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Tag:Florida
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:14 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 3:20 pm
 

No. 1 prospect Nerlens Noel talks recruitment

By Jeff Borzello

Nerlens Noel's recruitment has heated up since he reclassified to 2012. (MassLive.com)

Since Nerlens Noel announced a few weeks ago that he was reclassifying to the class of 2012, he’s been the most talked-about recruit in the country.

Noel, a 6-foot-10 Massachusetts native who plays at Tilton (N.H.), immediately moved to the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Moreover, the schools pursuing him have really turned up the heat.

“Recruiting has gone crazy all of a sudden,” Noel told Jeff Goodman on SiriusXM’s Inside College Basketball on Thursday afternoon. “I just need to plan out some visits to get out to all these schools. Keep talking to coaches, build better relationships with them.”

Noel is currently considering Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown and Connecticut. He later tweeted that Providence was also on his list, but did not mention them during the interview with Goodman.

He visited Syracuse this past weekend for the Orange’s win over Connecticut, and he will trip to Kentucky this coming weekend.

“I’m talking to a few more coaches to get down to their campuses during vacation,” Noel said.

Noel is the best shot-blocker in the country, and would immediately be the best in the college game too. He has tremendous dexterity defensively, able to cover a lot of ground and alter shots with either hand. Noel’s offensive is constantly getting better, and he is developing post moves and is taking defenders off the dribble as well.

He would dominate defensively wherever he ends up.

“Just a good program where I can go and play and be comfortable with the coaching staff, the whole program,” Noel said. “I know I can develop as long as I’m there, as a player and a person.”

Noel maintains that he is wide open among the six schools he mentioned, and he is still a long way from making a decision.

“I don’t really have a timeframe,” Noel said on the show. “I just want to make sure I get in all my visits to these schools. However long that takes.”

Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:07 pm
 

Nerlens Noel reclassifying to class of 2012

By Jeff Borzello

It’s been a possibility for awhile, but it became official on Wednesday night: Nerlens Noel is reclassifying to the class of 2012.

Noel, a 6-foot-10 center from Tilton (N.H.), has been a member of the class of 2013, but he is heading back to his original graduating class, according to Dave Telep of ESPN.com.

Noel told Telep he would take his first official visit the weekend of February 11, to Syracuse. He also said Providence, Connecticut, Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina are in the mix.

“I’m ready to do it,” Noel told ESPN.com. “It’s a short window of time to pick a school.”

Noel will become the No. 1 player in CBSSports.com’s class of 2012 rankings, ahead of Shabazz Muhammad. He is the best shot-blocker not currently in the NBA, and one of the best to pass through the high school ranks in years. Moreover, his offense is rapidly improving and his dexterity is impressive.

Syracuse and Kentucky have long been considered the favorites to land Noel, and we expect them to battle it out in the coming months. 

Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:58 pm
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Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:38 pm
 

Kuran Iverson hearing from plenty of suitors

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kuran Iverson has been one of the most hyped players in the class of 2013 for several years. His 6-foot-9 size and versatile skill set have had onlookers drooling over his potential.

Over the summer, though, he put on pounds and it slowed him down. To his credit, though, he realized it and has made adjustments.

“I carried a lot of weight and it started to hurt my knees,” Iverson said. “So I cut down on my eating, worked out more.”

Iverson looked significantly slimmer over the weekend at the Hoophall Classic, but he struggled against DeMatha Catholic’s BeeJay Anya due to Anya’s size and length inside. Iverson finished with four points and three rebounds, hampered by foul trouble the entire game.

The Northwest Catholic (Conn.) prospect hopes to be a small forward at the next level. Which school he ends up at is still up for grabs.

So far, he is hearing from Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Rutgers, St. John’s, Oklahoma and Florida. Iverson wants to visit North Carolina, Florida and Rutgers. He has been to Connecticut, and would like to take another trip. The Huskies are one of the schools standing out to him right now.

Kentucky is another school getting plenty of play with Iverson. Head coach John Calipari went to one of his games at Northwest Catholic, and the Wildcats are showing interest. They have not yet offered, but they would move into the forefront of his recruitment should they extend a scholarship.

Iverson is not ready to make a decision just yet.

“I’m not thinking about it until after the season,” he said.

Photo: Southington Sports

Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Ricardo Gathers has four favorites

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Since Ricardo Gathers decommitted from St. John’s in early November, several new schools have tried to get involved in his recruitment.

While he doesn’t seem to be in a rush to finish the process, Gathers has shed some light on his suitors.

After his Riverside (La.) team lost to Gonzaga (D.C.) on Saturday at the Hoophall Classic, the No. 52-ranked player in the class of 2012 said he had been hearing from Baylor, LSU, St. John’s, California, North Carolina State and Florida.

His four favorites are: Baylor, St. John’s, Florida and North Carolina State.

The Red Storm remain in the mix despite parting ways two months ago.

