Tag:Syracuse
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:14 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 3:20 pm
 

No. 1 prospect Nerlens Noel talks recruitment

By Jeff Borzello

Nerlens Noel's recruitment has heated up since he reclassified to 2012. (MassLive.com)

Since Nerlens Noel announced a few weeks ago that he was reclassifying to the class of 2012, he’s been the most talked-about recruit in the country.

Noel, a 6-foot-10 Massachusetts native who plays at Tilton (N.H.), immediately moved to the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Moreover, the schools pursuing him have really turned up the heat.

“Recruiting has gone crazy all of a sudden,” Noel told Jeff Goodman on SiriusXM’s Inside College Basketball on Thursday afternoon. “I just need to plan out some visits to get out to all these schools. Keep talking to coaches, build better relationships with them.”

Noel is currently considering Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown and Connecticut. He later tweeted that Providence was also on his list, but did not mention them during the interview with Goodman.

He visited Syracuse this past weekend for the Orange’s win over Connecticut, and he will trip to Kentucky this coming weekend.

“I’m talking to a few more coaches to get down to their campuses during vacation,” Noel said.

Noel is the best shot-blocker in the country, and would immediately be the best in the college game too. He has tremendous dexterity defensively, able to cover a lot of ground and alter shots with either hand. Noel’s offensive is constantly getting better, and he is developing post moves and is taking defenders off the dribble as well.

He would dominate defensively wherever he ends up.

“Just a good program where I can go and play and be comfortable with the coaching staff, the whole program,” Noel said. “I know I can develop as long as I’m there, as a player and a person.”

Noel maintains that he is wide open among the six schools he mentioned, and he is still a long way from making a decision.

“I don’t really have a timeframe,” Noel said on the show. “I just want to make sure I get in all my visits to these schools. However long that takes.”

Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:07 pm
 

Nerlens Noel reclassifying to class of 2012

By Jeff Borzello

It’s been a possibility for awhile, but it became official on Wednesday night: Nerlens Noel is reclassifying to the class of 2012.

Noel, a 6-foot-10 center from Tilton (N.H.), has been a member of the class of 2013, but he is heading back to his original graduating class, according to Dave Telep of ESPN.com.

Noel told Telep he would take his first official visit the weekend of February 11, to Syracuse. He also said Providence, Connecticut, Kentucky, Florida, Georgetown and North Carolina are in the mix.

“I’m ready to do it,” Noel told ESPN.com. “It’s a short window of time to pick a school.”

Noel will become the No. 1 player in CBSSports.com’s class of 2012 rankings, ahead of Shabazz Muhammad. He is the best shot-blocker not currently in the NBA, and one of the best to pass through the high school ranks in years. Moreover, his offense is rapidly improving and his dexterity is impressive.

Syracuse and Kentucky have long been considered the favorites to land Noel, and we expect them to battle it out in the coming months. 

Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:38 pm
 

Kuran Iverson hearing from plenty of suitors

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Kuran Iverson has been one of the most hyped players in the class of 2013 for several years. His 6-foot-9 size and versatile skill set have had onlookers drooling over his potential.

Over the summer, though, he put on pounds and it slowed him down. To his credit, though, he realized it and has made adjustments.

“I carried a lot of weight and it started to hurt my knees,” Iverson said. “So I cut down on my eating, worked out more.”

Iverson looked significantly slimmer over the weekend at the Hoophall Classic, but he struggled against DeMatha Catholic’s BeeJay Anya due to Anya’s size and length inside. Iverson finished with four points and three rebounds, hampered by foul trouble the entire game.

The Northwest Catholic (Conn.) prospect hopes to be a small forward at the next level. Which school he ends up at is still up for grabs.

So far, he is hearing from Connecticut, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Rutgers, St. John’s, Oklahoma and Florida. Iverson wants to visit North Carolina, Florida and Rutgers. He has been to Connecticut, and would like to take another trip. The Huskies are one of the schools standing out to him right now.

Kentucky is another school getting plenty of play with Iverson. Head coach John Calipari went to one of his games at Northwest Catholic, and the Wildcats are showing interest. They have not yet offered, but they would move into the forefront of his recruitment should they extend a scholarship.

Iverson is not ready to make a decision just yet.

“I’m not thinking about it until after the season,” he said.

Photo: Southington Sports

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: November 23, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: November 23, 2011 11:27 am
 

Noah Vonleh stands out against upperclassmen

By Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The National Prep Showcase focuses primarily on the seniors and fifth-year players that are looking to make a last impression on college coaches in attendance.

This past weekend at Albertus Magnus College, though, the most impressive player might have been an underclassman, 2014 forward Noah Vonleh.

The New Hampton Prep (Mass.) averaged 17.0 points and 16.5 rebounds in two victories.

“I thought I played pretty good,” Vonleh said. “I’ve been working on my shooting and getting my handle better.”

Vonleh is only 6-foot-8, but he might be the best rebounder in his class. He has tremendous leaping ability and tracks the ball extremely well. His strength is always a major help.

“I’m long and athletic,” he said. “I just jump and get it.”

There are plenty of schools in the mix for his services. Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse, Arizona, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Auburn, UCLA, Georgetown and Connecticut are all pursuing him with vigor.

Right now, Vonleh is certainly among the top 10 sophomores in the country. After his performance, he makes a case for moving even higher, potentially into the top three.

He said he would remain humble either way.

“I don’t let it get to my head,” Vonleh said.

Photo: Scott Hazelton Basketball

Posted on: October 27, 2011 9:12 am
 

Brandon Austin quietly going through recruitment

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

I walked into a gym in central Maryland last spring for an AAU tournament, and the first player I watched was a 6-foot-6 guard who could do everything. He was handling the ball, running the break, knocking down shots – but there was no name for him in the roster book.

I went up to the coach after the game, and asked who that was. “Oh, that’s Brandon Austin.”

Well, that made sense. Austin is one of the more versatile perimeter players in the country, with the ability to play up to three positions. The Imhotep Charter (Pa.) product’s recruitment has been fairly quiet so far, but it will pick up soon.

“It has been going good so far,” Austin said. “Everything’s coming along well.”

He currently holds offers from Syracuse, Villanova, Rutgers, Penn State, Saint Joseph’s and Temple, with interest from Georgetown and Connecticut.

Austin has taken trips to Rutgers and Penn State. “I like them both very much,” he said.

Austin is ranked No. 75 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013.

News and Notes: Anthlon Bell announced on Twitter that he chose Arkansas over Massachusetts . . . Arkansas hit the daily double by also nabbing a commitment from forward JaCorey Williams . . . Marquette dipped into Texas once again, this time for Aaron Durley . . . Beau Beach popped for North Florida. 

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