Updates on Howard, Cassell, Sampson

This weekend’s National Prep School Invitational drew a wide variety of college coaches from across the country, many of whom were hoping to find some remaining value left in the Class of 2012. Here are three players coaches were particularly interested in:

William Howard (France/New Hope Academy)

The France native is getting some tremendous training by playing for Chris Chaney’s New Hope Academy squad. Howard wasn’t able to capitalize on the amount of coaches who came to see him this weekend because he didn’t perform quite as well as he did in November’s National Prep Showcase, but nevertheless his size on the wing and deep shooting range is still likely to intrigue plenty of people.

The 6-foot-8 swingman reported his strongest recruitment is coming from Washington, Providence, George Mason and Central Florida, but the coaches surrounding his games made it clear that there were a variety of other high-majors eager to evaluate him.

Sam Cassell Jr. (Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame Prep)

Cassell has been playing the best basketball of his career recently and his recruitment has really picked up as a result. Connecticut was the most recent school to come with a scholarship offer but Maryland made the biggest statement this weekend as head coach Mark Turgeon brought the full staff to support their backcourt target.

“I’m hearing the most from UConn, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Central Florida, South Florida, and Washington,” Cassell said.

The 6-3 guard said he would wait until after the season came to an end before making his decision.

Jakarr Sampson (Akron, Ohio/Brewster Academy)

Sampson refuted claims that he had cut his list down to just two schools by saying that Baylor, Kansas, Louisville, Providence, St. John’s, and Florida were all still involved as of last Thursday afternoon.

With Kansas reportedly coming on strong, Providence certainly made a statement with not only its entire staff coming to the game but also several current players showing up.

“That was crazy how they all came,” Sampson said with a smile following his game. “Coach [Ed] Cooley, he’s a hard recruiter. I always see his face and always talk to him on the phone.”

Sampson also turned in a 22-point performance showing his versatility with an expanding offensive repertoire and his normal high motor and disruptive combination of length and quickness on the defensive end.