Notebook: Eval Period Begins

This week's notebook discusses the beginning of the first evaluation period, as well a couple big commitments.

Who is the priority?

Wednesday is always a fun day for me because you learn who the coaches are really prioritizing. Now it doesn't always work this way, but in theory the head coach of a school is going to show up for his top priority on night one of the July evaluation period.

This is common sense because you want your head coach in front of your top priorities as much as possible during the month, and usually kids remember who was at their first game because that sticks out in their mind.

With the LeBron James Skills Academy (Las Vegas), Adidas Invitational (Indianapolis), Reebok Breakout Classic (Philadelphia), and Victor Oladipo/Ty Lawson Camp (Washington DC) all starting on Wednesday, college coaches will have some interesting choices to make in regards to where they want to start out, and who they want to get the head coach in front of first.

The Adidas Uprising (Chicago) doesn't get going until Thursday so there is a little flexibility there, but where a head coach is on day one says a lot, and it will be very intriguing to see who goes where to get things going.

- Brian Snow

Digging among the unsung

There's going to be a more widely spread talent field during the first leg of July, and I can't wait. While the most recent big-time national event was the elite NBPA Top 100 Camp, featuring scads of blue-chip performers, I'm ready to catch some guys on the rise.

I'll spend the first couple days of the period at famed DeMatha Catholic in Maryland, watching a host of players from the Mid-Atlantic region at the TyLawson VO5 All-American Camp. Some are more proven, but several others either I've never seen at all or else only in passing. Some of those players are known to be playing for high-major scholarship offers, and the college coaches in attendance will have to do intense scouting rather than the babysitting that largely takes place when dealing with established ranked prospects. The stakes will be extremely high.

From there, I'm traveling to a very strong regional event in suburban Atlanta: the Best of the South. That tournament will offer a regional flavor as well and will take place at the same facility hosting Under Armour's national event a week later. The BotS should produce some genuine sleepers from a region of the country that receives less grassroots exposure than other areas.

Make no mistake: I'm excited for the big-time events later this month as well, but it will be fun to see some new faces to kick off the live period.

- Rob Harrington

Mark Fox and Georgia made a strong move on Monday.

Keeping 6-foot-5 guard Will Jackson home would classify as a big deal for the Bulldogs. Jackson, who was committed to Connecticut, flipped to Georgia and he cited his relationship with Fox, as well as the proximity to home when I talked to him.

Georgia recently made changes to their coaching staff and the thought was to attack the local players and attempt to get more kids in Georgia and in the South to stay home. Getting Jackson, who plays at Athens (Ga.) Christian School, is a great start.

Jackson is's No. 34 ranked shooting guard and was one of the last prospects left out of's recently updated 2015 top 100. A skilled guard, Jackson likes to play with the ball in his hands and has good vision. He's a good driver, as well, that finishes well in the paint.

Jackson is Georgia's first pledge of the 2015 class.

- Evan Daniels

Stanford off to good start in 2015

After a very successful recruiting class in 2014 - a trend for the Cardinal during the Johnny Dawkins era - Stanford picked up where it left off on Tuesday, landing a big commitment from 2015 Alpharetta (Ga.) Chattahoochee small forward Marcus Sheffield.

Stanford's depth chart has a lot of talent at both the guard spots and post positions moving forward. Dawkins and staff have done a terrific job landing guards and posts over the last few years.

But small forward was a priority for the Cardinal staff heading into this recruiting season, given the fact that the team is losing Anthony Brown following next season.

With a huge shortage of small forwards out west in 2015, it was important for the Cardinal to go national to secure one that was good enough, and picking up Sheffield -'s 68th ranked prospect in the class - is exactly what Stanford needed.

Stanford is also doing a good job with 2015 Santa Maria (Calif.) Righetti's Cameron Walker, and should the Cardinal land them both, almost regardless of who else the school signs in the class, on paper the recruiting haul will have turned out to be a success.

- Josh Gershon

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

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