Tag:Alex Poythress
Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:37 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:13 pm
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Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:56 pm
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Six players make Naismith watch list



By
Jeff Borzello

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Thursday the preseason watch list for the Naismith High School Player of the Year.

On the boys’ side, six players made the cut: Shabazz Muhammad (uncommitted and ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100); Kyle Anderson (UCLA, No. 4); Brandon Ashley (Arizona, No. 3); Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State, No. 9); Isaiah Austin (Baylor, No. 7); and Alex Poythress (Kentucky, No. 12).

“We’re extremely excited to watch this year’s nominees battle it out for the right to be called the best high school basketball player in 2012,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The players ranked in our top 10 who weren’t recognized were Mitch McGary (No. 2), Kaleb Tarczewski (No. 5), Archie Goodwin (No. 6), Cameron Ridley (No. 9) and DaJuan Coleman (No. 10.

The Naismith Awards national voting academy, comprised of basketball writers around the country, made the selections. The winner will be announced on March 22.

Last year’s winner was Austin Rivers.

On the girls’ side, the seven players were: Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), Moriah Jefferson (Connecticut), Alex Jones (Duke), Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame), Jordan Adams (USC) and junior Diamond DeShields (undecided).

Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Posted on: November 10, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Alex Poythress ends suspense, picks Kentucky



By
Jeff Borzello

Alex Poythress had one of the most unpredictable recruitments in the entire class of 2012.

On Thursday, Poythress will end the suspense by announcing for Kentucky during a pep rally at his high school, a source tells CBSSports.com.

He chose the Wildcats over Florida and Vanderbilt, with Memphis also in the running until late. Poythress is John Calipari’s third commitment in the class.

No one seemed to be able to get a read on where he was leaning, with Duke, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Memphis each seeming like they were in the driver’s seat at one point or another. The Blue Devils were cut from Poythress' list in late September, and he proceeded to visit the final four schools.

As late as Wednesday night, Memphis seemed to be the most popular projected landing spot for Poythress. However, information began to flow towards Kentucky on Thursday.

Poythress was also embroiled in a recruiting controversy over the summer, when Duke coach Mike Kryzewski called him to offer him a scholarship while he was still with his Georgia Stars team in Orlando at an AAU tournament. 

Poythress is the No. 12-ranked player in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He’s a 6-foot-8 prospect from Northeast (Tenn.) who can play both forward positions effectively. Poythress worked on expanding his perimeter game in the summer, extending his shooting range to the 3-point line and also improving his ability to take defenders off the dribble. Inside, Poythress is extremely active on the glass and around the rim. He also runs the floor efficiently.

With his ability to create matchup problems for most opponents, Poythress should fit perfectly into Calipari’s offense. Assuming at least Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis head to the NBA after this season, Poythress was a must-have recruit for Kentucky.

He joins Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley in the Wildcats’ class. Expect Calipari to continue his pursuit of several remaining five-star forwards, though.

Photo: Nation of Blue

Posted on: September 26, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Notebook: Chris Walker sets decision date

By Jeff Borzello

It’s not often a junior sets a decision date, but Chris Walker announced Sunday he would be committing on November 15.

“It’s my first game,” Walker told CBSSports.com.

Walker, ranked No. 5 by CBSSports.com in the class of 2013, will choose between Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky, Florida State, Ohio State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Memphis.

When we spoke with Walker two weeks ago, he said that Florida, Florida state, Kentucky, Ohio State and Kansas were standing out to him as a top five. He has taken trips to Florida and Florida State, and plans to go to Kansas for its Midnight Madness festivities. Memphis head coach Josh Pastner went to Walker’s high school on Monday to watch him work out.

Walker, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Holmes County (Fla.), has improved drastically over the past year. He runs the floor exceptionally well and knows how to make plays in transition. Walker can knock down short jumpers or drive to the rim, and he is also very solid on the defensive end due to his defense and athleticism.

Poythress cuts list to four, eliminates Duke

Duke and Alex Poythress were associated with each other over the summer on multiple occasions. There was mutual interest from both parties, and then the two made news with the Blue Devils offering him a scholarship during an AAU tournament.

It looks like that chapter of Poythress’ recruitment is over, though, as he cut Duke from his list on Monday morning.

Poythress is down to Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Memphis. The 6-foot-8 forward from Northeast (Tenn.) has visited Vanderbilt already, and will take trips to Florida and Memphis in the coming weeks. Poythress will also head to Kentucky for its midnight madness.

Poythress is ranked No. 14 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Commitment Catch-up

It was a busy weekend for commitments, as several high-major prospects made their decisions.

  • Elijah Macon – West Virginia
  • Christian Sanders – Stanford
  • Bronson Koenig – Wisconsin
  • Tyler Cavanaugh – Wake Forest
  • Waverly Austin – South Florida
  • Kodi Justice – Arizona State
  • Nolan Berry – Butler
  • Buddy Hield – Oklahoma
  • Anthony Clemmons – Iowa

Chris Jones advances process

Although he was overshadowed on the New Jersey Playaz by plenty of high-major prospects, Chris Jones still managed to get noticed by plenty of scouts and coaches.

