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Tag:Tennessee
Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:26 am
 

Jarnell Stokes to enroll in college in January?



By
Jeff Borzello

Jarnell Stokes was expected to provide a boost to whichever school he committed to for 2012. However, could that boost be coming in one month?

According to Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, there is a “good chance” Stokes will enroll at a college in January. Stokes was ruled ineligible to play at Southwind (Tenn.) this season after transferring in from Central High (Tenn.) over the summer. His hardship appeal was also denied, meaning he won’t be able to play at all this season.

Moreover, Stokes said he is on pace to graduate this month from Southwind.

“I’ve set myself up to go to college midyear,” Stokes told Smith. “I really don’t know yet, but that’s definitely an option. I have other options that me and my dad don’t want to reveal.”

Stokes is currently considering six schools: Memphis, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. According to Stokes’ father, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida and Tennessee have scholarships available for January.

Smith also wrote that Stokes could qualify for an academic scholarship at Memphis, thereby becoming a walk-on for a semester.

Stokes is apparently not ready for a decision.

“I wish I could just choose right now and get it all out the way, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a decision right now,” Stokes said. “Maybe I will be next week, but I can’t give you a timetable right now.”

Stokes, a 6-foot-8 power forward, is ranked No. 16 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. He is tough to matchup with, given his strength and the improvement on his perimeter game. He has the ability to outmuscle smaller defenders, and beat slower opponents to the rim. Stokes can score effectively in the paint, and is also adept at getting to the foul line. He is also one of the best rebounders in the class.

With a college-ready body, there is little doubt Stokes could help out a school in the second semester.

Photo: Wildcat Blue Nation

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
 

Jonathan Williams III more focused on improving

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

Most five-star prospects love the attention and recognition that comes along with being ranked among the top players in the country.

Jonathan Williams III, however, has no problem avoiding the spotlight.

“I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” Williams III said. “I’m just trying to stay focused. It gets you a big head, gets you slacking off.”

Williams III, a 6-foot-8 forward from Southwind (Tenn.), is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for the class of 2013. Naturally, he holds a host of high-major offers.

Among the schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Williams are Florida, Tennessee, Memphis, Texas, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Georgetown, UCLA, Arkansas, Virginia and Kentucky. All of them have also come by his high school to watch him work out.

“It’s going pretty good,” Williams III said of his recruitment. “I know I’m being recruited highly, but I’m more worried about staying focused and staying humble, working hard.”

He took a trip to Tennessee this past weekend, and has also been to the campuses of Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Williams III visited Lexington during his freshman year, when the Wildcats hosted North Carolina.

“The fans were just so crazy,” he said. “The gym was packed, everything was live. It was a nice arena, but I haven’t really visited the campus. I’ll do that when I go back up there this year.”

As for Ole Miss, Williams III was very impressed with the dedication to academics from the athletic department.

“They really focus on your education,” he said. “If you go to Ole Miss and you’re an athlete, you should not fail. I also watched them practice; they have a nice practice facility. Everything is brand new, and they’ll have a new arena built in the next two years.”

Williams III has no plans to cut down his list or even plan more visits in the coming months; he’s more focused on winning a state championship and wading through Southwind’s difficult schedule.

However, his versatile skill set will play a factor in the school he eventually chooses to attend.

“I’m looking at how they play; will I be able to play the one through the four?” Williams III said. “I’m not a position player, I can play any position on the floor. I can post, shoot the 3, run the fast break, do a little bit of everything.”

However, he’s not yet content with his all-around game.

Said Williams III: “I’m trying to be unstoppable.”

Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:59 pm
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Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Landen Lucas has one more visit, then a decision

INTERESTED TEAMS:



By
Jeff Borzello

Landen Lucas is one of the top big men left on the board, but he seems to be closing in on a decision.

The 6-foot-8 Findlay Prep (Nev.) product has taken three official visits, to California, Stanford and Tennessee. Lucas is also planning his fourth – and final – trip for November 5, to Washington.

“Hopefully after it, I’ll have a good feeling about one of the schools and make my decision easier,” he said.

“My goal is to have one by the fall signing period.”

Visiting all four schools within a month of each other will allow Lucas to compare all four efficiently.

He said he liked the coaching staff at Tennessee, the entire team at Cal, and the campus at Stanford.

“Just a good fit on and off the court,” Lucas said of what he’s looking for in a school.

Lucas is an Oregon native who landed just outside CBSSports.com’s Top 100 after the July period. He is a good low-post scorer who has a variety of moves in the paint and knows how to get baskets with either hand. His hands and basketball savvy make him an asset as well.

While his rating has taking a bit of a hit in the past couple of years, Lucas is optimstic he will make an impact at the next level.

“A bigger one than most people are expecting from me,” he said. “I’m very confident heading into my first year.”

