Good news, everyone! Well, not everyone - some of you don't like AAU basketball at all. Sorry to you all.
Anyway, the AAU season gets it's official start tonight with the Boo Williams Summer League, a tournament down in Hampton, Va. That means that basketball recruiting gets its real start this weekend, and I couldn't be more excited.
BWSL will be a major evaluation tool for the coaches, as well as the ranking services. For example, Justin Coleman broke out here last year. The contact period for coaches just began yesterday, too, so we'll be looking at a big mix of recruiting and playing the next couple of days.
Like every other year, there are some prime matchups. Boo Williams, the host team and AAU team of choice for mega-star Justin Anderson, will play in two huge matchups against Desmond Hubert's NJ Playaz and Dai-Jon Parker and Henry Brook's Southern Kings. In a Battle of the Beltways, Nick Faust, Greg Lewis, and Nike Baltimore Elite will play against Team Takeover and Mikael Hopkins on opening day. The following day, Takeover plays against Hunter Mickelson and the Arkansas Wings. That'll be an interesting matchup of face-up fours that Maryland is recruiting.
There are plenty of Maryland targets in Hampton in addition to those mentioned above. Devin Langford will be up there with his Alabama Challenge team - they'll face two elite teams in Southern Kings and Seattle Rotary (featuring drool-worthy Anthony Wroten). Aaron Brown will also be there, even if he's overshadowed on his own Team Final by Trevor Cooney, Michael Gilchrist, and Rakeem Christmas. Funnily enough, fan favorites around these parts Jabari Brown and Kyle Wiltjer run on the same Drew Gooden Oakland Soldiers team, which will also be in attendance. They play D-One Hoops in the opneing round, but unfortunately Deuce Bello is injured and won't be in attendance.
It looks like Nike Teams only for the moment, which sadly means no DC Assault or Quinn Cook. Other than that, a pretty solid lineup. Plenty of links will be coming up in the future.