Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 6:05 pm

Notebook: Brice Johnson opens eyes at Peach Jam

By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – After sitting out the latter part of the NBPA Top 100 camp with a concussion, Brice Johnson came to Peach Jam looking to make up for lost time.

The 6-foot-9 power forward from Edisto (S.C.) has been one of the most impressive players the entire week, making an impact against every opponent and showcasing his game in front of coaches.

“There’s people my size here,” Johnson said of his breakout performance. “When people are 6’4”, I don’t play [well].”

Johnson said Florida, Clemson and South Carolina are making him a priority, with Ohio State also coming on strong. Connecticut has entered the fold recently.

Greg McClinton likes hometown team

Wake Forest needs to pick up big-time recruits in order to make its way back up the ACC standings. In 2013, the Demon Deacons might have one in their own backyard.

Greg McClinton, the No. 35-ranked player in CBSSports.com’s 2013 Top 100, is a native of Winston-Salem and attends Winston Salem Prep (N.C.).

“I always liked Wake Forest growing up,” McClinton said. “I’m from Winston Salem, so I like their team.”

While he said the Deacons might have a slight leg up on the competition, he said there is no clear favorite right now. The bouncy 6-foot-6 forward has offers from Missouri, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Xavier, with interest pouring in from Connecticut, Georgetown and North Carolina State.

More on Recruiting

Other recruiting notes:

- 6-foot-7 forward Nick King, out of East High School (Tenn.), listed offers from Memphis, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Auburn and Georgetown. He also has interest from North Carolina, Marquette, Arizona, Miami (Fl.), Virginia Tech and Georgia.

- Diminutive guard Stevie Clark, a 5-foot-9 prospect from Douglass (Okla.), has offers from San Francisco and Marquette. Connecticut, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Missouri State, Tennessee, Missouri, Colorado and Penn State are all pursuing him.

- Alvin Ellis might be overshadowed by Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate on the Mean Streets’ U-16 team, but colleges know exactly who he is. The 6-foot-3 De La Salle (Ill.) product has offers from Northwestern and Tennessee, with interest from DePaul, Miami (Fl.), Florida State, Iowa, Purdue, Illinois and Providence.

- Daquein McNeil has impressed onlookers with his consistent scoring ability, getting to the rim and also knocking down outside shots. The Vermont Academy (Vt.) junior has an offer from Richmond and interest from Virginia Tech and VCU.

Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 3:58 pm

Notebook: Myles Davis nears decision

By Jeff Borzello

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Outside of simply reaching the title game, Myles Davis has another motive for helping lead the NJ Playaz to the Peach Jam finals.

“If we make it to the championship, I’m going to announce my commitment live on TV,” Davis said.

The finals will be televised on Friday at 7:30, on ESPNU. With the Playaz going 11-4 during the Elite Youth Basketball League regular season, and winning their first game of the Peach Jam, it’s not far-fetched they could make a run to the title game.

Davis, a 6-foot-1 combo guard from Notre Dame Prep (Mass.), has trimmed his list to four schools: Xavier, Georgetown, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

The Mountaineers jumped into Davis’ recruitment late, but they are squarely in the mix for his services. “They’re a new one for me, but they’re a big program,” he said.

Davis has a family connection to Pittsburgh, which has helped the Panthers.

“I know a lot about their program because my cousin is [assistant coach] Brandon Knight,” he said.

As for Xavier, Davis likes nearly everything about the program and its campus. “I think I could do a lot of things there,” he said.

While Davis does not have a favorite, Georgetown could have the inside track for him.

“They’ve been my dream school for awhile,” Davis said. “When I got that one, it felt big-time. I’ve always loved it there, since I was younger.”

If things don’t go according to plan and the Playaz do not reach the title game, Davis said he plans to make his decision after July.

James Young is a natural scorer

James Young clearly has the mindset of a scorer.

