With the July recruiting period just around the corner, ESPN senior recruiting analyst Dave Telep takes a look at 10 storylines to watch as the AAU circuit enters its busiest -- and most intense -- period next Tuesday.
Class of 2012 prospects Andre Drummond, Kaleb Tarczewski, Mitch McGary and Ricardo Ledo should draw many an eye. But another storyline to watch out for is in the Class of 2013, where Everett native and Tilton (N.H.) center Nerlens Noel will look to take over the No. 1 spot.
Randle vs. Parker vs. Noel
Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood) was the top talent at the recent Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy. Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton School) was the No. 1 underclassmen at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) won a gold medal and was named MVP of the FIBA America's championship while starring with USA Basketball last month. Three elite juniors with outstanding résumés. One of them will earn the right to enter the fall of his junior seasons as the top underclassman in America. The next 3½ weeks will be amazing and the action gets started at the LeBron James Skills Academy, and each is slated to attend. Guys like Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County), Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) and Chris Thomas (Denver, Colo./Princeton CD) are going to need hefty summers to catch these guys.
In his Class of 2014 rundown, Telep also makes note of fellow Tilton Ram Wayne Selden, writing that the Boston native "was the unofficial MVP at the Nike Elite 100" last month in St. Louis.
DRUMMOND WILL NOT BOLT
The latest rumor floating around involved a scenario in which Drummond, who is currently undecided on college plans, would suit up for his hometown UConn Huskies this fall, filling the extra scholarship left open. That rumor has since lost some steam, since DeAndre Daniels made a commitment to the Huskies last month.
Earlier this week, ESPN's Andy Katz dispelled those rumors once and for all:
The speculation about whether 6-foot-10 Andre Drummond, the No. 1 player in 2012 (currently at St. Thomas More School in Middletown, Conn.), could end up playing in the fall at UConn is over. It's not happening. According to Drummond's representatives, including his mother, he will not be in college this fall but will instead go for a post-graduate year. That plan is St. Thomas More for now. There had been plenty of chatter about the possibility that Drummond could be ready for the Huskies in the fall, but that point is moot. He hasn't committed to UConn, either. He's a serious player for Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida. And according to ESPN's recruiting site, he's still considering Pitt, Georgetown and Duke. Drummond will likely be shadowed by the aforementioned schools' head coaches at various stops in July. He'll be in Indianapolis on July 6-9; in New England at various events, including Springfield on July 10-18; in Las Vegas July 22-26 and Orlando on July 27-Aug. 1.