Plenty of news to talk about, the vast majority of it stemming from the kickoff of summer camp season, namely the LeBron James US Skills Academy in Akron.
In the first of many bits of news out of the LeBron camp, Adam Zagoria (whose blog is becoming must-read material) reports that Louisville commit Samardo Samuels outplayed the consensus number one player in the country, Greg Monroe, when the two squared off on Saturday.
"Monroe's a very good player," Boyle said. "I think without question, at the high school level right now, Samardo's a better player. I thought he clearly outplayed (Monroe) in the game, rebounding, scoring. I think he's got a little bit more of a package in the things he can do.
"They both are clearly two of the best 10 guys in the country and both have a chance to be pros one day if they keep working."
Rodger Bohn of DraftExpress.com has also been taking in the action from Akron, and Samuels was the first player he discussed in his rundown.
The pride of Trinity High School, Jody Demling, is also there, and while he noted that Samuels needs to work on his mid-range game, he says that it appears Pitino is liking what he's seeing so far from his big man of the future.
Perhaps the most interesting news from day three of the camp came from one of Samuels' camp teammates, Willie Warren. The never short on words Warren, who was reported to be as close to a lock as possible for UK in May and then committed to Baylor last week for a few hours before his mother decommitted him, told Demling that Louisville has now moved passed Kentucky on his wish list.
While Warren is certainly a tremendous talent, I wouldn't put too much stock in what he has to say right now since you get the feeling when you hear him talk that when he commits it will be to whatever school he's liking on that particular day.
The recruiting story of the aforementioned Tyreke Evans has gone completely haywire over the last few days, largely due to an Alex French GQ article about "The Most Powerful Man in Sports" William Wesley. It seems that "Worldwide" Wes, as he's known, was instrumental in getting his buddy Milt Wagner's son DaJuan to choose Memphis over Louisville, and played a large role in top recruit Derrick Rose's commitment to the Tigers this past year as well. The article then goes on to point out that Wes is in tight with what might be the crown jewel of Rick Pitino's class of '08.
Chances are good that a year from now, after one season at Memphis, Derrick Rose will be an NBA lottery pick. And a year after that, Tyreke Evans will follow suit. For now, though, Tyreke stands at center court, gripping his MVP plaque, trying not to blink at the flashbulbs. Wes stands five feet out on the court in a circle of people. A few feet away, Reggie Evans stands on the Garden floor, too, with his hands in his pockets, taking in the moment. Wes drapes an arm over Reggie's shoulder and pulls him closer. I think I can read Wes's lips: "Come here. There's somebody I want you to meet."
So then, getting the feeling that Wesley was going to get the best of them twice, U of L responded. Pitino's assistant director of athletic compliance, Nicholas Ojea, sent the following letter to the Big East office, which forwarded it to everyone in the conference.
Then, possibly fearing a lawsuit from Wesley's undoubtedly powerful camp, Ojea sent the following letter of retraction to the Big East office just days later:
Nicholas T. Ojea
The only thing I'm getting from all of this is that Evans to U of L is far from a lock. Perhaps this wouldn't be such a bad thing since the thought of "Worldwide" Wes hunting me down after I threw some constructive criticism Tyreke's way already has me a bit nervous.
I can't stop staring at this picture. It reminds me of those mid-90's books with the pages of pictures where if you stared at all the dots long enough they turned into something normal, only try as you may, you can stare at this shot all day and it won't stop freaking you out.
Demling says that he's been impressed by '09 commit Lamont "Mo Mo" Jones, but notes that Jones told him he's still "trying to learn to be a point guard." Louisville-based recruiting site Hoop Scoop has Jones rated as the ninth best point guard at the 80-player camp.
I've been meaning to link this for a while now but haven't had the chance. One of my absolute favorite sites on the internets is the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, and as a lot of you may have seen already, the site renewed its continuing "Enter the Octonion" series last week. The post revolves around the secret meetings of the eight Big East mascots, and this year's meetings are being led by none other than our own fearless, teeth bearing Cardinal bird.
A Sea of Blue's Truzenzuzex has been pissing excellence all summer long, an example of which is this post where he examines the question of whether or not Mitch Barnhart is getting the job done at UK.
Francisco Garcia put on a show Saturday, netting a game-high 20 points, pulling down six boards and dishing out four assists as his Kings took out Yi Jianlian and Team China 73-47 in an exhibition game. Hope is high in Scramento that Garcia will thrive under new head coach Reggie Theus in the same way he did under Rick Pitino.
Luke Whithead was one of three players recently cut from the Charlotte Bobcats' summer roster. Otis George and Larry O'Bannon are spending their summers playing for the Suns and Nuggets respectively.
Lastly, a little bit of bad news (because that's always how I like to leave things) from the baseball world where Jorge "The Hammer" Castillo has announced that he will transfer to Florida International to finish his college career. Castillo was apparently looking for a place where he could be the everyday first baseman as opposed to the designated hitter role he had assumed at U of L.