Saturday, May 21, 2011

Justin Coleman Talks Future

Posted by DeAnte Mitchell
Justin Coleman, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, originally committed to Louisville out of high school and held offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Providence and South Florida.

After failing to qualify at Louisville, Coleman opted to enroll at Marshall University and that's where he plans to play at after sitting out a year.

A whole year to work on academics and basketball proved to be the right decision for Coleman. "I got to work on a lot of my weaknesses," he said.

Coleman is electrifying and always a joy to watch. Once he steps foot on the floor at Marshall, expect a big impact. "I think I'm going to have a big impact," he said. "I have on every other team, so why stop now."

Coleman, who played his high school ball at Huntington Prep (WV), could easily be one of the top freshman in Conference USA. In fact, he listed becoming Freshman of the Year as being one of his main goals next season.

Coleman will have the chance to see the floor immediately, especially with the Thundering Herd losing senior swingman Tirrell Baines.

Marshall did retain it's two leading scorers Damier Pitts and DeAndre Kane, which makes Marshall one of the most appealing rosters in Conference USA.

Not to mention, Johnny Thomas returns and with extra minutes he will only continue to improve.

Marshall has a bright future with Coleman on the roster. Coach Tom Herrion inherits a good wing with solid strength and great athleticism. Coleman is a great volume shooter and capable defender. All of which, will be on display next season at Marshall.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jarmal Reid is 'Open to All Schools'

Posted by DeAnte Mitchell
Jarmal Reid a 6-foot-7 forward out of Georgia has been a hot commodity to just about every power six conference.

Reid holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Charlotte, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

West Virginia has always seemed to be the program in the lead for the Columbia H.S. star but he said, "I'm pretty much open to all the schools I listed."

That list includes Alabama, Charlotte, Florida, Georgia, Marquette, Ole Miss, South Florida and West Virginia.

Alabama, Marquette and South Florida, however, are really picking up in Reid's recruitment to possibly land the gifted wing.

Reid, a developing wing, is certainly improving as he enters his senior year in high school.

He has always been a strong rebounder at the forward position with his strength and athleticism but the versatile forward is now an effective passer on the wing as well.

Not to mention, Reid is a capable shooter from the outside and with his ability to slash, he's a nightmare on offense.

Headed into the summer, Reid will be continue working on his game as well as continuing to shorten his list. He plans to make his decision, "by the end of the summer."

Academics, the atmosphere and coaching will play a huge part in Reid's recruitment. Those three are the main characteristics he's looking for in a school.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Catching Up With 2012 Guard Mike Gesell

Posted by DeAnte Mitchell
Mike Gesell a 2012 combo guard is not only one of the more talented players in his class but also one of the smartest as well.

Gesell, a soon-to-be senior at South Sioux City HS (NE) has impressingly strung together a nice list of programs interested in his services.

None more impressive than schools like Stanford and Harvard. Both of which are amongst the schools that are the most interested in acquiring Gesell.

"Probably Iowa, Nebraska, Stanford and Harvard," Gesell said of the schools recruiting him the hardest.

But added, "[I'm considering] Iowa, Stanford, Nebraska, Creighton, Harvard, Boston College, Utah and a few others."

With Gesell you know what you're getting. He plays off the ball now in high school but in college expect him to play exclusively at the one. He's a great shooter off the catch and off the dribble.

Gesell has the ability to knock down the three and finish strong in the lane. His agressive scoring ability will be a plus at the college level. With his athleticism and scoring ability, Gesell can be a steal as he continues to get stronger.

Thus far Gesell has offers from Creighton, Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa and Utah. All of which have systems that Gesell could blossom under.

But style of play is just one of the things Gesell is looking for in a school. "Relationships with coaches, style of play, academics and opportunities," he said of what he looks for in school

When asked what he could bring to a college program Gesell said, "A very hard worker who gets it done in the classroom too; a leader and competitor."

The 2011 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year plans to make his college decision, "probably at the end summer."

With a open recruitment and no leader, everyone has an equal chance at landing the combo guard out of Nebraska.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stefan Jankovic Recruiting Update

Posted by DeAnte Mitchell
Stefan Jankovic a 6-foot-9 power forward from Serbia has been drawing interest from high-majors for years. Jankovic is your typical European forward and some.

He has the ability to knock down that mid-range jumper while also being able to score in the post. Jankovic's skills offensively is off the charts and that lures many high majors.

