Tag:2012
Posted on: June 2, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Recruiting Notebook: Sam Mader finds way to shine

Posted by Jeff Borzello

RALEIGH, N.C. – For Sam Mader, there are positives and negatives to being on a team with North Carolina-commit J.P. Tokoto, Wisconsin-bound Sam Dekker and 2013 stud Bronson Koenig.

“I do feel like I get overshadowed,” Mader said. “But it’s a team game, and they’re great players. I still feel like I get looks, because people are coming to games. It doesn’t affect me.”

Mader, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Appleton East (Wisc.), made his presence known over the weekend at the Tournament of Champions. He is a good high- and low-post big man, with the ability to pass to teammates from the free-throw line or make plays around the rim with his back to the basket. Mader has good hands and makes himself available with good positioning.

Several high-majors – like Minnesota, Northwestern, Oregon State and Stanford – have shown interest in Mader in the past, but he mentioned five schools last Friday.

UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay have offered him, while Ball State and Drake are showing plenty of interest. Mader wants to take a visit to Northern Illinois.

“I want to make a decision in August,” he said.

Jordan Scott taking his time

One of the more underrated teams at the Tournament of Champions last weekend was the Colorado Chaos. Despite having two high-major commits in Josh Scott (Colorado) and Kaileb Rodriguez (California), not many people knew about this team.

A player who made people take notice was Jordan Scott. A 6-foot-5 forward, Scott knows how to finish around the rim and plays well in transition. He is also a very good defender and can guard multiple positions.

For now, the Lewis-Palmer (Colo.) product is hearing from Colorado, Air Force, Denver and Arizona.

“I want to make a decision during my senior season,” the 2013 prospect said. “I’m taking my time.”

Terrell Rogers follows in father’s footsteps

Despite standing just 5-foot-4, Shawnta Rogers terrorized the Atlantic-10 for three years in the late 90s, averaging 20.7 points in his final season at George Washington.

Now, he has a son who is looking to continue that reputation.

Terrell Rogers, a 5-foot-8 guard from Indiana Land (S.C.), impressed with his scoring ability at the Tournament of Champions. He is supremely quick with the ball and has an ability to get into the lane and finish against bigger players. Rogers adjusts his body well to avoid getting blocked.

The rising senior said he is hearing from Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Providence and Charleston.

“Not yet,” Rogers said when asked about a decision. “At the end of the summer.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:39 pm
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Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:43 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 11:58 am
 

Shabazz Muhammad continues to protect his turf

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

Rankings of the top prospects in the country have different impacts on different players. Some don’t pay attention to them; some live and die by their ranking. Others are cognizant of where they stand and know opponents are gunning for them.

Shabazz Muhammad, one of the top three players in the class of 2012, is in the latter group.

“I think everyone thinks they’re the number one player, but I don’t worry about that,” Muhammad said in a phone interview. “But it affects the way I play, big-time. Having a target on my back, it’s a great opportunity for me.”

The 6-foot-5 swingman from Bishop Gorman (Nev.) has been ranked near the top of his class since he was a freshman in high school. Every game, camp or tournament, Muhammad has had to stand his ground to retain his stature.

Unlike many players who drop in the rankings as their high school careers progress, Muhammad is still in the mix for the top spot.

“That’s the first thing that comes to mind,” he said. “I’m the best player on the court and I have to prove it.”

Muhammad is a lefty scoring machine, using his strength to simply overpower most of his opponents when driving to the rim. He is an excellent finisher in the paint and is deadly in the mid-range. Once he improves his outside shooting, Muhammad could be unstoppable on the wing.

At the high school level, Muhammad can get away with playing inside the arc, but he knows he has to improve his guard skill set at the next level.

“Schools are recruiting me as a shooting guard,” he said. “So I’m working on handling the ball. Schools like Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, they have their shooting guards handle the ball a lot. And the most important thing is my perimeter shooting. The athleticism is already there.”

