Well, it means there's work to be done by the college coaches and not just recruiting either. There is some nuts and bolts evaluating to be completed and a few diamonds in the rough to be uncovered. This year, more than any in the history of July recruiting, assistants need to make sure their head coaches are on task and don't waste time because it's too valuable given the circumstances.
Using Scout.com's current Top 100 as a guide we'll take this opportunity to stress the urgency of the situation – 48% of the Top 100 prospects are committed to college programs already. Translation: it sure would be nice if a few new guys emerged this month.
Colleges will be on the lookout for the next Adam Morrison or Tyrus Thomas (prospects who did not make national Top 100 lists) and they'll spend considerable amounts of time and energy "babysitting" the guys they have committed already and the key ones they have targeted.
OK, so that's the college coach's approach to the month. What does it mean for the players, especially the elite ones. Well, here's what some of the Top 10 prospects in the country might be thinking this month.
EXPECT BIG THINGS
O.J. Mayo – It's been a long spring and summer for the current king of the rankings. Unfortunately, he's made more news off the court than on it and July will be key to shaping his future. Being ranked the No. 1 player in the country means more to him for future considerations (think big shoe contact) than anyone in the class. He needs to come out and make a statement with his play to quiet the doubters who think someone else deserves his spot.
Bill Walker, SF – By his standards it's been a quiet spring for him on the court. He's a high-profile guy who hasn't had his big non-high school senior moment. The best leaper in the country is due and speculation about a potential commitment with or without Mayo keeps him directly in the spotlight all month long.
Anthony Randolph, PF – If you spend any time at all with him at all you'll quickly realize that stress is not a huge part of his life. Randolph's usually pretty even keeled and no one has showed less stress in the recruiting process than he has. So why do we think he needs a big month? Easy. He's so talented expectations are high for this young standout. Plus, he's the last guy in our Top 10 with good players bearing down on him capable of taking his spot.
Jerryd Bayless, SG – He holds himself to a very high standard and this is his time of the year. By opening himself up to be recruited he's back under the microscope and we have enough understanding of what makes him tick to think that's exactly how he likes it.
Derrick Rose, PG – Word is out and he's about to make his debut at Reebok ABCD Camp. Now, the good fellas at ABCD never miss a chance to match up highly ranked players and that means Rose vs. Mayo in a center court match up. It's not LeBron vs. Lenny but it could rival the Oden vs. Caracter matchup.
Kyle Singler, SF – Reportedly he was outstanding at Nike Skills Academy so there's a real chance to continue making a statement here. He's pretty laid back and keeps a low profile but hey, this is July and after all, there are going to be some heavy hitters in the stands at his games.
Kevin Love, PF – Considered by some to be a contender to knock off Mayo, the spotlight will be in love with Kevin all month long. Can he do it? Can he withstand 3 straight grueling weeks with all eyes on him? What's it matter? He's good. No pressure, he can just go out and play.
Eric Gordon, SG – Everybody who follows the game understands that this kid is an outstanding prospect. He's firmly entrenched as one of the top wings in his class. Barring an unforseen reversal of his commitment to Illinois – and you figured the new Hoosiers staff had to ask – he's cruising and content.
Michael Beasley, PF – He took any pressure that might have existed in regards to his situation and ended it by committing to Kansas State two weeks ago. He answered questions about his recruitment all through the spring and his play was outstanding at times and spotty at others. Now that the "where are you going to school" issue is cleared up, time to go out and just be a kid again.
Donte Greene, PF – Scout.com may end up being the only service to put Greene in the company of the Top 10 and everyone knows he's a great prospect so really he can just go out and enjoy the spoils of being a big timer. A strong camp performance should solidify his all-american standing and if that happens he'll be running downhill the rest of the month.
SCOUT.COM THIS WEEK
The month begins with coverage from all three of the major shoe companies. Our national coverage will tackle the adidas Superstar Camp (July 5-6, Telep), the Nike All-American Camp (7-9, Telep) and the Reebok ABCD Camp (July 6-10, Goodman). Plus we'll have even more coverage of West Coast prospects from Tracy Pierson and Greg Hicks!
Stay tuned to InsideTheVille.com this week as we'll be on the road providing the ultimate in recruiting coverage from the national shoe camps for Louisville Cardinal fans. Get your subscription started today and follow all the exciting recruiting news!