He does have areas to improve as he approaches the next level

His ball-handle is solid for his size but with his skill set, you have to believe he's looking to improve his handle.

Strength is another big one. At 6'9" Jankovic weighs in at 200. it hasn't hurt his game in high school much but as the competition gets thick, adding weight would be ideal.

"I'm going to hit the weight room hard this summer," he said. "I'm also going to tune my game and make it better overall."

The 2012 prospect is going into his final year of high school with many college offers already. Florida State, Georgetown, Miami (FL), Northwestern, Penn State, Seton Hall, Wake Forest and West Virginia are the programs that have extended offers.

More should inquire quickly as Jankovic said his decision could come, "possibly right after AAU."

Florida State, Georgetown, Syracuse, Wake Forest and West Virginia are the programs that are showing the most interest in Jankovic. Despite recruiting him hard, he's still open to other opportunities.

"I'm considering Wake Forest, Syracuse, West Virginia, Georgetown, Florida State, Miami (FL), USC, Northwestern, Penn State, Seton Hall, Central Florida, Washington, Washington State and Duke," he said.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Nate Britt Drawing Big Time Interest

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Gonzaga College High School welcomed Nate Britt, originally from Marlboro, Maryland, as a freshman on the basketball team playing behind Duke's Tyler Thornton and Richmond's Cedrick Lindsay.

Playing behind successful Division-one talent certainly played its dividends as Nate Britt emerges as one of the top point guards in the class of 2013.

To say his sophomore season was amazing is an understatement.

Britt reached heights that no player has in nearly six decades. As a sophomore, Britt became the eighth sophomore to become All-MET in boys' basketball since 1957.

He joins Willie Allen, Michael Beasley, Adrian Dantley, Harold Fox, Cliff Hawkins, Fred Hetzel and Chris Wright.

 He also capped off his sophomore season being named the DC Gatorade Player of the Year.

Lindsay wasn't able to attain the Gatorade Player of the Year award but was runner-up when Tyler Thornton won his senior season at Gonzaga College HS. Kris Jenkins, another rising sophomore, was also the Gatorade Player of the Year runner-up this year behind Britt.

It should be noted that Britt was the youngest of all Gatorade POY winners this year and he not only won it as a sophomore but has a chance to win the award multiple times.

In his sophomore season, Britt averaged 13.6 points, 5.2 assist, four rebounds and three steals per game. He was also the catalyst for a 26-8 team that finished third in the ACIT basketball tournament.

Coach Turner spoke very highly of his coveted point guard and went as far as saying, "He's certainly on course to becoming the best [point guard] when he walks out the door."

There are many things Britt is working on this off-season. He's actively working on his strength and according to his coach, "He puts in a lot of time in the weight room."

Britt weighs about 170 pounds but his ability to get to the rim and finish strong is still unmatched. His offensive attack is consistent but outside of scoring coach Turner believes he's a special leader.

"He learned a lot from Tyler Thornton and Cedrick Lindsay, who both played in the NCAA tournament this year," Turner said. "I've always liked his leadership ability. With [Thornton and Lindsay] gone, I've asked for [Britt] to step up and he's come through. He makes guys around him better."

One thing he's really working on developing is his jump shot. Britt, his sophomore season, was a consistent shooter from the field but expanding his range is must for the 6'2'' guard.

So far, many college programs have taken interest in the rising star. Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Georgetown, Miami (FL), Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Texas Villanova, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Xavier are just some of the few programs that have expressed interest.

Florida and North Carolina have also been two big names surrounding Britt's recruitment. He holds offers from Georgetown, Miami (FL), Pitt and Xavier.

But with such a tough decision ahead, coach Turner doesn't foresee any decision being made anytime soon. "I certainly see him playing it out until the end of the summer," he said. "He's looking to gather more information, learn more, and develop a relationship with coaches."

Off-the-court, Britt works just as hard as he does on the court. His academic strengths definitely speaks measures about Britt being a true student-athlete.

Academics will also play a huge part in his decision and according to his high school coach, balance will be the key.

All of the schools that Britt is considering have strong academic backgrounds and could have an equal chance at landing the talented point guard. But, don't assume a decision will be made soon. as noted before, he may wait it out and coach Turner also said, "I don't think there is a timetable for his decision."

For the most part, Britt is a flawless athlete that continues to progress as a student-athlete under coach Turner.

Coach Turner has turned out many great guards during his tenure as head coach and Britt may be the next one out. Britt has tremendous upside and is willing to work on his game to continue getting better.