Muhammad has offers from dozens of schools, but he has trimmed some of the fat and is focusing on seven schools: Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UNLV, Arizona, Kansas and Texas.

While he says he has no favorites, he did go through each school to discuss what he liked about each one.

Many people think UCLA is the frontrunner for Muhammad, but he denied it.

“It was a great experience,” he said about UCLA. “I’ve been to California and I love the weather. Coach [Ben] Howland is a great guy; I talked to him for a couple of hours. I got to see how it is to be a Bruin.”

Not surprisingly, Kentucky is also on Muhammad’s list. He said it’s different than the other schools on his list because of the location.

“I can be very focused there, since it’s not a city,” Muhammad said. “It’s a good place for a person who is serious about basketball. There are no distractions.”

UNLV is the closest school to Muhammad’s Las Vegas home and high school, and is therefore still in the mix. Proximity could play a factor.

“It’s a local school, and they have really good match-ups every year,” he said. “It’s only 10 minutes away.”

Early in May, Muhammad and his Dream Vision AAU team took a trip to the Jayhawk Invitational in Kansas. While there, he got a chance to check out the Kansas campus.

“Coach [Bill] Self is a nice guy,” Muhammad said. “I took a visit up there a couple weeks ago.”

What impressed Muhammad the most about Duke was head coach Mike Krzyzewski, but it wasn’t his charm or recruiting pitch that opened Muhammad’s eyes.

“Coach K, I talked to him a lot,” he said. “He’s very intellectual, he know what he’s doing. The guy is just smart. It’s a great place to be at.”

The most recent trip Muhammad took was to Arizona, ironically taking place the day after head coach Sean Miller spurned Maryland to stay in Tucson.

“I’ve been talking to them a lot,” Muhammad said. “They have a great coach and a great team. And their system is running, getting up and down.”

He plans on taking a trip to Texas sometime in June; at that point, Muhammad will have taken unofficial visits to all seven schools.

Still, no particular school is standing out.

“Everyone I named is coming at me the hardest,” Muhammad said. “They’re all great [coaches]. I can’t really compare one, two, three.”

Nearly every school on his list is a perennial Final Four contender, making Muhammad’s decision even harder. The main factor in his decision will be program success, both past and future.

“The school’s tradition,” Muhammad said. “I’m looking for the school that has the best opportunity for me to win a national championship.”

Despite going on plenty of unofficial visits and knowing exactly what he is looking for in a school, he has no plans to make a decision anytime soon.

Muhammad doesn’t want to rush into anything.

“I’m taking the process slowly. I probably will take all five of my visits,” he said. “I want to make sure I make the right choice.”

Photos: Wildcat Blue Nation, Lawrence Journal-World

Posted on: May 26, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 10:59 am
 

Justin Anderson reverses course, chooses UVA

Posted by Jeff Borzello

For the past week, rumors have been swirling that Maryland commit Justin Anderson was wavering on his pledge to the Terrapins. There was talk that he already made another commitment to Virginia and just hadn’t announced yet.

Anderson made it a done deal on Thursday.

“Great day to be a Cav!” Anderson tweeted.

"The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland," Anderson said in a statement released by his high school. "Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach [Gary] Williams and Coach [Robert] Ehsan it just feels like the right fit." 

Anderson, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Montrose Christian (Md.), is one of the most athletic players in the country. He is a menace in transition and uses his energy and motor to be a lockdown defender at the other end. Anderson is one of the few players in the country that can impact a game without scoring due to his leadership qualities. The lefty has improved his outside shot and excels at crashing the offensive glass.

"Justin decided to revisit his options after Gary [Williams] retired," Montrose coach Stu Vetter said. "Although Mark Turgeon wanted to begin recruiting him, Justin and his family decided to conclude the process."

He joins a solid 2012 class for Tony Bennett that also includes top-100 prospects Evan Nolte and Mike Tobey.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Nkereuwem Okoro advancing recruitment

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Posted by Jeff Borzello

Rumors swirled on Tuesday that rising senior Nkereuwem Okoro was on the verge of a commitment.

