Tag:Maryland
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:25 pm
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Maryland nabs third top-100 commitment

By Jeff Borzello

It was a good day for Maryland basketball. The Terrapins hammered Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament, but Mark Turgeon’s program picked up some more momentum on Thursday morning.

Charles Mitchell, one of the dozen top-100 prospects still on the board, committed to Maryland.

Mitchell, a 6-foot-7 big man from Wheeler (Ga.), chose the Terrapins over Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia, Seton Hall and Cincinnati.

He doesn’t have ideal size for a post player, but he has great hands and length in the low block. Mitchell does most of his damage around the basket, but he can find teammates out of the post and uses his 250-lb. frame to overpower opponents at the rim. If he streamlines his body and improves his athleticism, Mitchell can certainly make an impact in the ACC.

Mitchell is Maryland’s third top-100 commitment, joining fellow big man Shaq Cleare and long forward Jake Layman. Area prospects Seth Allen and Damonte Dodd are also in the fold for the fall. 

Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Slimmer BeeJay Anya holds his own down low

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – When the National High School Hoops Festival schedule came out, many people look at DeMatha vs. Jamesville-Dewitt.

BeeJay Anya vs. DaJuan Coleman. Two big guys pushing 300 lbs. going at it in the paint.

Then something happened. Anya lost 40 lbs. in the past few months and is looking considerably slimmer. He was still able to hold his own against the Syracuse-bound Coleman, bodying him up in the paint and using his length to make up for the height disadvantage.  

“I think he came out and played well and it was a good showing for both of us,” Anya said.

Anya was certainly more mobile and active than he was in the summer, getting open in the post and showing off a variety of post moves. His rebounding is still a huge asset at both ends of the floor.

His conditioning has helped in all facets of his game.

“Last year, that’s what was holding me back from being a better player,” Anya said. “I am more agile and athletic than I was last year.”

Anya isn’t focusing on his recruitment, but he has a long list of schools pursuing him. Syracuse, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Florida and Georgia Tech have all extended offers to the 2013 big man.

Anya ranks No. 30 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: National Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Stanford Robinson comfortable as facilitator

TEAMS INTERESTED:



By
Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Stanford Robinson might not score as much as some other top guards in the class of 2013, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s not as good.

Paul VI (Va.) is one of the top teams in the WCAC, and the Panthers are blessed with a deep and talented roster. Four seniors have already committed to go D-I. As a result, it’s not necessary for Robinson to lead the team in scoring every night.

“I’m a scorer, but on this team we have a lot of scorers,” Robinson said. “I don’t think we have anybody that needs to score 30 points a game for us to win.”

Robinson, a 6-foot-4 prospect who ranks No. 71 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is certainly able to get points when needed. He has a strong body and is an effective finisher in the lane, while also possessing the ability to step outside and knock down jumpers. He does need to become more aggressive, though, if he wants to reach his true potential.

“We like to share the ball,” Robinson said. “Right now I’m being a facilitator and creating shots for my team, but when I need to, I can score the ball.”

His high ceiling has led to several schools pursuing him in the past few months. Robinson holds offers from Marquette, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Miami (Fl.), South Florida, Rutgers and Xavier. Syracuse and Maryland are showing interest.

Over the summer, he checked out Villanova, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Miami (Fl.). Despite the trips, he’s not ready to make a decision.

“It’s still early,” Robinson said. “I don’t think I’m going to commit until the beginning of the school year next year.”

With his versatile talents, Robinson can afford to be picky with his college. However, he thinks he can thrive in any system.

“I can fit anywhere,” he said.

Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Big man Kennedy Meeks drawing plenty of attention

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Kennedy Meeks didn’t have his best game against Paul VI (Va.) on Saturday, but that didn’t stop head coaches from stopping by to check out the big man.

North Carolina State’s Mark Gottfried strolled in; Tony Bennett of Virginia was there; Mark Turgeon came by; and even John Thompson III, after beating Howard, had to get a glimpse.

Meeks struggled, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds before fouling out in the loss.

However, Meeks was still able to show some of the tools that make him the No. 34-ranked player in the class of 2013. Because of his size – 6-foot-8, 270 lbs. – Meeks dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him. He has great hands and looks to pass out of a double team. He knows how to finish at the rim, and he has a soft touch. However, on Saturday, he wasn’t nearly aggressive enough and didn’t make himself available down low.

“I don’t think I played that good,” he said.

Meeks has plenty of college interest, citing offers from everyone in the ACC besides Duke and North Carolina, while also hearing from Georgetown, South Carolina, Syracuse and others.

Despite not offering, the Tar Heels are firmly in the race for Meeks.

“They’re going to be in the picture,” Meeks said.

The top priority on Meeks’ wish list is his ability to be a factor down low at the next level. He wants to be involved in the offense.

“Somewhere that feeds the big man,” he said.

Expect West Charlotte (N.C.) to be a revolving door of coaches in the next two years.