Heading into his junior season of high school, Britt can continue and hopefully join Thornton as the only player to be apart of 20-win seasons all four years at Gonzaga College HS.

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Landen Lucas Talks Recruiting

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Landen Lucas '12 of Findlay Prep (NV), has been referred to as one of the top rebounding four man in the class of 2012.

He stands at 6'9'' with exceptional strength to help solidify that notion.

Right now, Lucas is considering Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Duke, Florida State, Georgetown, Harvard, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee and Washington State.

Duke has been the school rumored to have the most interest in the 6'9'' forward from Findlay Prep. Lucas has been on the Blue Devils radar since the beginning of the 2011 year.

"They have," Lucas said of Duke stepping up their recruiting efforts. "I'm waiting until after this summer to see where they are at [in my recruitment] and see if I'm going to take a visit or not."

He also said, "I might [visit] Cal or Stanford at the end of May."

Heading into the summer before his senior season, Lucas has offers from Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland State, USC, Utah St, Vandy, Washington and Washington State.

With Findlay Prep stars Amir Garrett, Nick Johnson, Myck Kabongo and Kevin Kaspar all signing College National Letter of Intents, Lucas could be a pivotal part of the post area for coach Peck.

That would certainly be a chance to showcase more of his talents and possibly gain more scholarship offers before his senior season is over.

One thing is evident, "[There is] no shortlist until after this summer," Lucas said.

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Mark Turgeon Accepts Maryland Job

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
After failing to lure Sean Miller, Jay Wright, Mike Brey or reportedly Brad Stevens to Maryland, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson reached out to the quiet success story in College Station.

Mark Turgeon, in the past four seasons, has lead Texas A&M to 24-win seasons as well as four straight NCAA tournament appearances.

He was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2010 by the Dallas Morning News and was a finalist for the Clair Bee Coach of the Year award following this season.

After being offered by Maryland's AD on Monday, Turgeon accepted the contract offer that same night and will be the successor of Hall of Fame coach Gary Williams.

"It was just too good an offer for me to pass on," Turgeon said in a statement released by the school. "The things that made it the most difficult was the players. Those guys have done everything I've asked for four years and we've had a great ride."

Turgeon is leaving a Texas A&M squad that returns it's top two scorers and has Jamal Branch, a 6'3'' point guard from Humble, Texas, coming in to cover up the loss of senior B.J. Holmes.

With a core of players like Khris Middleton and David Loubeau leading your team with soon-to-be freshman guard Branch in the mix, A&M is sure to be a an appealing job for many coaches.

"The good thing about this compared to when we hired Billy (Gillispie) and when we hired Mark is that we have built ourselves a basketball fan base and we've built ourselves some incredible facilities," Texas A&M's AD Bill Byrne said.

"So going out and attracting a great coach to Texas A&M is going to be a lot easier than when we hired Mark and when we hired Billy." AD Byrne continued saying, "I'm confident we're going to have someone come in who will represent the values of Texas A&M, make sure the kids have a good experience and graduate."

Turgeon embarks on a career that starts with securing Maryland top recruits Nick Faust and Sterling Gibbs. Both decided to wait and see who the head coach was before asking for a release.

"The one thing I feel good about is I inherited a good team," Turgeon said. As it looks now, he inherits a young Maryland roster that is full of talent. 

The Terps did lose Jordan Williams to the draft, but Pe'Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Mychal Parker, Sean Mosley and many other returnee's makes this a great chance to continue his coaching success.

Turgeon is a exceptional coach, in terms of desire to win and developing his players. Khris Middleton was considered a first round NBA draft pick after a magnificent season and despite not having great recruiting success at A&M, he still got the job done.

I think former NBA and College head coach Larry Brown said it best, "He's smart enough to figure out what his kids can do, and tailor what he wants to do on their strengths," he said of Turgeon's coaching style. "He's worked with Roy [Williams], but he's developed his own style. His teams are going to play hard, play unselfish and they are going to guard."

Since beginning his coaching career in '98 with Jacksonville State, Turgeon has only coached two losing season and racked up a record of 250-159 (63%).

Turgeon led Wichita State to a MVC Championship and Sweet 16 along with being named MVC Coach of the Year.

He now embarks on a prestigious program with a ton of basketball history and a chance to blossom in one of the richest basketball cities in the nation.

As for Texas A&M, AD Byrne has a plan. "We always keep a list," he said. "We always know some people that we think will work well with us here, so we'll start that process again."

