I'm traveling to Las Vegas today for the restart of the July recruiting period.
There are four big tournaments this week (at various sites around the area) featuring nearly every relevant high school prospect ... except for the best two from the Class of 2010. As I reported last week, Harrison Barnes (ranked No. 1 by Scout.com and No. 2 by Rivals.com) is skipping Las Vegas to rest for next month's Nike Global Challenge. Meantime, Brandon Knight (ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com and No. 2 by Scout.com) is out because of a broken bone in his foot suffered last week at the Nike Peach Jam tournament.
So no, it's not perfect.
But Las Vegas is still the place to be this week.
- On Tuesday , the annual Villa 7 Consortium -- an invitation-only event designed to help some of the nation's best assistants network and share ideas with athletic directors, head coaches and each other -- is at the Venetian Hotel and Casino. Only 50 assistants were invited. Among the head coaches scheduled to speak are John Calipari (Kentucky), Lon Kruger (UNLV), Dana Altman (Creighton), Ken McDonald (Western Kentucky), Gene Cross (Toledo), Mark Phelps (Drake), Shaka Smart (VCU) and Matt Matheny (Elon). Meanwhile, the GBOA (Grassroots Basketball of America) is presenting Sonny Vaccaro with its Grassroots Pioneer Award. That ceremony is at the Palms Resort and Casino.
- On Wednesday , four major summer tournaments tip-off as college coaches begin a 10-day period of evaluation. The four tournaments are the Adidas Super 64, the Reebok Summer Championships, the Main Event and the Center Stage. Practically every college head coach and assistant will make an appearance at one time or another. Those who don't will be in Orlando for various AAU events. Many will be in Las Vegas and Orlando at different times.
- On Thursday , USA Basketball begins a three-day minicamp at Valley High School featuring 23 of the NBA's best young talents. Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are among those scheduled to participate. The minicamp will conclude Saturday night with an intrasquad game at the Thomas & Mack Center.