It's the biggest and busiest weekend to date for hoops prospects as players check out college campuses. In this week's edition of Fastbreak Friday, we chart over 50 players and their travels.
Five-star weekend in Chapel Hill
Less than a year after cutting down the nets, Roy Williams is cashing in on the success the Tar Heels had on the recruiting trail. This weekend is the biggest visit weekend to date for the ACC school.
Coming to Chapel Hill is Seattle big man Spencer Hawes. The 6-foot-11, 225-pound interior force was one of the most dominating players on the summer circuit this year and Williams saw the majority of every one of Hawes's games.
Will this visit be enough to help bring Hawes across the country? His other two options are Washington and Stanford. Remember, the state of Washington has been good to the Heels before. Does the name Marvin Williams ring a bell?
After seeing Georgia Tech together last weekend, Thaddeus Young and Alex Stepheson will meet again in Chapel Hill to see UNC. Stepheson took a look around the campus back in the spring after the Tournament of Champions. And Young, the No. 3 ranked player in the nation, was shadowed by Williams in the spring and summer.
An added bonus to the weekend is 2007 five-star prospect Julian Vaughn. The Virginia native has been busy checking out several schools. North Carolina is one of the few ACC schools that have not offered Vaughn a scholarship.
Being the National Champions certainly has it's benefits, doesn't it?
Hall of Famers hosting top flight prospects
Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim were inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame this week and at least six of the top prospects in the country will be able to congratulate them personally.
Connecticut is bringing in big men Deon Thompson and Jonathan Mandeldove. After being by burned by Andrew Bynum last year, the Huskies are looking to land an impact big man, a position that has always been key to Connecticut's run to the Final Four.
More importantly, having a dead-eye shooter to go along with athletic wings and impact post players has served the Huskies well. That's why Jerome Dyson, one of the top perimeter scorers in the country, is one of their key targets. He'll start off four days of visits on Friday in Storrs.
Boeheim has worked hard on South Carolina small forward Mike Jones and now the No. 37 ranked player is taking a look at the Big East program. He's one of the most aggressive small forwards in the country.
Coming in for unofficial visits are underclassmen Taylor King and Donte Green. King is coming all the way from sunny Southern California and Green is coming in from a school that helped produce one of the best players to ever wear a 'Cuse jersey. Carmelo Anthony attend Towson Catholic, where Green is at right now, before going to Oak Hill.
ACC is busy with visits
With North Carolina having arguably the biggest weekend in the country in terms of numbers and top talent, the rest of the ACC isn't doing too bad of a job either. At least a 12 other key prospects are taking in the college atmosphere around the conference.
New ACC member Boston College has a trio of visitors this weekend. Starting with 2006 commitment Shamari Spears. Al Skinner and his staff are hoping his presence can help with Virginia forward Jamel McLean.
Skinner and his staff have long found undersized and under recruited forwards and turned them into all-conference studs. (See Craig Smith and Jared Dudley.)
Coming in on Sunday is Dyson. The D.C. area native will likely decide between the Eagles and UConn. A decision could come as early as next week.
Virginia Tech earned the respect of the conference last year as they proved that they weren't an easy victory in conference play. Just ask Duke. Seth Greenburg and his staff are working on their second straight impact class and all three 2006 commitments will be on campus this weekend.
DeMatha teammates Nigel Munson and Jeff Allen will join forward Lewis Witcher as the Hokies play Ohio on the gridiron.
Maryland has another busy weekend as well. Coming in to College Park is point guard commitment Eric Hayes. Gary Williams and his staff have cooled on Dyson and maybe one of reasons why is Hayes's AAU teammate and close friend Greivis Vasquez.
The Montrose Christian product is a high IQ prospect that can consistently score from the wing and play multiple positions in the backcourt. Also in town again is Austin Freeman. The DeMatha star came in last weekend for a visit.
Duke is hosting their key target Brandan Wright for an official. The No. 5 ranked player in the country has been to Durham before. He's sat inside Cameron Indoor when the Blue Devils hosted the Tar Heels. This kid knows how to pick the right games to go to. With just he and Lance Thomas as their major targets, don't be surprised to see the Blue Devils turn up the heat on the impact big man.
Atlanta will be busy once again as Phillip Nelson and Brad Sheehan come to Georgia Tech. Last weekend, Paul Hewitt and his staff hosted Alex Stepheson and Thaddeus Young.
