Tag:South Carolina
Posted on: December 13, 2011 1:32 pm
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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 6, 2011 10:40 pm
 

Baker, Morris decommit from South Carolina

By Jeff Borzello

Darrin Horn hasn’t lost his job – but the constant questions about his future with South Carolina have already cost him two recruits.

Ian Baker and Carlos Morris have both decommitted from the Gamecocks, a source told CBSSports.com.

The source pointed to job security as the primary reason for the change of heart.

“We don’t want to lose out on other schools it they lose their job,” the source said. “They are still one of the schools on the list.”

If Horn stays, the Gamecocks will remain in the mix.

According to the source, Arkansas, Cincinnati, West Virginia, San Diego State and South Florida have already reached out about Baker and Morris.

Posted on: August 24, 2011 7:37 pm
 

South Carolina nabs a pair of guards

By Jeff Borzello

Heading into Wednesday evening, South Carolina had zero commitments in its 2012 recruiting class. The Gamecocks ended the day with two.

Ian Baker and Carlos Morris, two guards from Arlington Country Day (Fla.) and the Dwight Howard Warriors, both popped for Darrin Horn and his staff.

“South Carolina was the best situation,” Baker said. “Their staff made me feel real good about the program and the plans for us both.”

“We both felt like that was the best decision for the both of us,” Morris added.

Baker, a 6-foot point guard, had Providence and Marshall in his final three. With Kris Dunn committing to Providence earlier in the day, Baker felt it was time to make a move.

Morris is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard who was down to Arkansas, Cincinnati and West Virginia.

“It was always a consideration,” Baker said of playing together in college.

Baker is a strong lead guard who can get into the lane finish with contact. He is capable with both hands, and is deceptively quick and bouncy off the dribble. Morris is a matchup problem for opponents due to his size and length. He has good ball-handling ability and is adept at taking defenders one-on-one. His jumper is consistent, both in mid-range and from deep.

With these two players in tow, Horn can now focus on the frontcourt – his backcourt is set.

“They’re going to have big plans for us from day one,” Baker said. “It’s going to be our responsibility to make that impact.”

“We’re coming in to play and help the team win,” Morris added.

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 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: July 7, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Brannen Greene enjoys increased attention

By Jeff Borzello

INDIANAPOLIS – When most people wake up at 9 a.m. with 15 missed calls, it’s an immediate cause for panic.

In Brannen Greene’s case, it was expected for the morning of June 15, the first day college coaches could call rising high school juniors. He had about 10 schools call him when midnight hit, but then he couldn’t stay awake anymore.

“I feel asleep at 2:30 and woke up at 9 with about 15 missed calls,” Greene said. “I was switching from one call to another -- ‘Hey coach, hold on’, ‘Hey coach, hold on.’”

More on Recruiting

Greene, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard from Mary Persons (Ga.) who runs with the Atlanta Celtics U-16 team on the AAU circuit, has skyrocketed up the charts this past spring.

The long wing is a lights-out 3-point shooter with deep range and a release that is nearly unguardable. With his size, he has the ability to see over the defense and also make plays around the rim. Greene runs the floor well, but he does need to move better without the ball. He is now ranked No. 20 in the latest CBSSports.com top 100 for his class.

Greene is being pursued by Memphis, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Marquette, Florida State, UCLA, Tennessee, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Ohio State and Louisville.

“At the end of July, I want to cut it down to a short list,” Greene said. “And then in October, November, I’ll make a decision.”

He plans on making a trip to Louisville on Aug. 3 and will also visit Ohio State this summer.

With all the increased attention, one might think Greene would be nervous playing with a target on his back. That’s certainly not the case.

“It’s fun, seeing all these coaches on the sidelines,” he said. “I want to show coaches what I can do. It’s simple -- you’re just playing basketball.”

Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:55 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Danuel House's school list goes from 2 to 35

TEAMS INTERESTED:

By Jeff Borzello

Before the Best Buy Classic in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend, Danuel House was hearing from two schools, TCU and Jacksonville.

After a breakout performance in the Windy City, House has seen his stock skyrocket.

“It was at two, then 32, now 35,” he said. “It’s still new to me.”

House, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Elkins, Texas, has offers from Louisville, Baylor, Texas, California, Colorado, USC, Houston and, yes, TCU and Jacksonville. Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Florida State, South Florida, Gonzaga and Providence have also reached out to the rising senior.

“It’s good exercise for the brain,” said House, referring to rattling off his long list of suitors. “It’s fun.”

House is a terrific athlete who is at his best when driving to the basket and finishing at the rim. He is great in transition and also handles the ball fairly well. His outside shot needs work, but he does have the ability to knock down 3-pointers. With his length and athleticism, he is a solid defender.

It doesn’t take long to see his potential, which makes it even more surprising that it took so long for House to burst onto the scene.

“People were seeing me for the first time,” he said.

Playing alongside Isaiah Austin on Texas Pro, don’t expect House's stock to collapse anytime soon.

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