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Tag:Brandon Ashley
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:56 pm
 

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 9, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 12:46 pm
 

Sean Miller hauls unlikely No. 1 class in Arizona

By Jeff Goodman

Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett.

Three of the elite big men in the entire country, all headed to the same place.

Tucson, Arizona.

A decade or so ago, this would hardly be newsworthy. Lute Olson was doing this sort of thing all the time, plucking the best of the best - especially on the west coast.

But Arizona hasn't been, Arizona, for a while now.

That's set to change with Ashley, Tarczewski and Jerrett - in addition to consensus Top 50 guard Gabe York - all signing with Sean Miller's Arizona Wildcats.

Ashley checks in at No. 3 overall in our rankings, Tarczewski is at No. 5 while Jerrett (No. 23) is also a legitimate McDonald's All-American candidate.

This is a class that stands at numero uno right now - without any question or hesitation - and it's also one that no one expected out of Miller when took the job a couple years ago.

Miller was an east coast guy who had virtually no recruiting ties west of the Mississippi, but he's been able to make inroads in California - and that's a state that has been primed to invade lately with the inability of Ben Howland to secure elite local talent and the hesitation of Kevin O'Neill to go after (or secure) potential one-and-done guys.

Sure, Miller was fortunate that USC let Derrick Williams out of his letter of intent and ended up in Tucson. He was lucky that he was able to persuade former Xavier signee Kevin Parrom to come with him to Arizona.

But this was a program with as much instability as any in the nation a few years ago.

It appeared to be in the same realm as Indiana, a major rebuilding process that could take years for it to be nationally relevant again.

Now Miller, just two years removed, is beating Kentucky and Phil Knight, I mean Oregon, for studs like Ashley. He got John Calipari twice this year and also nabbed Tarczewski over Kansas and North Carolina.

That's mind-boggling.

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However, the most shocking aspect of his current class is that the 7-foot Tarczewski committed with Ashley and Jerrett already in the fold. This could be the most talented trio of big men in the country in any one spot a year from now - and we haven't even touched on current Arizona freshmen Angelo Chol or Sidiki Johnson - both big men who cracked the Top 100 in the previous recruiting class.

With this group that will ink in the early signing period, Miller has put Arizona back where Olson had it in his heyday.

Just imagine a starting unit of sophomore guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson in the backcourt with a healthy Parrom or Solomon Hill (both will be seniors) on the wing and some combination of Ashley, Tarczewski and Jerrett up front. Then you'll have guys like Johnson, Chol and York coming off the bench.

That's a team that can compete for a league - and likely even a national - championship.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: August 29, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Brandon Ashley is off the board to Arizona



By Jeff Borzello

Despite being considered an Arizona lean for much of his recruitment, Brandon Ashley still had a long list of suitors on his trail.

On Monday, Ashley confirmed popular opinion and committed to Arizona.

“He committed minutes ago,” Findlay Prep assistant coach Todd Simon told CBSSports.com.

Ashley visited Arizona’s campus on Sunday after the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game in Venice Beach, Calif. He chose the Wildcats over Oregon, Kentucky and UCLA.

Ashley, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Oakland who transferred to Findlay for the fall, is ranked No. 6 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He has one of the best skillsets of any frontcourt prospect, using his athleticism and length to make plays in a variety of ways. Ashley can run the floor and finish in transition, but he also has effective post moves around the basket. He can step out and knock down face-up jumpers, and he is also solid on the defensive end and on the glass.

Ashley is the third top-30 commit in Arizona’s 2012 class, joining guard Gabe York (No. 24) and forward Grant Jerrett (No. 30).

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:36 am
 

Las Vegas Wrapup: Top Performers, Notables


By Jeff Borzello

LAS VEGAS – For five days, Las Vegas went from being the gathering place for various vices to the epicenter of AAU basketball (during the day, at least). With the Adidas Super 64 and the Fab 48, the majority of the best players and teams in the country descended on the desert for two of the summer’s best tournaments. The individual match-ups that took place at the Super 64 were unparalleled, while the Fab 48 featured plenty of top talent as well.

At the Super 64, the final four consisted of Indiana Elite, Dream Vision, Utah Pump N Run and Texas Assault. Behind the play of Jordan Loveridge, Utah Pump N Run defeated the Atlanta Celtics, Compton Magic and Michigan Mustangs in the tournament. EBC Elite made a run to the Elite Eight with upsets over Family First and DC Assault, while the Nor Cal Pharaohs also made a surprising run.

The Fab 48 was marred somewhat by two brawls, but the Cinderella stories by Wisconsin Swing and Team Breakdown to reach the Final Four were fun to watch. In the end, though, Ishmail Wainright and the KC 76ers rolled to the championship, dispatching of anyone in their path. The favorites heading into the event included the Oakland Soldiers, Belmont Shore, NJ Playaz and Mac Irvin Fire – all three were gone by the final eight, with the Soldiers and Playaz getting shocked in the playoff opener.

Top Performers

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Ishmail Wainright, 2013, KC 76ers: Arguably the most impressive overall performer of the week, Wainright led his team to a surprising Fab 48 title. The muscular junior has always been a great defender and energy guy, but he carried the 76ers offensively, including getting the upper hand on Jabari Parker in a head-to-head battle.

Shabazz Muhammad, 2012, Dream Vision: Muhammad had his slow games, but overall, he again showed why he is the best player in the class. He carried Dream Vision to the title game, getting baskets in a variety of ways. Simply unstoppable when going to the rim.

Andre Drummond, 2012, Connecticut Basketball Club: When Drummond is motivated or goes against another top player, he is outstanding. He beat Kaleb Tarczewski head-to-head, adding to his hit list amongst the top big men in the country.

