The Clemson men’s basketball program announced the addition of five prospects to national letters-of-intent Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period. Head Coach Brad Brownell and his staff added Jaron Blossomgame, a 6-foot-7 forward from Alpharetta, GA, Adonis Filer, a 6-foot-2 guard from Chicago, IL, Landry Nnoko, a 6-foot-11 center from Cameroon, Jordan Roper, a 6-foot guard from Columbia, SC, and Josh Smith, a 6-foot-8 forward from Charlotte, NC.
“Our coaching staff is very excited about the competitive attitude and history of success of the players in this recruiting class,” Brownell said. “These young men come from very successful high school programs and play for some of the best coaches in their respective states. Coupled with our first recruiting class, we believe we have laid a strong foundation for the continued success of Clemson basketball.”
Blossomgame is rated among the top prospects in the country by several recruiting services. He is the nation’s No. 74 prospect by PrepStars, No. 90 according to ESPNU, and No. 119 by Rivals.com. He is a four-star prospect according to ESPNU and Rivals.com. Blossomgame was a standout on the AAU circuit last summer, where he averaged a team-high 15.7 points per game for a talented Georgia Stars team at the Peach Jam. He was a second-team all-state selection at the AAAA level in 2010-11 after averaging 24.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for Chattahoochee High School.
“Jaron is an athletic wing with three-point range who should excel in our motion offense,” Brownell said. “He has the physical tools to compete right away on both ends of the floor, as well as rebound and make plays around the rim. Jaron has a true passion for the game, which was evident this summer when playing for a high-level AAU team. He was consistently the team’s most dependable performer.”
Filer is rated as high as No. 117 in the Rivals.com list of the nation’s top 150 prospects. He is the No. 24 point guard prospect by Rivals and No. 28 at his position, according to Scout.com. Last season, he led Bishop Noll Prep Academy (IN) to a 26-1 record and state runner-up finish after averaging 16 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Filer will spend a year at Notre Dame Prep School in Fitchburg, MA before enrolling at Clemson next summer.
“Adonis is a competitive young man who always wants to win,” Brownell said. “He is a physical guard who will be able to defend different positions and break down defenses and finish in the lane with his size and speed. He has an outgoing personality, and with that we think he will be a very good leader in our program for the future.”
Nnoko (pronounced NOH-koh) originally hails from Yaounde, Cameroon, but moved to the United States and played for Montverde Academy in Florida last season as a high school junior. He is a three-star prospect according to the national recruiting services and is rated as high as the nation’s No. 19 center by ESPNU. Nnoko played AAU basketball with the Florida Rams this summer.
“Landry is a big, strong post player who has made tremendous strides in his short time playing basketball,” Brownell said. “He possesses all the physical tools necessary to be a good post player in this league. He also has a nice jump hook around the basket, and can step out to 15 feet and make a jumpshot. He has the competitive nature to defend and rebound his position. Our staff truly appreciates the sacrifice he has made to make basketball a priority in his life. We believe he will have a very successful future at Clemson.”
Roper is regarded as one of the top players in the state of South Carolina, and the nation’s No. 84 prospect according to PrepStars. Last season, he led Irmo High School to a 27-3 overall record and AAAA state championship. He averaged 20.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game as a junior. He was the AAAA Player-of-the-Year at both the state and regional level. He was also named the AAAA Midlands Player-of-the-Year by The State and named All-Tournament at both the Chick-fil-A Classic and Upward Holiday Classic. Roper enters his senior season at Irmo with 1,219 career points.
“Jordan is clearly one of the best players in South Carolina after leading his team to a state championship last season,” Brownell said. “He is an explosive guard that can really score from different areas on the court. Our staff is excited about adding a great player from the state, and specifically from Coach Whipple’s program at Irmo High School.”
Smith will add size to the Tiger frontcourt with his 6-foot-8 frame. He averaged 10.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season and shot 58 percent from the field in leading Olympic High School to a 28-2 record and state sectional championship. Smith was a MEGA 7 all-conference selection and also earned MVP honors at the North Carolina/South Carolina Battle of the Classes (class of 2012).
“Josh is a strong, physical post player who will provide us with a good inside presence,” Brownell said. “Our staff loves the fact that he is the kind of guy who embraces contact. He is a very good passer with an excellent feel for the game, and can shoot the ball well out to 15 feet. He comes from a very successful program in Charlotte and his Olympic High School team should have a good chance to win the state championship this season.”
