Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:North Carolina State
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:34 am
 

Amile Jefferson could be on verge of decision

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – For the past couple of months, it has seemed like Amile Jefferson was on the verge of making a decision.

This time, he might really mean it.

“It’s getting close,” Jefferson said over the weekend. “I’m hoping it’s soon. It’s day-to-day. We’re going to sit down and give each coach one more call.”

Jefferson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Friends Central (Pa.), is ranked No. 13 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is considering five schools heading into the home stretch: Villanova, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Kentucky and Duke.

“There’s a lot of pressure,” Jefferson said. “You get the pressure from fans. There’s no more courting. People want you to make a decision.”

Duke is one of the schools getting plenty of attention with Jefferson the past few weeks. Mike Krzyzewski turned up the heat on him recently, becoming a major player in his recruitment after sniffing around for a while.

The Blue Devils are squarely in the mix.

“Duke was always a school I had interest in,” Jefferson said. “I’ve been talking to Coach K. You go there, you know you have a chance to compete for national championships and play with some of the best players in the country.”

Before Duke was one of the finalists, Jefferson had taken official visits to Villanova, Ohio State, NC State and Kentucky – but not to Duke. In fact, he hasn’t seen the Durham campus since his sophomore year.

However, it doesn’t look like that will hurt the Blue Devils’ chances.

“I don’t think so,” Jefferson said. “I’ve seen a lot and I talk to coach K and coach [Chris] Collins a lot.”

Is Duke the new favorite? We’ll see by the end of the month – maybe.

Photo: Adidas Nations

Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:21 am
 

Julius Randle begins taking unofficial visits

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Julius Randle is still about a year from making his college decision, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking steps in the recruiting process.

Earlier this month, the No. 3-ranked prospect in 2013 spent some time on Tobacco Road, visiting North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke.

“They’re three programs that have great tradition,” Randle said. “It was just an honor to visit. It was a lot of fun.”

Randle, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Prestonwood Christian (Texas), is not tipping his hand as to which visit was the best – or to which specific schools are recruiting him.

“I don’t have a list,” he said. “If you name a team, they’re probably recruiting me.”

However, Randle did say he wants to take unofficial visits to Texas and Kentucky in the near future.

“I like the versatility of the players they have,” he said.

In addition to the aforementioned five schools, Ohio State, Kansas, Baylor are also among the colleges heavily pursuing Randle. He won’t make a decision until after he takes his five official visits, which will happen next fall.

While academics rank high on the priority list for Randle, coaching style is also going to be a major factor when he eventually makes a decision.

“A coach that will push me,” he said. “He’s not going to always tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. Someone that will make me the best player I can be.”

Photo: Bleacher Report 

Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Ricardo Gathers has four favorites

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Since Ricardo Gathers decommitted from St. John’s in early November, several new schools have tried to get involved in his recruitment.

While he doesn’t seem to be in a rush to finish the process, Gathers has shed some light on his suitors.

After his Riverside (La.) team lost to Gonzaga (D.C.) on Saturday at the Hoophall Classic, the No. 52-ranked player in the class of 2012 said he had been hearing from Baylor, LSU, St. John’s, California, North Carolina State and Florida.

His four favorites are: Baylor, St. John’s, Florida and North Carolina State.

The Red Storm remain in the mix despite parting ways two months ago.

“I like their style of play,” the 6-foot-8 power forward said. “How they go so hard.”

Two schools mentioned recently with Gathers are Kentucky and Duke, but he said neither is showing consistent interest.

Duke contacted him once. “Not frequently,” he said.

As for Kentucky, head coach John Calipari came to one game, but the Wildcats have yet to contact him directly or offer him a scholarship.

Gathers plans to make a decision after the season, but he wants to take trips to North Carolina State, Duke, Florida and Baylor before announcing his final commitment.

Photo: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Torian Graham and NC State part ways -- again


By
Jeff Borzello

UPDATE: Torian Graham has again decommitted from North Carolina State. "Something came up . . . I don't really want to talk about it," he told PackPride.com. "But, no sir, I'm not committed anymore."

It’s not often a player recommits to a school after parting ways only months earlier.

North Carolina State lucked out on Thursday, though, when Torian Graham decided to pledge to the Wolfpack – again.

A source confirmed the decision to CBSSports.com.

When Graham decommitted in August, he said he rushed into his announcement.

“I just feel like I made a decision too fast,” he told PackPride.com at the time. “I don’t feel like I gave everyone a chance to recruit me.”

It’s been mostly quiet on his recruiting front, though, with little information available about the schools in pursuit. Louisville, Memphis, Xavier, Baylor, Connecticut, Villanova and Maryland and others all showed interest at one time or another.

With Graham back in the fold, Mark Gottfried has one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Graham joins top-55 prospects Rodney Purvis, T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis in the Wolfpack’s class of 2012.

Graham ranks No. 41 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Arlington Country Day (Fla.) is a big-time scorer who get can points in a variety of ways. He knocks down mid-range shots and is very good in transition or off the dribble around the rim. Graham is also very adept at finishing with leaners and floaters, and has good body control.

Photo: Slam Online 

Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Slimmer BeeJay Anya holds his own down low

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – When the National High School Hoops Festival schedule came out, many people look at DeMatha vs. Jamesville-Dewitt.

BeeJay Anya vs. DaJuan Coleman. Two big guys pushing 300 lbs. going at it in the paint.

