Tag:Alex Caruso
Posted on: September 14, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Alex Caruso commits to hometown Texas A&M

By Jeff Borzello

Since Alex Caruso burst onto the scene in June, Texas A&M has always been associated with his recruitment.

After all, Caruso is from College Station and his father is the associate athletic director at A&M. While other schools came into the mix, the Aggies seemed at the forefront thoughout the summer.

On Wednesday, Caruso made it official and committed to Texas A&M. He confirmed the news to CBSSports.com in a text message.

"Love this place," Caruso said. "Was going to be happy for four years." 

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) told us on Monday that he was down to the Aggies and Colorado, and would likely decide this week.

Caruso, ranked No. 55 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is an athletic wing who is highly effective when driving the lane. He uses floaters and non-traditional finishes at a high rate, and is also very solid in transition.

The Aggies now have two guards for their 2012 class, with Caruso joining J-Mychal Reese.

Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Alex Caruso deciding between A&M, Colorado



By Jeff Borzello

Alex Caruso is back from his Colorado visit, and he seems to be preparing for a decision.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) took a trip to Boulder this weekend, one week after checking out hometown Texas A&M.

“Not ready for a decision,” Caruso said, before adding that he was pretty much deciding between the Buffaloes and Aggies. “Not likely any other visits.”

Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arizona State and Richmond were the other schools on his list before he trimmed it to four.

Caruso is a surprisingly athletic wing who shot up the rankings with stellar play during June. He is outstanding once he leaves his feet in traffic, and is adept at using floaters and other non-traditional finishes.

Although he said he’s not quite ready to make a commitment just yet, expect his recruitment to end soon.

“Anywhere from two days to a week,” Caruso said.

He ranks No. 55 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: Texas Basketball Inc. 

Posted on: August 11, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Top 100 analysis: Who's up, who's down?



By Jeff Borzello

July is normally the most important month when it comes to determining where a player ends up in the recruiting rankings. The high school season has inconsistent levels of competition, while the spring AAU circuit has so many events that players can go up and down with every week. On the other hand, July is a chance for every player to be seen multiple times in a three-week span, against the other top players in the country – in game settings. The NBPA Top 100, Nike Skills Academies and Pangos All-American Camp all gather tremendous amounts of talent, but it’s often difficult to truly scout a player in a camp setting. As a result, the evaluations made in July are often the ones that stick for the rest of the year.

CBSSports.com and MaxPreps released their updated Top-100 rankings for 2012 on Thursday morning, and there are plenty of changes since the pre-July rankings. Which players increased their stock the most in July, and which ones went the same direction as the real stock market?

Rising

Marcus Smart (No. 12): The ultimate winner, Smart (above) can play any perimeter position and is a terrific defender.

Kris Dunn (No. 26): Dunn (right) moved up to become the No. 1 point guard in the country after yet another impressive month.

Brice Johnson (No. 29): Johnson really broke out at the Peach Jam, demonstrating a vastly improved offensive game.

Alex Caruso (No. 55): One of the breakout players of June, Caruso is surprisingly athletic and excels at scoring in unconventional ways.

Jake Layman (No. 57): He’s long, athletic and can score in a variety of ways. Layman creates havoc with his perimeter defense.

Georges Niang (No. 70): Niang has always been productive, and it was finally time to reward him with a top-100 spot.

Semaj Christon (No. 80): The Xavier-commit won over all onlookers in July, demonstrating his excellent penetration ability.

Dominic Artis (No. 84): Artis, who committed to UCLA in late July, has terrific handle and knocked down threes with consistency.

Josh Scott (No. 86): The bottom line is that Scott is a different player with his AAU team; he scores effectively around the rim.

Grant Verhoeven (No. 91): Our first look at Verhoeven was a good one. He blocks shots very well, and can score in different ways.

Jordan Loveridge (No. 92): One of the biggest risers in Las Vegas, Loveridge is versatile and proved to be a match-up problem.

Tyrone Wallace (No. 96): A long point guard with great size (6-foot-4) for the position, Wallace has a great feel for the game.

Falling

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (No. 39): His scoring ability is impressive, but Smith-Rivera (left) is not a true point guard and has a limited ceiling.

Adam Woodbury (No. 40): This isn’t really Woodbury’s fault – we overrated him after an MVP performance at NBA Camp.