Head Coach Itoro Coleman put the finishing touches on the 2012 women’s basketball recruiting class, and it is a clear indicator of the direction of the program. Clemson’s five-member class of Jonquel Jones, Danaejah Grant, Kayla Montgomery, Nyilah Jamison-Myers, and Aisha Turner is one of the deepest and most talented in school history. Each member of the group signed a Letter of Intent on the first day of the early signing period, beginning Nov. 9.
“I am very excited about the 2012 recruiting class,” said Coleman, who is in her second season at Clemson. “We met every need with this group and were able to do so with some very talented players that will be able to come in and contribute right away. However, like any year, playing time will have to be earned in practice. This is a skilled group that has great character. They project well looking to the future.”
Recruiting Coordinator Yolett McPhee-McCuinoversaw the effort and has emerged as one of the top recruiters in the nation with her second top-30 class in as many seasons with Clemson.
Classes in the past have focused on depth or talent. This class, however, fills both of those needs, plus a whole lot more. All five of the players are four-star prospects according to ESPN Hoopgurlz, and each holds a rating of 91 or higher on Hoopgurlz’ 100-point evaluation scale. The Tigers will get immediate shots in the arm at every position, in what ESPN says could eventually become a “complete starting five from the 2012 class alone.”
Jonquel Jones (Riverdale Baptist; Upper Marlboro, MD) is the highest-rated signee. The native of the Bahamas is 6-foot-2 and can play anywhere from the point to power forward. The ultra-athletic player can shoot the jumper, rebound, block shots, has great handles, and has been rumored to dunk on more than one occasion. Jones has already requested entry into next year’s Rock the `John Dunk Contest. Jones is ranked 36th overall in the class, and is listed as the 7th-best forward in the nation.
“Jonquel is one of the hardest workers that I know at her age,” said Coleman. “She loves the game of basketball and is committed to the vision in place here at Clemson. She’s versatile and athletic on both ends of the floor. She will make an immediate impact to the program once she steps foot on campus.”
Grant (5-9, Piscataway HS; Piscataway, NJ) chose Clemson over just about every school in the country. The slasher-scorer has put together one of the most prolific careers in state history. She is ranked as the 64th-best player in the nation regardless of position, and the 26th-best guard. She can play at the point or shooting guard spots, and has a dynamic personality that might remind some of Itoro Umoh’s playing days.
“Danaejah is a strong guard that can play the 1 or 2 position,” said Coleman about the New Jersey native. “She’s a natural rebounder and has the ability to score whenever she wants. Her biggest attribute will be her leadership on and off the court.
Kayla Montgomery (6-4; Powder Springs HS; McEachern, GA) will be a centerpiece for the unit offensively and defensively. She has tremendous length and athleticism, and has a college-ready body. Montgomery is listed as the 12th-best post prospect by ESPN Hoopgurlz, and has played in the North-South Game, Georgia All-star games, and various other showcases.
“Kayla is a versatile post player that defends, runs the floor, and can also shoot the perimeter shot,” said Coleman. “We expect Kayla to make an impact immediately as she adds depth to our front court. Kayla has not even scratched her full potential as a player yet.”
Jamison-Myers (6-3; Orangeburg, SC; Orangeburg Wilkinson HS) is another athletic post player that will join the mix. She is a hard-working athlete who can impact the game on both ends of the floor. She was actually the first public commitment of the class, and has a strong academic background as well. She is ranked as the 17th-best post prospect in the 2012 class as well, giving Clemson three of the top 20 prospects at the position nationally.
“Nyilah is a diamond in the rough,” said Coleman of the South Carolina native, the Lady Tigers’ only scholarship player form the state. “She’s a hard worker and a great defender. Her athleticism on the defensive end is her strength right now, but with time will be a threat on both ends of the floor.”
Turner (5-7; College Park, GA; Westlake HS) is a lightning-quick point guard from Atlanta. Turner impressed on the trail with her quickness and agility, and her ability to find creases and distribute will make her an immediate weapon in Coleman’s up-tempo style. She is ranked as the 23rd-best point guard prospect in the nation, and will be the third guard from Georgia on the team (Chancie Dunn, Nikki Dixon).