“I didn’t shoot enough,” Young said after a loss Tuesday morning.

More on Recruiting

Despite not getting a lot of touches, the 6-foot-6 Troy (Mich.) shooting guard showed all the skills of a big-time offensive player. He is a great athlete with long arms and a good build. Young can knock down outside shots or drive past defenders to the rim.

The lefty junior is looking to expand his game, though.

“I want to improve my right hand and get better defensively,” Young said. “The scoring will come.”

It’s early in his recruitment, as Young said he doesn’t have any offers yet. He is hearing from Michigan State, Kentucky, Ohio State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan.

Three currently stand out: Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State.

“I like their systems and programs,” Young said.

Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:09 pm

Adidas Invitational: Day Two Notebook

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS -- It’s not often a five-star recruit is scared of going against someone -- and then admits it.

In Chris Thomas’ case, though, the big-time scorer from Colorado wanted no part of Kaleb Tarczewski and the rest of the New England Playaz big men.

“They were too big,” Thomas said. “I played against the big guy (Tarczewski) in Adidas Nations, and he had some mean blocks. Every time I went up, I thought I was going to get blocked or get hurt.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who will attend La Jolla Prep (Calif.) next year, is still one of the most unstoppable scorers in the country. He is long and athletic, and his first step and explosiveness are on another level. Thomas has deep range on his jumper and is a very good passer when he gets others involved.

At the Adidas Invitational, Thomas was fairly inconsistent, scoring 35 in one game and then disappearing for stretches.

“I’ve been off and on,” he said. “One game I play good, next one is bad.”

Thomas is not far along in the recruiting process, but he listed Kentucky, Memphis, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, Xavier and Texas.

Three schools are standing out for the No. 7 prospect in 2013: Kentucky, Arizona and Xavier.

“For Arizona, they have good people there, good coaches,” Thomas said. “Xavier, I like the talent they have. And Kentucky, I like [John] Calipari and their style of play.”

Thomas said he plans on making a decision at the end of his junior year in high school.

“I want to go to a place where I can have fun,” he said. “I want to get my degree and go to the NBA.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Hate to keep bringing him up, but Muhammad lit up for the second day in a row. Going head-to-head against Andre Drummond, Muhammad easily won the battle, scoring 29 and getting the win.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Tarczewski is a man among boys at times down low. He runs the floor well and catches everything thrown to him in transition. He finishes well around the basket.

Bronson Koenig, 2013, Wisconsin Playground Warriors: It didn’t take long for Koenig to make his presence known against the Las Vegas Prospects. He knocked down two long 3-pointers off the dribble and also found teammates for points. 

Kasey Hill, 2013, Florida Rams Black: Hill is a big-time scoring point guard at this stage. He changes directions well and is very shifty with the ball. His crossover and ball-handling create separation and make his shots tough to guard.

Jarrell Martin, 2013, Brandon Bass Elite: Martin is well on his way to being a big-time forward in his class. He is very long and runs the floor well. He can score from the perimeter and attacks the offensive glass with aggressiveness.

Phil Nolan, 2012, Devin Harris Super Stars: Although he struggled during certain stretches, Nolan is a tough matchup. He can shoot consistently from the perimeter and runs the floor like a gazelle. He’s 6-foot-9, and his length makes him a solid defender and rebounder.

Other Notables: Even though Tarczewski got most of the pub, John Papale was outstanding for the New England Playaz. He is a knockdown outside shooter . . . Double Pump Elite has two tall point guards in Nigel Williams-Goss and Tyrone Wallace that can see over the defense and make plays . . . Ricardo Gathers was quiet at times, but when he decided to go down low and dominate, he was difficult to stop . . . A name to remember could be Landry Nnoko. He is long, strong and athletic, and is still getting accustomed to playing the game . . . Standing next to Andre Drummond might make it difficult to get noticed, but Sean Obi knows how to carve out space and make plays at the rim . . . Wannah Bail has great physical attributes; he just needs to refine his offensive game and he could be dominant . . . Team D-Rose could have a sleeper in Trevor Thompson, a 6-foot-10 big man who can score with his back to the basket.

