Each year the beginning of the college football season serves as the unofficial starting gun to college basketball's visit season. For the next two and a half months, college campuses will be crawling with future hoopers as they take in great football games and midnight madness. Things start off with a bang this weekend as the top two ranked players in the class of 2014, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, visit the same school.
Okafor and Jones begin the visit process
Both the nation's current No. 1 player, Jahlil Okafor, and current No. 2 player, Tyus Jones, will be on campus with Scott Drew and the Baylor Bears this weekend.
Okafor, a talented big man from Chicago, and the Minnesota bred point guard Jones have long talked about attending school as a package deal and the Bears get a chance to set the visit bar high.
Nobody is expecting a commitment by either player this weekend and the Bears haven't really been mentioned that much when speculating favorites. But, Drew and his staff have plugged away at the talented duo and has done enough right to get them on campus and swing for the fences.
When James Blackmon de-committed from Indiana he said that he wanted to make sure that he is making a fully informed decision. Currently ranked No. 33 and rising, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Marion (Ind.) High has lived up to his word and is in the midst of an unofficial visit spree.
Last weekend, Blackmon tripped to both Indiana and to Michigan State. This weekend he'll be even busier and will see the 2012 national champs and both participants from the 2013 title game.
Blackmon actually got his weekend started on Thursday with a visit to Kentucky. Friday, he'll head over to see what is going on at Louisville. He'll finish out his weekend by heading up to Ann Arbor to spend time with Michigan.
Thursday night crowds
Many schools actually got their visit weekends kicked off on Thursday night. Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah and Vanderbilt hosted groups.
In Minneapolis, the only official visitor for the Gophers home opener was speedy point guard Lourawls Nairn. However, he was joined by an impressive group of unofficial visitors that included four-star big man Reid Travis, Rivals150 shooting guard J.P. Macura, class of 2015 top 100 players Jarvis Johnson and Alex Illikainen and junior combo guard Marshawn Wilson.
We can't be sure that they all lasted through the weather delay, but Frank Martin and the Gamecocks surrounded official visitor Temarcus Blanton (a three-star wing from Georgia) with some outstanding young talent. Among those who dropped in for the home opener against North Carolina were 2016 five-star-to-be Harry Giles, freaky athletic 2016 guard Seventh Woods and 2015 four-star P.J. Dozier.
The crowd in Salt Lake City was raucous on Thursday night as Utah fought back for a win against Utah State. In the stands, four-star commitment Brekkott Chapman was on hand along with three official visitors. Idaho point guard Isaiah Wright a sleeper prospect and three-stars Kyle Kuzma and Yante Maten who both hail from Michigan were also on hand.
For a few minutes, it looked like the solid crew of visitors at Vandy was in for a wild Nashville night. It still may have gotten silly, but a tough loss to Ole Miss had to have put a bit of a damper on the night. The Commodores want a shooter bad and had Rivals150 guards Wade Baldwin and Trey Kell (who will also visit San Diego State this weekend) on campus along with soon to be Rivals150 shooter Matthew Fisher-Davis. On Saturday, they'll also host three-star wing Scott Lindsey on an unofficial visit.
Steve Alford has his first big recruiting weekend as the head coach at UCLA. In Westwood for official visits are four-star point guard Quentin Snider and four-star wing Trevon Bluiett. Snider is likely going to take some time and take more visits, but the Bruins are looking real strong for Bluiett. A 6-foot-5 sharpshooter, Bluiett also is scheduled to visit Purdue next weekend but Bruins assistant Ed Schilling was his high school coach and the Bruins look to be the clear favorite in this recruitment.
It might be a little too early to put either Isaiah Wilkins or Leron Black on full commitment alert. However, both are taking official visits to the teams currently considered their behind the scenes leaders. A Rivals150 power forward from Georgia, Wilkins will take a trip to Virginia. A Memphis product, Black will be at Illinois. Black is the Illini's lone expected visitor while the Cavaliers are also expecting four-star combo guard Robert Johnson (visited Indiana last weekend with North Carolina and Florida State visits coming) and wing Marial Shayok for visits.
Expect one of Utah's visitors to have a decision in the near future. Idaho PG Isaiah Wright should be off the board soon. The Utes are fighting Creighton and Santa Clara for the under the radar floor general's services.
Auburn also looks to be in pretty good shape on this visit weekend. Indiana wing Sam Logwood will take an official visit and the Tigers appear to be in very good shape with the athletic finisher. Also on campus will be Australian big man Jack Purchase.
Finally, class of 2015 shooting guard Antonio Blakeney isn't actually expected at Florida until Monday. So, technically he's not a weekend visitor. However, the perimeter scorer is purportedly leaning hard in the Gators direction and it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see him giving the Gators a verbal in the near future. Florida is also expecting five-star forward Kevon Looney as he takes his first official visit.
More weekend visitors
Buffalo -- Mory Diane;
Lehigh -- Karl Charles, Tarin Smith;
Mercer -- Jestin Lewis;
Quinnipiac -- Rob DePersia;
SMU -- Tyler Davis (2015), Matthew McQuaid (2015), Admon Gilder (2015); St. Peter's -- Bryce Aiken (2016), Christian Vital (2016); Stephen F. Austin -- Traylin Farris;
Syracuse -- Donte DiVincenzo (2015), Myles Stephens (2015), Derrick Jones (2015), Sedee Keita (2016), Malik Ellison (2015), Moustapha Diagne (2015), Matt Ryan (2015) & Tyler Lydon (2015); Tennessee -- Devin Cannady (2015), Jaylen Fisher,Kyle Guy (2016);
Yale -- Rob DePersia.
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