July Evaluation Period Will Shape 2007 Class

For months now, Herb Sendek and the ASU's basketball coaching staff have being working diligently recruiting prospects in the 2007 class. The AAU tournament circuit will give the staff multiple chances to further evaluate players that they have already made contact with, as well as enter some new ones into the mix. Here's a run down of some of the players the staff will be following this month.

James Harden SG 6-5 185 AAU Club Pump ‘n Run – we'd be remiss not to start our list with the Sun Devils' number one recruit. This south paw has a great ability to knock down deep range jumpers, as well as play very disciplined basketball. Both attributes fit like a glove in ASU's new offense.

Some say that it's a forgone conclusion that this blue chipper will don the maroon and gold in 2007. Harden told Devils Digest that his decision could come "in the next couple of weeks", so if there is good news in store for the ASU fans it may come sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, you can count on the Arizona State Basketball staff not to rest on its laurels, and be present in each and every game Harden will participate in this month (like in the upcoming ABCD camp), just like the other coaching staffs vying for his services. Needless to say that a verbal commitment by Harden would be a spectacular way to start off this month's evaluation period of the 2007 recruiting class.

Chandler Parsons SF 6-8 180 AAU Club Team Florida– the Lake Howell (Fla.) standout (pictured)has already unofficially visited the Sun Devils, and he recently told Devils Digest that his choice will come down to either ASU or Miami. When looking at those two schools, distance (or lack of in Miami's case) comes to mind. However, the forward had an interesting take on this matter: "When Coach Sendek talked to me about this," he told Devils Digest, "He said that the distance shouldn't be a factor, because I can still go home on the holidays. Plus, my parents are real dedicated and will come to as many games as they can. He also told me that if I play in the NBA, I won't get to pick a team that's close to home, and I should go to the college that best prepares me for NBA. He thinks that Arizona State is the best. I kind of agree, and everyone says that I will fit his style of play."

By his own admission, Parsons says he's a versatile player that can post up smaller players or take off to the basket when guarded by bigger ones. Furthermore, he feels that his ability to knock down the three-point jumper is another virtue that makes him a good fit for an Herb Sendek offense. Parsons did unofficially visit Miami as well, and acknowledged that it's too close to call between both schools. "There's so much information that I got from both schools," he remarked, "and both schools can't really offer me more than what I already have. They both look great to me, and I definitely want to make a decision by the middle of August." He added that he will likely not consider any other schools than he already is considering. Aside from the two aforementioned programs, South Florida and Virginia Tech are other colleges he's taking a look at. Nonetheless, they aren't considered to be on his short list. Parsons is scheduled to appear with his AAU team at the Peach Jam, Nike All-American Camp, Super Showcase, Nationals, and Top-25 camp.

Jon Reed SF 6-5 180 AAU Club Rising Stars America – a fracture to his non-shooting wrist has kept him out for the last four weeks, but now the talented wing player (pictured)is one week past his cast removal, and will participate in all the AAU tournaments his club will participate in this month. "This was my first injury ever, " he said. "But it healed much quicker than I thought it would." Reed is talented shooter, especially from long range, that knows he has to evolve into a more complete player who can handle the ball and rebound. He was scheduled to visit ASU a few weeks back, but due to his injury, and now the AAU circuit, he will have to postpone that trip to Tempe until August.

"I like Coach Sendek and Coach Miller a lot," he commented regarding the ASU coaching staff. "It looks like ASU has a big and nice campus. I really think I can fit in here."

Aaron Johnson PG 5-9 170 AAU Club Illinois Warriors – Point guard is one position that the Sun Devils are thin at, and the coaching staff has conveyed that to Johnson (pictured). The 2007 prospect who hails from Chicago, was told by Sendek and staff how much they would like to see him spend his college career in the Valley of the Sun. "Arizona State is after me a lot," he said with a smile. "They told me how much they like my game and my leadership. They think that I will fit great with the team." He added that he would like to visit ASU in August, and since he has already been to Tucson in the past, weather won't be a deterrent from him possibly settling on the maroon and gold.

Johnson averaged 21 points and eight assists for Hubbard High School, but claims that his shooting could be better. "It's not that I have a bad jump shot," he said, "But it's not as good as my other areas of my game like distributing the ball and getting my teammates involved." Aside from the Sun Devils, the point guard is considering Iowa State, UAB and Wisconsin-Green Bay. He will participate in the Peach Jam and Showcase tournaments.

Jamelle McMillan PG 6-2 180 AAU Club FOH Seattle – son of NBA player and Portland Trailblazers coach Nate McMillan, Jamelle (pictured) is an intriguing prospect for many reasons. His father played at North Carolina State, and prior to Sendek leaving the Wolfpack in favor of the Sun Devils, the O'Dea High School standout seemed to be a lock to follow in his father's footsteps. Now, both schools are in the mix because of the family's strong relationship with Sendek and NC State's new head coach Sidney Lowe. Virginia, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Oregon and Washington are some other programs that have been in hot pursuit after this four-star prospect.

Kris Richard 6-4 165 AAU Club T-MAC All Stars – The combo guard is one of the top prospects in Texas, and he has been receiving much attention from ASU. "I'm loving what I'm hearing about Arizona State," he told Devils Digest in a previous interview. "I like the playing style, and it's located in a big beautiful city. I haven't visited them yet, but I do plan to do so in August." He's regarded as a well-rounded player, who can score in bunches, yet distributes the ball effectively. Richard is scheduled to play at the ABCD Camp and the Adidas All-Star camp.

Marcus Britt SG 6-3 180 AAU Club Arkansas Wings – the secret seems to be already out on this smooth shooting player, who is also attracting attention from UCLA, Purdue and Virginia. A strong tournament or two can boost his stock, and hopefully ASU's early attention on him will pay dividends in the future.

James Johnson 6-8 215 AAU Club Colorado Flight – recruits from Wyoming are few and far in between, but the Sun Devils seem to be locating them just fine. This forward has already been hearing from Pac-10 teams such as Washington and California, and he received scholarship offers from Nevada, Gonzaga, Fresno State and Wake Forrest. Johnson has a reputation of being a freakish athlete, who can also knock down a jump shot with some consistency. The Colorado Flight will be at Las Vegas' Main Event and Los Angeles' Best of Summer, where he will be undoubtedly be under the watchful eye of all the schools mentioned above and more.

Ryan Harp SG 6-4 180 AAU Club Texas Top Prospects – this Lone Star state sharp shooter (pictured) has been attracting attention from Wake Forrest and Virginia in the east, to ASU and Stanford in the west. "I've been talking to Coach Phelps a lot for the last few months," said Harp in a recent interview to Devils Digest, "and the last few weeks I really got to know Coach Sendek. He's a great guy and obviously a great coach, and I just been very impressed in how they have been recruiting me. It has been a lot of fun."

"I've always heard that Arizona State was a good school," continued Harp, "but now I know that for sure." The Denton Great American Shootout and the Main Event is Las Vegas are two of the tournaments he's scheduled to appear in.

The list is by no means all-inclusive, and will probably look different when July gives way to August. Devils Digest will follow Arizona State's recruiting efforts this month, and bring you the latest on the prospects the maroon and gold are eyeing.

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