Daniel Ochefu (No. 43): Ochefu is an excellent defender but doesn’t have much of a back-to-the-basket game. High upside, though.

Torian Graham (No. 48): Graham can fill it up with the best of them, but he doesn’t bring effort consistently and is somewhat out of control.

J.P. Tokoto (No. 66): Tokoto continues to spiral down the rankings after peaking in the top five two years ago.

Damien Wilson (No. 75): Wilson is athletic and can really defend, but he lacks the ability to create his own shot.

Tyler Lewis (No. 76): Lewis is fun to watch and doesn’t back down from everyone, but his size and lack of defense could hinder him.

Nino Jackson (No. 81): He is only 6-foot, but is more of a scorer than a point guard. Jackson also disappears from the circuit on occasion.

Steve Taylor (No. 89): It was a down summer for most Chicago prospects, to be honest, and the Marquette-commit was inconsistent.

A.J. Hammons (No. 98): It just doesn’t seem like Hammons really enjoys himself out there. Has to improve conditioning.

Fred Thomas (No. 100): Again, probably not Thomas’ fault that we saw him for the first time when he couldn’t miss from 3-point range.

Jordan Hare (Unranked): This is simply a case of not seeing him. If anyone can remember the last time Hare suited up on AAU, let us know.

Photos: Adidas Super 64, MaxPreps, Indy Star

Posted on: August 8, 2011 10:55 am
 

Notebook: James Robinson nearing decision



By Jeff Borzello

While other top-100 prospects might be waiting out the process, James Robinson is ready to get it over with.

“I’m going to end it as soon as possible, hopefully,” Robinson said.

The 6-foot-3 point guard from DeMatha (Md.) is considering four schools: Pittsburgh, Virginia, Miami (Fl.) and Notre Dame.

“Each of them have coaches that have a history of winning, developing players and better young men,” Robinson said.

Robinson, who ranks No. 88 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, is a physical point guard who knows how to play the game and is a flat-out winner. He’s not going to blow you away with his quickness, but he uses his body well and is crafty with his finishes in the lane. Robinson is adept at knocking down mid-range jumpers near the foul line, and he controls tempo.

He hopes to have a decision made by the end of the month.

“[Waiting] for the right time,” Robinson said. “I haven’t really had the chance to sit down with my family and go in detail about it.”

More on Recruiting

News and Notes: Alex Caruso informed CBSSports.com on Saturday night that he had a final six, in order, of: Texas A&M, Colorado, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arizona State and Richmond . . . 2012 point guard Siyani Chambers has a top three of Harvard, Washington State and UC-Santa Barbara – he doesn’t plan on making a decision soon . . . Reports about Villanova commit Savon Goodman reclassifying to 2013 are completely false: “No that’s a rumor,” Goodman told me Sunday . . . Derek Willis officially decommitted from Purdue on Sunday night, after the kerfuffle earlier in the week regarding his father’s comments about John Calipari and Rick Pitino . . . Sanjay Lumpkin committed to Northwestern on Friday . . . Louisville nabbed a 2014 commitment when Quentin Snider pledged to the Cardinals . . . Chris Bolden chose Georgia Tech on Friday night, after rumors swirled for a few weeks that he was planning to commit to Harvard . . . Bobby Portis, a rising 2013 big man, popped for Arkansas on Friday . . . Loyola (Ill.) picked up a commitment from Matt O’Leary . . . Reggie McAdams, a guard from Ohio, committed to Akron on Sunday night . . . Top-50 2013 guard Davon Reed is visiting Harvard September 22.

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Two standing out for Alex Caruso

By Jeff Borzello

It’s only been two months since Alex Caruso blew up at the Pangos All-American Camp in early June, but he’s already beginning to make advances in his recruitment.

“I have probably 7-10 schools I’m still interested in,” Caruso said.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) can do a little bit of everything on the wing. He is surprisingly athletic, and is very good when he leaves his feet in traffic. Caruso, who ranks No. 99 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, is at his best when using floaters and other non-traditional finishes, but he can also pass and handle.

Richmond, Texas A&M, Colorado, Oregon and Creighton made him a priority, contacting him shortly after the July period ended. Texas Tech, Arizona State, Northern Colorado and Sam Houston State have also extended offers.

Two schools are standing out right now to the College Station, Texas native.

