Tag:Winston Shepard
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:22 pm

San Diego State lands top-50 Winston Shepard

By Jeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello

San Diego State got arguably the nation's best on-ball defender in Winston Shepard. (Adidas Nations)

Looking ahead to next season, San Diego State was missing just one key ingredient: a lockdown defender on the wing who could guard multiple positions.

The Aztecs got what they needed on Thursday, as top-50 senior Winston Shepard committed to Steve Fisher’s program, a source told CBSSports.com.

Shepard is a 6-foot-8 small forward from Findlay Prep (Nev.) and one of the best defensive players in the country. He has terrific athleticism and is very difficult to contain in the open floor. Shepard has improved his jumpshot over the past year, and he loves to crash the offensive glass for tip-ins and putbacks.

After his performance against Jabari Parker at the Hoop Hall Classic in January, Shepard’s stock rose in the eyes of many. He has limitless energy, and was not afraid to chase Parker and force him into bad shots from the perimeter.  Shepard’s size, length and athleticism enable him to guard players at different positions. We’ve seen him guard everyone from point guards to post players – and be effective at it.

Shepard saw recent interest from teams like Connecticut, St. John’s and Oregon, while New Mexico, UNLV, Oklahoma State and UTEP have all been involved for a long time.

He joins guard Matt Shrigley and forward Skylar Spencer in San Diego’s 2012 recruiting class. Transfers Dwayne Polee (St. John’s), J.J. O’Brien (Utah) and James Johnson (Virginia) are also sitting out this season for the Aztecs. 

With the stud backcourt of Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley also returning, the future looks very bright for Fisher’s program.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:18 pm

Notebook: Amedeo Della Valle taking his time

By Jeff Borzello

Amedeo Della Valle didn’t emerge on the scene until about four months ago, but he’s still managed to cement himself as one of the best available guards in the country.

Della Valle, a 6-foot-5 native of Italy, has been starting for Findlay Prep (Nev.) this season. Getting a chance to play alongside top-10 guys like Brandon Ashley and Anthony Bennett has given him an opportunity to get seen by plenty of schools.

He is currently hearing from Gonzaga, UCLA, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgetown, California, Oklahoma State, Saint Mary’s, Utah and Portland.

The only school he has visited so far was Arizona.

“It was a game against San Diego State, which they lost,” Della Valle said. “But I got to walk the campus, see the facilities.”

Della Valle is a natural point guard, but with Dominic Artis and Nigel Williams-Goss entrenched in the Findlay backcourt, he’s been playing out of position a bit. Moreover, with Bennett injured, Della Valle has been defending bigger players.

It’s given him the chance to demonstrate his versatility.

“I can play the one and the two,” Della Valle said. “I can defend combo guards.”

Della Valle is taking his time with a decision, and said he will likely choose a school until April. There are no favorites, and no other visits planned just yet.

“I want to play right away,” he said. “I also want a great coach. And style of play is important.”

Other Findlay notes:

- Five-star forward Anthony Bennett said he hasn’t talked to any coaches in awhile, instead focused on recovering from injury and the season. He plans to take all five visits and will wait until after the end of the season. Washington, Kentucky, Florida, UNLV and Oregon are the five schools on his list.

- Winston Shepard saw his stock rise a bit since the Hoophall Classic, getting an offer from Connecticut in the past two weeks. New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Oklahoma State and UTEP were his final five, with St. John’s and Oregon also sniffing around. Shepard doesn’t have any visits planned, but he has already tripped to New Mexico.

- Former UNLV commit Nigel Williams-Goss hasn’t narrowed things down yet. The junior guard still has the Runnin’ Rebels in the mix, but Washington, Oregon, Harvard, Arizona and UCLA are coming at him the hardest.

Photo: Findlay Prep

Posted on: July 19, 2011 12:04 pm

Notebook: Winston Shepard expanding game

By Jeff Borzello

With the way Shabazz Muhammad is playing lately, it might be tough for anyone else on Dream Vision to get attention – especially offensively.

Winston Shepard is finding other ways to make an impact on the court, though.

“I can handle the ball, I’m a playmaker,” Shepard said. “I get to the rim, I shoot free throws. I can defend one through four.”

The 6-foot-8 Findlay Prep (Nev.) product has improved his all-around game, using his versatility and wide-ranging skill set to create match-up problems at both ends of the floor. He is very athletic and finishes efficiently at the rim and in transition. Shepard has a great motor and is active defensively.

He insists he is not being overshadowed by Muhammad’s offensive exploits on the AAU circuit.

“I don’t look at it like that,” Shepard said. “We both do good things. People know I can play, I know I can play.”

There are 11 schools currently in the mix for Shepard: Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Memphis, New Mexico, San Diego State, UCLA, UNLV, UTEP, Kentucky and Missouri.

He said there are no favorites, but he plans to cut his list in July and then take all five of his visits in the fall before making a decision. 

Demetris Morant dominates defensively

For a player who is still in the early stages of his offensive game, Demetris Morant gets an awful lot of exposure.

The reason is simple: Morant is one of the best shot-blockers in the country.

The 6-foot-8 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) big man has outstanding timing on the defensive end, using his length and athleticism to dominate that side of the floor. He can rebound effectively, and is extremely quick off the ground.

Clearly, Morant needs to improve his offense – but he is aware of his deficiencies at that end.

“I’m working on my post moves, doing shooting drills, working on my ball handling,” he said.

Morant is hearing from San Diego State, UNLV, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Drake, New Mexico, Arizona State and San Francisco. Back in January, he said Arizona was in the mix but now says he hasn’t heard from the Wildcats recently.

“I’m looking for a good basketball program, a good academic school,” Morant said.

Photo: Lawrence Journal-World

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