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October 10, 2008
Fastbreak Friday: The madness begins
MORE: Latest team rankings | 5-STAR COMMITS: Robinson to KU | Hamilton to Texas | Kelly to Duke
A handful of teams are hosting their versions of Midnight Madness and pre-season tip-off festivities this weekend.
A number of schools are bringing in big numbers, while some schools are bringing in important targets for visits, too.
Let's take a look at how the weekend in basketball recruiting is shaping up in this edition of Fastbreak Friday.
IMPORTANT TIME FOR ILLINOIS
There is no shortage of talent on the University of Illinois campus this weekend. The Illini have 16 prospects in town to see the "World's Biggest Basketball Practice."
Class of 2009 commitments Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Joseph Bertrand and Tyler Griffey are scheduled to be in town. Class of 2010 commitments Crandall Head, Jereme Richmond and Meyers Leonard are also expected on campus.
The state's best players from the class of 2011 should be well-represented, too.
Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle forward Mike Shaw, a five-star prospect from the class of 2011, is expected to be joined by Wayne Blackshear of Chicago (Ill.) Curie, Sam Thompson of Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young, Tracy Abrams of Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel, Andre Henley of Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle, Rock Island (Ill.) point guard Chasson Randle and Hayden Hoerdemann of Bloomington for unofficial visits.
Bradley Beal, an emerging sophomore from St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade, is supposed to be in town on an unofficial visit as well. Class of 2012 prospect Bobo Drummond, an in-state prospect, is also scheduled to attend the festivities.
KENTUCKY'S BIG BLUE MADNESS
Kentucky is hosting its version of Midnight Madness, a.k.a. Big Blue Madness, this weekend. The Wildcats have a host of prospects in Lexington for the sold-out festivities
Five-star big man Daniel Orton will make a return trip to the SEC school. The center from Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, Okla., has been to Lexington multiple times.
Class of 2010 prospects Russell Byrd of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Blackhawk Christian, Covington (Ky.) Holmes wing Ricardo Johnson, Ian Miller of Charlotte (N.C.) United Faith and Brandon Mobley of Savannah (Ga.) Windsor Forest will likely be in town for the night's season tip-off festivities. Class of 2010 commitment Dakotah Euton is supposed to be there to help in the recruiting efforts.
Class of 2011 prospects Ryan Taylor and Michael Chandler, both of Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North, hope to make it to town with class of 2010 commitment Dominique Ferguson. Marquis Teague, also of Indianapolis, is scheduled to be on hand for the festivities. Class of 2011 commitment Vinny Zollo will be in town on an unofficial visit.
AIN'T NO PARTY LIKE A MOUNTAIN PARTY
West Virginia is also in a festive mood. Bob Huggins and his staff are hosting the school's version of Midnight Madness. There will be a good number of prospects in town for "Mountaineer Madness."
The Mountaineers will get a crack at Deniz Kilicli, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward from Beckley (W.V.) Mountain State Academy via Turkey.
Kilicli is one of the hottest names in the senior class at the moment, and a number of high-major schools have been in to get a better look at him. WVU has been in the mix for a while now. Kilicli's new teammate, Noah Cottrill, is a class of 2010 commitment to the team. Cottrill will be in town for the weekend, too.
BUCKEYES LOOKING TO FUTURE
Ohio State has always done a fine job of recruiting young talent, and this weekend should get the Buckeyes on track with several more young players.
The Buckeyes are planning to play host to 2011 prospects Brandan Kearney and Percy Gibson (both out of Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern), Matt Pouches from Hartland (Mich.) Hartland, Tommy McCune from Saginaw (Mich.) and Paul Honigford from Sugarcreek (Ohio) Garaway Local School this weekend.
Class of 2012 prospects Columbus (Ohio) Marion Franklin wing Elijah Macon, Ray Lee and Traevon Crater are expected to be on campus this weekend.
HIGH-MAJORS AIMING HIGH
Wayne Martin, a 6-foot-7 forward from Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence Christian and Clearwater (Fla.) forward Okaro White, a class of 2010 prospect, are supposed to be in Gainesville for visits.
Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern guard Trae Golden is headed to Athens, Ga., this weekend to see the Bulldogs on an unofficial visit. The Rivals150 junior guard was once committed to Ohio State.
Indiana is bringing in Aaron Cosby, a class of 2010 point guard from Louisville (Ky.) Jeffersontown. The Hoosiers recently offered a scholarship, and Cosby is making a return trip to Bloomington.
Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster wing Givon Crump is expected to continue his tour of college campuses this weekend. The Rivals150 prospect is headed to South Florida to see the Big East program.
Cincinnati is playing host to Sean Kilpatrick, a New York native who is spending a year at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., this season, for an official visit.
Virginia plans to have Baltimore (Md.) City College High forward C.J. Fair from the 2010 class and class of 2011 super shooter/scorer Trevor Cooney from Wilmington (Del.) Sanford School in Charlottesville for unofficial visits.
AROUND THE NATION
Central Florida has one of the best players in Orlando scheduled to be on campus for an official visit this weekend. Keith Clanton from Orlando Christian Prep is interested in the program. The three-star forward could make a decision shortly after his trip to the school.
Nevada is always looking for under-the-radar talent and skilled players at the power forward position. This weekend Mark Fox and crew are scheduled to have Devonte Elliott of Paramount (Calif.) and Derrick Williams of La Mirada (Calif.) in Reno for official visits.
Nick Russell of Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep will travel across the Dallas Metroplex to see SMU's campus officially.
Brandon Davies has grown up in Provo, Utah. He starred at Provo High, and will now go across the street to BYU's campus and visit the program officially. The Cougars have a legit shot of landing a commitment from him in the near future, according to multiple sources in the state.
Wolfeboro (N.H.) Brewster Academy guard Derek Tartt is headed to Drake for a visit.
Class of 2011 prospect E. Victor Nickerson from Atlanta (Ga.) Paidiea is headed up to Virginia to see the VCU and Virginia Tech campuses.