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Tag:Clemson
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: 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.

Posted on: September 20, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Two schools on top for Negus Webster-Chan

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By
Jeff Borzello

Since Louisville and Negus Webster-Chan parted ways back in April, it’s been pretty quiet on the recruiting front for the Canada native.

That will change soon, as Webster-Chan is in the process of taking visits and hopes to make a decision by November.

He has taken trips to Missouri and Iowa State, and those two Big 12 (for now) schools sit as the favorites.

“They recruit me the hardest out of all,” Webster-Chan said. “Both have really great coaching staffs. They both had in-home visits with my family over in Canada so that showed me how interested they were.”

So far, Missouri and Iowa State are the only two schools to conduct in-home visits with Webster-Chan, with no further in-homes on the horizon.

There were rumors that Webster-Chan had trimmed his list to just those two schools, but he denied those reports.

“Those are just the two schools at the top of my list,” he said.

Webster-Chan is planning an official visit to Clemson “probably next weekend,” while USC, Texas, Oregon State and Marquette are also in pursuit.

Webster-Chan is a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) who uses his length and athleticism to score effectively on drives to the rim. His shooting is getting more consistent, but he needs to add weight and bulk in order to better absorb contact on his finishes. Webster-Chan is also a capable passer and an aggressive defender.

Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Allerik Freeman trimming list to nine

By Jeff Borzello

June was the key month for Allerik Freeman.

Prior to it, he was considering a prospect that could play at the high-major level. After big-time weekends at the Nike Elite 100 and NBPA Top 100 Camp, Freeman became one of the most sought-after players in the country.

An impressive July vaulted him to the No. 15 spot in the CBSSports.com Top 100.

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and I played more on the main stage this year,” Freeman said.

While he has always been able to use his strength and finishing ability to execute off the dribble, Freeman expanded his game in the past few months to make himself more dangerous.

“My pull-up three ball,” he said. “I’ve zoned in on my mid-range game, and just using my speed and size.”

In terms of recruiting, so many schools are pursuing Freeman that he barely remembers all of them.

He holds offers from North Carolina State, Miami (Fl.), Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Xavier, UNLV, Georgetown, Baylor, Oklahoma, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Memphis, Texas, Villanova and Wake Forest, while also hearing from North Carolina, Clemson, Marquette, DePaul, Florida State and Arizona.

With upwards of 30 schools vying for his services, Freeman is ready to start eliminating suitors.

“I’m cutting it to nine by August 25th,” he said.

Photo: VUHoops.com 

Posted on: August 12, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Recruitment on the upswing for Blaise Mbargorba

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By Jeff Borzello

It’s been an interesting couple of years for Blaise Mbargorba.

The Cameroon native burst onto the scene with strong play in 2009 as a relative unknown, but then some schools soured on him as he rode the bench at St. Benedict’s (N.J.). Mbargorba decided to transfer to The Peddie School (N.J.) and reclassify to the class of 2012.

It turned out to be a terrific choice by Mbargorba, who reminded everyone of his vast potential with impressive performances this summer.

“I think that’s my hard work starting to pay off, because I spend a lot of time in the gym to get better as much as I possibly can,” he said.

The 7-footer is strong and athletic, and he moves fairly well for someone his size. Mbargorba gets good position on the block, and his soft hands enable him to post up defenders and go to work.

While his offense is still somewhat raw, Mbargorba continues to get better.

“My game has changed,” he said. “More schools are calling and I feel more confident now.”

Mbargorba currently holds offers from Vanderbilt, Temple, Saint Joseph’s, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, SMU, George Mason, Northwestern, Clemson, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Columbia.

He adds that most of the offers came during the July period when he was dominating with the NJ Roadrunners on the AAU circuit.

The last two years have been up-and-down for Mbargorba, but the forecast is awfully bright for the rising senior.

Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Brice Johnson uses big July to boost recruitment

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By Jeff Borzello

Brice Johnson missed out on a chance to boost his stock at the NBPA Top 100 Camp when he suffered a concussion early in the camp and had to sit out the rest of the event.

Johnson, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Edisto (S.C.), bounced back in a major way at the Peach Jam in mid-July, dominating at both ends of the floor and showcasing his game in front of coaches.

