During the month of July Scout.com was on the road covering events over the course of all 20 days of the two evaluation periods. College coaches were doing the same all month as well. With coaches evaluating and showing love to individual players some key commitments took place that will have a big impact for the future.
Maybe the biggest commitment of July came right at the end when Ricardo Gathers decided to go with St. John’s. The Red Storm love to get up and down the floor under the direction of head coach Steve Lavin, and no forward in the country runs baseline to baseline better than Gathers.
An absolute freak athlete, Gathers runs faster than most guards, and is the most physically imposing player in the country. At roughly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, Gathers looks like he is ready for the NFL today, but he is also developing a decent basketball skill set. He felt that St. John’s was the perfect fit for his skills, and it is tough to disagree based on what he will bring to the table complementing their 2011 class.
Another huge pledge came out west when Gabe York decided on Arizona. More of a small shooting guard than a point guard, York absolutely tore up the Adidas Invitational with his play scoring nearly 50 in a game, and overall just making plays all over the floor.
A scorer who thrives coming off of screens and having the freedom to create off the dribble, York loved a late June visit to Arizona, and decided on the Wildcats over Marquette in a close battle.
Picking up a pair of four-star guards during the month was Xavier. First right before the start of the second July evaluation period it was Myles Davis who issued his commitment to the Musketeers. Davis is one of the premier shooters in the class, and liked his visit enough in June to the school to pull the trigger.
Then a week later it was local product Semaj Christon. A late bloomer, Christon exploded during the AAU season and put on a show in July. After long considering an offer from Georgetown, Christon decided Xavier was the right place for him over Illinois, Providence, and Florida State. The commitment came after Christon impressed in St. Louis.
Arguably the most important commitment to any singular team during the month was Dominic Artis to UCLA. Artis not only fills a huge need for the Bruins at the point guard position, but the four-star floor general also gives UCLA a presence with the loaded Oakland Soldiers AAU program. Look for Artis to have some upward movement in the rankings when they are updated next.
Another key point guard pledge was Charles Mann to Georgia. The Bulldogs and head coach Mark Fox had Mann as a priority going into the month, and managed to secure his pledge right at the start of the second evaluation period. Having a point guard in place to run the show helps Fox with his future recruiting efforts in the state.
Other class of 2012 pledges were Jake Kretzer to Akron, Daquan Cook to UNLV, Aaron Scales to Missouri, and also Anthony January and Dwayne Benjamin to UTEP.
While the class of 2012 had most of the pledges, three high-level commitments also came during the month for the 2013 class.
The most recent of which was Zak Irvin to Michigan. The Wolverines beat out Butler for Irvin who is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard/small forward. Irvin is a high level shooter who can make shots off the catch or one dribble pull ups. He is the classic type of wing that John Beilein looks for to fit his system.
Also the Kansas Jayhawks landed an important pledge with Conner Frankamp. Frankamp is a slick ball handler who can really shoot the ball from deep. Not super big or super athletic, Frankamp just finds a way to be successful and will play a role right away for the Jayhawks.
Finally UNLV landed one of their better commitments in some time with Christian Wood. A long and athletic forward, Wood impressed at the Nike Elite 100 for underclassmen, and continued it with his play during July. Wood is a very good shot blocker and someone who can be a threat in pick and pop situations on the offensive end.
Also making his pledge was forward Evan Bradds to Ohio University. Bradds is an excellent early pickup for the Bobcats.