"I really think we've built ourselves at Texas A&M to the point where we can go out and attract great coaches. If you look at who we've attracted in our sports we've got some really outstanding coaches here."

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Maryland's Gary Williams to Retire

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Maryland head coach Gary Williams has decided to retire after 42 years of coaching basketball--22 with Maryland.

Williams had done it his way since taking over a Maryland program in need of major help after losing around 50 games in just three seasons under coach Bob Wade.

It took Williams a few years before getting on a roll but after a while, he started getting to the NCAA tournament often. In fact, in the past 18 years, Williams has led Maryland to an NCAA tournament berth 14 times.

Williams didn't just get the Terps' to the tournament, he won during post season play.

Since hiring Williams, Maryland has been to seven Sweet-16's, two Elite Eights, two Final Fours and won a National Championship.

On the way, Williams picked up prestigious accolades such as National Coach of the Year, and was named two-time ACC Coach of the Year.

"It's the right time," Williams said in a statement released by the school.

"My entire career has been an unbelievable blessing. I am fiercely proud of the program we have built here. I couldn't have asked any more from my players, my assistant coaches, the great Maryland fans and this great University. Together, we did something very special here."

So Williams walks away and leaves what is easily one of the toughest jobs in the ACC to someone else.

Williams will walk away the winningest coach in Maryland history with a record of 461-252 (54%) and with a lot of respect for the way he carried himself on and off the court.

His coaching legacy will serve the program well for years to come.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ryan Harrow Sets Up Visit Schedule

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Ryan Harrow, the talented 6-foot guard out of Marietta, Georgia recently opted to transfer from North Carolina State and pursue a basketball career and education elsewhere.

As soon as the news was announced, many expected him to go to Kentucky. There were even reports from numerous "sources" claiming that Harrow was on the UK campus after his decision to transfer.

In the end, Matt Jones of KSR and Garrett Tucker of both confirmed that the reports were untrue and that he hasn't made a visit to UK yet.

He has received interest from many college programs across the nation but only a select few will get a visit out of talented transfer.

Harrow has set up visits next week to Georgia, Louisville, Kentucky, St. John's and Texas, he said via Twitter.

He also added, "My mom and I will go to the school and make the best decision."

Harrow averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assist in his freshman season but is expected to improve from his frosh season.

Harrow will have three years of eligibility left and will have to sit out a year before lacing up his shoes and getting back to action for whatever college he choses per NCAA rules.

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Jaylen Bond Talks Prep School Decision

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jaylen Bond, a 6'7'' forward out of Plymouth-Whitemarsh Sr. H.S. (PA) signed his Letter of Intent to play for Jamie Dixon and the Pittsburgh Panthers during the early signing period in November.

Months later, Bond opted out of his LOI at Pitt and announced that he will attend prep school.

It was a well thought out decision and the right one. "The fact that I was young and needed to improve on my all around talents and small forward skills; the position I'm playing in college," Bond said of his decision to go to prep school.

"I think it will help me learn more under coach Quin and my skills will improve the most from the trainers during the summer."

Bond, in high school, played most of his basketball under the rim as a four man. He wasn't rated highly by most recruiting services but as the season progressed he really started opening eyes.

He's really done a good job of expanding his game outside of the paint. He now has the ability to face up and drive as well as shoot in the mid-range. Another year to tweak his wing skills will work wonders for the Pennsylvania native.

Out of high school, Bond held offers from La Salle, Penn State, St. Josephs, Temple and West Virginia. But since re-opening his recruitment, he hasn't heard from anybody.

"I haven't really talked to anyone since I decommitted from Pittsburgh and decided to go to prep school," Bond said. "I know some [schools] have contacted my grandfather."

Right now, Bond is "open to all schools" and will make a decision when the time is right. "Right now, I'm just trying to get better," Bond said.

"But, in the future, my family will get together and start making a list of potential schools." Right now, there are many factors that Bond will look for in a school.

"The program, the style of play, the coach, the school surroundings, the ability to have an impact as a freshman and being able to play the three," he said.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Georges Niang Recruitment Heating Up

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Georges Niang, a 2012 prospect out of Tilton H.S. (NH) has seen a recent boost in his recruitment.

The 6-foot-7 forward has heard from many schools across the country with Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Stanford and Texas A&M recently stepping in.

Right now, Niang is considering Charlotte, Iowa, Iowa State, Miami (FL), Michigan, Oklahoma, Providence and Texas A&M.

