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Tag:Florida
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 6, 2011 11:26 am
 

Jarnell Stokes to enroll in college in January?



By
Jeff Borzello

Jarnell Stokes was expected to provide a boost to whichever school he committed to for 2012. However, could that boost be coming in one month?

According to Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, there is a “good chance” Stokes will enroll at a college in January. Stokes was ruled ineligible to play at Southwind (Tenn.) this season after transferring in from Central High (Tenn.) over the summer. His hardship appeal was also denied, meaning he won’t be able to play at all this season.

Moreover, Stokes said he is on pace to graduate this month from Southwind.

“I’ve set myself up to go to college midyear,” Stokes told Smith. “I really don’t know yet, but that’s definitely an option. I have other options that me and my dad don’t want to reveal.”

Stokes is currently considering six schools: Memphis, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. According to Stokes’ father, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida and Tennessee have scholarships available for January.

Smith also wrote that Stokes could qualify for an academic scholarship at Memphis, thereby becoming a walk-on for a semester.

Stokes is apparently not ready for a decision.

“I wish I could just choose right now and get it all out the way, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a decision right now,” Stokes said. “Maybe I will be next week, but I can’t give you a timetable right now.”

Stokes, a 6-foot-8 power forward, is ranked No. 16 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is tough to matchup with, given his strength and the improvement on his perimeter game. He has the ability to outmuscle smaller defenders, and beat slower opponents to the rim. Stokes can score effectively in the paint, and is also adept at getting to the foul line. He is also one of the best rebounders in the class.

With a college-ready body, there is little doubt Stokes could help out a school in the second semester.

Photo: Wildcat Blue Nation

Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:19 am
 

Unselfish Troy Williams ready for big year

INTERESTED TEAMS:



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: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Jonathan Williams III more focused on improving

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

Most five-star prospects love the attention and recognition that comes along with being ranked among the top players in the country.

Jonathan Williams III, however, has no problem avoiding the spotlight.

“I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” Williams III said. “I’m just trying to stay focused. It gets you a big head, gets you slacking off.”

Williams III, a 6-foot-8 forward from Southwind (Tenn.), is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for the class of 2013. Naturally, he holds a host of high-major offers.

Among the schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Williams are Florida, Tennessee, Memphis, Texas, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Georgetown, UCLA, Arkansas, Virginia and Kentucky. All of them have also come by his high school to watch him work out.

“It’s going pretty good,” Williams III said of his recruitment. “I know I’m being recruited highly, but I’m more worried about staying focused and staying humble, working hard.”

He took a trip to Tennessee this past weekend, and has also been to the campuses of Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Williams III visited Lexington during his freshman year, when the Wildcats hosted North Carolina.

“The fans were just so crazy,” he said. “The gym was packed, everything was live. It was a nice arena, but I haven’t really visited the campus. I’ll do that when I go back up there this year.”

As for Ole Miss, Williams III was very impressed with the dedication to academics from the athletic department.

“They really focus on your education,” he said. “If you go to Ole Miss and you’re an athlete, you should not fail. I also watched them practice; they have a nice practice facility. Everything is brand new, and they’ll have a new arena built in the next two years.”

Williams III has no plans to cut down his list or even plan more visits in the coming months; he’s more focused on winning a state championship and wading through Southwind’s difficult schedule.

However, his versatile skill set will play a factor in the school he eventually chooses to attend.

“I’m looking at how they play; will I be able to play the one through the four?” Williams III said. “I’m not a position player, I can play any position on the floor. I can post, shoot the 3, run the fast break, do a little bit of everything.”

However, he’s not yet content with his all-around game.

Said Williams III: “I’m trying to be unstoppable.”

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
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Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:02 pm
 

No. 2 prospect Mitch McGary on verge of decision

By Jeff Borzello

It seemed like Mitch McGary was set to make his commitment last month – likely to Michigan – but he canceled his announcement and went back through the recruiting process.

Apparently he’s ready to announce once again.

“I’m planning to make my commitment next week sometime,” McGary wrote in his blog for ESPNHS.

The final three for him are Florida, Duke and Michigan. Maryland and North Carolina seem to be out of the picture.

“I love Maryland, but I just don’t think that it’s the best fit for me,” McGary said of the Terrapins.

As for North Carolina, he doesn’t think they have a scholarship available for him, and he hasn’t talked to the Tar Heels lately.

McGary is CBSSports.com’s No. 2-ranked player in the class of 2012. The 6-foot-10 power forward from Brewster Academy (N.H.) catapulted up the rankings with a dominant spring and summer performance.

He’s a player who everyone wants as a teammate, due to his infectious energy and nonstop motor. He can impact a game in a variety of ways, from scoring around the rim with either hand or knocking down face-up jumpers from the perimeter. The lefty is effective in transition and very active defensively.

As for his decision, it should be an interesting week for McGary. As Jeff Goodman wrote in September, McGary’s parents favor Duke, while his AAU coach with the SYF Players, Wayne Brumm, would prefer Michigan. Florida is still very much in the mix, though.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:32 am
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Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Two schools on top for Brice Johnson

UPDATE: Story has been updated to reflect the latest in Brice Johnson's recruitment. The original story had NC State and Florida as his two favorites, but Johnson just texted to say that he made a mistake -- it's UNC and Florida at the top.

By
Jeff Borzello

It’s been an interesting few months for Brice Johnson and his recruitment.

He missed a chance to boost his stock at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June when he suffered a concussion early in the event and had to sit out the rest of the event. But he certainly bounced back at the Peach Jam in July, dominating every opponent in front of college coaches from across the country. Averaging 4.2 blocks per game and shooting nearly 82 percent from the field spurred one high-major head coach to call him a future lottery pick.

Johnson went from a player who might have been leaning towards staying in-state and going to Clemson or South Carolina to one with offers from North Carolina, Ohio State, Connecticut and Florida.

So far, the 6-foot-9 power forward from Edisto (S.C.) has taken official visits to North Carolina State, North Carolina and Florida, with one to Clemson still on the way.

A pair of schools is standing out among his final four: North Carolina and Florida.

“They are the top two,” Johnson said.

We will soon find out where the No. 29 prospect in the country will end up, as Johnson plans to make a decision soon.

 “Sometime this month,” he said.

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