With Wednesday's opening of the contact period, basketball staffs around the country were able to get back out on the road. Not only can staffs now get out on the road to watch players, they can visit their top targets and conduct in home visits with them.
Not surprisingly, Bruce Pearl and his staff have been hitting the road with a vengeance as they've opened up the contact period with a flurry of activity that will continue into the middle of next week. While it's impossible to know their every move, we can rundown some of their movement from this week and where we can expect them to pop up in the near future.
Starting on Wednesday, Pearl and assistant Steve Forbes made the trip out to the Atlanta area to check in on Trae Golden. Golden, of course, will be returning the favor this weekend when he travels to Knoxville for an official visit. Known as more of a scorer on the high school level, the Vols are recruiting him to play the point and have emerged as one of the stocky 6-foot-1 guard's favorites.
After visiting with Golden, Pearl and Forbes hopped onto a private jet and flew to Kansas City where they conducted an in home visit with point guard Trevor Releford and his family before speaking at a coaching clinic at Releford's high school. According to some close to the situation, the visit went well and Releford scheduled an official visit to Knoxville for the 26th of September. Following his Tennessee in home, Releford entertained coaches from Alabama and Oklahoma. Minnesota and Arizona may come in home next week, but the Crimson Tide and Sooners definitely appear to be the Volunteers chief competition.
Joining Golden in Knoxville this weekend is Memphis product Chris Crawford. A sharp shooting wing, Crawford hosted the Tennessee staff on an in home visit Thursday evening. The Volunteers look to be in good position here and it's a battle that will likely come down to them and Memphis.
As it turns out, Crawford wasn't the only Memphis area target that Tennessee went in home with on Thursday. The Volunteers also sat down with 6-foot-8 forward Tarik Black and his mother. While Black has yet to set any official visits, look for the Vols to score a return visit from the athletic big man sometime during the month of July.
Looking ahead, Volunteer fans will want to keep an eye on Tennessee's scheduled in home visit with Tobias Harris on Sunday night. After that they'll conduct an in home with Jayvaughn Pinkston on Monday, probably find a way to stop through Memphis and Kansas City again and then meet with North Carolina forward C.J. Leslie on Wednesday.