Then something happened. Anya lost 40 lbs. in the past few months and is looking considerably slimmer. He was still able to hold his own against the Syracuse-bound Coleman, bodying him up in the paint and using his length to make up for the height disadvantage.  

“I think he came out and played well and it was a good showing for both of us,” Anya said.

Anya was certainly more mobile and active than he was in the summer, getting open in the post and showing off a variety of post moves. His rebounding is still a huge asset at both ends of the floor.

His conditioning has helped in all facets of his game.

“Last year, that’s what was holding me back from being a better player,” Anya said. “I am more agile and athletic than I was last year.”

Anya isn’t focusing on his recruitment, but he has a long list of schools pursuing him. Syracuse, Texas, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Florida and Georgia Tech have all extended offers to the 2013 big man.

Anya ranks No. 30 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

Photo: National Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Stanford Robinson comfortable as facilitator

TEAMS INTERESTED:



By
Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Stanford Robinson might not score as much as some other top guards in the class of 2013, but that certainly doesn’t mean he’s not as good.

Paul VI (Va.) is one of the top teams in the WCAC, and the Panthers are blessed with a deep and talented roster. Four seniors have already committed to go D-I. As a result, it’s not necessary for Robinson to lead the team in scoring every night.

“I’m a scorer, but on this team we have a lot of scorers,” Robinson said. “I don’t think we have anybody that needs to score 30 points a game for us to win.”

Robinson, a 6-foot-4 prospect who ranks No. 71 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100, is certainly able to get points when needed. He has a strong body and is an effective finisher in the lane, while also possessing the ability to step outside and knock down jumpers. He does need to become more aggressive, though, if he wants to reach his true potential.

“We like to share the ball,” Robinson said. “Right now I’m being a facilitator and creating shots for my team, but when I need to, I can score the ball.”

His high ceiling has led to several schools pursuing him in the past few months. Robinson holds offers from Marquette, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Villanova, Miami (Fl.), South Florida, Rutgers and Xavier. Syracuse and Maryland are showing interest.

Over the summer, he checked out Villanova, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Miami (Fl.). Despite the trips, he’s not ready to make a decision.

“It’s still early,” Robinson said. “I don’t think I’m going to commit until the beginning of the school year next year.”

With his versatile talents, Robinson can afford to be picky with his college. However, he thinks he can thrive in any system.

“I can fit anywhere,” he said.

Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Big man Kennedy Meeks drawing plenty of attention

By Jeff Borzello

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Kennedy Meeks didn’t have his best game against Paul VI (Va.) on Saturday, but that didn’t stop head coaches from stopping by to check out the big man.

North Carolina State’s Mark Gottfried strolled in; Tony Bennett of Virginia was there; Mark Turgeon came by; and even John Thompson III, after beating Howard, had to get a glimpse.

Meeks struggled, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds before fouling out in the loss.

However, Meeks was still able to show some of the tools that make him the No. 34-ranked player in the class of 2013. Because of his size – 6-foot-8, 270 lbs. – Meeks dwarfs most opponents that try to defend him. He has great hands and looks to pass out of a double team. He knows how to finish at the rim, and he has a soft touch. However, on Saturday, he wasn’t nearly aggressive enough and didn’t make himself available down low.

“I don’t think I played that good,” he said.

Meeks has plenty of college interest, citing offers from everyone in the ACC besides Duke and North Carolina, while also hearing from Georgetown, South Carolina, Syracuse and others.

Despite not offering, the Tar Heels are firmly in the race for Meeks.

“They’re going to be in the picture,” Meeks said.

The top priority on Meeks’ wish list is his ability to be a factor down low at the next level. He wants to be involved in the offense.

“Somewhere that feeds the big man,” he said.

Expect West Charlotte (N.C.) to be a revolving door of coaches in the next two years.

Photo: Charlotte Observer

Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:48 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Ja'Quan Newton is one of the best PGs in 2014

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

WASHINGTON D.C. – The class of 2014 is shaping up to be a dynamite high school class, especially at the point guard position.

One of the top lead guards in the class is Ja’Quan Newton, a 6-foot-2 prospect out of Neumann-Goretti in Philadelphia. At the Gonzaga DC Classic over the weekend, Newton was one of the best players. He averaged 19.7 points in three games, including 28 in the semifinals. While North Carolina-bound Nate Britt and host Gonzaga knocked off Newton’s troops in the championship game, he did solidify himself as a top-50 prospect in 2014.

“I played pretty good, considering it was the first game of the season,” Newton said after the tournament opener.

Newton is a very good scorer who can beat his defender off the bounce consistently. He knows how to get to the rim and finish, and his speed and quickness are a huge asset in transition. Newton is adept at drawing defenders in the lane and then finding open teammates for shots. Over the summer, Newton showed an ability to facilitate offense in the half-court with Team Final.

While he was able to knock down several jumpers at the event, he’s looking to improve his outside shooting.

“I’m working on my jumpshot and my defense,” Newton said. “Also, making my teammates better.”

In terms of recruiting, expect Newton to be a sought-after prospect over the next couple of years. He is already hearing from Rutgers, Villanova, Georgetown, North Carolina State, Maryland, Boston College, Saint Joseph’s and others.

Although he’s not planning to finish his recruitment soon, Newton has taken trips to Rutgers, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s.

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