Let The Games Begin!

RALEIGH, N.C. – Well, if you've been reading TheInsidersHoops.com for an extended period of time, you understand just how critical the month of July is for basketball recruiting. With that said, your premium subscription to the site will entitle you to a front row seat for what amounts to a month-long road trip of basketball. Here's a look at our July coverage.

Dave Telep's July 2002 Schedule

July 6-9, Nike Camp (Indianapolis, Ind.)

The fun starts with the 2002 Nike All-American Camp. Actually, the fun started a long time ago in regards to Nike. Finding a hotel in Indy that weekend was a trip with a major convention rolling into town. Just about 200 campers are expected to be in attendance with guys like Daniel Gibson and Ndudi Ebi headlining the show. We'd expect the underclassmen crop to be very strong at this camp.

July 10-11, adidas ABCD Camp (Teaneck, N.J.)

Brooklyn's Brick Oven Pizzeria here we come. Ditto for the Boston Market across the street from Fairleigh Dickinson University, the site of the camp. The ABCD Camp should be quite strong in terms of the rising seniors. Even though LeBron James won't be in town to replicate his dynamic 2001 effort, guys like Sebastian Telfair, Kendrick Perkins and Charlie Villanueva should make this a terrific camp. The all-star game is set for July 11 and that's always a highlight of the summer.

July 12, Home (Raleigh, N.C.)

This is a maintenance day. After touching down at RDU at 10 am, it's off to the house for 18 hours of rest and relaxation (yeah right). Having recently gotten engaged and being of sound mind and body, I fully understand the importance of taking your fiancee out to dinner. And, having spent the last seven days on the road and being of sound mind and body, I also understand the importance of doing laundry.

July 13, Peach Jam (Augusta, Ga.)

Welcome to the Peach Jam where it's at least 100 degrees and quite humid outside of the Riverview Park Athletic Complex. Enter the gym and the temperature takes a right turn on you. To cover the Peach Jam, you need a good night's sleep, a roster and most important of all … a windbreaker. The good folks down in Augusta don't skimp on the air conditioning. If you are reading this with plans to attend the Peach Jam let this serve as a reminder: bring a jacket (experienced travelers will apply this logic to the AAU Nationals as well).

July 18-20, Home (Raleigh, N.C.)

It's always smart to bring women gifts when you've been gone a long time (Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News lives by this rule and imparted his wisdom on me). At this point, I wouldn't think of entering the house without at least one package. The next few days are for processing information from the first three stops and getting ready for the Grand Finale.

July 21-26, adidas Big Time (Las Vegas)

Imagine Augusta, Ga., without the humidity but 10-12 degrees hotter and you've got Las Vegas in July. Fortunately, you also have 344 traveling teams so the event is loaded up with talent. The best strategy for covering a tournament of this magnitude is to know your limitations. So far, no one has been able to clone a recruiting analyst so that he can be in two gyms at once so the strategy here is easy: sit in one spot. Me, I'll be a Green Valley High for five straight days. The action gets started at about 8 am and the veterans will still be in the gym at 11 pm. Enjoy!

July 27-31, AAU Nationals (Orlando, Fla.)

Augusta-like temperatures both inside and outside are signatures of this event. A red-eye flight from Vegas to Raleigh should insure a long day. Add in about 8 hours of down time in between a flight from RDU to Orlando and this becomes quite possibly the longest day of my life. Regardless, the action has already started once I get there so there will be plenty of catching up to do. At this point in the summer, everyone involved with the game is tired so if you plan on winning this event, you better have more than one star player and a very deep bench. (Some of you may have heard a story about a certain recruiting analsyt getting off a flight from Vegas last year and apparently sleepwalking his way to the gym where he allegedly mistakenly walked into the women's bathroom. Of course, I would know nothing about that.)

Notes: It will be interesting to see if rising 8th grader OJ Mayo and rising freshman Demond Carter make it to Nike Camp. Both were invited but both are playing AAU events with their respective teams. … Illinois head coach Bill Self won't be on the road for at least a week to start the summer. The coach went under the knife for a scheduled surgery and per doctors orders, will likely miss the first part of the recruiting period. Taking Self's place for the first part of the period will be assistant coach Wayne McClain. … Most of us can't wait to see Kendrick Perkins this summer. Perkins has been isolation for most of the spring and summer, working on his game. … Keep this in mind: prospects are not allowed to make unofficial visits in July so any commitment you hear about this month is not the result of a campus visit during this time period. …

If you can't make it to any of the above venues, then a subscription to TheInsidersHoops.com is all you need. If you like recruiting and love high school and college basketball, come join in on the fun!

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