This summer, I assume more programs will inquire about the talented forward as his stock continues to rise. Many crave about his inside-out game.

Niang is extremely versatile on the offensive end. He has the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers and score in the post.

But, I believe he has the ability to exclusively play on the wing and will eventually be at the three when his high school career comes to an end.

He has the offensive mechanics and with progression to the defensive end of the floor, Niang can become a blue-chip prospect in the class of 2012.

Niang is coming off his junior season where he averaged 24 points and eight rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the field--If that isn't efficient basketball I don't what is.

This summer, Niang has big goals on improving his skill set, which will keep coaches inquiring.

"[I plan to improve] my defense and crash the boards hard, while being more dimensional on offense by getting my handle better and also getting in top shape," he said. "I feel I'm in good shape but the best I can be is what I want this summer."

Niang currently holds offers from Delaware, Drexel, Florida Atlantic, George Mason, Hofstra, Iowa, Iowa State, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Rhode Island, Siena and UMass.

Expect him to add more as he plans to visit more major programs. Niang plans on visiting Miami (FL), Providence and Texas A&M. He wasn't sure on the actual dates of his visits but said, "I'm definitely visiting those schools."

With his recruitment picking up, Niang is wide open and doesn't have a clear leader. But he does plan on making his college decision early.

"I will make a decision before my senior season because I want to be able to play my senior season with my decision behind me," he said.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Jervon Pressley Updates Recruiting Trail

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Jervon Pressley, an unsigned senior out of Waddell H.S. (CA) decommitted from Georgia State and re-opened his recruitment. In doing so, he's seen a boost in his recruitment.

6-foot-8 Pressley is a great paint protector. He kind of reminds me of Jarvis Varnado heading out of high school.

Similar to Varnado, Pressley has tremendous length (reported 7-3 wingspan) and the ability to protect the paint. Defensively, he's a guy you want.

Pressley has a high motor and goes after shots and rebounds relentlessly. If put in a high tempo offense that will utilize his athleticism, Pressley can really be a solid athlete.

Before committing to Georgia State, Pressley was considering schools like Baylor, Mississippi and South Carolina.

This time around, his list has totally changed since decomitting but will still make an immediate impact wherever he goes.

Pressley recently visited Robert Morris, and said, "I loved the visit and the staff." But also said, "I like Towson, Robert Morris, Texas Southern and Missouri."

With the May 18th deadline closing in, two schools are really making a push at landing the talented defensive threat. "Towson and Robert Morris are coming in the hardest," Pressley said.

Towson could really use a player like Pressley after winning just four games and rebounding a dismal 31 boards per outing. Not to mention, allowing 76 points per game to the opposition.

But Robert Morris could use the shot-blocking, defensive presence as well. The Colonials did add a solid back to the basket power forward in Keith Armstrong but lacks a shot blocker or consistent rebounder.

Undoubtedly, the other programs have a chance to land the forward. He plans to take a trip down to Texas this weekend to visit Texas Southern.

His college decision will be announced before the deadline of May 18th he said. There is no set date for his commitment to be determined.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Patrick Lucas-Perry Talks About Recruitment

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
The Pennsylvania Quakers second year head coach Jerome Allen is really making a strong push to reconstruct the tenth winningest program in NCAA history.

He only returned two of the top four scorers from last season, but also adds a ton of great new talent through recruiting.

One of those talents, is 5-foot-11 point guard Patrick Lucas-Perry from Powers Catholic H.S. (MI). Lucas-Perry gave coach Allen a commitment earlier this month over Oakland University.

When given the chance to reflect on his recruitment, Lucas-Perry said, "[Recruiting was] great, everything went great."

"I feel like it's the perfect place for me," Lucas-Perry said.

"I feel like I can contribute the same way I did in high school; leading, taking control of the game and doing whatever it takes to win."

Basketball was a key part of his decision but the bigger part was academics. Lucas-Perry a very bright kid is going into, what many consider, the best business school in the nation. When asked how that affected his decision, Lucas-Perry said, "When I chose my schools I was looking at the total package for me academically and athletically."

"So, [academics] was as big of a factor as basketball."

Lucas-Perry is just one of the big time players in the class of 2011 but flew under the radar after an ACL tear before his senior season in high school.

Either way, Lucas-Perry is content in his decision and really embraces the chance to play basketball and get a great education. Expectations for him during his freshman season is nothing different than it was in high school.

"Play hard and help my team out in any way possible," Lucas-Perry said.

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