WKU hoops recruiting storylines

WKUInsider gives you five storylines to watch for this month as the Western Kentucky basketball staff hits the road for evaluations. The NCAA allows coaches three evaluation periods over a three-week span, the first of which will begin on Wednesday at 5 o'clock and end on Sunday at 5 p.m.

It's hoops recruiting time folks.

Western Kentucky has a lot of new faces on the current roster and coach Ray Harper and his staff will hit the road on Wednesday looking for some more new talent for the Hilltoppers.

Per NCAA rules, the WKU staff - like all other Division I schools - will hit the road on Wednesday for the first of three evaluation periods. The period will begin at 5 o'clock on Wednesday and end on Sunday at 5.

The Toppers come into the month of July with not a lot of room on the roster for next season. There are no commitments in the Class of 2016 and the focus of the staff is pretty narrow with limited roster spots available.

WKU coach Ray Harper is expected to hone in on three or four targets - including several top in-state talents - this week and the staff will also looking ahead into the '17 and '18 classes.

WKUInsider brings you five storylines to watch this month:

1. Who is the top targets? We're not anticipating too many surprises with the Toppers. Apollo's Eli Wright, Taylor County's Quentin Goodin and Hargrave's Braxton Beverly - a transplant from Eastern Kentucky - and the top targets and we believe will remain the focus of the first week of recruitment for the Toppers. But that doesn't mean they'll be the only players the staff is watching. The in-state trio are at the top of the list, we'll help you sort out the rest as the week goes on.

2. Can the Toppers keep Goodin at home? With the elimination of Louisville from his list, Quentin Goodin will go to WKU is he stays home. Now, can the Toppers keep him at home is the question? I would imagine there will be a WKU coach at every single game he plays with the Indiana Elite team. He's the guy the Toppers would make the biggest splash with if they can land him. And he's talented enough to go all out in the recruiting world.

3. Any surprises on the horizon?

Harper and his staff have narrowed their focus to just a few targets, but they will be watching for others and it wouldn't be a shock if someone didn't pop up. You can expect Mustang, Oklahoma guard Curtis Haywood to receive a ton of attention this week and he could vault up the list.

4. The Shumate factor?

Less than a month after being hired by Harper, Chris Shumate hit the road after spending a year recruiting for Tennessee and having previously worked at Cincinnati. Shumate has a ton of contacts, especially in the state of Kentucky and will help open additional some doors for the Toppers.

5. Who will rise to the top of the '17 list?

Staff has spent a great deal of time on the few prospects that they are after in '16, but this is the week we should begin to learn who the top targets are moving forward. Harper is expected to spend time in Atlanta and Augusta with his entire staff and they will get their eyeballs on a bunch of key '17 prospects.

WKUInsider is on the road and will keep you posted on the happenings of the staff all week.


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