Bruce Pearl's return from a three-year show-clause penalty, coupled with three high-profile commitments, made Auburn the talk of college basketball recruiting this week.

Heading into last weekend, Auburn didn't have a commitment to its name in the 2015 class. By the time it was over, the Tigers had landed a pair of ESPN 100 forwards and another junior college prospect, turning Pearl's return into a celebration.

Pearl always intended to make a splash this weekend, strategically planning his first elite camp for his first full day of active duty and even hosting Horace Spencer, one of his top priorities in the 2015 recruiting class, for an unofficial visit at the stroke of midnight.

Walk into any basketball gym and you’ll find some level of talent. It's easy to see who is the most athletic or the best skilled or even who has the highest basketball IQ, but does that make the player right for your program? As an evaluator of talent, can you look at a group of players with the same skill and size and figure out who is a good fit for you?

Coaches are programmed to believe that recruiting is the key to having success. No argument here, but from my vantage point, it's not about who you sign, because most coaches can identify and land talent; it's all about how you evaluate talent that determines your recruiting -- and your program’s -- success.

Here are five common mistakes college coaches make in the evaluation process.


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Elite 24 Roundtable: Best performances 

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
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NEW YORK -- Saturday's Under Armour Elite 24 game featured some of the nation’s most talented prospects, and Team Liberty came away with the win. Our analysts break down what they saw.


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BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- In the ninth annual Under Armour Elite 24 game, Team Liberty scored a 127-116 victory over Team Freedom on Saturday, led by co-MVPs Jaylen Brown (23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Chase Jeter (17 points, 15 rebounds).


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Securing two ESPN 100 commitments over a three-day span is high-level recruiting as Bruce Pearl and Auburn landed ESPN No. 75 Horace Spencer (Warminster, Pa./Findlay Prep) Sunday after landing a commitment on Friday from ESPN No. 50 Danjel Purifoy. Spencer picked Auburn over Rutgers, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State, Temple, Providence, UNLV and South Florida,

Why he committed: Pearl is building his program. Right now there is plenty of playing time and Spencer jumped on the opportunity.
“The coaching staff was passionate about me and how I could start when I come in plus I found the facilities to be amazing," said Spencer.


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ESPN 100 small forward Danjel Purifoy committed to Auburn and head coach Bruce Pearl on Friday night, announcing his decision on ESPN3 during the dunk contest for the Under Amour Elite 24 game in New York.


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Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy scored a huge commitment Friday morning as Tyler Davis, the No. 21-ranked prospect overall and No. 6 center in the 2015 ESPN 100, committed to the Aggies over the likes of Kansas, Arizona, Baylor and Texas, among others.


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Weekly commitment update

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
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The following is a list of commitments made to Division I schools from Aug. 16-22

ACC
Florida State
Terance Mann SG
HT: 6-5 WT: 175
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 29
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 76

SEC
Arkansas
Jimmy Whitt SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 170
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 21
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 63

Missouri
Kevin Puryear PF
HT: 6-7
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Florida
Noah Dickerson PF
HT: 6-8 WT: 237
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 11
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 65

Atlantic 10
Virginia Commonwealth
Kenny Williams SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 175
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 34
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 82

Richmond
Julius Johnson SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 185
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 10
Indiana
Emmitt Holt PF
HT: 6-6 WT: 220
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac 12
Oregon
Dillon Brooks SF
HT: 6-7 WT: 215
Class of 2014
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: 4

UCLA
Prince Ali SG
HT: 6-4 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 14
Stars: 4
ESPN 100: 44

Nebraska
Aguek Arop SG
HT: 6-4 WT: 175
Class of 2017
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ivy League
Princeton
Devin Cannady PG
HT: 6-0 WT: 170
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

America East
Vermont
Josh Speidel C
HT: 6-7 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: 28
Stars: 3

UMass Lowell
Ryan Jones PG
HT: 6-3 WT: 160
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

