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Evans Seven: Teams with most important weekend visits

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2020 Rivals150 | 2019 Team Rankings

Vernon Carey Jr.
Vernon Carey Jr. (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

A jam-packed weekend of visitors sits on the docket as some of the top programs roll out their midnight madness festivities. In this week’s The Evans Seven, we spotlight such events at Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon and UConn as each will attract a handful of their top targets from the 2019 class and beyond.

MORE EVANS: Three-Point Shot

1. KENTUCKY

RJ Hampton
RJ Hampton (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Kentucky takes center stage this weekend for its Big Blue Madness as, once again, some of the best prospects from the high school ranks will be there. Recent nights like these have been the tipping point in pushing recruits over the edge in committing to UK and John Calipari and his staff is hoping that can be true again this fall.

The top-ranked prospect in America, Vernon Carey, will take his official visit, the first of his five that he will take this fall. Joining him will be a pair of five-star guards and already committed members of the UK family, Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney, each expected to do their own part to pique Carey’s interest in favor for the Wildcats.

RJ Hampton, a top-five guard prospect in the 2020 class, will also be on hand taking his second official visit of the fall with Memphis being the other. Others including Jaemyn Brakefield, Lance Ware, Jalen Johnson and AJ Hoggard are expected in Lexington for Friday's festivities, too.

2. OREGON

Scottie Barnes
Scottie Barnes (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

What a weekend it is shaping up to be in the Pacific Northwest as Dana Altman and his staff have put together one of the more impressive visitor lists. The top-ranked prospect expected in Eugene is Scottie Barnes, arguably the most versatile player in high school basketball. The Ducks were his dream school growing up and with this being the first official visit, Oregon must be perceived as one of the early favorites.

N’Faly Dante, another top-10 junior, will be on campus as he will be joined by his high school teammate at Sunrise Christian, top-50 senior Malik Hall. This will be his fourth visit of the fall where the Ducks continue to battle Texas, Michigan State and Purdue for his commitment.

Finally, Isaac Johnson, a four-star forward from Utah, will be on hand and he is also considering Utah, BYU, Gonzaga and Ohio State. A skilled and versatile big man, Johnson will actually enroll in college in the fall of 2021 as he plans to take his LDS mission next year.

3. ARIZONA

Zeke Nnaji
Zeke Nnaji (https://rivals.com)

Arizona enters the fall feeling great thanks to the commitments of two five-star prospects, Josh Green and Nico Mannion, both of whom will be on campus this weekend with the former taking his official visit. The Wildcats will attempt to add to their haul by hosting two tremendously versatile and talented forwards in the 2019 class, Zeke Nnaji and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The latter is much closer to a college decision as this will be his final official visit.

Nnaji, on the other hand, after taking nearly a dozen unofficial visits, has become even more focused on the recruiting process, as he just narrowed his list of schools last month and began his visit tour last week at Kansas. The thought here is that the Jayhawks and Wildcats are the two to beat, though Nnaji has remained rather silent on his recruitment up until this point.

Another visitor will be Christian Koloko.

4. UCONN

Akok Akok
Akok Akok (Nick Lucero)

The Dan Hurley era at UConn officially tips off this weekend with First Night 2018. The Huskies could take a major step in the right direction as they host two of their top targets in the frontcourt. Akok Akok, a top-35 prospect who plays for the Putnam Science Academy, the same school from which current sophomore Mamadou Diarra graduated, will be on hand.

A similar case can be made for the need for Qudus Wahab. A throwback at the five, Wahab is a hard-playing, rim-running, paint-producing center that competes on each possession. Pitt, Georgetown, Syracuse and Virginia Tech complete his final five and a signing in November is likely. The duo will be joined by already committed guards James Bouknight and Jalen Gaffney, and Rivals150 junior Richard Springs will also be on campus.

MORE UCONN: StorrsCentral.com

5. AUBURN

Isaac Okoro
Isaac Okoro (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Auburn has already done some damage with its 2019 class, highlighted by top-35 prospect Isaac Okoro, who will be on campus. This weekend’s visitor, Damion Baugh, a jumbo guard that can play many roles, has already visited TCU and Georgetown as his recruitment seems to be winding down. Alongside him will be top-30 junior Keon Johnson, who will continue his official visit spree.

Things do not stop there as five-stars BJ Boston, Walker Kessler, Anthony Edwards and Sharife Cooper will all be on hand as Bruce Pearl and his staff run their guys through drills for its combine event that will be sure to draw a throng of NBA scouts.

6. LSU

Micah Peavy
Micah Peavy (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

In what is the first of many big weekends in the Bayou for Ed Orgeron’s squad on the football field, this is just another chance for Will Wade and his staff to host some of the top prospects from the surrounding states. Rivals150 junior Micah Peavy will take his first official visit and while a commitment would definitely surprise, a solid trip could place the Tigers on sturdy ground with the versatile small forward prospect.

Two of the top in-state prospects, Reece Beekman and Chanse Robinson, will also be on campus, each taking an unofficial visit. Wade is hoping that he can tap into the well that is the Scotlandville Magnet program again with Beekman as the Tigers just enrolled top-35 guard Javonte Smart this fall. LSU will not stop with the 2020 class as five-star sophomore Keon Edwards will be on hand, along with Tennessee native Kennedy Chandler.

7. VIRGINIA

Johnny Juzang
Johnny Juzang (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Five-star junior Johnny Juzang, after completing his time at the United States Basketball Training Camp last weekend, will head east again and get his first look at what UVA can offer. A super skilled and multi-dimensional wing, Juzang is one of the best on the West Coast and the Wahoos have done a good job of piquing his interest.

Henry Coleman, a hard-playing forward from the state, will make a return trip to Charlottesville. Virginia must be thought of as one of the favorites for him and with another quality visit, might Tony Bennett’s team be the one to beat?