It's July and that's prime basketball recruiting time.
And for Western Kentucky University fans it should be a fun summer as new coach Rick Stansbury and his staff hit the road to evaluate players. 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 one commitment - Mitchell Robinson the No. 12 recruit in the country - and several other high-profile targets on the board.
Stansbury and his staff will be all over the country for the next three weeks trying to land two more prospects in the Class of 2017 and also looking ahead into the '18 and '19 classes.
WKU Insider brings you five storylines to watch this month:
1. In-State Targets? Stansbury made a huge national splash with the Robinson commitment last week but recently told WKU Insider that recruiting the top players in the state of Kentucky was "a must" for his program. So, who will it be in the 2017 class? There could be a few but it will be interesting to see which in-state players the Toppers target? Franklin-Simpson's Tavin Lovan was a target of the previous staff, along with Graves County big man Chris Vogt. But Paul Dunbar's Taveion Hollingsworth, Russellville's Pedro Bradshaw and Ballard's David Sloan are guys that could play themselves into a WKU offer this month.
2. Joining Mr. Robinson? With the No. 12 player nationally committed to WKU, could there be others that want to join him? Robinson is playing at Peach Jam this week and said he would be recruiting for the WKU staff. Expect to hear a few prospects over the next three weeks talk about joining Robinson on The Hill.
3. Main guys in the future? The Toppers have already started targeting top targets in the future and we expect Stansbury and his staff to spend a lot of time with 2018 top five player Zion Williamson of Spartanburg, S.C., No. 2 2019 prospect Charles Bassey of San Antonio, Tx., and another elite-level '19 prospect - D.J. Burns.
4. Expect a ton of new names: Things have been fairly quiet - at least with names the staff is after - in recent months but that is likely to change. I'd expect a lot of hype and a lot of new targets to surface over the next three weeks. The entire staff will be out evaluating and remember they were not out in April. So this is the first time they've seen some of the players they'll be watching.
5. WKU fans will love the attention: Trust me, it's going to be a different July. The previous staffs recruited a lot of talented players but Stansbury has already showed - and will continue to prove - that he's taking this to another level. Peach Jam is the biggest event this week and while WKU maybe had 2-3 prospects in it during past years, expect most of the top targets there this time around. It will be fun folks!
WKU Insider will be on the road for the next three weeks; keep checking for updates.