April 6, 2007

UA staff on the road

It's that time of year again. The time when college basketball coaches kiss their wife and kids goodbye and head out on the AAU circuit throughout the United States in April to watch the best basketball players in the country who are also their top targets. This weekend, the AAU season will open in Hampton, Virginia with the NIKE-sponsored Boo Williams Tournament while Fayetteville, Arkansas will host the Real Deal on the Hill.

It's not that there haven't been other tournaments up to this point as several tournaments took place during Final 4 weekend. The Real Deal tournament, however, will be the first event that college coaches can attend, and Mark Gottfried and his staff are expected to be out in full force. The equally loaded Boo Williams event is not sanctioned by the NCAA so coaches will not be allowed to watch.

The 2006 UA class consisted of six signees, but two of those athletes - Verice Cloyd and Avery Jukes - have already transferred and sharp shooter Mykal Riley will be a senior. The 2007 class consists of top 60 guards Senario Hillman and Rico Pickett with big man Justin Knox rounding out the group.

Ronald Steele and Riley will be seniors, but with attrition and players possibly choosing to follow their NBA dreams, Alabama is expected to sign 3-4 players. Big men are the priority with only Richard Hendrix, Yamene Coleman and Knox as featured post-men on campus. One guard will also likely be signed.

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