Friday, September 4, 2009

Fastbreak Friday

Can you feel it? The weather is changing. The bands are playing on Friday nights. Tailgates will start early on Saturday. And Sunday nights now mean basketball verbal commitments. The official visit tour starts this weekend. takes a look at the weekend visitors from coast-to-coast and there are a number of high-profile travelers.

Who are the most important? The National Hoops Report takes a shot at the key visitors.

ACC visitor of the weekend: Harrison Barnes is visiting Chapel Hill. And while that’s a big deal, he may not be the visitor of the weekend. I know, I know. Blasphemous. But James McAdoo is the most important visitor. The reason? The Tar Heels are higher on his list and could be more of a lean to the Tar Heels than any other player in the country. McAdoo is a big deal and could be a Derrick Favors type of player. Doesn’t seem so blasphemous anymore now does it?

Big Ten visitor of the weekend: Indiana is playing host to DeMatha Catholic guard Victor Oladipo. The 6-foot-4 athletic guard may not be a consensus top 50 player but he makes sense for the Hoosiers and Tom Crean. Crean earned his paycheck with players like Oladipo while at Marquette.

Big East visitor of the weekend: Rick Pitino said his off the court indiscretions won’t have any impact on recruiting whatsoever. Judging by the visitor list for this weekend, he’s right. Chicago stars Wayne Blackshear and Mike Shaw, both 2011 prospects, are scheduled to be in town this weekend. Blackshear is a pro-level wing prospect that a number of elite programs are fighting for.

Big 12 visitor of the weekend: When Georgia guard Jeremy Lamb began his meteoric rise at the Nike Peach Jam in July, Texas assistant coach Russ Springmann quickly brought over Rick Barnes to see the skinny scorer from Norcross. A game later, the Longhorns offered and made the 6-foot-3 super shooter a high priority. Lamb will get a chance to see the Longhorns in the fall. Lamb’s recruitment could end before the end of the month.

SEC visitor of the weekend: When your football stadium can pack in over 100,000 people, you almost have to go for broke if you are the basketball coaches. It seems like the Tennessee coaches always have a dozen (or more) visitors in Knoxville on game day. Can you blame ‘em? Class of 2010 sleeper (and in-state prospect) Michael Bradley, Jordan Price (a 2012 stud), Andre Hollins (a 2011 in-state point guard), Nino Johnson (another 2011 in-state guy), Chris Jones (an electric scoring point guard from Memphis) and a host of others will be on the sidelines.

Pac-10 visitor of the weekend: USC Does anyone do it better in the fall than the Trojans? Of course when you have the most important football team west of the Mississippi, it makes sense to fill the stadium with wide-eyed basketball prospects. Former Trojan commitment Gary Franklin leads the charge. He’s a gamer and could be the perfect player for tough-minded Kevin O’Neill. Keep an eye on sleeper Josh Huestis. The 6-foot-8 Montana native is one of the top under-the-radar guys in the nation. Also on campus is Utah wing Kyle Collinsworth, Mississippi point guard Andre Stringer and commitments Curtis Washington and Bryce Jones, who committed this weekend.

Mid-major visitor of the weekend: Florida big man Anthony Lee is making a trip to Virginia Commonwealth. That’s important for a number of reasons. VCU is big in Florida. You could argue that the Rams are the third or fourth best program in the Sunshine State. Anthony Grant started mining his former state and new head coach Shaka Smart made a seamless recruiting transition. Lee, a 6-foot-9 sleeper, is a high-major prospect in this big men thin 2010 class. He could be a difference maker in the CAA.

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