College coaches will be back on the road this weekend for the spring evaluation period and with plenty of tournaments to attend, the basketball recruiting world should be buzzing by Saturday morning. How will the numerous new coaching staffs work their magic this weekend? That is just one of the many topics covered in this week's edition of Fastbreak Friday.
New faces, new approaches
Recruiting is all about who you know. Keep that in mind over the next three weeks as familiar faces hit the recruiting trail with different school gear on.
For the first time in a long time, Kansas State fans are excited about something in April other than spring football. With Bob Huggins now at the helm, the Wildcats are instantly a major player for some of the top talent in the nation.
Make no mistake about it, Huggins will be watching the D1 Greyhounds, featuring Mayo and Walker, the No. 1 and 2 players in the class of 2007 at the Real Deal on the Hill.
Covering the No. 3 player in the country, Michael Beasley, is new KSU assistant Dalonte Hill. Hill will certainly be watching the D.C. Assault program, where he used to be an assistant coach in the program before joining the college ranks. Hill's relationship with Beasley was the lynchpin in the five-star's decision to attend Charlotte.
Frank Martin came to KSU from Cincinnati after the season ended. He has incredible ties to Florida, where he was a successful high school coach.
Herb Sendek and his staff were able to reel in top talent from the Northeast of late (Larry Davis, Dan Werner and Brandon Costner). Will Sendek and his staff tap into their Eastern ties and bring talent to Tempe or will they spend the weekend at Hal Pastner's Las Vegas Easter Classic? It will be a scenario worth following.
Will Kelvin Sampson be watching the Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio teams hard? Or will he be keeping close watch on the Texas, Memphis and Arkansas area where he has a lot of connections from his days at Oklahoma? Don't be surprised to see a little bit of both. Remember though, Sampson vowed that he would target the in-state kids at the press conference announcing his hiring.
With Sampson gone from OU and 31-year-old Jeff Capel now at the helm of the Sooner program, people want to know who the former Duke star will recruit. That is a good question. Like Capel's hiring, the Sooners approach could be a surprise. His ties are in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and D.C. areas.
New Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy was a great recruiter as Huggins's right hand man. Now he is on his own and at a SEC program. With so many regional options at his disposal, the Rebels can go in several directions. Where will Kennedy spend his time?
Iowa State is in for a new way of recruiting. Going from Wayne Morgan's East Coast and prep school ties to former Northern Iowa head coach Greg McDermott is going to be an about face in styles. Incoming Cyclone Cory Johnson
Missouri is used to big recruiting classes when Quin Snyder first took the job in Columbia. New head man Mike Anderson could make a big splash with the Tigers right away. He'll liking be eying athletic guards that have legs that just won't stop.
Taking over for Anderson at UAB is former Indiana head man and Alabama native Mike Davis. With the arrival of Davis in Alabama, the recruiting race just became a little more competitive for Auburn and Alabama.
The new Cincinnati staff is a little less concerned about watching the class of 2007 prospects than the majority of the new coaching staffs across the country. The Bearcats are looking for talent for today. Mick Cronin and his staff will be hosting St. Benedict's (N.J.) point guard Eugene Harvey for an official visit next week. Cincy is taking the best player available approach this spring. Why not?
Around the nation
Patrick Beverley, one of the biggest senior season surprises, is visiting Arkansas at the moment. He also tripped to Michigan. The Razorbacks and Wolverines appear to be the finalist for the 6-foot-2 scoring guard from Chicago's Marshall High School.
Junior Jamelle McMillan is getting a lot of interest from Illinois and planning a visit to the Big Ten school for later this month. The Seattle native and son of Nate McMillan, the coach of the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, is one of the top defensive guards in the class of 2007.
Hamady N'diaye, a four-star center from Stoneridge Prep (Calif.) is making an official visit to this weekend. A week later he will head out to Pittsburgh. After the visit to the Big East school, the 6-foot-10 defensive specialist could be getting close to making a decision. N'diaye has already officially visited Rutgers.
Mamadou Diarra, a 6-foot-11 combo forward, will take his SAT in May and June. Stoneridge Prep assistant coach Mike Mahoney said USC, Baylor, Fresno State and Rutgers are showing the most interest. Diarra could very well reclassify into the 2007 class.
Another Stoneridge player to keep an eye on over the next two weeks is guard Herb Tanner. The Boston native is down to Tulane, Fordham and George Washington, says Mahoney.
With the NCAA implementing a new rule, junior prospects will no longer be allowed to take official visits in the spring like they have in the past. Student athletes can only officially visit when the school is in session in their senior year. Last year, a number of top prospects missed the AAU action because of official visits. Not this year.