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Weekly Recruiting Beat (7-3-11) – College Basketball Recruiting News & Notes

All The Way Live!

The primary evaluation mechanism for college basketball coaches is arguably the month July, at least as the current NCAA D-1 recruiting calendar is currently constructed. The hottest events that will take place over the next month are profiled in our look at the July live period.

There are plenty of important storylines to follow during the July evaluation period. Two of the most pressing items of interest for recruiting junkies are the battle for the #1 spot in the Class of 2012, and whether Kentucky can get some momentum and land some verbal commitments. The Wildcats have landed three consecutive #1 classes, but do not have a pledge yet for 2012.

In recent player rankings released by Rivals and PrepStars/247 Sports, WF Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (NV) has taken the top spot due to his relentless attacking style, and his ability to use his strength and athleticism in a complete game. Trees Andre Drummond and Isaiah Austin are among the other prospects who will be in the mix when scouts evaluate who is, in fact, at the head of the class. Make no mistake, there are other prospects in the mix for the top slot, and July camps and tournaments should do plenty to establish the pecking order.

After three straight #1 national recruiting classes, Kentucky has yet to land a verbal commitment for the Class of 2012, transfer point guard Ryan Harrow notwithstanding. The Wildcats are heavily in the mix for a variety of prospects, but there isn’t a prospect considered a complete lock at this point. Coach John Calipari and company have been known to scorch the recruiting trail over the last several years, but there isn’t the same sense of momentum yet in 2012. Who the first domino will be to fall is important, but Kentucky is expected to have a handful of early entries to the NBA next season, assuming there is a next season, and the Wildcats need to establish some player succession to keep the program strong.

Quick Notes

  • Most sources consider 6′-5″ shooting guard Chris Thomas to be at a minimum, a Top 10 prospect nationally in his class. The electric and hyper-athletic talented guard is on the move though, and it’s unclear where he’s to end up. He started last season at Princeton Day Academy (MD) and ended up at Westwind Prep (AZ), which was coached by Gary Trousdale. The coach has moved on to a new program of his own creation, La Jolla Prep (CA). When asked if Thomas would end up at La Jolla Prep (CA), Coach Trousdale replied that his attendance has not yet been confirmed.
  • Withrow (OH) shooting guard Aaron Thomas was expected to be a key member of the Florida State recruiting class. The skilled guard signed with the Seminoles in the early signing period and could have provided backcourt depth next season. Instead, Thomas is headed to Brewster Academy (NH) for a post-graduate year. Thomas reportedly remains committed to FSU. Brewster is also the destination for Class of 2012 Top 50 WF TJ Warren, who will trasnsfer from Word of God (NC), where he played for a season.
  • The Bay Area to Findlay Prep (NV) railroad gained another passenger, as Salesian (CA) point guard Dominic Artis, a 6′-1″ high-major prospect is reportedly the latest prospect to announce that he will play for the Pilots next season. The Pilots also landed 2013 F Christian Wood, who also committed to UNLV for good measure.
  • 6′-9″ C DaJuan Coleman of Jamesville-Dewitt (NY) is going to be among the most sougght after recruits in July. Coleman has long been expected to be a strong Syracuse lean, but expect Kentucky to come after him in July, according to ZagsBlog.
  • Simeon (IL) also got richer, as 2013 guard Jaylon Tate is transferring in from De La Salle (IL). Tate’s addition is yet another building block in what should be a pre-season Top 10 team nationally, next season.
  • 6′-8″, 230 pound forward Connor Boehm from New Trier (IL) pledged to Dartmouth, over other Ivy interest and Santa Clara.
  • New coach Pat Chambers landed his first pledge at Penn State, 6′-3″ guard Akosa Maduegbunam, who he was recruiting while at Boston.
  • 6′-8″ PF Jalen Robinson is staying close to home, as the big man has made the call for Dayton. Robinson plays at Northland (OH).
  • Purdue pledge Rapheal Davis, a 2012 SG, is headed to La Lumiere Prep (IN) next season.

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About Kellon Hassenstab

Kellon Hassenstab is the publisher of the College Basketball Newcomers Guide book and Hoopniks.com. He founded Hoopniks.com in 2009, and has contributed to SlamOnline, Dime Magazine's HighSchoolHoop.com, and NBCSports.com, along with other publications in the past. Hassenstab has covered grassroots, high school and basketball recruiting for over a decade. Follow on Twitter, @Hoopniks.

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