Posted on: July 7, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 12:32 pm

Brannen Greene enjoys increased attention

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – When most people wake up at 9 a.m. with 15 missed calls, it’s an immediate cause for panic.

In Brannen Greene’s case, it was expected for the morning of June 15, the first day college coaches could call rising high school juniors. He had about 10 schools call him when midnight hit, but then he couldn’t stay awake anymore.

“I feel asleep at 2:30 and woke up at 9 with about 15 missed calls,” Greene said. “I was switching from one call to another -- ‘Hey coach, hold on’, ‘Hey coach, hold on.’”

More on Recruiting

Greene, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard from Mary Persons (Ga.) who runs with the Atlanta Celtics U-16 team on the AAU circuit, has skyrocketed up the charts this past spring.

The long wing is a lights-out 3-point shooter with deep range and a release that is nearly unguardable. With his size, he has the ability to see over the defense and also make plays around the rim. Greene runs the floor well, but he does need to move better without the ball. He is now ranked No. 20 in the latest CBSSports.com top 100 for his class.

Greene is being pursued by Memphis, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Marquette, Florida State, UCLA, Tennessee, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Ohio State and Louisville.

“At the end of July, I want to cut it down to a short list,” Greene said. “And then in October, November, I’ll make a decision.”

He plans on making a trip to Louisville on Aug. 3 and will also visit Ohio State this summer.

With all the increased attention, one might think Greene would be nervous playing with a target on his back. That’s certainly not the case.

“It’s fun, seeing all these coaches on the sidelines,” he said. “I want to show coaches what I can do. It’s simple -- you’re just playing basketball.”

Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:45 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 3:21 pm

Adidas Invitational: Day One Notebook

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – After Nate Britt’s outstanding NBPA Top 100 camp performance in Virginia two weeks ago, buzz started to spread about Britt as the top point guard prospect in the class.

After Tuesday, Andrew Harrison took the title back in impressive fashion.

“You saw the game,” Harrison said afterwards. “Of course I [think I’m better].”

Harrison, a 6-foot-5 rising junior from Travis (Tex.), has the size and vision to be a future pro. He has very good handle and can get to the rim at will. Defensively, he gave Britt problems with his length and lateral quickness.

With fellow stars Aaron Harrison, Shaq Cleare and Derrick Griffin all fouling out, Harrison put the team on his back in the second half.

“I’m used to it,” he said. “I like it, and I’m glad we pulled out the win.”

Harrison, ranked No. 5 by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps, listed Maryland, Kansas, Kentucky, Baylor, Arizona, Texas, Texas A&M and North Carolina.

“I don’t want to be one and done like everybody else,” Harrison said. “I’m looking to go to a family atmosphere and just be able to play.”

Keith Frazier lights it up from deep

While Shabazz Muhammad was filling it up on one wing for Dream Vision, newly-acquired Keith Frazier was holding his own on the other side.

Frazier, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Irving (Tex.), is one of the better shooters in the class of 2013. He has a great stroke and deep range on his jumper, and his length makes his shot nearly impossible to contest.

Although he was a new member to Dream Vision, Frazier made a seamless transition.

“I’m trying to do what I can, just to fit in,” he said. “I just want to play within the other players.”

The No. 16-ranked player by CBSSports.com/MaxPreps listed Arizona, Houston, Kentucky, Marquette, Georgia, Baylor and Texas.

“I want a school that gets out and runs, and plays hard,” Frazier said. “And one that lets me shoot.”

Top Performers

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: The new No. 1 player in the country made his case for the top spot on Tuesday. The lefty scorer dropped 40 points in a comeback win over Team Indiana Elite, and was consistently unstoppable in transition.

