Are you ready for some basketball recruiting?
Sure, the calendar suggests it's time to start thinking college football, but don't get your priorities mixed up.
In Indiana, basketball never rests, especially when dealing with the kind of optimism surrounding the IU and Purdue programs.
Coaches Tom Crean at IU and Matt Painter at Purdue are on recruiting frenzies. Both landed top-20 classes for 2012. Painter's Class of 2013 group ranks fourth nationally by CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello. Crean's 2013 group ranks sixth.
First, let's introduce the revamped July evaluation format, a three-week travel-ball blitz –- events must start on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and end on Sundays by 5 p.m. -- where the nation's top prep players battle each other and the nation's top coaches gather to watch.
What hasn't changed is that coaches still cannot talk to recruits during this evaluation period.
Much of the recruiting action this week will center in Indianapolis as part of the Adidas Invitational, one of the nation's top AAU tournaments. Locations include North Central High School, Fishers Fieldhouse, Carmel High School and Westfield High School.
For Northrop's Bryson Scott and New Haven's V.J. Beachem, who have already made their college choices (Scott to Purdue, Beachem to Notre Dame), this month is a chance to hone their skills.
For Carroll's Chandler White, it's another opportunity to prove himself and impress college coaches. He's already getting strong interest from Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame and Michigan, and a scholarship offer from Miami of Ohio.
For coaches such as Crean and Painter, it's a chance to further evaluate their committed players, continue to recruit targets and find other possibilities.
IU prospects are everywhere you look. In the Class of 2013, you have committed Maryland guard Stanford Robinson, who jumped from No. 88 to No. 61 in the latest rankings by Rivals.com, a national Internet recruiting service. Warren Central forward Devin Davis went from No. 107 to No. 99. Wisconsin center Luke Fischer went from 134 to 124.
The last committed member of the IU's class, Indianapolis Cathedral forward Collin Hartman, dropped out of the rankings, mostly because of injury issues the spring and early summer.
Crean is looking for one more player in the Class of 2013. Topping the list is 6-8 Maryland center BeeJay Anya, who is ranked No. 32 nationally. He's a Team Takeover travel ball teammate of Stanford Robinson. Scout.com, another national Internet recruiting service, has Anya as the nation's No. 1 center and No. 20 player overall. Crean also is interested in 6-10 California forward Marcus Lee, ranked No. 33.
As far as committed players for Indiana's Class of 2014, you have Bishop Luers guard James Blackmon at No. 47 and Indianapolis Tech's Trey Lyles at No. 9.
Blackmon, who is recovering from knee surgery, and Lyles both committed to IU before they entered high school.
Crean is looking for some more heavyweight Class of 2014 talent. That includes 6-8 New Hampshire forward Noah Vonleh, ranked No. 3 in the class, and 6-9 forward Cliff Alexander of Chicago. He's ranked No. 4 in the class. Competition for Alexander includes Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Kansas.
Don't forget Minnesota's Tyus Jones, who is the nation's No. 1 point guard and ranked No. 5 overall. Duke and Ohio State are among the high-profile colleges after him.
Purdue's Painter has locked up two of the nation's top players in the Class of 2013 with Northrop's Scott (No. 60 overall and the class's No. 7 point guard) and Illinois guard Kendall Stephens, who is ranked No. 56 overall and the No. 9 shooting guard. Not ranked is Indianapolis Lawrence North forward Basil Smotherman.
Scott is the state of Indiana's highest rated player in the Class of 2013. Stephens is the son of former Purdue standout Everette Stephens.
Painter doesn't have any commitments for the Class of 2014, but he's making a strong push for Illinois forward Keita Bates-Diop, who is ranked No. 42, as well as Ohio guard Vince Edwards, who is ranked No. 59.
Purdue and Indiana are among the schools to have offered Bosse guard Jaquan Lyle, who is No. 19 in the Class of 2014.
In the Class of 2015, Painter has offered Chicago guard Jordan Ash and East Chicago Central guard Hyron Edwards. Crean also has offered Edwards.
And as for Class of 2016, there's Eron Gordon, the brother of NBA standout Eric Gordon. Yes, Painter and Crean have both offered him.