Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Theo Pinson commits to North Carolina

Theo Pinson, a 6-foot-6 Greensboro small forward who is among the top junior prospects in the nation, has committed to North Carolina.

Pinson announced his decision earlier today during a ceremony at Wesleyan Christian Academy. He chose UNC over Duke, Georgetown, Indiana and Louisville. ranks Pinson the 13th-best prospect in the class of 2014. With his commitment, the Tar Heels have commitments from the No. 12, 13 and 14th-ranked prospects in the junior class, according to

Before Wednesday, UNC already had commitments from Orlando point guard Joel Berry, whom ranks the No. 12 junior prospect in the nation. Justin Jackson, a Tomball (Texas) small forward who is ranked the No. 14 prospect in the nation, also has committed to UNC.

Outside of UNC, no other school has more than one commitment from a top-50 player in the junior class.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Queens' Long headed to Chattanooga

Wes Long, who had a 75-66 record in five season as men’s basketball coach at Queens, is leaving the Royals to become an assistant at Chattanooga.
Long, 32, who has spent his entire career at Queens as either an assistant or head coach, will join new coach Will Wade with the Mocs. A walk-on basketball player at Clemson, Long came to Queens in 2004 as an assistant before getting the head-coaching job in 2008. His Royals teams won the Conference Carolinas regular-season championships in 2011 and ’12 (playing in the NCAA tournament in ’12).
Long is leaving Queens at a time when the school is opening a new arena for next season. Scott Taylor, a long-time assistant of Long’s, could be a candidate to replace him.
“Queens is a good job and getting better,” said Long. “I wasn’t dying to get a Division I job. But I think it’s the right opportunity at the right place with the right guy to do it. It’s a perfect opportunity with a guy I know and trust.”
Long and Wade, a former assistant at Virginia Commonwealth, attended Clemson together.
“I am very excited to announce Wes is joining our family,” Wade said in a statement. “He did a tremendous job leading the program at Queens, and we have kept in close contact over the years. I know we share a vision about the all-around student-athlete experience – academically, athletically and socially. He is an outstanding addition.” -- David Scott

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Davidson basketball names four captains for 2013-14 season

Davidson men’s basketball team tabbed four players as captains for the 2013-14 season.

Two-time Southern Conference tournament MVP De’Mon Brooks leads the quartet of captains into the Wildcats’ final year in the SoCon before moving to the Atlantic 10.

Brooks is joined by Tom Droney, Tyler Kalinoski and Chris Czerapowicz as captains, who were voted upon by the players and coaching staff.

“They have been fortune to have the torch of leadership passed along to them by Nik Cochran, Jake Cohen, JP Kuhlman and Clint Mann,” coach Bob McKillop said in a release. “We are very pleased to have them leading us next year. They are all superb representatives of our program and College.”

Brooks averaged 13.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, which were second on the team this past season behind conference player of the year Jake Cohen. 

Czerapowicz has started 41 straight games for the Wildcats, while Droney saw his role increase this past season when sixth man Clint Mann went down with a concussion for the second half of the season.

Kalinoski, a junior, ranked second on the team in made 3-pointers with 55.

--Jonathan Jones

Monday, May 13, 2013

Andrew Wiggins' decision due, finally, Tuesday

CHAPEL HILL — Andrew Wiggins will announce his college choice on Tuesday. Few people might be happier about it than Dave Telep, the national college basketball recruiting analyst. Telep has covered Wiggins’ recruitment from start to finish but even he admitted on Monday that he has no idea where Wiggins will go.

Wiggins, the 6-foot-7 forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, has been down to his final four schools for a while now: Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina. He hasn’t offered any indication about which of those four schools he’s favoring.

There has been plenty of speculation. Wiggins’ parents met at Florida State, where his dad, Mitchell, played basketball. At Kentucky, Wiggins would join a recruiting class that’s already being described as perhaps the best ever. At North Carolina and Kansas, he’d immediately elevate those teams to national title contenders.
According to Wiggins’ high school coach, Rob Fulford, the drama will end on Tuesday at around 12:15.

That’s when Wiggins will sign with a school. There won’t be a press conference or cameras. Just a ceremony with friends and teammates. It’s not a surprise Wiggins would do things that way, Telep said.
Telep stayed up late on Sunday night trying to handicap where Wiggins might wind up. He gives Florida State a 35 percent chance, Kansas a 25 percent chance and UNC and Kentucky and 20 percent chance.

But really, he said with a laugh, he doesn’t know. Here are his thoughts on a variety of topics related to Wiggins’ recruitment:

Andrew Carter: So Andrew Wiggins will make his choice tomorrow – what has been your reaction to all the speculation out there that has this school leading for him, or that school?

Dave Telep: I’ve gotten a real kick out of listening to people talk with authority on this subject, because over the course of the last few months I’ve just kind of sat back and watched and was able to find out who’s full of it and who’s not. Because anybody who spoke on this with authority really had no idea what they were talking about.

AC: How rare is it for a guy like this to keep things so close to the vest for so long?

DT: I think this whole thing is a microcosm of a few things. I’m not convinced everybody on his family is on the same page. I’m very convinced that he has a hard time saying no, and (is) appreciative of the relationships that have been built. And he’s a people pleaser, and I don’t think he wants to – I just don’t think he wanted to ever have to make these calls. And I think those few things have really driven why it’s taken so long.

AC: The fact that he’s making this announcement without any kind of fan fare, without cameras and a lot of media – what does that say about Wiggins?