MAAC
Canisius
Isiaiah Gurley SG
HT: 6-3
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Southland Conference
Lamar
Nick Garth PG
HT: 6-0 WT: 160
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big South
UNC-Asheville
Jack Costigan SG
HT: 6-3 WT: 180
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Sky
Montana
Jared Samuelson SF
HT: 6-7
Class of 2015
Positional Rank: NA
Stars: Evaluation Pending

 
NEW YORK -- The Under Armour Elite 24 game is loaded with ESPN Recruiting Nation ranked players from the classes of 2015, 2016 and 2017 and can be seen at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPNU live from Pier 2 of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Let's take a look at five matchups that we are most excited to see.

POINT GUARDS

ESPN 100 No. 62 Jawun Evans 6-foot, 180 (Dallas, Texas/Justin F. Kimball) vs. ESPN 60 No. 9 Dennis Smith Jr. 6-1, 173 (Fayetteville, N.C./Trinity Christian School): In this all-important lead guard matchup, it will exciting to see who will run their team, push the ball and set the tone. Evans -- a great finisher for his size -- has blinding speed and quickness and can get teammates involved. Smith beats defenders off the bounce with ease and is a playmaker for himself or teammates. He is a highlight finisher on the break who can simply put the defense on its heels and create help situations all over the offensive end of the floor.


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ESPN 100 swingman Terance Mann committed to the Florida State Seminoles on Wednesday night, announcing his decision via Twitter. The 76th ranked prospect in the 2015 class had previously cut his list to six schools following the July evaluation period – Arizona State, Boston College, Florida State, Indiana, Marquette, and Rhode Island.


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ESPN 100 guard Jimmy Whitt made a verbal commitment to Arkansas on Tuesday night. The 63rd-ranked prospect in the country chose the Razorbacks over Missouri, Illinois, SMU, and Marquette and announced his decision at a news conference from Hickman High School.


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ESPN 100 SG Kenny Williams made a verbal commitment to VCU on Tuesday, giving coach Shaka Smart his first verbal commitment in the 2015 class. Williams -- the No. 82 player in our rankings -- was one of the breakout performers of the recent grassroots season, taking his recruitment to the very highest levels before trimming his list to Virginia Tech, VCU, Georgetown, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma State and Providence earlier this month.

Why he committed: A local product (the No. 2 player in the state), Williams has been on VCU’s campus several times during the course of his high school career, most recently two weeks ago. He took subsequent visits to North Carolina and Georgetown last week before ultimately announcing his decision via Twitter.

“It just felt like it was the right thing to do, the situation couldn’t get any better than VCU,” Williams told ESPN.com, also noting that location and the opportunity for his family to see him play played a major role in his decision.

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Biancardi's Breakdown: Tips for best 

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
10:00
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As the summer evaluation period begins to wind down, we have studied some of the nation's best prospects live and on film.

As a coach it's important to remind a player constantly to work on his strengths and strengthen his weaknesses.

It's a good time to look a little deeper at the current top five players in the Class of 2015 and analyze not only what makes them so great, but what they can do to improve and why it's important to take the next step.


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Dillon Brooks (Mississauga, Ontario, Findlay College Prep), the No. 68 player in the ESPN 100, made a surprise move Sunday and reclassified into the class of 2014 and will enroll at Oregon immediately. He made his official visit to Eugene this past weekend.

Why he committed: "He fell in love with the campus and facilities, along with having a great relationship with the coaching staff," said Tony McIntyre, Brooks' coach at CIA Bounce. "There is need, a fit, a want and opportunity. Anytime you can get all those factors to line up it's a great move."


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ESPN 100 PF Noah Dickerson has committed to the Florida Gators over finalists LSU, Washington, Georgia Tech and Georgetown, where he was previously committed.

Let's take a look at what the No. 65 overall player in the class of 2015 will bring to Gainesville, Florida.


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