Photo: Courier-Journal (Louisville)

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 17, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Brannen Greene begins the recruiting process

By Jeff Borzello

Given his 6-foot-6 size and versatile shooting ability, it was only a matter of time before Brannen Greene truly blew up.

Greene, a scoring wing from Mary Persons (Ga.), took his game to a new level in the spring and summer, catapulting into potential five-star status in the class of 2013.

“I thought I played some really good ball,” Greene said. “I just enjoyed myself and played hard. It feels great and it makes me want to work that much harder.”

Greene is ranked No. 16 in the latest CBSSports.com Top 100, due to his ability to knock down shots from behind the arc and create matchup problems for most defenders. While he needs to move better without the ball, Greene has a smoothness about his game that is impressive.

Prior to the summer, Greene had offers from plenty of schools in the South, but his recruitment certainly picked up in the summer.

“I just had regional high-majors on me before,” he said. “Now I have just about everybody from the West Coast to the East Coast.”

Greene now holds offers from Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Marquette, UCLA, Kansas, Ohio State, Louisville, North Carolina State, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia and others. There are no favorites at this point, although Greene plans to start going through the process in November.

“I’m considering anybody and everybody, but I’m looking to slim down my list pretty quickly so they better jump in,” he said.

Right now, Greene has unofficial visits planned to Florida (August 27), Harvard (September 20) and Kansas (Midnight Madness).

He briefly discussed what he likes about each school on the visit list.

Florida: “I like Florida’s style of play, coaching staff and proximity to home.

Kansas: ”I like Kansas’ tradition and coaching staff.”

Harvard: “The academics and the opportunities I have outside of basketball.”

Overall, Greene – an excellent student in the classroom – is looking both on and off the court when he chooses his future destination.

“Just the opportunity to get better physically and also get a great education,” he said.

Photo: Recruiting Spotlight

Posted on: August 9, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Chris Walker has five schools standing out early



By Jeff Borzello

Coming off an outstanding spring and summer, Chris Walker was running out of opponents to dominate.

Walker ranks No. 6 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 in 2013, using his athleticism and length to go from a very good prospect to a can’t-miss recruit.At Adidas Nations, Walker went up against Steven Adams, the New Zealand native who was drawing rave reviews for his play out in Harbor City, Calif. The 6-foot-10 Walker didn’t back down, though, racking up 24 points and 10 rebounds, once again proving he is one of the best prospects in the country. He also went for 15 points and seven boards against Andre Drummond in the Championship game.

“It was just me playing hard,” Walker told me in June. “I tried to show everyone what I could do. I put in the work. I improved my game tremendously.”

Not surprisingly, plenty of schools are in the mix for the Holmes County (Fla.) forward.

More on Recruiting

Alabama, Louisville, Baylor and Tennessee called him immediately after the July live period ended, while Ohio State, Florida, Kansas, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Connecticut, Texas, Texas Tech and others have all offered.

One school noticeably absent from that list of offers is Kentucky. The Wildcats have offered juniors Kasey Hill and Malik Price-Martin, who also play in the Florida Rams AAU program.

“They may offer soon,” Walker said.

Although it’s still early in the process, five schools are standing out for the rising junior.

“I’m really feeling Florida, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas and Florida State,” he said.

With Adidas Nations over, he plans on taking trips to Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas and Alabama.

“I want to get a feel, for now,” Walker said.

While he is only entering his junior season, Walker did not say he planned on waiting until his senior campaign to make a college decision.

“I don’t know yet,” he said. “Whenever I feel comfortable, I will commit.”

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:48 am
 

Twymond Howard ready to focus on basketball



By Jeff Borzello

Twymond Howard has had an on-again, off-again relationship with football over the past few years.

The Pearl (Miss.) product was one of the top players in the state as a high school freshman, but he gave it up to focus on basketball. In the spring, Howard decided he wanted to give football another shot. However, after thinking about it, he is no longer planning to play two sports.

“I’ve decided not to play,” Howard said. “I’m really just ready to focus in on one sport and basketball is my favorite.”

More on Recruiting

Howard, a 6-foot-6 forward, is ranked No. 81 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100. Not surprisingly, he is a big-time athlete who excels in transition and when finishing at the rim. Howard can be a matchup problem when defended by bigger players, and he also uses his strength to be an adept defender and rebounder.

Over the summer, Howard felt like he held his own.

“I believe I did pretty good,” he said. “Just play hard at all times.”

Howard said he noticed Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest the most at his games during the July live period. He holds offers from those three, as well as Mississippi State, Arkansas, Baylor and West Virginia.

He doesn’t have any plans on a timetable for a decision.

“I have no clue yet,” Howard said. “I’m gonna take my time and talk to my mom about it.”

Performance on the court and in the classroom is important to Howard when it comes to what he is looking for in a school.

“Just a great education and how they develop players,” he said.

And we now know football certainly won’t play a factor in his decision.

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