Twymond Howard, 2012, MSM4L: After a subpar NBPA Top 100 camp, the two-sport star was knocking down tough shots all night. Howard finished with 42 points in an overtime loss, driving to the rim and also making 3-point shots with efficiency.

Shaq Goodwin, 2012, Atlanta Celtics: Goodwin didn’t always finish consistently on Tuesday, but he got to the free-throw line better than anyone in the event. He finishes through contact and doesn’t shy away from physicality.

Patrick Ingram, 2012, Eric Gordon Central Stars: One of the more surprising players on the first day with Ingram. He was nearly unstoppable when driving to his right, and he consistently finished against bigger players at the rim.

Kris Dunn, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: Against the Atlanta Celtics, Dunn was absolutely dominant. No defender could stay in front of him, as Dunn consistently penetrated past his man and got to the rim with ease.

Craig Victor, 2014, New Orleans Elite: Although he’s young, Victor had a terrific performance in the opening battle. He knows how to score with his back to the basket and he runs the floor extremely well for a young big man.

Other Notables: Of all the Florida Rams big guys, Staphon Blair might be the least-known, but he played the best on Tuesday. He’s an absolute beast down low with a non-stop motor . . . Derrick Griffin might be the best dunker in the country. He will finish anything in his area . . . Kaleb Tarczewski played well in stretches, running the floor and finishing around the rim. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, though . . . Fresh off his commitment to Texas Tech, Jordan Goodman was more active and aggressive than in the past, proving to be a tough match-up . . . Nate Britt had his moments where he was unstoppable, but he was outplayed by the Harrison twins. Still, when his jumper is falling, he’s very difficult to contain . . . If he ever learns how to harness his athleticism, Javonte Hawkins is going to be a big-time offensive player. He’s so explosive when going to the rim . . . Gabe York can simply get off his shot whenever he wants, whether it is off the dribble or from deep-range . . . Apparently Chris Thomas had an outstanding second game, but he was thrown out of the first one after receiving two technicals in the first nine minutes.

Photos: MaxPreps 

Posted on: July 6, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:26 pm

Malik Price-Martin gets over nerves quickly

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – While Malik Price-Martin was looking forward to playing in front of coaches on the AAU circuit, it wasn’t easy for him when the ball first went up.

“I was nervous at first,” Price-Martin said.

After the top-25 2013 prospect settled down, though, he enjoyed it.

“It was a good experience,” he said.

More on Recruiting

Price-Martin, a 6-foot-8 forward from Monsignor Pace (Fla.) who runs with the Florida Rams, is extremely long and lean. He can knock down perimeter shots but is at his best when running the floor and finishing in transition. Price-Martin is also effective around the basket.

Not surprisingly, plenty of schools are in the mix for the Miami native.

“I knew Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Texas and Louisville would be here watching me,” Price-Martin said.

Connecticut -- which had two coaches in attendance for Price-Martin’s first game -- and Syracuse are also coming at him strong.

Price-Martin has taken two trips: Ohio State and Miami (Fla.).

Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:49 am

Nate Britt emerges as nation's top point guard


By Jeff Borzello

Nate Britt entered the NBPA Top 100 camp as a rising junior just looking to test himself against the nation’s best rising seniors.

He came out as the best point guard in the country.

Not just in the class of the 2013 – the entire country.

“It’s a great honor that people think that highly of me,” Britt said.

The 6-foot-1 Gonzaga (D.C.) prospect has been on the scene for several years, but cemented himself as an elite national prospect by winning Gatorade Player of the Year honors in the District of Columbia. Britt is a crafty lefty who knows how to control tempo and make plays in transition if necessary. He can knock down shots from behind the arc and in the mid-range and is continuing to get stronger.

Britt remains humble about where he stands when compared to the rest of the nation’s top-tier players.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to see everyone.”

With the first day coaches were allowed to call rising juniors coming just two weeks ago, Britt has had his phone blowing up nonstop.

