Summer Coverage: Phase II

July 25 begins Phase II of the NCAA-mandated 14-day July evaluation period. The hot spots? Try Las Vegas and Orlando because that's where the bulk of the players are. Just for kicks, here are a few things to watch for as the month draws to a close.

NOTE: Our coverage from the adidas Big Time will kickoff late in the night July 25, the first day of games. From Vegas, we head to the AAU Nationals on July 30. You can access pool and team information at the official site of the Big Time.

Deep Teams Will Win

Fatigue shouldn't be as huge a problem for many teams as it was last year when players were seemingly gallivanting across the country for 21 days. With the built-in dead period, a lot of kids took advantage of a mid-month break. However, the AAU's and the Big Time are tournaments that require a high number of games in a short period of time so fatigue will be a factor – bank on it. For example, the Atlanta Celtics were probably the deepest AAU team in the nation last year and they won the Big Time. Down in Orlando, Boo Williams had a bakers dozen prospects on his bench and they won the AAU's. Sure, only 7-8 kids will play once the playoffs start, but having bodies to put into the game during early round blowouts seemingly helps.

Look Out For Chris Bosh

I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but the Class of 2002 is not deep at the power forward slot. With that said, a new member of the elite PF community arose at adidas ABCD Camp. It's entirely possible that Chris Bosh exit July as the hottest forward prospect in the land and for a number of reasons. No one really knows exactly who is in the best standing with Bosh. That means the door could be open for a big-timer to get on him right now and move quickly. With that said, we believe there are plenty of big-timers who will move quickly. Our theory is that the number of high-major coaches attending Texas Blue Chips games in Vegas is going to be triple the number we originally thought it would be.

Will Bracey Say The Words?

For weeks, TX SG Bracey Wright has indicated that he is close to making a commitment to Indiana. Apparently, his mother still wants to see the IU campus and there are tentative plans to make an August visit. Will he do it in July or put the decision off until mom sees Bloomington? This is like waiting for a new episode of The Sopranos. UCLA and Tennessee are the two other teams being considered as we steam towards August.

The Stoudemire Situation

Amare Stoudemire is a good kid who is being pulled in every direction by enterprising adults. I say let the dude play basketball. Anyway, it's going to be interesting to see how he reacts to what's happened to him during the dead period. Fastbreak USA is on the list of teams attending the Big Time. Will Stoudemire show? We think there's no doubt he'll be there if the decision is solely his. If he is in Vegas, here's someone who thinks he'll channel that energy into a big-time performance.

Be On The Lookout For …

Prior to the start of the July camps, we told you to watch for SG Josh Washington, PF James Augustine, SF Brandon Bowman, C Julius Lamptey, SF Richard Law, SG Quentin Moses and SF DeAngelo Alexander. Well, Washington made his first three 3s in the semis at the Peach Jam and helped Team Texas to the title. Augustine blossomed into a sure-fire high-major target and Bowman hosted a coming out party at Nike along with Lamptey. Law, Alexander and Moses didn't blow up but each had their moments. Not a bad effort in trying to target some guys who would have impacts. So, here are a few more names to watch:

Kevin Young, C, Tallahassee Wildcats This Berkshire School big man is headed to the AAU's and the SEC, including Kentucky, is hot on his trail. He'll be eager to show everyone the improvements he's made. He'll be in Orlando.

Dedrick Finn, PG, Warrick County If his team can advance deep into the AAU's, Finn will be the guy everyone has to check their rosters for as they scramble to find out who he is. Too late, four schools already have made an impression on him. Also will be in Orlando.

Brad Buckman, C, Pump and Run The TX PF gained a lot of recruiting momentum with a fine adidas performance and if he's with the Pumpers in Vegas, he's going to be a hot name. Likely to be in Vegas.


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