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