“Aisha is a competitor and a great on-ball defender,” said Coleman of Turner. “She has great court vision and knows how to get the right people the ball when needed. ”
All told, the class is one of the most complete across the nation and certainly at Clemson. Entering the 2012-13 season, when this group gets on campus, the Lady Tigers will have no seniors, just two juniors, five sophomores, and five freshmen. That means this class will see the floor early and often, and is just the next step that the program is taking in the direction of making history.
South Carolina head men’s basketball coach Darrin Horn announced on Wednesday the signing of Tyrone Haughton to a National Letter of Intent to attend South Carolina and join the men’s basketball squad beginning with the 2012-13 season.
Tyrone Haughton – 6-10 – 195 – Miami, Fla. – Dr. Michael M. Krop High School
Solid under the basket, physical presence defensively … Excellent shot blocker and rebounder … Rated the No. 24 center according to ESPN.com … Averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior for coach Shakey Rodriguez at Dr. Krop High School, a Florida high school basketball powerhouse … … Shot 62 percent from the field as a junior … Named an All-Miami City honoree following 2010-11 campaign … Chose South Carolina over UCONN, Alabama and Virginia Tech among others.
Coach Shakey Rodriguez on Haughton…
“Tyrone is a long and athletic big man whose best basketball lies ahead. He possesses a great motor and has defensive, shot blocking and rebounding skills that should make him an immediate contributor at the next level. His offensive skills are still raw, but with his great work ethic it won’t be long before that part of his game catches up. Ty will make an immediate impact in the SEC. I look forward to following his progress at South Carolina.”
Horn on Haughton…
“We are really excited about Tyrone Haughton. He is a young man that has tremendous athletic ability. He is a high-energy guy that does what he does well every time he steps between the lines. He is a terrific rebounder, shot blocker and defender everywhere on the floor with great athleticism even at 6’10, a guy that can get to the offensive glass and finish around the basket. Maybe his best quality is that he is just going to continue to get better and better. He is going to get bigger and stronger and be a huge athletic body in the SEC for us one day.”
University of South Carolina head women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley announced that Asia Dozier (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley), Tiffany Davis (Houston, Texas/Westbury Christian) and Tiffany Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University and play for the Gamecocks. They will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2012-13 academic year.
“Asia Dozier has a great basketball IQ,” Staley said. “She’s able to hit the 3-point shot and is able to get to the basket any time she wants. Her passing game is pretty under-rated when looking at her as a total player. She has a great Gamecock tradition in her family, and we’re looking forward to having her in a Gamecock uniform very soon.”
A 5-foot-11 guard, Dozier is rated a four-star player by ESPN Hoopgurlz and the 34th-best guard in the 2012 class. Averaging 17.1 points and 3.8 assists, she helped Spring Valley to a 29-0 record and the state championship last season. Dozier helped the Lady Vikings to the 2009 state title as well, with her 18.3 points and 3.8 assists per game also delivering Class 4A Player of the Year honors from The State newspaper. She enters her senior season having already collected three all-state selections and an honorable mention spot on the MaxPreps.com All-America squad (2011). Dozier comes from a family of Gamecocks as her father Perry and uncle Terry Dozier played basketball for the Garnet and Black.
“Tiffany Mitchell has always wanted to be a Gamecock and told people very early that she wanted to be a Gamecock,” Staley said. “She’s one who plays hard all the time. She’s a scorer. She’s a basketball junkie. She’s one that will lead by example.”
A 5-foot-10 guard, Mitchell is rated among the top 50 players in the 2012 class by ESPN HoopGurlz and was rated the top player in the state of North Carolina. An all-state selection of both the Associated Press and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA), she averaged 18.4 points, 6.9 rebounds 4.2 steals and 3.9 assists for the Chargers last season, also winning South Charlotte player of the year honors. Behind her 30-point effort in the championship game, Providence Day collected its second-straight NCISAA state title in 2011, the program’s sixth in the last seven seasons. Mitchell’s Chargers rattled off 21 straight victories in the course of her junior season to finish 24-8 overall. In December 2010, she became just the 11th player in Providence Day history to score 1,000 points. Mitchell participated in USA Basketball trials for both the U16 and U17 teams in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
“Tiffany Davis is from Houston, but is Philly born and raised,” Staley said. “She comes to us as a consummate point guard. She’s a pass-first point guard who I believe will come in and create an opportunity for other players to score while still keeping the defense honest. I’m looking for her to show the same type of leadership skills and intangibles she showed during the recruiting process. We are very lucky she’ll be wearing a Gamecock uniform next year.”
