Notebook: High pressure system

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Two big events coming up

There are a pair of critically important evaluation events coming up.

Beginning Thursday in St. Louis (Mo.), Nike will bring in around 100 of the top underclassmen in the country to participate in the Nike Elite 100. Year in and year this is the premier underclassmen event. A host of players from the 2016 and 2017 classes will participate.

In the past players like Greg Monroe, Jared Sullinger, James McAdoo and most recently Thon Maker (pictured, above) have used impressive performances at the Elite 100, formerly known as Nike Hoop Jamboree, to improve their stock.

Elite 100 takes place at St. Louis University and runs Thursday through Sunday. The event is closed to the public and features media restrictions during the actual weekend, but will have coverage following the three-day event.

The following week, the NBPA 100 camp descends on the University of Virginia's campus. A must-see event in high school basketball, the NBPA brings in the top players regardless of class, including a good majority of the top 100 players in the rising senior crop.

Every year the event is one of the top camp events of the summer, and this year should be no different. The action at NBPA Top 100 Camp tips off on Wednesday and the action runs through Saturday night.'s entire hoops recruiting team will be on hand to bring you full coverage from the premier event.

— Evan Daniels

USA trials begin tonight

USA will begin its 18U trials tonight in Colorado Springs, with 24 of the top 2014, 2015 and 2016 prospects in the country in attendance.

The camp is set to run from June 10-19 and the 12 players selected will participate in the FIBA Americas U18 championship - also held in Colorado Springs - from June 20-24.

The list of players in attendance:

Leron Black, PF

Antonio Blakeney, SG

Isaiah Briscoe, SG

Jaylen Brown, SF

Jalen Brunson, PG

Kameron Chatman, SF

Marquese Chriss, PF

Tyler Dorsey, SG

Jakeenan Gant, PF

Austin Grandstaff, SG

Chase Jeter, C

Stanley Johnson, SF

Tyus Jones, PG

Luke Kennard, SG

Tyler Lydon, PF

Dwayne Morgan, SF

Malachi Richardson, SF

Justin Simon, PG

Allonzo Trier, SG

Myles Turner, C

Glynn Watson, PG

Thomas Welsh, C

Justise Winslow, SF

Stephen Zimmerman, C

— Josh Gershon

Giddens set to decide

For Daniel Giddens, his recruiting process is about over. He is young for his grade and will announce his decision on his birthday, which is July 4. The four-star center has been solid the spring and summer with Each 1 Teach 1 and has the body and athleticism to be one of the best long term prospects in the class with some improvement on the offensive end.

Right now with Giddens, most of the speculation centers around Ohio State and Florida. Georgia has a bit of a hometown pull, but it would be an upset if the Bulldogs were able to snag Giddens.

Will Giddens make his way to Columbus?

Even with it being Ohio State or Florida in most people's eyes, nearly everyone is convinced that Giddens is going to become a Buckeye in a few weeks. Ohio State was his only real in-home visit, and then he made an unofficial visit to the school during the season that really seemed to put things in Ohio State's favor in this recruitment.

The Buckeyes have been the behind the scenes, and depending on the interview public, leader for sometime, and every indication says that is still the case.

With a solid three-man class already led by shooting guard Austin Grandstaff, the Buckeyes could be closing in on one of the best classes in the country and one that builds a lot of depth with players who project to be in college for three or four years.

— Brian Snow

Why stop at 24?

Since release our new Class of 2015 rankings last week, some fans have questioned why there are only 24 five star prospects. While we sometimes award 25 players that designation, each class is different and thus sometimes more or fewer five stars need to be accommodated.

For one thing, unlike football with its enormous talent universe, basketball features a significantly smaller recruiting pool. There's less need to categorize prospects by star rating to begin with, and among ranked players the number itself — evaluated within an approximate range — holds greater importance.

That said, the number of five stars still makes sense to discuss. It's an indicator of strength at the top of the class — or, more specifically, the 11-30 range of players — and provides some context for every player ranked within that range. You know we believe that the No. 26 player is less proven than No. 26 in other years (with more five star prospects), and that No. 22 might be higher in this class than typically would be true as well.

What's also true with this class and unrelated to five stars, though, is that 51-100 features excellent high-major depth. The more I look at the back end of the top 100, the more I want to move guys up rather than down.

Everyone judges classes by the top end, but college basketball will benefit from the Class of 2015 across the board — it's not just about the five stars.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

Scout Hoops Top Stories