Second Evaluation Period Begins: Tourneys in Vegas, Orlando Highlight Action

Critical.

Surprise! Evaluation period #2 snuck up on us and kicked off yesterday. The second ten-day section of the month in which college basketball coaches are allowed to see and be seen at AAU games traditionally isn't as action-packed as the first one, but is just as crucial, if not moreso, to the recruiting process, offering staffs a chance to see even more prospects and make sure the breakout stars of the last session weren't one-hit wonders.

There isn't a super-prestigious tourney in this period like the Peach Jam, with events more spread out. Things started off yesterday with the U-17 stage of the adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas period. Despite the large size of the event, there aren't a ton of Maryland targets in Sin City: Nate Britt is there with D.C. Assault, Robert Upshaw with Dream Vision, and perhaps Zach Auguste, if you count him, with Mass. Rivals. Amile Jefferson is also competing in a smaller tourney in Vegas with Team Philly.

Of course, the point of attending these events is nominally to find players, so don't be surprised if Maryland's staff leaves Vegas with another name or two on the radar. In fact, the staff was reportedly present at a game between New Orleans Elite and New Heights (NY), despite not having any targets on either team. (Edit: Actually, Javion Ogunyemi is a 2013 SF they've reached out to who plays for New Heights. Perhaps just doing some early scouting.)

Elsewhere, a lot of action will be in Orlando with the AAU Super Showcase, arguably the largest (in terms of number of teams) event of the summer. Dozens of Maryland prospects will be there: Jake Layman with BABC, Robert Carter with Atlanta Xpress, Jerami Grant and Arnaud Moto with Team Takeover, Prince Ibeh with Texas Titans, Danuel House with Texas Pro, and a really interesting matchup between Mitch McGary's SYF Players and Elijah Macon's All-Ohio Red in the same bracket. Still, the team everyone's probably most interested in is Houston Defenders (basically all of whom are being recruiting by Maryland), which is in the same bracket as Nike Baltimore Elite.

The event might be most important for Moto, assuming he's healthy, as he missed out on Peach Jam and a great opportunity to be seen by coaches. Maryland's new staff, for example, has seen little of him, and has begun to press for guys like Jake Layman at the 3. A strong performance in Orlando could change that.

Anyway, I'm expecting most of the staff (ie, at least two of the legal limit of three) to be in Orlando, particularly because a smaller event AAU Nationals - you may remember it as one of the tourneys where 2010 Maryland target Greg Whittington got his big break - is just days later in the same location.

Unfortunately, though, the Super Showcase had only lower age-groups playing yesterday, so the action for the recruits you most care about starts today. Combine that with Maryland's limited interest in Super 64, and, well, there's not much to pass on today. Virtually nothing, in fact. So, the first day of the period was a lot of fun, it seems.

No worries, though. With a tournament the size of the Super Showcase, there's bound to be plenty of stuff tomorrow.

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