate Isaiah Austin is the higher-profile player, but House stood out in Orlando. The wing is strong, athletic and really knows how to finish in the lane. If he tightens his handle, he’s going to be tough to guard.

Alex Poythress, Georgia Stars: Poythress has been talking about becoming more of a small forward, and he showed off his expanded game in Orlando. He knocked down 3-pointers consistently and was still his usual active self around the rim.

Jake Layman, BABC: Layman (right) has broken out as much as anyone the past few weeks, with some saying he’s a future pro. The King Phillip (Mass.) product is very long and skilled on the wing, but is athletic and quick enough to guard any perimeter position.

Jaren Sina, Hoop Heaven Heat Elite: Someone has to get credit for leading Hoop Heaven to the semifinals of the Super Showcase, and the Alabama-bound Sina gets the nod. He is a strong and savvy guard who can get to the rim and knock down outside shots. Sina is also a very good passer.

Marc Loving, All-Ohio Red 16s: Some people have soured on Loving in recent months, but he was outstanding when we saw him. Loving is tough to guard due to his ability to hit from the perimeter or take defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim.

Tyler Cavanaugh, Albany City Rocks: With DaJuan Coleman not in attendance, the onus fell to Cavanaugh to carry the City Rocks – and he came through. He carved out areas in the post to make plays, and was also able to stretch the defense with outside shots.

Kasey Hill, Florida Rams Black: Hill continues to get better and better at each event. He has improved his ball-handling ability, enabling him to stay under control more consistently. His passing is also eye-opening, especially in transition.

Other Notables: Jaylen Brantley isn’t a pure point guard and isn’t big enough for the two, but he is a lights-out shooter and doesn’t make mistakes . . . Fred Van Vleet (right) continues to impress onlookers and opponents – Wichita State got a steal . . . Kethan Savage of Team Takeover showed his usual driving ability, but also knocked down outside shots . . . 2013 stud Nick King is a very difficult matchup for most opponents due to his versatile skill set . . . Overshadowed by Chris McCullough at Salisbury School (Conn.), Samuel Dingba is becoming a touted prospect in his own right . . . Tony Farmer has all the physical tools; he just needs more consistent effort . . . Watching Florida Rams wing Chris Davenport for the first time, it was clear he had talent – no surprise SEC and ACC teams are on him . . . Dillon Graham is tougher than he looks; he had no problem attacking the rim in traffic . . . Buoyed by a big-time spring performance, Jerome Hairston is still tough to stop off penetration . . . Playing off the ball with Marcus Paige at the point, Mike Gessell still made plays off the dribble and from behind the arc . . . A name to remember continues to be Landry Nnoko – he is a big-time rebounder and shot-blocker who is developing . . . Allerik Freeman has a great offensive game, with the ability to score at the rim against bigger plays . . . Dartmouth-commit Alex Mitola doesn’t have a pretty shot, but he has deep range . . . Shaq Cleare never backed down from Nerlens Noel, going at his chest from the get-go . . . Chicken Knowles is a future matchup nightmare if he keeps developing his outside shot . . . Archie Goodwin might be the best scoring guard in the country . . . I haven’t seen anyone catch alley-oops with the explosiveness of Derrick Griffin in a long time . . . Another impressive Florida Rams Black player was Dallas Moore, who simply knows how to knock down shots . . . In the past, Wake Forest-commit Andre Washington has been underwhelming, but he was active at both ends in Orlando . . . Moses Kingsley isn’t there offensively, but his length and athleticism make him a presence defensively and on the glass . . . Darryl Hicks gets it done offensively – he has great 3-point shooting ability and is getting stronger  . . . Hoop Heaven Heat Elite’s Chris Jenkins sent coaches and scouts scurrying for the roster books after hitting at least six 3-pointers against BABC . . . Desmond Ringer is going to be one of the best big men in 2013, given his productivity in the paint. He has a good body and overpowers most defenders . . . Dominic Woodson is a name that made its way around Orlando throughout the week – the big man is on the rise in 2013.

Photos: ESPN (Aaron Harrison), Sun-Chronicle (Jake Layman), Northern Star (Fred Van Vleet)

Posted on: July 31, 2011 7:48 pm
 

2013 guard Zak Irvin commits to Michigan

By Jeff Borzello

The last day of the July recruiting period is always exciting for coaches – they get to return home and see their families.

For the Michigan staff, the final day this year was special in another way, as 2013 guard Zak Irvin popped for the Wolverines.

“I felt like it was a great school academically and I really had a good relationship with all of the coaches there,” Irvin told Scout.com, which broke the story. “I felt like it fit my style of play.”

Once Irvin trimmed his list to Butler and Michigan, word began to spread around the recruiting world that the Wolverines were the leaders for him.

Irvin is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.), the same high school as top-25 2012 prospect Gary Harris. He is a big-time scorer who can knock down shots both inside and outside the arc. Irvin is long and skilled, and is only getting better. He should contribute immediately in Ann Arbor in two years.

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