Go ahead and call them Hoops Report favorites, a select few seniors who were poised to raise their stock and showcase to college coaches they were better than the early interest they were receiving. The Hoops Report profiled those seniors in a blog back in early July -- a July forecast blog of players that would be hot during the three evaluation weekends that coming month.
Here is a look at that blog entry from early July, with an "And Now" added for each player highlighting where their recruitment currently stands.
Hoops Report's July forecast
These players probably aren't going to enhance their stock in the eyes of the City/Suburban Hoops Report -- they are already pretty highly regarded and a few very highly ranked in the class-- but they will among college coaches. These are the players the Hoops Report believes will increase their options the most (i.e. more scholarship offers) over the course of these next three weekends during the July evaluation period -- and likely receive interest from higher programs than they currently are.
• Kendall Pollard, Chicago (Simeon)
THEN (from Hoops Report's "July Forecast" blog): There isn't a player in the senior class who has raised his stock in the eyes of the Hoops Report more since the conclusion of the regular season than Pollard. In the last four or five months he's made a huge jump. There has been a transformation for the 6-5 wing, who has climbed his way into the Hoops Report's top 10 players in the class. But he's yet to grab much attention from college programs in the way of official offers. That will change. When it's all said and done and August rolls around, we'll look back and say Kendall Pollard was the hottest new name in the Class of 2013 in Illinois.
Of all the players on this list, Pollard probably does have the most interest surrounding him, even after playing with Simeon, Meanstreets and his rise profiled in a Hoops Report blog this past June. But he's going to be hit a lot harder and by some bigger programs, including maybe a few in high-major leagues, after coaches get a look of his reshaped body and how his skill level further along. Plus Pollard has something to hang his hat on: He just goes out and plays, defends and competes. He brings his lunch bucket and goes to work every day.
AND NOW: Pollard's recruitment clearly picked up. He's sorting out his final list that includes Dayton, where he visited this past weekend, Virginia Tech, Colorado State and Rhode Island.
• Paris Lee, Proviso East
THEN (from Hoops Report's "July Forecast" blog): Come on all you mid-major programs in need of a point guard! Where are you? When the Hoops Report looks at this 5-9 pint-sized whiz who puts constant pressure on opponents, it can't figure out why he's sitting there with two offers heading into July. Two?!?!?! Right now it's Loyola and Western Michigan who have extended offers, with both Illinois State, Ball State and Wyoming picking up its interest of late. Expect a slew of mid-major and mid-major plus type programs to be on the list at the end of this month. Lee's speed, quickness, charisma and know-how just terrorizes opponents. Plus, he has a little of that "it" factor you love.
AND NOW: Illinois State did offer Lee shortly after this July forecast blog and, to its credit, locked up Lee quickly before the interest among schools went to a new level.
• Ben Moore, Bolingbrook
THEN (from Hoops Report's "July Forecast" blog): It's not as if Moore hasn't drawn some interest and received offers. The likes of Loyola, Detroit, Toledo, SIUE, IPFW and UC-Irvine have offered Moore. But this active 6-7 senior brings bounce, length and a bit of athleticism while adding to his developing skill level. This past season he had a breakout year, going from an unknown to a potential mid-major prospect. Now he's a no-brainer mid-major and inching his way up to the mid-major plus level. He has the coveted "upside" so many coaches try to land and has an opportunity to raise his stock this month. If his motor is running full throttle throughout July, he's going to pick up more interest as he impresses with his ability to beat defenders at his position off the bounce.
AND NOW: Whoa! No player has seen his recruitment explode since this July Forecast blog more than Moore. September, not July, proved to be the big month for Moore, which was highlighted in a blog on Moore earlier this month. He's grown to 6-8 and impressed the masses in open gyms all month. Several high-majors offered, including Missouri, DePaul, Illinois, Northwestern, SMU and Minnesota. Now he has a final four of Missouri, Illinois, SMU and Colorado State. He's visited both Colorado State and SMU, with October visits set with Missouri (Oct. 12) and Illinois (Oct. 26).
• Alec Peters, Washington
THEN (from Hoops Report's "July Forecast" blog): The offer list is getting pretty lengthy for a player the Hoops Report has been gushing about for 12 months. After July plays out, it will be a matter of how long the 6-7 shooter wants the list to get. He will be that valuable to a number of college programs due to his sweet shooting stroke and the ability to stretch a defense. Peters is the best pure shooter in the state of Illinois. The Hoops Report has viewed Peters as one of those elite, must-get mid-major-plus type recruits as plenty of coaches will be checking in on the Peoria Irish this July.
AND NOW: There were a few high-majors that got on board and offered Peters, including Washington State and Boston College. With 20 offers on the table and a surplus of mid-major and mid-major plus programs courting him, Peters narrowed his list down to Boston College, Illinois State and Valparaiso.
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