Tag:Recruiting
Posted on: May 15, 2011 7:42 pm
 

Commitment Catch-up: Copes follows uncle to Mason

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Paul Hewitt has not wasted any time since become George Mason’s new head coach.

After hiring Roland Houston as an assistant coach last week, Hewitt received a commitment from Houston’s nephew, former George Washington commit Erik Copes.

Copes was released from his letter-of-intent on Friday, shortly after Houston was hired at George Mason. Houston was an assistant at GW under Karl Hobbs for the past seven seasons.

“I love Coach Hewitt and the campus,” Copes told Jeff Goodman. “It’s a perfect situation for me. This team is good with or without me, but I’m going to try and make them better.”

Copes is a 6-foot-8 power forward from Imhotep Charter (Pa.) who rose rapidly in the 2011 rankings over the past year. He is outstanding defensively, grabbing rebounds and blocking shots at a high rate. Copes also runs the floor and finishes around the basket.

His uncle’s decision to join Hewitt’s staff was clearly the primary factor in his decision.

“This was a tough situation for me because I grew up around GW. I had my mind set on going there and those guys are like family,” Copes said. “I really wanted to be coached by my uncle.”

Memphis nabs top-50 2012 prospect

Despite having plenty of young players on the roster, Memphis head coach Josh Pastner is still stockpiling talent for the future. On Saturday night, Pastner picked up a commitment from junior Damien Wilson.

Wilson, a 6-foot-5 wing from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), chose the Tigers over UCLA, Tennessee and Florida.

“It was just today that I had to get it out of the way,” Wilson told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I’ve been watching them since Chris Douglas-Roberts. That’s when I first fell in love with Memphis basketball.”

The Atlanta native is an athletic lefty who can drive to the basket and finish or knock down shots from the perimeter. Wilson has a variety of skills and loves to attack the rim and create matchup problems.

“I feel like wherever coach Pastner wants me to play, I’ll play,” Wilson said.

Turgeon gets first recruit at Maryland

After seeing his 2011 recruiting class disintegrate over the last week, new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon went to work on 2012.

On a visit to College Park on Saturday, Seth Allen committed to the Terrapins.

“I think he was really impressed with the campus today on the visit,” Seth’s father, Joe Allen, told Evan Daniels of Scout.com.

Allen is a 6-foot-2 guard from Fredricksburg Christian School (Va.) who can score the ball at the rim or from behind the arc. He has deep range on his jumper.

Texas A&M was the first school to offer Allen, when Turgeon was in College Station.

“They stayed in touch,” Allen said. “We were getting ready to make a trip out there, but luckily he stayed in touch. He came down and saw our son and they built a relationship and it went from there.”

Posted on: May 14, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Griffin is a two-sport star

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Watching Derrick Griffin run the floor and grab alley-oops – over and over and over – you would think he doesn’t even hesitate when going up for a dunk.

Interestingly, the 6-foot-6 forward from Terry (Tex.) does have second thoughts the split-second before he skies over defenders.

“Sometimes, I do get nerves,” Griffin said.

Of course, those thoughts quickly dissipate, turning into a confidence where he knows he can out-leap nearly any opponent.

“Then I just jump,” Griffin said. “If it’s there, I’m going to get it.”

Teamed with two top-10 prospects in twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Griffin was the one who stole the show at last weekend’s Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational. He wowed the crowd with one-handed finishes, alley-oops when he rose high above the rim and big-time blocks on the defensive end.

Although he can certainly make an impact at the next level in basketball, Griffin is also a stud football player. As a wide receiver, Griffin reportedly caught 18 touchdown passes, proving to be an impossible match-up with his athleticism and strength.

Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, Kansas and USC have already reached out to the sophomore for both sports.

He has not made up his mind as to which sport he will play in the future, but Griffin knows his development might be better suited for the hardwood.

“If I get taller, I’m going to play basketball,” he said.

Lee to take it to the next level

Britton Lee understands.

The Roman Catholic (Pa.) sophomore knows he’s 5-foot-10 and isn’t yet a pure point guard or a big-time shooter. He knows he has room to improve and has a lot of work to do in order to reach his goals.

