CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The July period is the truth serum of recruiting. Everybody starts out with aggressive lists, plays in front of coaches and then unbeknownst to them, becomes a first-, second- or third-tier target of their favorite schools. Some of the Top 100 campers, such as Jabari Parker, could go to Duke or Delaware and every school in between. How many shots Parker makes or misses this summer is irrelevant. For others, a bad showing has consequences.
One bad showing isn’t a problem. Play poorly in July and you’re on a different list, and that’s not good. NBA Camp is a place where kids separate themselves. Even though there are no coaches in the building, the eyes of college basketball are watching.
Here’s a sampling of what some of the prospects at camp think about their early lists.
We asked combo guard Stevie Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass) the question. What if it was Sept. 1? Who would you visit? “UCLA, Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma State and UConn.” Impressive. Clark rattled off five, the same number official visits allowed per NCAA rules. The No. 1 thing he’s looking at: “Academics. My mom stresses it.”
Kuran Iverson (Hartford, Conn./Northwest Catholic) hasn’t had much communication himself with the head coaches. However, he feels good about Oklahoma State and Florida. “Sometimes Seton Hall, too,” Iverson said.
Top 10 recruit Keith Frazier (Dallas/Kimball) was the most focused kid we spoke with on opening day. Frazier summed up his recruitment by centering on two schools: Arizona and Texas A&M. “It’s tough because they are neck and neck,” Frazier said. He’s already developed strong relationships at Arizona with Sean Miller and his assistants Joe Pasternak and Book Richardson. Over at Texas A&M, assistant coach John Reese is Frazier’s former AAU coach, thus the Aggies' strong position. Should either program lose their grip, waiting in that second tier are more programs. Frazier’s visited Baylor and Texas in addition to his leaders.
Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian), one of my favorite point guards, has Notre Dame, Kansas, Illinois, Florida State, Michigan State and Butler. The dude resides 10 minutes from South Bend’s campus. He copped to Notre Dame being his leader going into the summer.
Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton) has not grown up as a product of watching college basketball. He’s an NBA guy and though he’s a Wisconsinite, he’s not anchored to the state. “I don’t have any favorites and I’m not die-hard Marquette or Wisconsin,” Looney said when asked if it would be tough to get him out of the state.
In addition to the Badgers and Golden Eagles, Looney feels early heat from Georgetown, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and Kansas.