The July live period is officially upon us, as of five o'clock yesterday afternoon. "What's the July live period," you ask? Well it's only the biggest event in the world of college basketball recruiting, dontchaknow? Top high school ballers from all over the country gather to essentially audition for scholarship offers in front of college coaches at various camps. It's like The Opening or Elite 11, except it runs for three weeks and players can and will attend more than one event (here's a more in-depth look). Coaches will rack up more frequent flyer miles this month than they'll know what to do with, and Pat Chambers will certainly be one of those who will be sick of pretzels and peanuts by the time August gets here.
Penn State is perhaps in the best position they've ever been going into this period. Already armed with two top-100 recruits, Chambers will use this period to get one last glimpse of the players he'd like to use the final class of 2015 scholarship on, and he and his staff will be checking in (or as they sometimes say, "babysitting") his prized commitments, Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves.
There are going to be so many updates and reports out of these camps that we've decided to give you, fair BSD reader, a one-stop home for all of your Penn State shootyhoop 'crootin needs. We'll be updating this space semi-daily via the StoryStream feature with tweets, tidbits, and articles on all of the previous day's Nittany Lion recruiting news. The BSD basketbros have never done something like this before, so bear with us if there's a hiccup or two, but we're going to try to bring you the best coverage of what team #doworkPat is up to. Here's a little of what we know from Day One:
Mike Watkins is starting off his July in Philadelphia, at the Reebok Breakout Camp hosted by Philly U. He's there along with a number of PSU targets, including his high school/AAU teammate Samir Doughty. As he has this entire summer, Watkins drew rave reviews from onlookers:
2015 Penn State commit Mike Watkins playing well early in scrimmages here from the #breakoutclassic. Athletic 6' 9" big showing off jumper.— Jordan Divens (@HSHoopsElite) July 9, 2014
Falling in love with 2015 PSU commit Mike Watkins. Blue collar forward with a high motor and high percentage finisher. #Breakout14.— Eric Hampford (@Future150EricH) July 9, 2014
Like what Ive seen from Mike Watkins. Will contribute and then have impact at Penn State. #Breakout14 @BreakoutClassic @adzurita247 @pt247— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) July 9, 2014
Chambers was in the coaches' crowd at the Breakout Classic, getting another glimpse at his future big man:
The coaches are starting to arrive. Fran McCaffery, Jerome Allen and Pat Chambers waiting outside. Games start at 5.— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) July 9, 2014
Meanwhile, Josh Reaves was in attendance at the Ty Lawson & Victor Oladipo All-American Camp:
Final game of the night tipping off here at @TyLawVO5AAcamp pic.twitter.com/8pJmBHooyD— Marcus Helton (@MarcusHelton) July 10, 2014
Reaves' "Duke" team lost by 21 to "Syracuse" (those team names seem a little fishy for a recruiting event), and not much is out there about his performance. Dwayne Anderson was in attendance for this session, as expected, and hopefully we'll get an account of his play tomorrow at some point. Update: Reaves had nine points and six fouls in the loss.
Deividas Zemgulis hasn't been involved much on the grassroots scene, and it doesn't look like that's changed at all for this period. We'll keep an eye out for any mention of him at a camp, but don't get your hopes up.
That's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow with more on the current commits and a look at what some of Penn State's top targets are doing in front of the onlooking staff.