Jones, a 6-foot-4 guard from Teaneck (N.J.), is a very good scorer who uses his size and strength to score at the rim. He has good athleticism and is effective off the dribble.

He took an unofficial visit to Manhattan last week, and also went to Towson officially this past weekend.

“That was cool,” Jones said of Manhattan. “They have a real experienced staff with Scott Padgett playing in the NBA. And Manhattan is close so that was a plus.”

Of Towson, Jones said: “It was a good visit. I like the campus. The coaches were honest with me, and I had fun with the guys.”

He trips to Siena this weekend, and is also looking to set up a visit to La Salle. Massachusetts is in the mix as well.

“There is no real set time,” Jones said of a decision. “I’m really just evaluating all of them.”

Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Podcast: Where will uncommitted stars end up?

By Matt Norlander

Recruits are becoming savvy to the game. Each year, it's taking longer and longer for more and more high-level recruits to commit to a school. Makes sense -- this is pretty much the last bastion of legitimate power they'll have until they get out of college and go on to earn buck at some sort of professional level.

So, with that in mind, I had Borzello hop onto the podcast and give you the most likely landing spots for these 10 undecided guys:
  1. Shabazz Muhammad
  2. Mitch McGary
  3. Kyle Anderson
  4. Archie Goodwin
  5. Kaleb Tarczewski
  6. DaJuan Coleman
  7. Amile Jefferson
  8. Alex Poythress
  9. Rodney Purvis
  10. Jarnell Stokes
Some seem inevitable, while a few others are true toss-ups. Listen to find out which guys on the list could very well drag out their recruitments all the way until April. That's right -- after the upcoming college basketball season, which is still seven weeks away from having games on television. We also discuss how Houston was able to pull off getting two top-100 guys, and why that label is actually a little misleading in this case.

And, as always, if you want the latest news and scoops on recruitments in hoops, we've got an entire blog wholly dedicated to that. Borzello does most of the housekeeping there. Boost the pageviews and his ego all at once!

Here's the link for iTunes subscription. The podcast goes up a few minutes after it's live here on the blog, so be sure to subscribe. Or, if you're just hanging out, click the player below and enjoy.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:48 am
Edited on: August 1, 2011 1:49 am
 

Orlando AAU Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables


By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – While Las Vegas gets more publicity for the events held there during the second July live period, the AAU Super Showcase and AAU Nationals have just as much talent and competition as the Sin City. Sure, it doesn’t have the Strip, but there are 12 air-conditioned courts in one area – as opposed to the constant driving and navigation of the Vegas deserts.

More on Recruiting

This year, Orlando was even more loaded than usual. Some of the top U-17 teams were there for the Super Showcase, including Peach Jam champion BABC, EYBL regular-season champion Team Takeover, Peach Jam semifinalist Georgia Stars and the top-five Houston Defenders. Mitch McGary, Rodney Purvis, Robert Carter, Devonta Pollard, Gary Harris, Archie Goodwin and plenty more top-25 players were on hand as well. Both Florida Rams teams arrived for Nationals, as did CBC, Houston Hoops and the studs of Texas Pro. 2013 was well represented, with five-star prospects Nerlens Noel, the Harrison twins, Chris Walker, Troy Williams, Anthony Barber, Jonathan Williams III, Brannen Greene and Isaiah Hicks present in Florida.

At the Super Showcase, the surprise was the semifinal run made by Hoop Heaven Heat Elite, an under-the-radar team from New Jersey headlined by Alabama-commit Jaren Sina. BABC ended their run in the semifinals, while the Houston Defenders bounced Team Takeover on the other side of the bracket. In the title game, BABC couldn’t create offense from its defense and the Defenders ended BABC’s string of dominance in convincing fashion. The AAU Nationals will go until the end of the month, but many coaches, scouts and players are checking out early. While there are still great games happening, it wasn’t hard to see that nearly everyone was hitting a wall. With that said, here’s a look at who impressed at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Disney World this week.

Top Performers

Andrew Harrison, Houston Defenders: With a game that reminds some of Dwyane Wade, Harrison is unarguably the best guard in the country – regardless of class. He is impossible to stay in front of because of quickness and handle, and his 6-foot-5 size makes him a matchup nightmare. 

Aaron Harrison, Houston Defenders: While his twin brother is the point guard, Aaron is the scorer. He has tremendous range on his jumper, and is good enough to knock down several in a row. Harrison also finishes well at the rim.

Georges Niang, BABC: He won’t impress you with his size, athleticism or length, but the Iowa State-bound Niang is simply productive. He is not afraid to do the dirty work inside, and will bang with anyone. No matter the opponent, Niang gets the job done.

Danuel House, Texas Pro: Teammate Isaiah Austin is the higher-profile player, but House stood out in Orlando. The wing is strong, athletic and really knows how to finish in the lane. If he tightens his handle, he’s going to be tough to guard.

