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Weekend visitors from around the country

8/31/2012

Labor Day weekend kicks off the college football season. Not to be lost in the shuffle is the unofficial tip-off of the college hoops visit season. The casual fan will have his or her eyes fixed on the field this weekend. The recruiting junkie will fix his or her binoculars and zero in on the student section to find which hoops recruits made their way to campus. If you can’t find them in the crowd, we offer you this cheat sheet.

Editor's note: There’s no guarantee all these guys make it to campus. Also, this is merely a snapshot of the country, not the full representation of each program.

Air Force Falcons
Visitor: Wing Dezmond James

James’ father played for Air Force and graduated in 1990.

Baylor Bears
Visitors: Juco PG Chris Jones, ESPN 60 SF Leron Black (unofficial)

Plenty of programs are sleeping on Jones, a Memphis native and one-time Tennessee signee. After you get past the first five point guards in the class, Jones is the leader of the next tier of available guards.

BYU Cougars
Visitors: ESPN 100 SF Jabari Parker (unofficial), ESPN 100 PG Nick Emery, ESPN 100 C Eric MikaPlenty of programs are sleeping on Jones, a Memphis native and one-time Tennessee signee. Recently, Parker's been popping up at schools on the down low. He met with Dave Rose on Thursday.

California Golden Bears
Visitors: ESPN 100 SG Jabari Bird, ESPN 100 PF Aaron Gordon (unofficial), ESPN 100 PF Marcus Lee (unofficial)

This is a HUGE weekend but these guys aren’t the most high-profile visitors. Bird is expected to be leading this class and landing one of the two bigs would be spectacular. Anything is possible with gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is visiting the Golden Bears. Plus, Bird’s dad played at Cal.

Connecticut Huskies
Visitor: ESPN 25 SG Isaiah Briscoe (unofficial)

Briscoe’s a big name in his class and Syracuse offers strong competition. He’ll be on the Huskies' campus for an unofficial on Friday.

Florida Gators
Visitor: PF Schuyler Rimmer (unofficial)

He's already committed to the Gators, but any time he’s on Florida's campus, he’s not on someone else’s.

Florida State Seminoles
Visitor: ESPN 100 SG Xavier Rathan-Mayes (unofficial)

The Seminoles are strong in this one and XRM unofficially visited UCLA and UConn is a major player.

Fresno State Bulldogs
Visitor: Juco PF Alex Davis

The Houstonian is one of the best forwards in the juco ranks and has already committed to the Bulldogs.

Georgia Bulldogs
Visitor: ESPN 60 C Dakari Johnson (unofficial)

The big center made Georgia one of his first unofficial pit stops of the fall.

Illinois Fighting Illini
Visitor: ESPN 100 PG Demetrius Jackson

Jackson doesn’t like to text or talk on the phone. He’s going to visit Kansas, Notre Dame and Louisville. It’s John Groce’s chance to pull a big fish and there aren’t many opportunities for the Illini with ESPN 100 prospects this year.

Indiana Hoosiers
Visitors: 2015 G Roosevelt Smart (unofficial), 2014 PF Mack Mercer (unofficial)

Smart’s about to go on a tour of Big Ten campuses and being on the docket early is how IU likes to operate.

Iowa State Cyclones
Visitors: ESPN 60 SG Rashad Vaughn (unofficial), ESPN 60 PF Reid Travis (unofficial), 2014 PG Andre Wallace (unofficial), 2015 PG Jarvis Johnson (unofficial), ESPN 25 C Henry Ellenson (unofficial)

In another year we’ll look back and realize how strong this crop of visitors really was. What’s going on in Ames, Iowa?

Kansas Jayhawks
Visitor: ESPN 100 PG Anthony Barber

“Cat” is the No. 2 rated point guard on the available board and KU wants to pair him with sharpshooter Conner Frankamp. However, the Jayhawks will have to battle Louisville, NC State and Alabama.

Kansas State Wildcats
Visitors: Wing Wesley Iwundu, SG Jordan Matthews

Both of these guys flew a shade below the ESPN 100 radar but are good players and potential late bloomers.

Kent State Wildcats
Visitor: SG Tyler Ptacek

Coach Rob Senderoff will have a slew of underclassmen in town, but Ptacek’s a shooter from Ohio.

Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Visitor: SF Tyrone Outlaw

This is one of those players equipped to make an impact for a mid-major team because of his talent and character.

Louisville Cardinals
Visitor: ESPN 60 PG JaQuan Lyle

This is a placeholder visit. Louisville is going to be in the mix with a number of big dogs and this is a chance to make sure they are heard.

Michigan State Spartans
Visitors: 2015 PF Trevor Manuel (unofficial), 2016 SG Algevon Eichelberger (unofficial), 2016 SF Josh Jackson (unofficial)

This trio of prominent underclassmen are from in-state. Manuel has an early offer and is from nearby Lansing, Mich.

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Visitors: ESPN 60 SG Devin Booker (unofficial), ESPN 25 G Malik Newman (unofficial), 2014 G Maurice Dunlap (unofficial)

Booker and Newman are game changers and a must-signs. Dunlap’s already committed.

NC State Wolfpack
Visitor: ESPN 100 C BeeJay Anya (unofficial)

Perfect timing for the Pack. Anya’s school, DeMatha, is in town playing Riverside in football and he’s driving down to see the game.

Ohio State Buckeyes
Visitor: ESPN 60 SF Jae’Sean Tate (unofficial)

Tate’s one of the toughest dudes in his class and a member of the ESPN 60.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Visitors: Juco SG Chad Frazier, Juco C Keyshaun Hamilton

For starters, Frazier’s a Carolina Challenge alum. Hamilton is 6-10 and size is at a premium.

Penn State Nittany Lions
Visitors: SF Josh Hart, SF Kamall Richards, 2014 PG Trey Campbell (unofficial)

Villanova is working Hart hard and this is an emotional weekend for the Nittany Lions.

Temple Owls
Visitor: SF DeAndre Bembry (unofficial).

Bembry’s got bounce and is a diamond in the rough.

USC Trojans
Visitors: ESPN 100 SG Isaac Hamilton (unofficial), ESPN 100 PG Kendal Harris, SF Roschon Prince, PG Julian Jacobs, ESPN 60 SG Daniel Hamilton (unofficial), ESPN 25 SG Tyler Dorsey (unofficial), 2014 SF Kameron Chatman, ESPN 60 SF Stanley Johnson

Trojans commits Harris and Prince will be on campus helping coach Kevin O'Neill convince some big prospects this weekend.

Vanderbilt Commodores
Visitor: ESPN 100 PF Damian Jones

Jones is a hot commodity following the summer but being from Louisiana, it remains to be seen if Hurricane Isaac allow him to travel.

Virginia Cavaliers
Visitor: 2014 PG Alex Robinson (unofficial)

The Cavaliers will need depth at the point and Robinson’s on the radar.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Visitors: 2014 SG Warren Craft (unofficial), 2014 SF Dion Wiley (unofficial)

Craft’s committed and Wiley could turn into a target after next spring.

Wisconsin Badgers
Visitors: ESPN 25 C Diamond Stone (unofficial), ESPN 100 PG Bronson Koenig, SG Riley Dearring, 2014 SF Ethan Happ (unofficial), ESPN 100 PF Nigel HayesThe Badgers are battling for Hayes but the real gem of the weekend is Stone, a potential star.