Point guard dominoes start to fall
With the July evaluation periods over, the pace of recruiting is set to pick up
Editor's note: Every week in "Starting 5," we'll roll out five stories, themes and nuggets from the basketball recruiting world to set the table with the stories that need to be told and give you a leg up on the watercooler conversations around the office.
This week we look at why prospects can't always take their time when the recruiting dominoes start to fall, who Louisville was watching this summer, Georgetown's 2015 connections, Maryland's new point guard pipeline and comparisons for Tyus Jones and Emmanuel Mudiay.
1. Good things come to those who don't wait too long
July was a fun month. Anytime you devote every waking hour to basketball, even though the travel and schedule were insane for all involved, it's a blast. But the party is now officially over. The closing of the July recruiting period signals serious business for college basketball coaches and prospective recruits.
For months, everyone has been doing this choreographed ballet. Feign interest here, be politically correct with comments there and at all costs keep your options open. Seriously, I chuckle when prospects reveal lists of 10 schools.
There are exceptions, of course. No. 10 recruit Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) is new to the recruiting process at the highest level and burgeoning names like Riley LaChance (Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield Central), J.P. Macura (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) and Brady Ellingson (Menomonie, Wis./Hamilton) might need to have extra schools on their lists to make an educated decision.[+] EnlargeGeoff Burke/USA TODAY SportsESPN 100 PG Ja'Quan Newton trimmed his list to UCLA, Oregon, Minnesota, Syracuse, Miami and Texas A&M.
For the vast majority of rising seniors, however, having 10 schools on your list is more hassle than help. If you aren't going to say "yes" then try saying "no." Because once you rip off that Band-Aid, your stress level goes down and so does the stress placed on the coaches recruiting you.
But the main reason non-top-25 recruits should tidy up their lists as soon as possible is simplistic: Every player should be able to make his own decision and play for the first choice on his list. That's the perfect scenario in a Utopian world. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world. Just ask ESPN 100 point guard Ja'Quan Newton (Philadelphia/Neumann-Goretti).
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JULY RECRUITING WRAP
The all-important July recruiting period is over. What were the big storylines and what did our experts learn?