Tracking head coaches means tracking top recruiting targets

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We’ve discussed the July evaluation period a couple of times this week, as it’s become a topic of conversation among the folks that happen to populate my twitter feed.

It all got started on Monday when Sean Miller, Arizona’s head coach, took to twitter to rant about how much he disliked the new July schedule.

In a nutshell, these coaches are allowed on the road to evaluate for 15 days in a 19 day stretch, which can be a grind for both coaches and, more importantly, the players.

Here’s the irony in all of this: Miller is one of the few coaches that isn’t out on the road evaluating. He’s not in gyms trying to spot new players; he’s there to be spotted by the players he’s already recruiting. He’s on the road to be seen. He wants each and every one of the players that he covets to know that they are important enough to demand his full attention in the limited time he has to recruit.

He’s not alone, either. Take a gander at this nugget from Dave Telep’s latest recruiting blog:

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has this habit of being real early and staying real late when watching key targets. Give the guy credit, he’s maxing out his face time. And trust me, players notice.

Take Tyus Jones, for example. The question was directed to him: Which head coach did you see the most? “From my point of view, I saw Coach Drew, Coach K, Coach Cal and Coach Self the most because they got to the games early,” Jones said, referring to Baylor’s Scott Drew, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kentucky’s John Calipari and Kansas’ Bill Self. “I also saw coach Ben Johnson, the assistant from Minnesota, a lot.”

At the Peach Jam, coaches are right on top of the players so it was easy for the kids to see them. It was also easy for coaches to slide in and out of gyms with four games going on at the same time. Some coaches think they’re slick and will get there early, leave for another game and either try to claim presence the entire time or double-dip with two players at a time. Hey, there are different ways to get it done. All I’m saying is that the players notice and they talk. When Krzyzewski was the only coach in the gym a half hour before a game, he got a lot of credit.

The thing that makes Peach Jam so unique is that an overwhelming majority of the nation’s top prospects are in attendance, and since the event takes place in one facility, it makes it easy for those head coaches to bounce from game to game. This week, however, there are events in DC, in Milwaukee, in LA, in Philly. All over the place. Next week is Vegas, where all the tournaments are spread out around the city with a number of different events taking place.

Keep an eye on where those high-prolife head coaches — Coach Cal, Coach K, Roy Williams, Miller, etc. — are and who they are watching, and you should be able to get an idea of who they are zeroing in on.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.