“A&M and Colorado are slightly ahead of the pack but not too far ahead,” Caruso said.

Most of the Pac-12 has shown interest to him, while Boston College and Georgia Tech are making inroads from the opposite coast.

While Caruso is ready to trim his list, he’s not ready to go public with his finalists now.

“I don’t want to put anything out yet because it’s not final and me and my parents need to talk also,” he said.

Photo: Texas Basketball Inc.

Posted on: July 1, 2011 10:08 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 10:25 am
 

Notebook: Alex Caruso continues stellar play



By Jeff Borzello

The NBPA Top 100 Camp wasn’t the first breakout opportunity for Alex Caruso.

That came a week earlier at the Pangos All-American Camp, when Caruso went from having just one offer from Sam Houston State to getting pursued by high-majors from coast to coast.

“I finally got in the public eye,” Caruso said. “The opportunity to go to Pangos and now [the NBA Camp], that was huge.”

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from A&M Consolidated School (Texas) is not content just yet, either.

“Everybody will find out eventually,” he said.

Caruso is a surprisingly athletic wing who can do a little of everything. He excels with floaters and other non-traditional finishes in the lane, and is very good when he leaves his feet in traffic. Caruso can handle the ball well and is a solid passer. He has a good jump shot and is capable of dunking in the lane or off putbacks.

“I’m a competitor naturally, so I’m trying to get stronger,” Caruso said of what he is looking to improve.

He now holds offers from Texas A&M, Arizona State, Richmond, Northern Colorado.

The entire Pac-12 outside of Washington is showing interest to Caruso, along with Boston College, Georgia Tech and Texas Tech. He also took visits to Creighton and Pepperdine recently.

While he is not ready to name a favorite, Caruso gave some hints as to which schools are standing out.

“I’m from College Station, so I like A&M,” he said. “Arizona State, Colorado, I’m intrigued.”

Shaq Cleare continues long road from Bahamas

When Shaq Cleare came over from the Bahamas three years ago, he was a clean slate.

“That’s when I really started playing basketball. I mean, I played over there, but it wasn’t organized,” Cleare said. “I was starting from scratch.”

The 6-foot-9 big man from The Village School (Texas) is now one of the best centers in the country, being pursued by Maryland, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Florida, Providence and Arizona.

“A place where I fit in,” he said of what will be factors in his decision. “A coach that is there all the time.”

Many have linked Cleare with Maryland, which he has stated in the past is his favorite. Now, though, he is open to other schools.

“They’re one of my favorites, at the same level as some others,” Cleare said. “I like all the schools.”

Elijah Macon looks outside of scoring

It’s not often you get a big man who doesn’t care about getting the ball, but that was the case with Elijah Macon at NBPA Camp.

“I’ve been working on rebounding and blocking shots," Macon said. "I’m not looking to score. You got people who want to score, be ball hogs. I’m not going to be that type of player.”

The former West Virginia commit is now listening to Miami (Fla.), Maryland, Memphis, Nebraska, South Florida, Florida State and Tennessee, in addition to the aforementioned Mountaineers.

He wants to visit Maryland and Miami this summer.

Marcus Hunt still hard at work

Despite increasing his recruitment in a major way this spring, Marcus Hunt is still anxious to get better.

“I wake up every morning at 6 a.m. and get in the gym,” Hunt said. “I get out, I run, I lift weights. I do different things.”

Hunt has offers from Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Georgia State, East Carolina, Georgetown, VCU, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Massachusetts, UTEP, Wichita State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Memphis, with Kansas, Connecticut and Pittsburgh seemingly on the verge.

He has visits planned to Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

“Good education, good basketball program and somewhere I can come in as a freshman and play a big part,” Hunt said. “And coaching.”

Other Notes:

-- Shawn Smith, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Providence School (Fla.), is hearing from Missouri, Kansas State, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Florida State and Cincinnati. Smith recently came from Missouri and said he enjoyed his visit. “I’ll cut my list at the end of the summer,” he said.

-- Brice Johnson had his NBPA Camp experience cut short early because of a concussion. “I was playing well, and then that happened,” Johnson said. The setback hasn’t slowed his recruitment, though, as Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, Ohio State, Miami (Fla.), Florida State and Tennessee are all making a run at Johnson. He wants to visit Ohio State, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Photo: Texas Basketball Inc. 

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