“I need to work on my jump shot, need to work on my handle,” Lee said.

With that said, Lee also envisions himself as a major conference player.

“I think I can go high-major,” he said.

For now, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Xavier and Niagara are showing varying levels of interest.

Other Notes:

- The U-16 group of the Team Final AAU program is one of the top groups in the country, although they also play up an age group in a few tournaments. In addition to Lee and high-major prospects Austin Colbert, Rondae Jefferson and Davon Reed, head coach Rob Brown also has plenty of other players at his disposal.

Yosef Yacob, a 6-foot point guard from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), is hearing from Canisius, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s and Drexel. Yacob is long and an effective facilitator.

Johnnie Davis might be undersized at 6-foot-4, but the Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) forward is productive. Davis is hearing from schools like Niagara and George Mason, but also has high-majors like Pittsburgh tracking him.

- At the Nike Baltimore Elite Invitational last weekend, the New Jersey Playaz should have run roughshod over Threat 220. One player wouldn’t let that happen, though: Junius Thomas.

Thomas, a 6-foot-5 forward from Anacostia (D.C.), was outstanding. He blocked shots, finished above the rim, dominated the glass and single-handedly kept an undermanned Threat team in the game. While they eventually lost, Thomas might have been the most impressive player all game.

If he can get his academics in order, he has the potential to be at least a mid-level player. Thomas did mention hearing from St. Bonaventure and Clemson

Photo: iHigh.com 

Posted on: May 14, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 1:35 pm
 

Daouda Soumaoro down to three

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

Washington, Texas Tech, St. John’s.

It’s not the most common final three on a player’s list, but those are the three schools in the mix for uncommitted 2011 big man Daouda Soumaoro.

“I’m going to Washington this weekend,” Soumaoro said. “Also visiting Texas Tech on Tuesday.”

Soumaoro is a 6-foot-9 native of Mali who plays his basketball at Our Savior New American (N.Y.) on Long Island.

The power forward took a trip to St. John’s recently, and enjoyed his time on the Jamaica, Queens campus.

“It was great,” Soumaoro said.

Could Steve Lavin be close to welcoming a 10th player into the fold? Or will Soumaoro head to the Southwest or Pacific Northwest? 

Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Thornwell on the rise

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The class of 2013 is going to be known for its depth at the wing position, and one player making his way up the rankings is Sindarius Thornwell.

Thornwell, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Lancaster (S.C.), makes an immediate impact because of his length and athleticism. He handles the ball and distributes well for someone his size, and is also adept at finishing.

“I’m quick and I can handle the ball,” Thornwell said. “I’m always attacking and I play defense.”

Plenty of colleges have taken notice of the versatile 2013 prospect.

Thornwell currently holds offers from South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and Charlotte. He also has interest from Louisville, UCF and the entire ACC besides North Carolina and Duke.

Thornwell, who has visited Clemson and South Carolina, knows exactly what he needs in a school.

“I’m looking for playing style, good academics and playing time,” he said. “That’s it.”

2013 big man looking to improve

Most 6-foot-10 sophomores can get by on size and length alone. Andre Walker, on the other hand, is constantly looking to get better.

As it stands, he is a talented but raw big man who can run the floor and finish after he catches it.

“I need to make strong moves and play better defense,” Walker said. “I need to get better, get stronger. I also want to work on my perimeter game. I’m working hard.”

The Clarksburg (Md.) native is hearing from DePaul, Washington State, VCU, Northwestern, George Mason and Maryland.

Whitfield transfers to team with Tyler Lewis

North Carolina is loaded with prospects in the class of 2012. One player flying under the radar is Shane Whitfield, a 6-foot-5 forward.

In an attempt to make a name for himself, Whitfield is transferring next year to Forsyth Country Day School (N.C.). There, he will team up with North Carolina State commit Tyler Lewis in hopes of increasing his recruitment.

“It’s better competition,” Whitfield said. “I want to get better everyday.”

Right now, Whitfield has offers from Delaware, American, Campbell and Holy Cross, with interest from Richmond, Charlotte and East Carolina.