Nelson is looking hard at Washington but has long said Georgia Tech is in a close second. Perhaps a great trip to the ACC school and with Washington's recent landing of Quincy Pondexter, Nelson could switch his favorites around after the weekend.
The Jackets were one of the first high-major schools to recruit Sheehan, a 6-foot-10 face up big man from New York.
Key visitors for several programs
Several programs are brining in top targets this weekend and many are riding solo on campus.
Lance Thomas is making his first and only scheduled trip to Arizona this weekend. The New Jersey native will be traveling with his uncle Monty Montgomery and the two should return with a better grip on how the rest of the trips shake out. Montgomery told Rivals.com that Duke will likely be the second visit for the five-star forward.
After landing Derrick Caracter a month ago, Louisville fans have focused their sights on New Jersey prospect Earl Clark. The Penny Hardaway like player has long maintained that he's looking at the Cards and Villanova and many believe that the visit will push Clark over the top for Rick Pitino and crew.
Impact JUCO players are becoming a lost art in college basketball but this year's crop is strong at the top. Ty Morrison, JucoJunction.com's top junior college prospect in the country, has caught the attention of several schools. Now the 6-foot-7 forward is cashing in on the visit trail. He'll start his trio of trips at the University of Oregon this weekend.
The Buckeyes had every major prospect in the Midwest on campus last week for the OSU-Texas football game. However one player was missing. Raymar Morgan didn't make it down but he'll check out Columbus this weekend.
Willie Kemp says Lawrence Westbrook's commitment to Memphis won't play into his thought process on deciding on a school. In fact, the Tennessee native is making an unofficial visit to Memphis this weekend.
After getting a verbal commitment from Quincy Pondexter on Thursday, Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar is hoping to land another EBO player in point guard Derrick Jasper.
It's a huge weekend for Kent State. Jamil Tucker, a 6-foot-8 sweet-shooting small forward from Gary, Ind., is on campus. When was the last time Kent State had a top 65 player on campus for a visit?
Canada has been good to the Michigan Wolverines in the past and Tommy Amaker and crew are going north of the border once again as they target big man Devin Brennan-McBride. He'll make his first visit to the Big Ten this weekend. The Wolverines were the first major school to actively recruit him.
After escaping the path of Hurricane Katrina and moving to the Houston area, Dwight Lewis is trying to regroup his life and his recruitment. The former Kansas commitment is visiting USC this weekend. He'll be joined by NorCal forward Ryan Anderson and New Mexico native Kasey Cunningham.
Also making refuge in Houston since Katrina hit is D.J. Augustin. The New Orleans native is now attending Hightower High School and the top 50 prospect has a visit to Texas on the calendar. Still unconfirmed if he will be in Austin, chances are he could very easily make it to Austin now that he's in Texas. Also in town will be Nebraska big man Matt Hill.
Oklahoma State has one of the biggest prospects in the country on campus this weekend. Literally. Dexter Pittman, all 6-foot-10, 330-pounds of him, will check out Stillwater.
Florida has three of their committed players in Gainesville this weekend. Brandon Powell will meet 2007 pledges Nick Calathes and Gary Clark for the first time. Also in town is Georgia guard Jodie Meeks.
Pitt will host point guard Eugene Harvey for an official visit. Casey Crawford and Devan Bawinkel will take in the campus of West Virginia together. Jerome Randle is tripping to Dayton and staying in Ohio, Jason Love is checking out Xavier. Georgia has Jamar Moore, a class of 2007 sharpshooter, in for an unofficial visit.
Academic schools bringing 'em in
Vanderbilt has a busy weekend on tap as Texas point guard Jermaine Beal heads to Nashville to see the Commodores. Also scheduled to make a visit is Biloxi, Miss., native Jejuan Brown. However due to the hurricane, his visit may be pushed back.
After shining at an open gym in front of the Rice staff earlier this week, John Tiller is headed to Houston to visit the Owls. Texas bruiser Justin Reilly will check out Penn while Michael Gately is looking at Brown.
Mid-majors staying busy, too
Here is a look at the other visitors of note:
Jay Watkins - San Francisco
Jeremy Williams - UAB
Kenny Lawson - Creighton
Paul Noonan - Eastern Washington
Ernest Williams - Montana
Arbry Butler - Tulsa
Luis Guzman - UTEP
Matt Parker - James Madison
Jacob Green, Brian McKenzie - George Washington
Bobby Fenske - Boston U.