Photo: Charlotte Observer

Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Ja'Quan Newton is one of the best PGs in 2014

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

WASHINGTON D.C. – The class of 2014 is shaping up to be a dynamite high school class, especially at the point guard position.

One of the top lead guards in the class is Ja’Quan Newton, a 6-foot-2 prospect out of Neumann-Goretti in Philadelphia. At the Gonzaga DC Classic over the weekend, Newton was one of the best players. He averaged 19.7 points in three games, including 28 in the semifinals. While North Carolina-bound Nate Britt and host Gonzaga knocked off Newton’s troops in the championship game, he did solidify himself as a top-50 prospect in 2014.

“I played pretty good, considering it was the first game of the season,” Newton said after the tournament opener.

Newton is a very good scorer who can beat his defender off the bounce consistently. He knows how to get to the rim and finish, and his speed and quickness are a huge asset in transition. Newton is adept at drawing defenders in the lane and then finding open teammates for shots. Over the summer, Newton showed an ability to facilitate offense in the half-court with Team Final.

While he was able to knock down several jumpers at the event, he’s looking to improve his outside shooting.

“I’m working on my jumpshot and my defense,” Newton said. “Also, making my teammates better.”

In terms of recruiting, expect Newton to be a sought-after prospect over the next couple of years. He is already hearing from Rutgers, Villanova, Georgetown, North Carolina State, Maryland, Boston College, Saint Joseph’s and others.

Although he’s not planning to finish his recruitment soon, Newton has taken trips to Rutgers, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Josh Hart gets bigger, expands his game

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

WASHINGTON D.C. – For many players, shooting outside jumpers and finishing at the rim is all that matters. For Josh Hart, it makes him want to expand his game.

“My coach said I was always settling for a 3 or dunking,” Hart said at the Gonzaga DC Classic. “I need that in-between game.”

Hart, a 6-foot-4 guard from Sidwell Friends (D.C.), is one of the top shooting guards in the mid-Atlantic region for the class of 2013. He has gotten stronger and bigger since the summer, giving him another asset to use offensively. He constantly attacked the rim with aggression, despite taking a few hard spills. On the defensive end, Hart also showed good athleticism, contesting shots and grabbing boards.

In addition to his mid-range game, Hart is also working on his ball-handling ability. Once he irons out the wrinkles offensively, he is going to be a big-time scorer.

As a result, several schools are in the mix for Hart. He holds offers from Georgetown, North Carolina State, VCU, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Penn State and Xavier. Moreover, Georgia Tech, Maryland, DePaul, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s are all showing interest.

“I want to play up-tempo, and a good coaching staff,” Hart said when asked what he was looking for in a school.

He is not ready to make a decision in the near future.

“I’m focusing on school,” Hart said. “I’m just letting everything happen.”

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: September 30, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:14 am
 

Ishmail Wainright happy with move to Montrose

By Jeff Borzello

When Ishmail Wainright made the move from Raytown South (Mo.) to Montrose Christian (Md.), a lot of things changed.

Wainright was suddenly nearly 1,000 miles from home, with new friends, new teammates, new style of play and more pressure. But the biggest difference for Wainright?

“The weather,” he said. “It rains too much.”

Not surprisingly, Wainright is extremely happy with his decision to leave home and go to the vaunted private school near Washington D.C.

“This was one of the best moves by far,” he said. “The only move, really. It’s a great education.”

Although the season has not yet started, Wainright has already noticed a difference in the attendance at the preseason workouts. The door leading to the gym is a revolving door of high-major head coaches and some of the best recruiters in the country.

UCLA, Texas, Kansas State, Alabama, Providence, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, UMKC, Georgetown, Maryland, Villanova have all stopped by. St. John’s, Texas A&M, Baylor and Missouri were there on Wednesday. Louisville is expected to come soon, while Memphis set up a date to check out Wainright as well.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this,” Wainright said. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘I don’t know who is going to see me, I don’t know who likes my game.’

“When I got there, coach [Stu] Vetter sat me down and said, ‘Now you know you will be hearing from coaches that you’ve never heard from, right?’ I just giggled. I thought he was playing, but it was for real.”

Wainright has had an interesting recruitment so far. He committed to Missouri in May, becoming new head coach Frank Haith’s first big-time recruit since taking over the Tigers. In late June, though, but suddenly decommitted and reopened his process.

After a few underwhelming performances with Memphis YOMCA on the Nike AAU circuit in the spring, Wainright won back his reputation with the KC 76ers in Las Vegas. He led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title, outplaying No. 1 prospect Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Wainright currently holds offers from Syracuse, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado, St. John’s, UMKC, Florida, Nebraska and Louisville.

While he doesn’t have any specific visits planned, he wants to attend Louisville’s Midnight Madness festivities.

“I don’t have [a favorite] right now,” Wainright said.

Wainright, a 6-foot-5 small forward, is ranked as a five-star prospect in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 rankings for 2013. He is No. 17 in the country.

Photo: STLToday

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