Other notes:

- A Texas team in need of impact players could pick up one this weekend. Recently available Sterling Gibbs and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow are both visiting Austin this weekend.

- Unsigned 2011 center Daouda Soumaoro is currently on an official visit to Washington. Soumaoro took a trip to St. John’s recently, and said he enjoyed it.

- Top-50 2012 forward Ricardo Gathers is taking an unofficial visit to St. John’s this weekend. The Louisiana native also wants to take a trip to Florida.

Photo: 6manbasketball.com 

Posted on: May 13, 2011 2:13 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 3:17 pm
 

2013 prospect Isaiah Hicks has UNC at the top

INTERESTED TEAMS:



Posted by Jeff Borzello

HAMPTON, Va. – There’s Isaiah Hicks dunking the ball three times in a row. There’s Isaiah Hicks running the floor and beating everyone for a transition basket. There’s Isaiah Hicks blocking shots at will.

And there’s Isaiah Hicks  . . . disappointed with his performance?

“I didn’t play my best,” Hicks said at the Southern Jam Fest last weekend. “It just wasn’t my day. I could’ve done everything better.”

According to everyone else, though, Hicks is one of the top players in the class of 2013. The 6-foot-8 forward from Body of Christ Academy (N.C.) is extremely long and athletic, creating mismatches with his leaping ability and speed. He can beat bigger players down the court and score on smaller defenders around the rim.

“I just gotta bring it every game,” Hicks said.

In terms of recruiting, the sophomore has offers from Xavier, North Carolina State and Clemson, along with interest from North Carolina and Wake Forest.

Despite not getting an offer from the Tar Heels, they seem to be ahead of the pack.

“I liked everything,” Hicks said.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 10:06 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Rhode Island reaches into Georgia for McKoy

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Not surprisingly, the majority of Rhode Island’s roster comes from New England or the New York/New Jersey area.

To round out their recruiting class, though, the Rams reached into Georgia and grabbed Dominique McKoy.

“When I took my visit, I felt really comfortable there,” McKoy told CBSSports.com. “Me and all the coaches have a good relationship. Me and my family felt this was the best place for me to be and I love the playing style.”

The 6-foot-7 small forward from South Atlanta (Ga.) chose Rhode Island over La Salle, Providence and Tulane.

"I feel I can make a make big impact in the A10 with my versatility," McKoy said. "I can help my team out in many different ways on the court." 


Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:48 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Third Maryland signee on verge of release

Posted by Jeff Borzello

While Mark Turgeon may have won his first press conference at Maryland, he continues to lose recruits.

First, CBSSports.com broke the news that transfer Wally Judge chose Rutgers over Maryland. Then, Sterling Gibbs and Nick Faust received releases from their letters of intent, and now the third member of the incoming class is on the verge of asking out as well.

Martin Breunig, a 6-foot-9 Germany native who plays at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Wisc.), plans on reopening his recruitment, sources told CBSSports.com.

“Nothing firm,” one source said in terms of new schools reaching out. “Still a pretty fluid situation.”

When Gary Williams first announced his retirement from Maryland, SJNMA assistant coach Martin Esters said Breunig wouldn’t make a decision until a new head coach was named.

“Williams is obviously a big part of Maryland, but right now we have to wait and see what happens there,” Esters told CBSSports.com at the time. “We can just be patient now.”

When Breunig first committed to the Terrapins, he was also being pursued by Virginia, Saint Louis, Arizona State, Oregon State, UAB and others.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Faust gets release from Maryland

Posted by Jeff Borzello

The hits keep coming for new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon. On Wednesday, Sterling Gibbs’ AAU coach informed CBSSports.com that Gibbs was requesting a release from his letter of intent.

Now, a second Terrapins’ signee is asking out of his commitment.

Nick Faust, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Baltimore City College (Md.), will reopen his recruitment.

Faust confirmed the news to CBSSports.com in a text message.

"Want to weigh all my options for the best fit," he said.  

Faust wouldn't comment on the new schools reaching out to him. 

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
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