Aug 31, 2012 10:57 AM EDT
Deshaun Thomas changed his mind five times over entering the NBA draft last spring before deciding to return for his junior season at Ohio State.
Thomas was a projected as a borderline first round pick.
“I just sat back one day and realized, ‘I’m going to stay and get better, and I think I can (go) higher (next) year,” he said. “I think I made a great decision.”
Thomas participated in two camps this summer that were scouted by NBA talent evaluators.
“They said my body was great, and they liked that I could score in different ways,” said Thomas, who said he is down to 214 pounds with 7.1 percent body fat. That’s at least 10 pounds lighter than his first two seasons. “I can move better,” he said.
Aug 28, 2012 9:06 PM EDT
Bob Gibbons, a respected recruiting analyst who has been evaluating high school players since the late 1970s, argues that Andrew Wiggins is the best player in the nation regardless of class.
"Who catches your eye the most? Who is the eye-catcher? It is Wiggins. He makes the biggest impression of all," Gibbons said. "He can shoot from three-point range. He is extremely fast, a superb athlete. He can be a shooting guard or small forward at 6-foot-8. I won't say he is the best player I have ever seen but when you look at the players in the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015, he clearly is the one who stands out above the rest."
Gibbons has misgivings about Jabari Parker's athleticism and consistency.
"I got only a glimpse of Parker at the NBA Top 100 camp because he came for only one day," Gibbons said. "With all the hype, it was unfair. I expected him to play like Wiggins. But he didn't. He doesn't dominate. He lacks consistency. He has skills but he isn't a super athlete. He is a very capable guy. But can he live up to all the hype? That is a burden he has to carry on his shoulders, being the best player in the nation. He has an excellent knowledge of the game. He has his moments but he doesn't perform on a consistent basis."
Aug 28, 2012 1:05 AM EDT
Nerlens Noel has set a goal to surpass Anthony Davis’ single-season freshman record of 186 blocked shots.
“I’m going after that shot-blocking record,” Noel said confidently. “That’s just something to motivate myself to keep playing hard on defense. You’ve always got to set a goal of what you want to accomplish, and I definitely want to go after that.”
Noel is preparing for the 2012-13 season amid questions about his eligibility, which is under review by the NCAA.
“You can’t read everything, but whatever you do see, you’ve just got to use it as motivation, and that’s what I do,” Noel said. “I use it as my fuel to stay in the gym and keep driving myself.”
Aug 23, 2012 12:04 AM EDT
The NCAA has intensified its investigation into the recruitment of Nerlens Noel, with two enforcement officials traveling to Noel’s New Hampshire prep school for a three-hour meeting earlier this month.
Noel, the top prospect in the 2012 class, is being investigated to determine how he paid for unofficial visits to Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse.
Noel told CBS Sports earlier this month that he'd been academically cleared to play at Kentucky.
Aug 16, 2012 10:49 PM EDT
Rodney Purvis has not been cleared to attend fall classes at N.C. State.
The NCAA eligibility center is examining Purvis’ high school coursework.
Purvis attended Raleigh's Upper Room Christian Academy.
Aug 15, 2012 10:54 AM EDT
Trey Burke is focused on providing guidance to his new teammates – specifically incoming freshman Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas, Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht -- on and off the floor.
"I just want to make everyone around me better,” Burke said. “I know that a lot of teams are going to have me at the top of their scouting reports, so it's my job to get everyone else involved and open the doors for everyone else involved. We have a lot more weapons this year. Everyone returning has really worked so hard this summer and the freshman look really good. They should be able to help us. I'm focused on making people better, hitting open shots and running the offense like I did last year. I don't really want to change anything. I just want to play my game is what I am concentrating on the most."
Burke is looking to assume more of a leadership role next season.
"I definitely have to be a leader, especially with me being a floor general,” Burke said. “I have to get everyone where they need to be, not just on the court but off the court as well, and at practice. I have to have a voice this year and it will go a long way."
Aug 14, 2012 11:08 AM EDT
Mike Moser is preparing for what will almost certainly be his final season at UNLV.
"We've got Mike's picture up as one of the seniors," Rebels coach Dave Rice said. "When we meet as a team and I talk about the seniors, I talk about Justin Hawkins, Quintrell Thomas and Anthony Marshall, and I always include Mike.
"He needs to have a great year and move on to his next challenge. He's going to put himself in a great position after this year. One of the words that we always use with our system is interchangeability, and Mike's as versatile a guy as we have on our team."
Rice plans to use Anthony Bennett as a power forward and shift the 6-foot-8 Moser to the small forward spot.
"Bennett will be a great addition," Moser said. "It will help me, help Bennett and help the team. It kind of fits us all and puts us more in our natural positions. It helps us put a lot more size on the floor. We'll be able to throw out all kinds of lineups."
Aug 14, 2012 10:54 AM EDT
Chris Walker fully intends to enter the NBA draft after one year at Florida.
“Coach (Billy Donovan) said where my skill level is, if that's what I want I should go for it,” said Walker, who has committed to the Gators' 2013 recruiting class. “What I keep hearing is that I'm a potential lottery pick. But I'm not satisfied.”
Donovan believes the 6-foot-9 Walker can play small forward or power forward at the college level.
“I can shoot 3s now,” Walker explained. “I can finesse you. I can dunk on you. I can guard anything, and I'm rebounding better. When I block shots I catch the ball. I can post you up with my back to the basket and hit you with a post move. Or I can face you up and use my quickness to blow by you.
“NBA draft people have said I'm like a sick mix of Kevin Garnett and Perry Jones III.”
Aug 10, 2012 12:31 AM EDT
Tom Crean provided an update on the development of Cody Zeller, who left campus for a break between the second semester of summer school and the start of the fall semester.
“When he left, the measurements were as good as they’ve ever been from him. He was squatting 400, he was benching 305. He did 185 (on the bench) twenty-two times, which is incredible,” Crean said. “He came in doing it ten times a year ago, so that’s the kind of jump he’s had in that time frame. He’s grown. He’s a legit 7-foot in his shoes. His vertical has gone up almost three inches since he’s been at Indiana.”
A favorite to win national player of the year and be the top choice in next year's NBA draft, Zeller is gaining confidence in his ability to operate against different defensive schemes.
“I think he’s really bought into the fact that we want to make him the hardest cover in college basketball,” Crean said. “No matter what you’re planning for him when it comes to the double teams or when it comes to how you’re going to guard him, that he has an answer in his own game for that.”
Aug 08, 2012 12:53 PM EDT
Otto Porter, a small forward from Georgetown, averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in 29.7 minutes during his freshman season.
Porter showed his improved game during this summer's LeBron James Skills Academy.
Scouts appear to be in consensus that Porter could become a lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Archives
Aug 08, 2012 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Tony Mitchell of North Texas had an impressive performance at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
Aug 08, 2012 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Isaiah Austin, an incoming freshman at Baylor, had an impressive showing at the Adidas Nations camp last weekend.
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