College basketball recruiting is the main event of the summer. Fans go crazy for the latest buzz on recruits considering their school. College sports fans go through withdrawal type symptoms during the summer months. After the NBA draft there is not anything to look forward to until college football starts. The summer really is a dead time for college sports fans. However, starting in July they can get their fix as college basketball recruits from around the country compete in AAU tournaments.
In July there are three five-day segments spread out over three weeks where coaches are going all over the country trying to see as many recruits as possible. But it’s not just coaches who are watching the recruits. Different scouts from various online sources log thousands of miles every year going to watch high school kids evaluating them, ranking them, and following them through their recruiting process.
-First Period (July 8-12) This includes the following events: Nike Peach Jam (North Augusta, South Carolina), Under Armour All-American Camp (Charlotte, North Carolina), Adidas Uprising Gauntlet Finale (Atlanta), Elevate Hoops Showdown (Philadelphia), Hoop Group events (Reading, Pennsylvania), Hoop Seen Best of the South (Suwanee, Georgia)
-Second Period (July 15-19) This includes the following events: Nike Global Challenge (Chicago), Under Armour Finals (Atlanta), Adidas Uprising All-American Camp (Long Island, New York), Separation Sports Management events, Great American Shootout (Duncanville, Texas), NY2LA Summer Jam (Mequon, Wisconsin), Double Pump Best of the Summer Tournament (Anaheim, California), Peach State Showcase (Augusta, Georgia)
-Third Period (July 22-26) This includes the following events: Las Vegas Events Adidas Summer Championships, AAU Nationals and Super Showcase (Louisville, Kentucky), Elevate Hoops events, Sunflower Showcase (Lawrence, Kansas), Battle of the Borders (Burlington, New Jersey)
Traveling around the country in the summer following these recruiting events is something the average basketball fan cannot do. But the sports hungry college basketball fans thirst for the information. And some pay big money for it. With the combination of social media and the internet, there is all kinds of information available. I will provide updates on all of The Cardinal’s Beak social media accounts and the Recruiting page. I will also be covering the AAU Nationals and Super Showcase in Louisville.
Coach Pitino and his assistants will be out working hard over the next few weeks and it all began at 5 o’clock on Wednesday. They’ll be making their rounds all over the country during this July evaluation period checking out around 16 guys in the 2016 class and around 8 guys in the 2017 class. The biggest area of need in the 2016 class will be in the back-court. Coach Pitino will have 3 scholarships at his disposal to fill his needs. We will be in really good shape heading into the 2017 Class year and Coach Pitino will probably only have one scholarship available in this class. I think he will be looking hard to get good wing player.
Top Targets 2016:
-Markelle Fultz, 6-3, SG, Hyattsvlle, Md. (Scout #23, Rivals #23, 247Sports #21, ESPN #21)
(Photo: 247Sports, Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
This kid became a breakout star in April and has been trending upwards ever since. Our coaching staff loves these types of guys who come on strong late in their recruiting process. Every guy in our 2015 class was one of these guys. Fultz is a perimeter player that loves to take his man off the bounce, and knows how to get to the rim with some pretty sound basketball moves. He can also hit the mid-range jumper with consistency, and shows he can get into a scoring rhythm. Fultz makes high-level plays on the offensive end of the floor. His athletic, attacking approach and the way he competes is very impressive and a treat to watch. You can find some highlight video over on the recruiting page. I’d love to see this guy in red. His offer list includes: Arizona, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Miami (FL), North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, South Carolina, Texas, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Washington, West Virginia, and Xavier. Right now it appears that Arizona and Louisville are neck and neck in this recruiting battle.
-Kameron McGusty, 6-5, G, Katy, Tx. (Scout #30, Rivals #36, 247Sports #35, ESPN #40)
(Photo: 247Sports, Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
McGusty is another guy who has exploded onto the scene lately making his very first appearance inside most of the national recruiting sites top 40. He has been averaging over 20 points a game leading the UAA in scoring. He also uses some great basketball moves to find his way into the paint for easy baskets and has a pretty sweet little pull up jumper. One of the most impressive things about this young player is his shot selections and the skinny on him is that he never takes a bad shot. His offer list includes: Auburn, Boise State, Florida, Georgia Tech, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Rice, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, Virginia Commonwealth, and Wake Forest. Oklahoma is being portrayed as the stand alone leader right now for McGusty’s services but many schools including Louisville were a little late to the table with this kid. I look for us to make up some ground in the next few weeks.