A 5-foot-8 point guard, Davis is ranked the 29th-best point guard in the 2012 class by ESPN Hoopgurlz. Before playing her senior season at Westbury Christian, she helped Westside High School to the District 20-5A championship game as a junior. She picked up TABC All-Region and first-team all-district honors in 2011 after netting 16.0 points per game to help the Wolves to a 22-7 overall record, including a 12-2 mark in district play.
Citadel Basketball Head Coach Chuck Driesell released the names of two players, Matthew Van Scyoc and Raemond Robinson, who will join the Bulldogs as members of the 2012 recruiting class. Driesell’s second recruiting class, since joining the Bulldog Basketball program in April 2010, follows a 2011 class that included eight players.
“We wanted to build on the success of our 2011 recruiting class,” said Driesell. “In order for us to be successful it is vital to have quality recruiting classes, which we have done with the addition of these two players. We are excited for them to be a part of our program and we know that we are going to represent The Citadel and their families in a first-class manner.”
Robinson, a 6-2, 190 lbs., shooting guard from Goose Creek, S.C., joins the Dogs after starring at Goose Creek High School under Bruce Walls. A two-sport star, he also drew interest as a linebacker for the Gators. On the court, Robinson averaged 16.1 points, 3.7 rebounds 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game during the 2010-11 season, earning All-Region, All-Low Country and HSSR All-State honors. In 2008-09, Robinson captured the South Carolina State Championship and followed that by reaching the Lower State Championship as a sophomore. Robinson was the high school teammate of current Citadel guard DeVontae Wright.
“He is a hard-nosed, dependable, tough and intelligent basketball player,” said Antoine Saunders, his AAU coach. “Rae has been a joy to coach and is one of the best shooters that I have been around in my time of coaching.”
A 6-foot-6, 210 lbs., small forward, Van Scyoc joins the Bulldogs from Green Lake High School in Green Lake, Wisc., where he played for coach Dennis Brooks. He appeared in 25 contests during the 2010-11 season, scored 561 points and posted 227 rebounds. He was successful on 172-287 (59.9%) field goal attempts, converting 20-of-48 (41.7%) from beyond the arc. Van Scyoc selected The Citadel over the likes of Army, Nevada, Boston, North Dakota and Miami (OH).
“Matt is a combo forward that can shoot the 3-pointer with a great deal of accuracy,” said Antonio Curry, a national recruiting editor for NY2LA Sports. “A hard worker who is much better when facing the basket, Van Scoyc has great rebounding instincts as well as the ability to finish in transition.”
Matthew Van Scyoc (SOY-ic), 6-6 • 210 lbs. (Green Lake HS; Green Lake, Wisc.)
Van Scyoc has scored 1,204 points over the first three years of his career with Green Lake High School. Under the direction of head coach Dennis Brooks, Green Lake finished with a 41-9 overall record over the course of the last two seasons.
Chuck Driesell on Van Scyoc: “We’re excited to have a player of Matt’s caliber join The Citadel basketball program. Matt chose us over some high major programs. What makes him so valuable is his versatility and his toughness. Combine that with his high character, he will be a great addition to The Citadel community.”
Raemond Robinson, 6-2 • 190 lbs. (Goose Creek HS; Goose Creek, S.C.)
Robinson has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success while at Goose Creek High School with a combined record of 69-14 (.831 winning pct.) while under Brad Dobbels.
Chuck Driesell on Robinson: “I was extremely happy when Raemond committed to The Citadel. He’s and excellent shooting guard with a tremendous upside. Rae is one of the top players in the state and has a toughness about him that will fit our style of play. He is an excellent addition to our program and we’re excited to have another local player join the Bulldog family. Rae’s ability to shoot the ball will bring an added dimension to our team.”
College of Charleston:
Canyon Barry has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the College of Charleston men’s basketball team and will join the Cougars for the 2012-13 season as announced by head coach Bobby Cremins on Wednesday.
