The July evaluation periods have come to an end, and the next few weeks will lead to the majority of the Rivals150 players coming off the board. In this week’s Evans Seven, we assess the programs riding the greatest momentum into the fall, the ones that have the chance to finish the early signing period atop of the national rankings.
become a Kentucky Wildcat? Many believed that it was a done deal for Duke, but Kentucky has made up major ground with the top 2019 prospect and should be deemed a legitimate contender for his commitment.
, and more is to come for the first-year head coach. The former NBA All-Star hit the ground running as Memphis patched together a top-25 class this spring and rode the momentum into the July evaluation periods.
's recruitment is going down as one of the more interesting the industry has seen in recent years. Wiseman suited up for Hardaway’s former travel team during the spring and completed the summer with assistant coach Mike Miller’s former travel team. Alongside Wiseman was five-star forward
’ games, proof that they are not afraid to go after the big fish. Much is riding on Wiseman and where he eventually lands, but the month of July did not hurt the Tigers' chances with the big man that Hardaway formerly coached on the travel and high school circuits.
will take an unofficial visit to Durham next weekend, and Coach K and his staff were a consistent presence at most of his games in July. If it's not James in the backcourt, it could be top-ranked guard
. Many believed that OSU was the third horse in the race, and Carton’s commitment was a boon for Holtmann’s crew, one that gives the program the chance to place even greater attention on completing its class earlier than many others.
, a top-50 forward. He will visit Columbus in September, and while Ohio State will have to defeat Illinois, Missouri, Kansas State and a handful of others, Liddell could end up in Columbus. OSU also used July to gain greater in-roads with
. Chances are the Buckeyes land at least one of those Rivals150 prospects, which would equate to a top-tier class this fall.
The administration in Storrs hired Dan Hurley not just to win ballgames but also to win some of the bigger recruiting battles. The Huskies are in a prime spot to do just that. While they have yet to strike in the 2019 class, their chances of doing so - and in a major way - are clear.
Jay Wright has been unable to be a part of the final evaluation period because he is a staff member for the United States senior national team. But Villanova has come out of July with tons of momentum, and could end up with its best class in recent years.
Villanova has already secured the pledges of four-star seniors
, a travel teammate of Dixon’s, has kept Villanova high on his list. Josh Green, a travel teammate of Mannion’s, has not said much about his recruitment, but rest assured that the Wildcats sit in a good spot.
COACHES HOLD CONVENTION FOR DRIVE NATION AND LOUISIANA SUPREME
If it seems like I've seen a lot of Drive Nation over the past few weeks it's because I have. But, it has been for good reason. There just aren't many (if any) other teams out there with as many high level players who appear to have wide open school lists.
have also been a lot of fun to watch and look to be helping themseives this week in Vegas.
Now for the coaches list, I did my best to spot as many as I could and keep in mind that most of these head coaches have assistants with them and most of the schools with only assistants here are rolling with at least two. Head coaches I've spotted are from Louisville, Michigan State, Louisiana Lafayette, Arizona, UAB, Texas A&M, TCU, Alabama, Little Rock, Baylor, Marquette, Georgia, Texas Tech, LSU, Tulsa, Michigan, SMU, Oklahoma State, UTSA, Illinois and Kansas State. As for assistants, these schools (at least) are here., Harvard, Florida, Miami, Florida International, UT Arlington, Kansas, Memphis, Texas, Princeton, Purdue, Arkansas State, Little Rock, Incarnate Word, Oregon, Oregon State, Texas State, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Indiana, Richmond and more.
HAMPTON REFLECTS ON USA BBALL, LOOKS FORWARD TO FALL
was part of USA Basketball's gold medal winning 17U team at the FIBA World Cup in July. He was thrilled to win a gold medal and loved the experience, he just wishes that he could have contributed more.
"The experience was great," said Hampton. "But it really taught me about how you have to preserve yourself and your body. I wanted to be out there so bad.
"To go through nine days of training camp with those guys and then only be able to play in two games because of injury was hard."
Still, Hampton wouldn't trade his experience for anything and he's back on the floor here in Vegas with his Mudiay Elite team. He won't say it, but they just don't have the firepower that other teams do so there's a lot of pressure on him to do a bit of everything. But, the bright side of it is that he can. While he's a scorer first, he's still a big time passer and he's learning to step up and be more vocal as a leader.
Hampton is also paying attention to who has been watching on the sidelines during July.
"I've seen Texas and Kansas at every game," said Hampton. "Memphis, Duke, Kentucky, TCU is always there, SMU and Michigan has been at like every game too."
When he gets back home, Hampton says that he'll be looking to schedule visits. He's looking to get to Michigan in August, said he will hit Texas for a football game, is looking at Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and said he'd also like to get to Duke and Kansas for games this season.
CHRISTIAN BRAUN'S RECRUITMENT TOOK OFF THIS MONTH
Things have really taken off for rising senior small forward Christian Braun during the month of July.
Having grown to about 6-foot-6 now, the skilled and hard playing wing for Mokan Elite began the month of July with offers from Missouri State, Loyola (Chicgao), Lehigh and Ole Miss. Since a big time performance at the Peach Jam, Braun has now added offers from Minnesota, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Tulane and Saint Louis. Additionally, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Purdue are now showing interest.
A hard worker who is well coached on the grassroots and high school level, Braun had faith that his time would come.
"I'm not surprised," said Braun about the new attention. "I think that I was put in a good position to succeed so I've been taking full advantage of my opportunities."
Braun told me that he has been to Kansas State unofficially and Bruce Weber was watching with an assistant on Friday -- as were Travis Ford and Richard Pitino among others -- but he's not yet thought about his official visits and won't do so for a bit.
For now, he's just trying to finish out July strong with the same formula that has proven successful for him to date.
"I just go out and play hard," said Braun. "Ever since the Peach Jam that has really opened everything up for me."
Showing shades of his father -- scoring machine Eddie House -- House had things cooking offensively on Friday morning for Team Whynot. He's not a crazy athlete, he doesn't have extreme size or athleticism but House sure has skill scoring the ball and confidence for days and those things can carry him far.
At Arizona State, Hurley lets his guards play a pretty freewheeling and aggressive style. House should be a perfect fit for that style.
THINGS TAKING OFF FOR JALEN GRAHAM
One of the best stories of the month of July is that of
. The bouncy, shot blocking four man from Phoenix began the month of July with no Division One scholarship offers and little in the way of interest. That's all changed. Significantly.
I was able to catch up with Graham after he and Team Whynot won a close one over Team Melo and to say things have taken off is an understatement.
Graham told me that since putting himself on the radar at the Peach Jam at the beginning of the month he's landed offers from Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Illinois, Weber State, Montana State, Fresno State, Grand Canyon and Northern Arizona.
"It's kind of crazy really," said Graham. "It's amazing, it's a powerful thing to have happen for me."
Graham is still fielding interest and things are so new to him he's in no rush, but he is starting to build some relationships and said that so far Oklahoma and Texas Tech were sticking out as programs that he would be interested in visiting officially.
JUSTIN LEWIS HAS BIG GAME, THINKING POSSIBLE VISIT
Playing for Team Melo in The 8, 2020 four-star forward
Lewis attacked the rim strong, was big on the glass, showed some athleticism in traffic and did everything he could to help his team secure a win. He wasn't able to get a win, but there's no doubt he has to feel good about his effort. Lewis wasn't a one-man team either, 2020 five-star forward
had a big game as well. His jumper looked good and with his size and length he can be a real matchup nightmare facing the rim and causing teams to try and figure out whether to guard him with a wing who will be giving up height or a big man that will give up quickness.