Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 11:04 pm

Big man, big recruit: Coleman makes pick Tuesday

By Jeff Borzello

The question surrounding DaJuan Coleman throughout his entire recruitment centered around Syracuse.

After all, the five-star big man attends Jamesville-Dewitt (N.Y.) near Syracuse and has been to the upstate New York campus on numerous occasions. Moreover, his former high school teammate, Brandon Triche, is currently a junior guard for the Orange.

With that said, his decision process has lasted far longer than expected -- is that a sign that Syracuse has been passed in Coleman's mind?

We will all find out on Tuesday afternoon, as Coleman will announce his commitment at a 2:30 p.m. press conference at his high school.

Along with Syracuse, the other schools in the running are Ohio State and Kentucky.

Coleman visited Kentucky for its Big Blue Madness, and the Wildcats have made up plenty of ground in this recruitment. In the summer, Coleman's AAU coach told me that Kentucky was "1A" in the race.

He has also taken a visit to Ohio State, and he has said he would like to be a Jared Sullinger-type player for the Buckeyes.

Coleman, a 6-foot-9 big man, is ranked No. 15 in CBSSports.com's Top 100. At one point, he was in the running for the top spot in the class but he has slipped some over the past year. Despite that, his physical prowess and soft touch around the rim make him very difficult to stop down low. He uses his body well and can grab rebounds consistently. If he tones his body and gets in better shape, Coleman has the potential to be a dominant force in college.

Which college will that be? We'll find out in less than 24 hours.

Photo via Lonnie Webb 
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:18 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 11:04 pm

WVU lands premier shooter Terry Henderson

By Jeff Borzello

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has done well in the past with underrated players with the potential to breakout with experience.

He's got another one coming in the fold next season, as guard Terry Henderson committed to the Mountaineers on Monday afternoon.

Henderson chose West Virginia over a slew of offers, including Miami (Fl.), Maryland, Richmond, George Mason, Boston College, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.

Henderson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Neuse Baptist Christian School (N.C.), improved his stock with a strong spring and summer. He's one of the better shooters in the class, with good range and impressive fundamentals on his jumper. Henderson also looked to drive to the basket more on the AAU circuit, diversifying his offensive skillset.

He joins top-100 forward Elijah Macon and talented combo guard Eron Harris in West Virginia's 2012 class.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:09 pm

Javontae Hawkins commits to USF

By Jeff Borzello

Stan Heath has made a killing at South Florida with junior college transfers, but the Bulls finally broke into the high school ranks for 2012.

Javontae Hawkins, an athletic wing from Huntington Prep (W.Va.), committed to South Florida on Monday. He announced his decision via Twitter and confirmed it via text to CBSSports.com.

“I believe that this was the great choice for me, athletic and academic-wise,” Hawkins said. “Coach Heath is a Michigan guy and me and him have a great relationship with each other, and the coaching staff is the type of staff that will help you get to the next level and succeed at the next level.

“The school itself helps you set a life career plan for a career after basketball. And they are also a very supportive school in the academic and athletic field." 

Hawkins is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Michigan. He is a big-time athlete who uses his length and leaping ability to make plays off the bounce and in transition. Hawkins can knock down 3-pointers with consistency and is certainly not afraid to elevate in traffic. Defensively, he’s aggressive and plays the passing lanes effectively to force turnovers.

He chose South Florida over Cincinnati, Virginia Tech, Iowa and Arizona State. 

"I will come in and make an instant impact to try and help the team to the NCAA tournament," Hawkins said. "Being a leader and being a player to perform from the start."

Hawkins ranks No. 94 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He will join JC prospects Waverly Austin and Musa Abdul-Aleem in South Florida’s 2012 class.

Photo: MLive.com

Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:11 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 9:44 pm

Iowa State goes into Canada for Naz Long

By Jeff Borzello

Iowa State dipped into New York, New England and stayed in the Midwest for its first three commitments in 2012.

Now, Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones have gone into Canada for their fourth recruit. Naz Long, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Findlay Prep (Nev.), popped for Iowa State on Saturday night.

“I’ve officially committed to Iowa State University,” Long tweeted, also changing his avatar picture to him in an ISU sweatshirt.

With the ability to play both guard positions, Long will be a nice asset in the Big 12. He doesn’t look for his own shot very often, but he is a savvy passer and can run an offense effectively.

Long chose the Cyclones over Dayton, Creighton, Miami (Fl.), Missouri, Western Kentucky and Rice. 

Commitment Catch-up:

  • Troy Spears, New Mexico
  • Kyle Francis, Central Michigan (JUCO)
  • Tevin Calhoun, Creighton (JUCO)
  • Phillip Lawrence, Marist
  • Corbin Byford, Oral Roberts
  • Camryn Moye, Georgia Southern (2014)
  • Rashun Davis, Radford
  • Atif Russell, Pepperdine
  • Nick Stover, Loyola Marymount
  • Taj Adams, Loyola Marymount
  • Charles Harris, Western Michigan
  • Brian Pegg, Stetson

Photo: Phase 1 Basketball

Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Notebook: Blaise Mbargorba goes with SMU

By Jeff Borzello

If SMU indeed moves to the Big East in the next couple of years, the Mustangs will need Big East-level talent.

