This weekend marks the first official "live period" of the spring - college coaches will flock to the three major AAU circuits to get a better look at some players that need further scouting and "show some love" to their top targets. In a major plot twist, both Nike and Under Armour will host their season-opening events in Brooklyn, NY this weekend while Adidas heads to Dallas.
Given that setup and most of their top targets being on those circuits, expect the Villanova staff to head North to take advantage of the close proximity of the two events, but as usual the Nike circuit should draw most of their attention.
VU Hoops won't be on the ground, but our good friends Josh and Ari at City of Basketball Love are making the trip up. Give them a follow on Twitter to stay up to date on who the 'Nova coaches are watching and we'll put together a recap at the end of the weekend for those of you who aren't on the Twitter machine.
Here are the teams and players you should know about:
Team Final (Philadelphia): These names will be familiar to you - Lonnie Walker, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree and Cameron Reddish all have 'Nova offers and Daron Russell is a bit lower on the board. Keep an eye on 2018 forward Marcus Littles as well - he visited for Hoops Mania and joins Reddish as the other sophomore good enough to play a year up for Final. CoBL has a compreshensive preview of Team Final on their site.
Team Takeover (DMV): Not as deep as previous years, but both D.J. Harvey and Chris Lykes have Villanova offers and are top targets at their respective positions. Harvey continues to say he's hearing from 'Nova a ton. Still not that bullish on Harvey who is being courted by everyone, but Lykes just cut his list down and 'Nova is in a good position. Jelani Williams & Myles Douglas have gotten some scout looks for 'Nova as well.
PSA Cardinals (NYC): Omari Spellman's former program just keeps reloading year after year. Mohamed Bamba is the headliner and will be joined by Deng Gak and Mamadou Doucore to form one of the best frontlines in the country. Quade Green and Brandon Randolph will make sure there's plenty of scoring punch in the backcourt. 2019 stud Cole Anthony made this team too which should tell you all you need to know about how good he is (and is going to be).
Other names to know: Jermaine Samuels (Expressions Elite), Jordan Tucker (RENS), Hameir Wright (Albany City Rocks), Matt Turner (NY Lightning), Christian David (injured, CIA Bounce), Justin Smith (Mac Irvin Fire), Kevin Knox (E1T1), Jalen Smith (Team Takeover, 16U)
Under Armour Association
WE-R-1 (Delaware): Quade Green migrated over to Nike, but Trevon Duval is still with the UAA outfit. That has a lot of people predicting he'll end up at Maryland, but there's a ways to go. He's the clear star of the team and will draw legions of coaches all summer, but watch for Delaware products Eric Ayala (re-classed to 2018) and Zach Kent to have breakout summers as well. CoBL has a nice preview of WE-R-1 up on their site.
We're not expecting too much activity this weekend here given the distance, but Mass Rivals features both Makai Ashton-Langford and Wabissa Bede who were scouted by Villanova over the winter, and they've kept an eye on Team Philly's David Beatty as well.