Sources told CBSSports.com that Okoro could be ready to commit to Iowa State at any moment. Okoro, however, denied it.

“No it’s not [true],” Okoro said. “I haven’t committed yet."

The 6-foot-4 2012 prospect from St. Raymond’s (N.Y.) listed offers from Pittsburgh and Seton Hall, in addition to the Cyclones. Arizona, St. John's and Xavier have shown interest in Okoro at one time or another. 

“I don’t have a timeline,” Okoro said. “I don’t know where I want to commit as of right now.”

Okoro is a strong, hard-working swingman who prefers to score from the free-throw line and closer. He can score from the mid-range and also finishes well in the paint. Defensively, he’s outstanding, using his non-stop motor to make plays at that end of the floor.

While he might not be ready to make a decision just yet, Okoro knows what he is looking for in a school.

“My relationship with the coaching staff and how I comfortable I feel about the school,” he said.

Photo: Johnny Jungle 


Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Perry Ellis taking time with recruiting process



Posted by Jeff Borzello

Wichita Heights (Kan.) has won three consecutive state championships and currently own a 44-game winning streak.

It’s scary to think they could be even better next year given the way Perry Ellis is improving.

“Perry is getting stronger,” said his mother, Fonda. “His shooting has really improved, he is more explosive and more confident.”

Ellis is a 6-foot-8 forward who is ranked among the top-20 players in his class by most services. He can score in a variety of ways, with his back to the basket or in the mid-range while facing up. Ellis runs the floor effectively and knows how to finish at the rim.

He was receiving interest and offers from nearly every big-time school, but trimmed his list in early December. Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma and Wichita State made the finalists for Ellis, who has since heard from Minnesota and Duke.

“I would say that Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Wichita State have all shown the most [interest] this spring,” Fonda Ellis said. “We received a call from Duke’s new assistant Jeff Capel on Tuesday.”

Ellis said the perseverance and time each school put in has made them attractive to her son.

“They are all great programs and they all have been recruiting him for a while,” she said. “He has built strong relationships with most of the coaches since eighth and ninth grade.”

Perry visited Wichita State this week, but does not plan to make any other visits until the fall. He will be on the AAU circuit this spring and summer with the Kansas Pray and Play Players.

His mother said there are no favorites yet, but he is looking for a place where he will be “totally comfortable.”

“He is really not ready to do that yet,” Ellis said in terms of leaning one way or another. “He wants to see what happens this summer first.

“He would like to take his official visits this fall and hopefully commit or sign by early signing [period].”

By that time, Wichita Heights will be on the verge of starting a run at a fourth straight state title – led by Ellis, of course.

Photo: MaxPreps

Posted on: May 15, 2011 8:15 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2011 8:24 pm
 

Georges Niang verbals to Iowa State

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Over the last year, Georges Niang’s recruitment has blown up. He went from a mid-major prospect to one with several high-major offers.

On Sunday, Niang completed his rise by committing to Iowa State.

“I just felt that it was a perfect spot for me,” Niang told CBSSports.com. “I felt there wasn’t another place that has a better fit for me than Iowa State.”

Despite his consistent production nearly every night with Tilton (N.H.) on the prep scene and BABC on the AAU circuit, Niang was vastly underrated nationally.

Last summer, he had offers from Florida Atlantic, Hofstra and New Hampshire. Prior to making his decision, Niang had offers from multiple high-major schools.

“I wish I knew why – it just started blowing up,” Niang said. “But I know coach [Fred] Hoiberg believed in me from the first time he saw me and the coaches who didn’t recruit me didn’t see that. I don’t let that bother me. I just get out there and try to be the team that my team is facing.”

Niang, a 6-foot-7 forward, said the other finalists in his decision included Iowa, Miami (Fl.), Providence, Texas A&M, Charlotte, Alabama and Seton Hall.

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.”

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