The summer of LeBron James was supposed to be over a while ago. But it's the tail end of August, and still LeBron -- who entered our collective college consciousness during the Tom Izzo-Cleveland Cavaliers flirtation this offseason -- is invading the amateur hoops newsosphere. It's pretty uncanny, actually.
The first bit came on Friday, when it was revealed that James stopped by Miami (Fla.) with some of his new Heat teammates and Hornets guard Chris Paul for an impromptu open-run scrimmage. James tweeted about the occasion last Thursday. When James took his talents to South Beach in July, Miami coach Frank Haith was euphoric in an interview with Andy Katz, saying the decision brought "focus" to basketball in South Florida. That's a nice tangential benefit, but LeBron's appearance at a Miami scrimmage is something more real. Being able to tell recruits they can play in the same city as LeBron James isn't nearly as cool as being able to tell them James might walk into the gym at any time. Now, Frank Haith can.
Anyway, the other piece of LeBron-related news comes from James' old home -- Ohio -- and James' former high school coach, Dru Joyce. According to Joyce, who coaches at St. Francis-St. Mary high in Akron, Ohio, Xavier coach Chris Mack and his staff pushed one of Joyce's players to prep school for his senior year. Mack disputes that claim, and says his staff hasn't recruited star JaKarr Sampson, the No. 7-ranked small forward in the class of 2011, for months.
This last bit is less about LeBron and more about Xavier specifically and college hoops recruiting in general. Joyce is not the first high-profile coach to hold a recruiting grudge against schools the coach thinks is pushing players toward prep schools. Lawrence North coach Jack Keefer, who oversees one of the most consistent talent factories in all of high school hoops, has lodged similar complaints against Illinois coach Bruce Weber in the past, for example. It's an interesting dynamic -- recruiting is about building relationships, and it's always interesting to see those typically quiet relationships play out in public.
Anyway, LeBron James: somehow still a college hoops news repository. This has to end soon, right?