– De’Aaron Fox, 6-2, G, Katy, Tx. (Scout #15, Rivals #9, 247Sports #8, ESPN #10)
Fox has been at the top of the wish list for a lot of major programs. He isn’t a true point guard in the traditional sense of the word, but his explosiveness off the dribble and shooting touch are tough to deal with. Fox is a long and wiry point player, and is still trying to find the balance between scoring and facilitating. He has been a notable figure in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball circuit this season and leads league in assists and steals. A guy who plays great defense even in a summer league. You know Coach Pitino loves that. His offer list includes: Louisville, Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, SMU, Texas, and Texas A&M. Texas is thought to be in the lead at this time for Fox’s services with Kansas being second and Louisville being third on the list. The coaching staff have recently turned up the heat here so I look for this ranking to change.
-Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, 6-9, C, Pinetown, N.C. (Scout #25, Rivals #7, 247Sports #14, ESPN #8)
Adebayo is a big, strong low post player who gives it his all on every possession. He’s a post player who runs rim to rim all game long and lives on the glass while making strong moves inside. With a nick name like “Bam” you know he likes to bang down on the blocks and he is known for being a glass cleaner. Along with those skills he can also knock down face up 17-footers consistently. This kid really is a monster. His offer list includes: Louisville, Memphis, Duke, Georgetown, Iowa State, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. The hometown schools NC State and North Carolina seem to be in the lead for Bam’s services with Louisville sitting in that third spot. Not sure how not really needing a post guy for this class will play into this recruitment but it likely will.
-Javin DeLaurier, 6-9, F, Charlottesville, Va. (Scout #36, Rivals #40, 247Sports #40, ESPN #49)
(Photo: Vantage Hoops)
By all accounts there were always signs of potential in this 6-foot-8 forward, but this spring and summer, DeLaurier has been a completely new player. He is another one of those players who has made a Rapid Ascension into the major recruiting site polls. His ball skills are good, his perimeter jump shot is decent, and he’s also an impressive passer. His biggest strength comes on the defensive end, where he can guard multiple positions, defend in the post, and rebound in traffic. His offer list includes: Baylor , Boston College, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, George Washington, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Marquette, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Old Dominion, Princeton , Richmond, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia Commonwealth , Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Right now Texas and Vandy appear to be leading the way for DeLaurier. Again this is one that Louisville came in a little late on but are making up ground quickly.
– Dennis Smith, 6-2, PG, Fayetteville, N.C. (Scout #4, Rivals #4, 247Sports #3, ESPN #4)
Smith is an attacking point guard that is best at getting in the lane with his explosiveness and he is unselfish along the way looking to get his teammates involved regardless of what the defense throws at him. He has all the physical tools to run a team and score as needed. Smith is an elite prospect and has tremendous upside. This would be the crown jewel in the recruiting class if the Cardinals could land Smith. According to 247Sports Louisville, Kansas, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest and UNC are at the top of his list heading into July. The hometown team NC State appears to be in the lead but again don’t count out the Cards.
Louisville has their ace recruiter Kenny Johnson leading the way in the recruitment of all of these top targets. With his track record one has to think that we will land one or two of these guys mentioned above. Any of them would be huge for the program.
Other names to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks:
Dewan Huell, 6-9, F, Miami Norland
Terrence Ferguson, 6-6, SF, Dallas, Tx.
Bruce Brown, 6-3, G, Saxtons-River, Vt.
William McDowell-White, 6-5, G, Australia
Mamadi Diakite, 6-9, F, Dyke, Va.
Miles Bridges, 6-6, SF, Huntington, W. Va.
Eric Hester, 6-3, SG, Oldsmar, Fla.
Josh Jackson, 6-6, SF, Napa, Calif.
Dennis Smith, 6-2, PG, Fayetteville, N.C.
Jaylen Fisher, 6-1, G, Memphis, Tenn.
Curtis Jones, 6-4, SG, Huntington Prep
Abdul Ado, 6-11, C, Chattanooga, Tenn.
If things play out like expected then there won’t be much buzz surrounding Louisville’s 2017 recruiting class as there will only be one scholarship available. Here are some of the names in the 2017 class that will be floating around this summer.
Matt Coleman, Mouth of Wilson, Va., 6-1, PG
Troy Brown, Las Vegas, 6-5, PG
Brian Bowen, Saginaw, Mich., 6-7, SF
Jaylen Hands, Chula Vista, Calif., 6-2, PG
David Sloan, Taylor County, 5-10, PG
D.J. Harvey, Hyattsville, Md., 6-4, SF
Hamidou Diallo, Putnam, Ct., 6-5, SG
Trevon Duval, Newark, N.J., 6-3, PG
Charles O’Bannon Jr. Bishop Gorman Las Vegas, NV 6-4, SG