“There’s people my size here,” Johnson said at the time. “When people are 6-foot-4, I don’t play [well].”

More on Recruiting

He continued his strong play at the end of the month, staking his claim as one of the best post players in the country. One college coach said he was a future lottery pick.

“I feel like I’m one of the best,” Johnson said. “Everyone has been trying to beat me, but I just know if I play like I always do, they won’t beat me or stop me because I can beat you in a number of ways.”

He is very long and athletic, and he runs the floor like a gazelle. Johnson’s face-up jumper and back-to-the-basket game are both improving, and his potential his through the roof if he continues to develop.

Several schools are making him a priority, with North Carolina offering him earlier this week.

The Tar Heels join a long list of programs, including Florida, Ohio State, Connecticut, North Carolina State, Marquette, Clemson and South Carolina.

Johnson, ranked No. 72 in CBSSports.com's Top 100, said there are no favorites right now, with all of the schools about the same. He plans on taking visits before making a decision, but he is not sure which schools will get an official from him in the fall.

“I’m just going to continue to take my time and find the best fit for me,” Johnson said.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Plan is coming together for Jerome Hairston

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By Jeff Borzello

Jerome Hairston moved from Wyoming to Virginia to increase his national exposure and possibly get to a high-major school.

The plan has worked so far – just ask his cousin, former Wake Forest star and current NBA player, James Johnson.

“He said, ‘it’s crazy – you’re just as good as the guys you’ve seen on YouTube and stuff. And now you’re one of them,’” Hairston said.

“We didn’t think we were as good as some of these other guys,” he added.

Hairston is a 6-foot-3 point guard who will attend Christ School (N.C.) next season. His stock has risen tremendously since the beginning of the AAU season in the spring.

“It really started at the Southern Invitational. Since then, I was invited to the NBA Top 100 Camp, the CP3 point guard camp,” Hairston said. “Dave Telep told me, if you’re a winner, your stock increases. No matter how you look, winning is the most important.”

He has certainly taken that to heart, leading his East Coast Fusion team to a U-17 title at the Southern Jam Fest in April, and helping them stay competitive during tournaments in North Carolina, Indianapolis and Orlando.

Hairston is extremely quick off the dribble, using his speed and strength to get into the lane and finish in traffic. He is very difficult to keep out of the lane, but he also a good enough to shooter from behind the arc to keep defenders honest.

“I think [coaches] love the fact that I’m a big point guard,” Hairston said. "I can also score and pass. Any game, I can have zero points and 12 assists, or I can put 30 down. I can also really guard, do what I can do on defense.”

More on Recruiting

Hairston’s recruitment continues to pick up across the board, as Colorado, Georgia Tech, Clemson, South Carolina, UNC-Asheville, Wyoming, Marshall, George Washington and Niagara are all pursuing him.

He said Colorado, Georgia Tech and UNC-Asheville are on him the hardest, and he has trip planned to Asheville since it will be close to Christ School.

There’s no rush to make a decision, though.

“I’m going to wait and take visits,” Hairston said.

Photo: Roanoke Times

Posted on: June 15, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: June 15, 2011 11:06 am
 

Sam Cassell Jr. relishes father's shadow

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By Jeff Borzello

BRONX, N.Y. – Some people might think having a famous NBA player as a father could provide added pressure or constantly create unfair comparisons.

That’s not the case for Sam Cassell Jr., who enjoys being the son of a 15-year NBA veteran.

“It’s been wonderful,” Cassell Jr. said. “I know everyone is watching me when I play. I get to show what I can do.”

Cassell Jr. is a 6-foot-4 Baltimore native who plays his high school ball at Notre Dame Prep (Mass.). His length and size give him an edge over most opponents, and he is aggressive when it comes to attacking the basket. Cassell Jr. is a very good defender because of his frame, but is looking to get faster.

“I’m trying to become a pure point guard,” he said. “I’m working on my ball-handling and I have to get quicker to guard other point guards.”

Cassell Jr. has a variety of schools pursuing him at this point, listing UNLV, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida State, Butler, Clemson and Morgan State.

No one is standing out at this point, but he still knows what he needs in a school.

“I’m looking at the coaching,” Cassell Jr. said. “And the atmosphere of the team.”

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