“I like their style of play,” the 6-foot-8 power forward said. “How they go so hard.”

Two schools mentioned recently with Gathers are Kentucky and Duke, but he said neither is showing consistent interest.

Duke contacted him once. “Not frequently,” he said.

As for Kentucky, head coach John Calipari came to one game, but the Wildcats have yet to contact him directly or offer him a scholarship.

Gathers plans to make a decision after the season, but he wants to take trips to North Carolina State, Duke, Florida and Baylor before announcing his final commitment.

Photo: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:37 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:13 pm
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Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:38 am
 

Notebook: Kasey Hill commits to Florida

By Jeff Borzello

While everyone was focused on their New Year’s Eve plans, Florida snuck in and grabbed a commitment from the class of 2013.

Kasey Hill, a 6-foot-1 junior from Montverde Academy, committed to the Gators on Saturday evening. Hill chose Billy Donovan over Kentucky, Louisville, Florida State, North Carolina State and others.

Florida Rams AAU coach Matt Ramker confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Hill is ranked No. 10 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013. He shot up the rankings over the summer, leading his AAU team to a championship at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. His performance there had some people calling him the best point guard in the country. 

Hill is virtually unstoppable at times, using his speed and explosiveness to make plays in transition or get to the rim in a half-court setting. He has a very good first step that enables him to beat his defender off the bounce and he has a variety of scoring moves in the lane. Hill is also a solid passer with good vision.

He is the Gators’ first commitment from the junior class.

Indiana picks up junior Luke Fischer

It looks like Luke Fischer was among the growing number of people impressed by Indiana’s big-time win over Ohio State on Saturday.

Shortly after Fischer watched the Hoosiers beat the Buckeyes at Assembly Hall, Fischer decided to go ahead and commit to Tom Crean’s program.

Fischer, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, chose Indiana over Iowa, Creighton and others.

“I’m just really excited to be a part of this program,” he told the Indianapolis Star.  “I just think it’s really cool to see where the program is today and the directions it is heading. I want to be a part of that.”

Fischer joins Colin Hartman and Devin Davis in Indiana’s class of 2013.

Jefferson trims list to five

Despite being a five-star prospect, Amile Jefferson has played his recruitment pretty close to the vest. Over the weekend, though, he gave some insight as to where he stands right now.

Jefferson revealed his final five schools, according to Philly.com: North Carolina State, Villanova, Ohio State, Kentucky and Temple.

According to the report, Duke is also still a potential destination even though the Blue Devils are not in his final five.

Jefferson is a 6-foot-9 scoring forward from Friends Central (Pa.). He is one of the most difficult matchups in the country, and is extremely tough to stop along the baseline. Jefferson ranks No. 13 in our top 100.

Photo: Adidas

Posted on: December 22, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 9:56 am
 

Isaiah Lewis ready to commit, leaning toward KU



By
Jeff Borzello

While it’s not even halfway through junior year for 2013 prospects, the dominoes are beginning to fall for several top-50 guards.

Brannen Greene popped for Kansas on Tuesday, Anton Gill went with Louisville on Wednesday – could Isaiah Lewis be next?

“I may commit this month,” Lewis said. “I’m weighing all my options.”

Right now, there are five schools on Lewis’ list, in order: Kansas, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Memphis and Florida. All have offered.

While he’s not ready to make a commitment just yet, he’s leaning toward one school in particular: Kansas.

“I like how coach [Bill] Self lets his guards play,” Lewis said. “It starts with the guards. The tradition is great and coach Self knows how to win.”

With Greene announcing for the Jayhawks on Tuesday, one might expect Lewis would be afraid to go to a place with a star guard already in place. Not so – his friendship with Greene only helps Self’s chances with the New York native.

“Everyone is expecting me to go to Kansas because of Brannen,” Lewis said. “Everyone knows we are best friends, so it doesn’t matter to me.”

Moreover, Lewis said he has been playing on the ball more this season at Christ the King (N.Y.), as opposed to primarily a shooting guard role last year. So far, he is averaging 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Christ the King – where he plays alongside Connecticut-signee Omar Calhoun – is off to a 2-1 start.

Lewis had to transform his body and his game over the summer in order to prepare for his new role.

“I think I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” he said. “I’m playing the point now, so getting strong was a big part of my summer. I think I’ve had to give up some shots for guys, but if that’s what I need to do to win, I’m in for it.”

Lewis, a 6-foot-3 prospect, is ranked No. 40 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Lewis is a high-level scorer who is very good in the mid-range. He has a good floater and pull-up jumper, and also knows how to get into the lane. Lewis has good athleticism, and has been developing into more of a facilitator than a scorer since moving over to the point. He said he is working on his 3-point shot.

While he’s not rushing into a decision, he is looking forward to finishing up the recruiting process.

“Just to have all the weight off me,” Lewis said. “I think it’s going to help me focus more on basketball and school.”

Photo: Nation of Blue

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