Tag:Arkansas
Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:26 am
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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: November 18, 2011 7:55 pm
 

Notebook: Aaron Ross looking at other options

By Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Aaron Ross was set to head to Arkansas in the fall, but a hang-up with his ACT test results forced him to prep school.

After enrolling at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Wisc.), Ross reopened his recruitment.

Per a source, Arkansas has had limited contact with Ross recently and several other schools have entered the picture.

Missouri, Washington, Nebraska and Dayton are all showing interest to the 6-foot-6 small forward from Little Rock, Ark.

Ross has a learning disability and he needs to take his tests with special circumstances. He never took the untimed and verbal test while at Parkview (Ark.). At SJNMA, he has received the proper accommodations and is on track to be cleared.

However, the source said Ross will be at SJNMA and will not look to enroll at a college during the semester break.

Former Hofstra commit impresses

During his original recruitment, Malik Nichols only saw one place – and he signed there.

However, after rethinking everything, he reclassified to the class of 2012 and decommitted from Hofstra.

“They were the only place I looked at,” Nichols said. “I wanted to see my other options.”

Nichols, a 6-foot-6 forward originally from Boys and Girls (N.Y.), had an impressive summer with the New York Panthers. He has continued that with Bridgton Academy (Maine), scoring 13 points in a win over St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy (Wisc.).

As a result, some new schools are in the mix. St. John’s and South Florida are showing interest, while Hofstra is hanging around.

Nichols has no timetable for a decision.

Photo: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Posted on: November 18, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Ryan Taylor moves his recruitment past Louisville

By Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – In a world where seemingly every move of a high-major recruit is chronicled and reported on, Ryan Taylor was an anomaly.

Taylor, a 6-foot-7 forward from Indianapolis, committed to Louisville in January of 2009 but never signed a letter-of-intent – or cleared up why he didn’t sign with the Cardinals as a member of the class of 2011.

Now, Taylor is enrolled at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) and is in the class of 2012.

“I can’t really say [what happened], but we both wanted to go our separate ways,” Taylor said at the National Prep Showcase. “No disrespect to Coach Pitino or their program, but we wanted to go our separate ways.”

Taylor played very well on Friday, totaling 26 points and 11 rebounds in an easy 115-91 victory over Notre Dame Prep (Mass.). He did most of his damage in the paint against the smaller opponent, showing his aggressiveness on the boards and around the rim. Taylor played well in transition and ran the floor effectively.

In the past, Taylor showed more of a face-up mid-range game, but he wanted to take advantage of his size edge against Prep.

“I try to say I can do it all, but I knew we were going against a small team so I tried to play more down in the post,” he said.

In terms of recruiting, Taylor hasn’t thought much about it just yet. Right now, Arkansas, Cincinnati and Dayton are showing interest.

He wants to take a trip to Cincinnati.

“I like the Big East style of basketball,” Taylor said. “Big East and Big Ten.”

He currently has no timetable for a commitment.

Photo: Indy Star

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 21, 2011 11:54 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Notebook: Blaise Mbargorba goes with SMU

By Jeff Borzello

If SMU indeed moves to the Big East in the next couple of years, the Mustangs will need Big East-level talent.

They started the process on Friday, getting a commitment from Blaise Mbargorba. The news was first reported by Scout.com.

Mbargorba is a 6-foot-11 Cameroon native, who burst onto the scene in 2009 as a relative unknown. The Peddie School (N.J.) product is very strong and athletic, and he moves fairly well for someone his size. He knows how to get position inside, and he has soft hands. Mbargorba’s offense is still somewhat raw, but he continues to improve.

He was considered a Vanderbilt lean for most of his recruitment, but the Mustangs made a late run to snag him. Mbargorba also held offers from Temple, Virginia Tech, Saint Joseph’s, West Virginia, George Mason, Northwestern, Clemson, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Columbia.

Commitment Catch-Up:

  • D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown
  • Jordon Granger, Auburn
  • Ashauhn Dixon-Tatum, Auburn
  • Jordan Hare, Rhode Island
  • Brett Boese, Washington State
  • Richard Longrus, Washington State
  • Mychael Qualls, Arkansas
  • Ryan Rosburg, Missouri
  • Clyde Smith, TCU
  • Charles Hill, TCU
  • Kyle Molock, Saint Joseph’s
  • Zach En’Wezoh, Columbia

Important Visitors:

  • Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona
  • Willie Cauley, Kansas State
  • Phil Nolan, Clemson
  • Alex Poythress, Memphis
  • T.J. Warren, Georgetown
  • DaJuan Coleman, Ohio State
  • Gary Harris, Kentucky
  • Amile Jefferson, Kentucky
  • Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame (2013)
  • Allerik Freeman, Villanova (2013)
  • Keith Frazier, Arizona (2013)
  • Stephen Domingo, Arizona (2013)

Decision Time:

Dermarquise Johnson, a 2012 wing from Arizona, will choose Saturday between Washington, Washington State, Gonzaga and UNLV.
- Ioannis Papaetrou will choose between Texas and Kansas on Saturday
- On Monday, Terry Henderson will decide between NC State, Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Rutgers, George Mason and Richmond.


News and Notes:
2012 point guard Josh Gray decommitted from Mississippi State. 

Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 11:09 am
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Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:48 am
 

Twymond Howard ready to focus on basketball



By Jeff Borzello

Twymond Howard has had an on-again, off-again relationship with football over the past few years.

The Pearl (Miss.) product was one of the top players in the state as a high school freshman, but he gave it up to focus on basketball. In the spring, Howard decided he wanted to give football another shot. However, after thinking about it, he is no longer planning to play two sports.

“I’ve decided not to play,” Howard said. “I’m really just ready to focus in on one sport and basketball is my favorite.”

More on Recruiting

Howard, a 6-foot-6 forward, is ranked No. 81 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Not surprisingly, he is a big-time athlete who excels in transition and when finishing at the rim. Howard can be a matchup problem when defended by bigger players, and he also uses his strength to be an adept defender and rebounder.

Over the summer, Howard felt like he held his own.

“I believe I did pretty good,” he said. “Just play hard at all times.”

Howard said he noticed Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest the most at his games during the July live period. He holds offers from those three, as well as Mississippi State, Arkansas, Baylor and West Virginia.

He doesn’t have any plans on a timetable for a decision.

“I have no clue yet,” Howard said. “I’m gonna take my time and talk to my mom about it.”

Performance on the court and in the classroom is important to Howard when it comes to what he is looking for in a school.

“Just a great education and how they develop players,” he said.

And we now know football certainly won’t play a factor in his decision.

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