Recruiting: Three things to watch in the Post-Evaluation Period
About this time, athletes, coaches and scouts alike are exhausted. The grueling three-week summer stretch known as the July Evaluation Period, where coaches can travel nationwide to view amateur tournaments, has come to end. For many players, it was 21 straight days away from home playing multiple games a day. For coaches, it’s the culmination of months of strategic planning to watch the players they want.
Alabama’s coaching staff was no different, spreading across the country to see high school kids of all classes whom they would like in crimson. Anthony Grant and company did everything in their power to let recruits know, without a single spoken word face-to-face, they’re wanted in Tuscaloosa, and now is the time to see if that feeling is mutual.
Here are three things to keep an eye out for over the next couple of weeks as the fallout from July begins.
Who will have Alabama on their list?
While some players go into the Evaluation Period with a solid list, many actually use the time to see which schools are there to watch them, taking mental notes to help with big decisions down the road. August is a time many players narrow their search, and this is no different for many Alabama targets. Jarell Martin, Kendal Harris and JaJuan Johnson are three players whose lists are sure to be narrowed in the next week or two.
Martin took some of the hard work out of the way in June when he his list to 10 schools (Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Texas A&M, Tulane, UCLA). The five-star power forward has listed the factors which will affect his decision, including style of play and “how many guys play my position.” Alabama doesn’t have a true power forward on the roster currently but does have one committed for 2013 in Shannon Hale. The Baton Rouge, La., product has yet to tip his hat to any favorites of who will make his top five, but he has said that each member of his final list will receive a visit from him.
Kendal Harris had himself an impressive July and, because of it, he racked up many offers over the past two weeks. Almost every day during July, Harris was adding another offer, a testament to his talent and to how few quality guards teams can pick from in the 2013 recruiting class. The point guard out of Texas has given August 10th as the day he will announce his list. Harris has mentioned he wants to take a visit to Tuscaloosa, so Alabama should be in good shape to make the cut.
JaJuan Johnson, who visited Tuscaloosa last month and had many positive things to say about his trip, has been gathering offers for some time now, but has never given an indication as to his top five schools. Louisville has been assured one of those spots by Johnson, but he wouldn’t name the Cardinals a leader. As a product of Memphis, the four-star shooting guard is sure to have the hometown Tigers on his list, a school that rarely lets wanted talent leave the city. That leaves Alabama fighting for one of three spots for one of the top sharp shooters in 2013.
Who will visit Tuscaloosa?
While making the cut on a prospect’s list is usually a sure way to get a visit, a couple players without a solid top five have said they want to check out the Capstone in August.
Troy Williams, whose play in July reminded many of what made him a five-star prospect at one point, is going to visit Tuscaloosa when he comes to Alabama to visit his aunt, new Auburn women’s basketball head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. Troy has said there is a “50/50” chance that he and Alabama point guard target Anthony “Cat” Barber join forces in Tuscaloosa or Louisville for college, so his trip to town could go a long way in helping the Crimson Tide finish out its 2013 class.
Rashawn Powell, who dropped 47 points in front of Anthony Grant this weekend on the AAU circuit, has also said he will take a trip to Alabama in August. The Crimson Tide turned up the heat on Powell in July, and it’s obvious that he took notice. A solid top-100 player out of Florida, Powell has had a similar summer to Kendal Harris by getting multiple offers almost every day during the evaluation period.
How will Alabama’s point guard recruiting finish?
As stated before, point guards are at a premium in 2013, and Alabama is put itself in a great position to end up with at least one out of the top 100 in the class. The highest rated target, Cat Barber, has already visited Tuscaloosa once, and Anthony Grant has put Alabama in good position for his services. However, a list that was down to two schools as the summer began has now expanded to four with Louisville and North Carolina State forcing their way into a previously anticipated Alabama-Kansas battle. Behind Barber is Kendal Harris and Rashawn Powell, both of whom are highly interested in the Tide.
In the end, how everything finishes may rest on the shoulders of Barber. Cat has stated he will commit before his senior season begins and sign in the early period in November. No date has been set, but Barber did state he might commit after the Peach Jam, so things may move sooner rather than later. After Barber, there has not been a visible indication of which four-star point guard, Harris or Powell, Alabama favors, and it could become a first-come, first-serve situation should Barber take his talents elsewhere. No matter how this story ends, it will be interesting to follow the process which leads to the Crimson Tide’s next floor general.
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