DT: It’s totally consistent with who he’s been. You know, we had him on (ESPN) a couple of times – he was never that excited to do it. The most time I’ve had with him is when we set up in advance a 20-minute interview in Charlotte, and it was really enjoyable. We had a great time talking about things, and I felt like I really got to know him. And he loosened up and he opened up and we could talk about a lot of different things. But right after that was over, he just kind of went back to being Andrew and was all quiet again.

I really respect how he’s handled this. I think people look at this and the people who don’t know will say this is a kid that’s dragging out the process. This is just a kid who has had difficulty making a decision, for whatever reason. He really has never sought (attention). Andrew Wiggins could pick up the phone right now, and say I want to decide on ESPN, and we’d rearrange our schedule to get it done. That phone is not ringing, and nobody’s sitting by the phone waiting for it. I thought all along that he’d pick up the phone one day, call and commit and throw it out on Twitter and he’d be done with it. The way he’s doing it is totally how I would have expected him to.

AC: Do you think it will leak out tonight or tomorrow morning before the announcement?

DT: Well, I don’t think he cares. At that point, I don’t think he would care. It certainly could leak out. But there’s a zero percent chance I would ever write anything until hearing the words from either Andrew or somebody sitting right next to him at that point. Somebody’s going to jump the gun and get this thing wrong, you mark my words.

AC: We’ve heard lots of comparisons about Wiggins, from people saying he’s the best prospect since this guy or that guy. LeBron James' name has come up. What’s your reaction?

DT: Those words – the best prospect since LeBron, it’s not even a fair tag and I don’t think it’s accurate. People forget about a guy named Greg Oden, because his NBA career hasn’t worked out. And they are totally dismissing what Dwight Howard was as a high school player. I think so many people are living in the moment.

It’s not fair – Andrew is not LeBron James. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a LeBron James impact guy like that. He’s the most talented prospect in the class this year, and that’s certainly noteworthy. He has a significant upside … but I think the enthusiasm has to be tempered, in terms of who he is in terms of his impact over the last decade. He’s a really good player. He’s the best prospect in this class. He’s not LeBron James. And no one that I’ve seen since doing this since 1997 has been in that same tier as LeBron James.

AC: His arrival would mean different things for different teams but in a general sense what will his decision mean to the school he selects?

DT: Everybody has different uses for this guy next year. At North Carolina, Kansas and Florida State, he kind of becomes their instant face of the program, for lack of a better term. At Kentucky, he becomes part of the most heavily-covered soap opera in maybe college basketball history next year. Everybody has different uses and different impacts. The bottom line is guys like Andrew Wiggins don’t walk onto your campus every year. And the amount of media attention and on-the-court attention he’s going to receive is going to be, for whatever program he picks, very uncommon to deal with.

Thanks to Telep for his time. And now, the wait continues for one final day …

Monday, May 6, 2013

Duke recruiting for 2014 taking shape

It's not too often that a high-level basketball recruit publicly identifies his dream school from the start of his recruiting process.

But that's exactly what Grayson Allen, a shooting guard from Jacksonville Providence High, did. He told everyone that would listen that he wanted to go to Duke, and he became Duke's first 2014 commit shortly after Jeff Capel, Steve Wojciechowski and Mike Krzyzewski visited him at home and extended him an offer. You can read the full story on Allen here.

There isn't a great historical comparison from Duke's past for Allen, according to ESPN senior recruiting analyst Dave Telep.

"He’s different," Telep said of Allen. "Everyone always likes to say, ‘well, who is he like, but they haven’t had a guy like this. This guy, you can plug him in different spots, and he can be successful. The fact that he has a basketball IQ as both a passer, shooter and scorer is a big deal."

So there's that to look for in the 2014-15 season. And here is a quick rundown of Duke's other major targets for that year, listed in relative priority order:

PG Tyus Jones, Apple Valley, Minnesota. AAU: Howard Pulley Panthers
C Jahlil Okafor , Whitney Young, Chicago. AAU: Mac irvin Fire
SF Justise Winslow, St. Johns, Houston. AAU: Houston Hoops
PF Kevon Looney, Milwaukee Hamilton, Mikwaukee. AAU: Milwaukee Rebels
PF Trey Lyles, Arsenal Technical, Indianapolis. AAU: Spiece Indy Heat
SF Theo Pinson, Wesleyan Christian Academy, Greensboro. AAU: CP3 All-Stars
SG Devin Booker, Moss Point, Mississippi. AAU: Alabama Challenge

The last two guys, Pinson and Booker, have overlapping skills with Allen, so it would be pretty surprising if either ended up in Duke's 2014 class. Jones and Okafor have repeatedly said they are a package deal and are the clear top targets of the class.

As it stands right now, there are eight offers (including Allen's), for four open spots in the 2014 class (Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston, Andre Dawkins and Todd Zafirovski will all move on and free up scholarships). That doesn't factor in anyone leaving early, and Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker and Rasheed Sulaimon will certainly be candidates to do that depending on how the season goes.

Recruiting is all about having options—for the players and for the offering teams. Keep an eye on those names going forward.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wake Forest adds graduate student to roster

Wake Forest is bringing in post-graduate transfer Coron Williams.

Coach Jeff Bzdelik announced the addition of the shooting guard from Robert Morris on Wednesday.

Williams, 6-foot-2, is on track to graduate this spring and will have one season to play for the Deacons.

He will be one of two seniors on the team, along with fourth-year starter Travis McKie.