Javan Felix, 2012, New Orleans Elite: With the point guard class down this year, the demand for someone like Felix becomes much higher – especially when he plays like he did this week. He was knocking down shots off screens and was also getting to the rim.

Chris McCullough, 2014, Team Scan 15s: Although many people got their first glimpse of McCullough this week, he is certainly a top-10 player in his class. He is long and athletic, and has a ceiling that is simply through the roof. Raw for now, but his name will be heard for a long time.

Brandon Ashley, 2012, Oakland Soldiers: Ashley has consistently been one of the most impressive players this summer, and this week was no different. He scored around the rim, ran the floor and showed a willingness to handle the ball and knockdown face-up jumpers.

Kaleb Tarczewski, 2012, New England Playaz: Didn’t get the upper hand against Andre Drummond, but he played well the rest of the week. Most of his points come on dunks or layups around the rim, but his defense, work ethic and rebounding ability bode well.

Buddy Hield, 2012, Kansas Pray and Play Players: Overshadowed slightly by Perry Ellis, Hield was the one that shined throughout the week. Hield is a big-time offensive player that can knock down shots from behind the arc or drive the lane and finish in impressive fashion.

Denzel Valentine, 2012, Michigan Mustangs: He wasn’t that impressive at the NBPA Top 100 camp in June, but Valentine has looked good in the two Adidas events in July. He knows how to handle the ball in traffic and uses his body exceptionally well when driving the lane.

Marcus Smart, 2012, Texas Assault: Smart consistently put the Assault on his back at both ends of the floor, and his energy and nonstop motor permeated the rest of the team en route to the semifinals. Smart is an outstanding defender who has steadily improved his shooting and ball-handling 

Other Notables:

Indiana Elite made a run to the Final Four, but no one in particular stood out overall. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had his moments, while Jeremy Hollowell was also solid . . . Kuran Iverson is supremely talented, but his lack of interest on defense make some question his work ethic . . . With Drummond on the inside, Kris Dunn was able to make plays in transition and on the perimeter . . . For Belmont Shore, Katin Reinhardt continued to improve his point guard ability, while Grant Jerrett showed his versatile offensive game . . . New York guard Isaiah Whitehead knows how to make tough shots, plain and simple . . . Joe Rahon, the younger brother of San Diego State guard James Rahon, continues to impress. He can hit shots and run a team . . . Going up against Drummond, Coreontae DeBerry held his own defensively . . . Nate Britt again looked good, initiating offense and showing great body control in the lane . . . Kentucky native Taylor Barnette is fun to watch when his shot is falling; his range is unparalleled . . . Got my first glances at Grant Verhoeven and Christian Wood. Verhoeven is a very good defender and scores in the lane, while Wood needs room to grow but is certainly talented . . . One coach told me Chris Walker reminds him of a young Antonio McDyess . . . Charles Mitchell doesn’t have ideal size for a big man, but his hands and length make up for it . . . Mitchell's teammate, Chris Bolden, showed off an improved driving game to go with his knockdown shooting . . . 2013 forward Jordan Bell had 17 blocks in one game. That’s ridiculous . . . The attacking ability of Montay Brandon is impressive; if he gets a jumper, look out . . . One of the breakout players of the event was Jordan Loveridge, who led the Utah Pump N Run team to the semifinals – he knows how to score . . . Double Pump Elite’s Tyrone Wallace is quickly rising up the point guard ranks – he is 6-foot-4 and long . . . Texas shooter Phil Forte simply doesn’t miss . . . Team Breakdown didn’t have too many studs, but guard Brandon Channer used his strength and finishing ability to provide a boost . . . Slightly overshadowed by Chris Thomas’ antics, but Colorado commit Wesley Gordon is a big man who moves well without the ball and can finish . . . Sanjay Lumpkin is a tough matchup for guards at 6-foot-6, and also held his own against forward Gavin Thurman.

Photos: Kansas City Star (Wainwright), 247 Sports (Felix), Utah Pump N Run (Loveridge)

Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2011 1:17 am
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Posted on: June 20, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Brandon Ashley stakes claim to top-five ranking

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By Jeff Borzello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – When discussing the top players in the class of 2012, Brandon Ashley is not always mentioned in the case for No. 1.

Ashley takes offense to that.

“I definitely feel like I belong in the top five,” he said. “I know I’m just as good or better. My skill level is not an issue. I just have to play harder, play more consistently.”

The 6-foot-9 forward from Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) certainly made his case at the NBPA Top 100 camp last week. Ashley showed off his all-around skills, scoring with his back to the basket and knocking down face-up jumpers. He ran the floor better than most big men, and also handled the ball and passed well for someone his size.

Ashley’s potential is through the roof, and when he brings maximum effort, he is tough to contain.

“I’m trying to become an all-around better player, an inside-outside player,” he said.

Ashley has plenty of suitors at this point, but said he is ready to cut down his list in the near future. For now, though, it seems a number of colleges have a shot at him.

“I’m wide-open, but a lot of the same schools [are involved],” Ashley said. “The Pac-10, the SEC, Kansas, schools like that. Everyone is coming at me the hardest.”

In addition to the entire Pac-10 and Kansas, Wake Forest, Texas, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, Connecticut and others are also recruiting him.

One school mentioned in association with Ashley in the past has been Kentucky, but he said the Wildcats’ pursuit has tailed off.

“They’ve sent me a few emails, but that’s it,” he said.

When Ashley does make a decision, which doesn’t look like any time soon, he is looking for a school that already has established talent on the roster.

 “I want to go to a place where I’m surrounded by good players, with a good coaching staff,” he said.

Photo: Media 411

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