Barry, the youngest son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, is the third Barry to be coached by the legendary coach next to his half-brothers, Jon and Drew, at Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-5, 175-pound combination guard/forward out of Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Colo., is the fifth Barry son to play Division I basketball including half-brother, Brent, who starred at Oregon State, and half-brother, Scooter, who won a national championship title at Kansas in 1988.
The basketball bloodlines don’t stop there. His mother, Lynn Norenberg Barry, was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American player at The College of William & Mary from 1977-81. A member of the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in basketball and track and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, Norenberg Barry is the only woman in school history to have her No. 22 jersey retired.
“Canyon can really shoot the ball and he’s growing every day,” Cremins said. “I first heard about Canyon from his older brother, Drew. Having coached, Drew and Jon, I knew they were sleepers. They were always under the radar. Even the superstar, Brent, who went to Oregon State, was a little under the radar. We redshirted Drew and he became a great player at Georgia Tech.
“Right now, that’s the game plan with Canyon. We’d like to redshirt him one year. He’ll enter the Honors program here. Everybody knows he has a famous father. His parents, Rick and Lynn, have been great. They surprised me the other night with a phone call and said he was going to come here. I’m elated to have such a quality kid join our program. The Barry’s are late bloomers, so I’m hoping to have another Barry sleeper.”
Last year, the Indians finished 16-9 overall and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the State 4A Championship. Barry was the team’s leading scorer averaging 13 points per game along with five rebounds per game and a 76.4 shooting percentage from the free throw line. An underhand free-throw shooter like his father, Barry also shot 52.6 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point range. During a seven-game stretch during the middle of the 4A Metro season, he averaged 20.5 points.
“I am excited Canyon will have the opportunity to continue to hone his basketball skills at such a fine institution and under a great coach,” said Rick Barry, the only player to lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring and named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996. “Bobby (Cremins) has always had the best interest of his players at heart. We were not only very impressed by the basketball program and athletic facilities in Charleston, but also, the faculty members we met with on campus during our visit. Everyone genuinely wanted our son to be a part of the college.”
An academic all-state first team selection in basketball and tennis, the straight-A student is looking to major in pre-medicine at The College and applying for admission into CofC’s prestigious Honors College. He chose CofC over his father’s alma mater, Miami (Fla.), as well as Davidson.
“I think the College of Charleston is a great fit for me both academically and athletically,” Canyon Barry said. “I am excited to play for Coach Cremins. I know I have a lot of developing to do with my physical strength and my game in general, but I felt from the very beginning, Coach Cremins truly believes in me. I know he will help me to maximize my potential.”
Off the court, he is two-time state tennis champion in doubles (2010 and 2011), state boys’ badminton champion (2010) and also lettered in track and field in the triple jump. His team advanced to the state track championship in 2011 as a junior. He also is an eagle scout and a first chair euphonium player in concert band.
Kevin Chuisseu, Kendrec Ferrara and Larry Wideman have signed national letters of intent during the November signing period to join the Furman men’s basketball program for the 2012-13 season, it was announced on Wednesday by head coach Jeff Jackson.
“We’re really excited about this year’s recruiting class,” said Jackson, who is entering his sixth season as Paladin head coach. “Bob (Richey), Brian (Thornton) and David (Willson) did a great job with this class and all three players have a chance to make an immediate impact on our program. The post players are physical and have great motors and Larry is as talented as any perimeter player we have recruited in our tenure at Furman. We are excited about not only their ability as athletes, but they are all excellent students who will fit at Furman.”
Chuisseu, a native of Douala, Cameroon, currently plays for head coach Joel Justus at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward averaged seven points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots per game for Woodberry Forest during the 2010-11 season and garnered All-Prep League and Prep League All-Tournament honors as a sophomore.
Ferrara, a power forward, is a senior at Mariner High School in Cape Coral, Fla. The 6-foot-9 Ferrara averaged 10 points and seven rebounds per contest a year ago en route to earning all-area honors and guiding the Tritons to a 19-9 record.
Wideman, a 6-foot-4 guard, is a senior at Oakbrook Prep in Spartanburg, S.C. A native of Loris, S.C., Wideman earned all-state and all-region honors as a junior after averaging 18.5 points, five boards and four assists at Green Sea-Floyds High School. He also garnered all-region honors as a sophomore and all-state academic team honors as a sophomore and junior.