Alex Poythress, Georgia Stars: Poythress has been talking about becoming more of a small forward, and he showed off his expanded game in Orlando. He knocked down 3-pointers consistently and was still his usual active self around the rim.

Jake Layman, BABC: Layman (right) has broken out as much as anyone the past few weeks, with some saying he’s a future pro. The King Phillip (Mass.) product is very long and skilled on the wing, but is athletic and quick enough to guard any perimeter position.

Jaren Sina, Hoop Heaven Heat Elite: Someone has to get credit for leading Hoop Heaven to the semifinals of the Super Showcase, and the Alabama-bound Sina gets the nod. He is a strong and savvy guard who can get to the rim and knock down outside shots. Sina is also a very good passer.

Marc Loving, All-Ohio Red 16s: Some people have soured on Loving in recent months, but he was outstanding when we saw him. Loving is tough to guard due to his ability to hit from the perimeter or take defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim.

Tyler Cavanaugh, Albany City Rocks: With DaJuan Coleman not in attendance, the onus fell to Cavanaugh to carry the City Rocks – and he came through. He carved out areas in the post to make plays, and was also able to stretch the defense with outside shots.

Kasey Hill, Florida Rams Black: Hill continues to get better and better at each event. He has improved his ball-handling ability, enabling him to stay under control more consistently. His passing is also eye-opening, especially in transition.

Other Notables: Jaylen Brantley isn’t a pure point guard and isn’t big enough for the two, but he is a lights-out shooter and doesn’t make mistakes . . . Fred Van Vleet (right) continues to impress onlookers and opponents – Wichita State got a steal . . . Kethan Savage of Team Takeover showed his usual driving ability, but also knocked down outside shots . . . 2013 stud Nick King is a very difficult matchup for most opponents due to his versatile skill set . . . Overshadowed by Chris McCullough at Salisbury School (Conn.), Samuel Dingba is becoming a touted prospect in his own right . . . Tony Farmer has all the physical tools; he just needs more consistent effort . . . Watching Florida Rams wing Chris Davenport for the first time, it was clear he had talent – no surprise SEC and ACC teams are on him . . . Dillon Graham is tougher than he looks; he had no problem attacking the rim in traffic . . . Buoyed by a big-time spring performance, Jerome Hairston is still tough to stop off penetration . . . Playing off the ball with Marcus Paige at the point, Mike Gessell still made plays off the dribble and from behind the arc . . . A name to remember continues to be Landry Nnoko – he is a big-time rebounder and shot-blocker who is developing . . . Allerik Freeman has a great offensive game, with the ability to score at the rim against bigger plays . . . Dartmouth-commit Alex Mitola doesn’t have a pretty shot, but he has deep range . . . Shaq Cleare never backed down from Nerlens Noel, going at his chest from the get-go . . . Chicken Knowles is a future matchup nightmare if he keeps developing his outside shot . . . Archie Goodwin might be the best scoring guard in the country . . . I haven’t seen anyone catch alley-oops with the explosiveness of Derrick Griffin in a long time . . . Another impressive Florida Rams Black player was Dallas Moore, who simply knows how to knock down shots . . . In the past, Wake Forest-commit Andre Washington has been underwhelming, but he was active at both ends in Orlando . . . Moses Kingsley isn’t there offensively, but his length and athleticism make him a presence defensively and on the glass . . . Darryl Hicks gets it done offensively – he has great 3-point shooting ability and is getting stronger  . . . Hoop Heaven Heat Elite’s Chris Jenkins sent coaches and scouts scurrying for the roster books after hitting at least six 3-pointers against BABC . . . Desmond Ringer is going to be one of the best big men in 2013, given his productivity in the paint. He has a good body and overpowers most defenders . . . Dominic Woodson is a name that made its way around Orlando throughout the week – the big man is on the rise in 2013.

Photos: ESPN (Aaron Harrison), Sun-Chronicle (Jake Layman), Northern Star (Fred Van Vleet)

Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Five-star Alex Poythress adds Duke offer

By Jeff Borzello

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Alex Poythress continues to expand his game, his recruitment is also widening.

On Tuesday night, after the AAU Super Showcase, the 6-foot-7 Northeast (Tenn.) forward picked up an offer from Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“It felt pretty good,” Poythress said Thursday morning. “It was pretty exciting to talk to Coach K. He said he saw me play at the Super Showcase and Peach Jam, and he liked what he saw.”

More on Recruiting

Poythress has spent much of the month looking to become more of a perimeter-oriented player, showing off his range and shooting ability. He sees himself as a small forward at the next level, and the improvement in his ball-handling and off-the-dribble game are prime examples.

“I’ve played pretty decent,” Poythress said. “I was trying to get better as player overall.”

Poythress, who ranks No. 15 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is also hearing from Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Memphis, Louisville, Connecticut, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama.

He said there is no favorite right now, despite the new offer.

"There's no pecking order," Poythress said. “I’ll probably cut my list in a week or two."

Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 1:17 am
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