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Tag:North Carolina
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 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 18, 2012 10:21 am
 

Julius Randle begins taking unofficial visits

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Julius Randle is still about a year from making his college decision, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking steps in the recruiting process.

Earlier this month, the No. 3-ranked prospect in 2013 spent some time on Tobacco Road, visiting North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke.

“They’re three programs that have great tradition,” Randle said. “It was just an honor to visit. It was a lot of fun.”

Randle, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (Texas), is not tipping his hand as to which visit was the best – or to which specific schools are recruiting him.

“I don’t have a list,” he said. “If you name a team, they’re probably recruiting me.”

However, Randle did say he wants to take unofficial visits to Texas and Kentucky in the near future.

“I like the versatility of the players they have,” he said.

In addition to the aforementioned five schools, Ohio State, Kansas, Baylor are also among the colleges heavily pursuing Randle. He won’t make a decision until after he takes his five official visits, which will happen next fall.

While academics rank high on the priority list for Randle, coaching style is also going to be a major factor when he eventually makes a decision.

“A coach that will push me,” he said. “He’s not going to always tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. Someone that will make me the best player I can be.”

Photo: Bleacher Report 

Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Five-star junior Troy Williams trims list to five

By Jeff Borzello

Five-star junior Troy Williams celebrated his birthday on Friday. He also trimmed his list to five schools.

Williams announced on Twitter that his final five choices were North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Villanova.

“They’re schools that play my style of play, and they’re also not that far for my family,” Williams told CBSSports.com in a text message.

Williams has visited all of the schools on his list, outside of Villanova. He leaves today for a weekend trip to Kentucky.

Williams, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Pheobus (Va.), is one of the best scoring wings in the class. He has deep range on his 3-point shot, and he has a very solid mid-range game as well. On the defensive end, Williams’ length and athleticism are assets in the passing lanes.

He is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013.

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 2, 2011 11:19 am
 

Unselfish Troy Williams ready for big year

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By
Jeff Borzello

Junior Troy Williams has lofty individual goals for the upcoming season – but the unselfish five-star prospect doesn’t want it to revolve around his personal offensive exploits.

“I want to get Player of the Year this year, but not by just scoring – but how I involved my teammates on the floor with me,” Williams said.

The 6-foot-6 small forward from Pheobus (Va.) is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013. He doesn’t mind being the go-to-guy for his high school team, but he prefers getting his teammates shots too.

“Definitely [going to] have a bigger role this year, and again this year, I have players around me who can ball, so I’m looking for their help too,” Williams said.

Williams is one of the best scoring wings in the class. He has good range on his jump shot, and he is tough with his mid-range game as well. Defensively, he uses his athleticism and tremendous length to be a factor in passing lanes. The nephew of famed AAU coach Boo Williams has one of the higher ceilings in the class.

Not surprisingly, Williams isn’t settling, working to expand his game in the offseason.

“Shooting, defense, ball-handling and being a better leader on and off the court,” he said when asked what he improved in the fall.

A slew of colleges stopped by his Hampton, Va. high school during the fall to check him during workouts. Villanova, Georgetown, Florida, Texas, DePaul, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Louisville all came through.

In addition to those schools – besides the Tar Heels – Kentucky, Alabama and Miami (Fl.) have also offered him a scholarship.

As for North Carolina, they continue to eye Williams but have yet to pull the trigger on an offer.

“They were ready to offer but they either offered too many people or are just holding off,” he said. “But they do have high interest.”

Williams has already taken trips to North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky and Louisville.

“They were great,” he said. “I learned a lot of history about the schools, and met some of the players and coaches.”

Villanova, Georgetown and Virginia Tech are next on his unofficial visit list, although no dates have been set. There are no favorites for Williams, but he knows what he’s looking for in a prospective school.

“High graduation percentage of the players that went there,” he said. “Great relationship with the coach, and a school that can shape me into an NBA player.”

Don’t expect a decision anytime soon from Williams; he’s going to wait out the process.

“I probably won’t commit until next summer.”

Photo: 247Sports.com

Posted on: October 26, 2011 9:12 am
 

Brice Johnson announces for North Carolina

By Jeff Borzello

Brice Johnson played his recruitment close to the vest the entire time, not giving out too many hints or bringing too much attention upon himself.

It ended in similar fashion, with a simple tweet on Wednesday morning.

“I will be a UNC Tar Heel,” Johnson tweeted. “Thanks for all the support…..#TarHeel Nation.”

Johnson chose North Carolina over Florida and North Carolina State, with Clemson also in the mix down the stretch.

Prior to the summer, Clemson and South Carolina were two of the only high-major schools in contention for Johnson’s services. However, after his breakout performance at the Peach Jam in July, several ACC and SEC schools came knocking at his door. Johnson took three official visits, to North Carolina, Florida and NC State, deciding to announce his commitment prior to his Clemson trip.

Johnson, ranked No. 29 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is a long and athletic big man who blocks shots as well as anyone in the class and can run the floor very well. He improved his face-up game during the summer, and had one high-major head coach calling him a future lottery pick.

He joins Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto and Joel James in North Carolina’s 2012 class.

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