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October 19, 2012

Whispers: Hysteria in the heartland

While the majority of programs around the country held their "Midnight Madness" festivities last weekend, this second weekend of college basketball still features a few big events. Here's our weekly look at some of the nation's key visitors and latest whispers from around the country.

Hysteria in the Heartland

It's a good thing that Assembly Hall in Bloomington holds so many people. With as many prospects as Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers will be hosting for their Hoosier Hysteria, they are going to need all of the room that they can get.

Somewhere in the area of 30 total prospects are expected to be on hand in what has to be the biggest group of visitors this weekend. Of course, all of the Hoosiers' commitments will be in town and they will need Stanford Robinson, Luke Fischer, Devin Davis and Collin Hartman to do lots of hand shaking with potential future Hoosiers.

More than likely, a great deal of the focus will be on the two weekend visitors from the class of 2013. High flying wing Troy Williams and big man BeeJay Anya are expected to be on campus and the Hoosiers are in deep with each of them and this weekend will be very key in each of their recruitments.

Five-star Jaquan Lyle from the class of 2014 is expected in Bloomington along with four-star commitment James Blackmon and four-star target Trevon Bluiett.

From 2015, four-stars Hyron Edwards and Jalen Coleman will be joined by Luke Kennard, Bronson Kessinger and Chandler White among others. Finally, there will be a legacy recruit from the class of 2016 in town. Eron Gordon, the younger brother of former Hoosier star Eric Gordon is also expected.

Duke has high-level visitors

Before it's all said and done, it could turn out that Duke had the top players from the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016 in attendance this weekend.

Starting in 2014, big man Jahlil Okafor is the highest ranked visitor. The product of Chicago is already ranked No. 2 in the nation, but if Andrew Wiggins were to reclassify as speculated, Okafor is primed to take over the top spot. The back to the basket center just happens to be visiting at the same time as a pair of guys he has teamed up with in USA Basketball. Five-star point guard Tyus Jones and five-star wing Theo Pinson will both be in the house at Cameron Indoor.

In the class of 2015, highly skilled big man Karl Towns is one of just eight early five-stars. Because of his 6-foot-10 size and dead-eye jump shooting, Towns is heavily in the mix when discussing who should be No. 1 of those five-stars. Wrapping up their visitors is 2016's Harry Giles. Rivals.com won't rank his class for some time, but it is hard to imagine that there are many, if any, better freshman players in the country. Already 6-foot-8, he's athletic, skilled and will absolutely be an elite level prospect.

Big weekend in Tucson

Down in Tucson, Sean Miller and Arizona's big fall event is always the Red and Blue scrimmage game. Not surprisingly, all of their committed players will be on hand and they'll only be joined by one other prospect from 2013.

Rondae Jefferson, Elliott Pitts and Eric Cooper will be spending a lot of time talking to the nation's No. 5 player, Aaron Gordon, about why he needs to join them. Pac-12 foe Washington is seen as the leader with the super athletic 6-foot-8 forward, but the Wildcats are under definite consideration. Sean Miller has proven he can close guys favored to go elsewhere and he and the Cats could really make up ground on Gordon.

Gordon isn't the only five-star visitor as 2014 five-star wings Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson will also be on campus. Rounding out the visitor list is one of the west coast's top point guards, junior Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Other important visits

With only about 30 members of the 2013 Rivals150 left on the market, teams are going all out at this time of the fall. Here's some of the notably undecided visitors.

Fresh off the heels of a commitment from power wing Ishmail Wainright, Baylor is hosting a pair of four-star big men. High schooler Dominic Woodson still has another visit next week to Oklahoma and had been rumored to be close to committing to N.C. State before his visit there last weekend. The Bears, though, are in excellent shape to enhance their position with him. From the junior college ranks, four-star big man Yanick Moreira is one of the most heavily recruited and talented big men in the country.

Tyler Roberson has been giving out vibes that he is very near making a decision. Word of late has been that he has been leaning more towards staying at home so his visit to Lawrence will be of extreme importance to the Kansas Jayhawks. Villanova and Kentucky are still on the visit schedule but this could be moving along quickly with Rutgers making a big push and Syracuse also in the mix.

Up in East Lansing, there is one very important visitor expected on campus. The No. 2 player in the country, Jabari Parker, is expected to make his official visit this weekend. There's no home football game this weekend so the visit can be kind of low-key and with a focus on hoops like Parker seems to prefer. Duke and Florida are up next for him

Tim Floyd is expecting a five-star senior as Isaac Hamilton is supposed to be visiting. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is an impact player on the offensive end and he should have his talented brother Daniel Hamilton along with him.

Kennedy Meeks will head north to check out Georgetown this weekend and may wait until the spring to choose. Ohio native Devin Williams is down to West Virginia, Ohio State and Memphis. Josh Pastner and the Tigers get their shot this weekend. Finally, slick wing Brandon Austin will be at Connecticut.

Whispers from around the nation

Dayton continues to build a very strong group on the perimeter. Rivals150 combo guards Kyle Davis and Dayshon Smith were already onboard with the Flyers. Friday morning, three-star wing Kendall Pollard from Chicago joined them. Pollard is an explosive and tough wing who hasn't ever really gotten the chance to be showcased. With his athleticism and motor, he could really blossom in the A-10.

A four-star point guard from the class of 2014, Edmond Sumner from Detroit Country Day updated Rivals.com on his recruitment. The 6-foot-1, quick, point guard has quietly snuck in visits to Xavier, UMass, Michigan, Michigan State, Toledo and Kent State thus far in his recruitment. He's trying to set something up with Wake Forest and all of those schools plus Iowa have been in to watch him work out. UMass, Toledo and Kent State are the first three to drop scholarship offers on the talented floor general.

Next weekend, Julius Randle will visit Oklahoma for the Notre Dame football game. This weekend, the No. 1 player in the country had been planning on making a quick run down to Texas to see the Horns as well as check in on his good friend Ish Wainright. But, with Wainright's commitment to Baylor, Randle's status for this weekend is up in the air. If he doesn't visit this weekend, Randle will absolutely make it another weekend. He's already seen Florida and Kentucky and dates are still in the works for Kansas and N.C. State.

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