They started the process on Friday, getting a commitment from Blaise Mbargorba. The news was first reported by Scout.com.

Mbargorba is a 6-foot-11 Cameroon native, who burst onto the scene in 2009 as a relative unknown. The Peddie School (N.J.) product is very strong and athletic, and he moves fairly well for someone his size. He knows how to get position inside, and he has soft hands. Mbargorba’s offense is still somewhat raw, but he continues to improve.

He was considered a Vanderbilt lean for most of his recruitment, but the Mustangs made a late run to snag him. Mbargorba also held offers from Temple, Virginia Tech, Saint Joseph’s, West Virginia, George Mason, Northwestern, Clemson, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Columbia.

Commitment Catch-Up:

  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
  • Jordon Granger, Auburn
  • Ashauhn Dixon-Tatum, Auburn
  • Jordan Hare, Rhode Island
  • Brett Boese, Washington State
  • Richard Longrus, Washington State
  • Mychael Qualls, Arkansas
  • Ryan Rosburg, Missouri
  • Clyde Smith, TCU
  • Charles Hill, TCU
  • Kyle Molock, Saint Joseph’s
  • Zach En’Wezoh, Columbia

Important Visitors:

  • Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
  • Willie Cauley, Kansas State
  • Phil Nolan, Clemson
  • Alex Poythress, Memphis
  • T.J. Warren, Georgetown
  • DaJuan Coleman, Ohio State
  • Gary Harris, Kentucky
  • Amile Jefferson, Kentucky
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame (2013)
  • Allerik Freeman, Villanova (2013)
  • Keith Frazier, Arizona (2013)
  • Stephen Domingo, Arizona (2013)

Decision Time:

Dermarquise Johnson, a 2012 wing from Arizona, will choose Saturday between Washington, Washington State, Gonzaga and UNLV.
- Ioannis Papaetrou will choose between Texas and Kansas on Saturday
- On Monday, Terry Henderson will decide between NC State, Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Rutgers, George Mason and Richmond.

News and Notes:
2012 point guard Josh Gray decommitted from Mississippi State. 

Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:42 am

Notebook: Texas, Purdue pick up big men

By Jeff Borzello

The biggest weakness with this year’s Texas team will be its lack of post players and inside depth. Rick Barnes has clearly made sure that won’t be the case next season.

Prince Ibeh, a 6-foot-11 big man from Naaman Forest (Tex.), committed to the Longhorns on Thursday night. He chose Texas over Arkansas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

Ibeh joins a very good recruiting class that also includes Cameron Ridley, a 6-foot-10 center and the No. 9-ranked player in 2012. Although the two are both inside players, they are very different. Ridley is a massive body in the post who has good hands and is tough to stop once he gets the ball.

Ibeh is an excellent shot-blocker who has very good timing and defensive instincts. He is long and athletic, and is improving offensively. On the glass, he uses his leaping ability to snare rebounds and make plays at both ends. Ibeh is ranked No. 82 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

In addition to Ibeh and Ridley, Texas also has pledges from Javan Felix and Connor Lammert. The Longhorns had a borderline top-10 class before the Ibeh’s commitment – expect them to move up in the rankings.

Purdue nabs A.J. Hammons

A.J. Hammons has had an interesting high school career thus far. He was once considered one of the top centers in the class of 2012, but a variety of factors contributed to hinder his reputation.

When Hammons focuses and plays hard, though, he has the potential to be an impact big man.

Purdue is hoping the light switch turns on sooner rather than later for Hammons, as the 6-foot-10 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) product popped for the Boilermakers on Thursday night.

Minnesota, Cincinnati and Dayton were also in the running for Hammons, who ranks No. 98 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He joins Ronnie Johnson, Raphael Davis and Jay Simpson in Matt Painter’s recruiting class.

Photo: Dallas Morning News

Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:32 am
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Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 4:19 pm

Two schools on top for Brice Johnson

UPDATE: Story has been updated to reflect the latest in Brice Johnson's recruitment. The original story had NC State and Florida as his two favorites, but Johnson just texted to say that he made a mistake -- it's UNC and Florida at the top.

Jeff Borzello

It’s been an interesting few months for Brice Johnson and his recruitment.

He missed a chance to boost his stock at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June when he suffered a concussion early in the event and had to sit out the rest of the event. But he certainly bounced back at the Peach Jam in July, dominating every opponent in front of college coaches from across the country. Averaging 4.2 blocks per game and shooting nearly 82 percent from the field spurred one high-major head coach to call him a future lottery pick.

Johnson went from a player who might have been leaning towards staying in-state and going to Clemson or South Carolina to one with offers from North Carolina, Ohio State, Connecticut and Florida.

So far, the 6-foot-9 power forward from Edisto (S.C.) has taken official visits to North Carolina State, North Carolina and Florida, with one to Clemson still on the way.

A pair of schools is standing out among his final four: North Carolina and Florida.

“They are the top two,” Johnson said.

We will soon find out where the No. 29 prospect in the country will end up, as Johnson plans to make a decision soon.

 “Sometime this month,” he said.

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