Georgia Tech, Florida, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Marquette, Duke, Maryland and Seton Hall have all reached out.

Britt isn’t ready to think about trimming his list or taking unofficial visits yet.

“Not right now,” he said. “After the summer.”

Photo: Pack Pride

Posted on: June 29, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 11:12 am

Notebook: J-Mychal Reese discusses package deal

By Jeff Borzello

A father-son relationship being important in college basketball recruiting is nothing new. College coaches constantly need to win over parents in order to get a commitment from their son.

For J-Mychal Reese, it’s different. As our own Jeff Goodman reported earlier this month, John Reese, J-Mychal’s father and a high school coach in Texas, has three job offers from Texas A&M, Texas Tech and LSU.

The common thought is that Reese might go wherever his father goes -- if his father goes anywhere.

“I’ll look at the school, but it won’t affect my decision,” Reese said last week. “He doesn’t want me to go where he goes, but I think it would be difficult to go to a different school in the Big 12 [than my father].”

Reese, a 6-foot-2 guard from Bryan, Texas, is hearing from Louisville, Kansas, Oregon, Texas Tech, Providence, Georgia Tech -- and Texas A&M and LSU.

He plans on visiting Louisville, Kansas and Oregon in the near future.

“Somewhere I can go in and play,” Reese said of the factors in his decision. “And style of play.”

It seems as if his father’s destination could play a role, as well.

Landen Lucas ready to cut his list

With dozens of schools in pursuit, Landen Lucas is ready to cut his list after the July live period. Until then, don’t expect much movement in the recruiting process from him.

“Once I narrow it down, I’ll take my officials,” Lucas said. “I want to see Arizona and some of the East Coast schools.”

Lucas, a 6-foot-8 big man from Findlay Prep in Nevada, is hearing from the entire Pac-12, as well as Vanderbilt, Harvard, Kansas, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Florida State.

He recently visited Kansas and enjoyed his trip. While Lucas hails from Oregon and goes to high school in Nevada, he’s open in terms of his destination.

“Location doesn’t really matter, I want to find the best fit,” he said. “But the West coast is great. My friends and family can see me.”

Lucas said Oregon, Arizona, Kansas and Stanford are very likely to be on his list when he decides to trim it down.

Negus Webster-Chan moves on

It didn’t take long for Negus Webster-Chan to rethink his commitment to Louisville. After pledging to the Cardinals in December, he reopened his recruitment in April.

“The staff was moving around and I wasn’t comfortable with it,” Webster-Chan said. “I never really talked to the new staff.”

Webster-Chan, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.), is hearing from Seton Hall, Texas, Oregon, Florida State, South Florida, Marquette, Xavier, Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and USC.

He plans to cut his list at the end of the summer.

Al Freeman rises in 2013

Before the Nike Elite 100, Allerik Freeman was considered a high-major prospect. After a dominant weekend in early June, though, Freeman has risen dramatically in the eyes of most scouts and coaches.

“People have started to look at me with a new respect,” Freeman said. “Before I walk in the gym, it’s ‘Oh, that’s Al Freeman.’”

The 6-foot-4 Olympic (N.C.) shooting guard holds offers from North Carolina State, Miami (Fla.), Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Xavier, UNLV, Georgetown, Baylor, Oklahoma, Virginia and Virginia Tech. DePaul, Marquette, Kansas, Florida State and Arizona are also showing interest.

Xavier Johnson misses opportunities

In a camp with 100 of the best players in the country, a combination of not getting the ball and having tendinitis in your knee isn’t going to help you get noticed.

Xavier Johnson realized this pretty quickly.

“It’s an elite camp, everyone can play ball,” Johnson said. “If you don’t get the ball, you’re not going to do much.”

The 6-foot-6 small forward from Mater Dei (Calif.) is hearing from USC, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, Georgetown and others.

Photo: Kelly Kline

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