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July busy month for Price, staff
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Jeff Price comments on the hectic recruiting season.
    From Orlando to Las Vegas and beyond, college basketball coaches endure plenty of traveling during July, a crucial recruiting month.
    Georgia Southern coach Jeff Price and his staff stay busy evaluating high school players at numerous AAU events across the country. A GSU assistant is currently recruiting in Louisville, Ky., and Price plans to visit Auburndale, Fla., later this week.
    “It’s a hectic time for me and my whole staff,” Price said Monday. “We’re allowed to have three people out at one time on the road, and believe me, you need all three because there are AAU events going on all over the nation.”
    The biggest showcases will be in Orlando and Las Vegas later this month, and GSU will also head to Indianapolis. For high-school players, Georgia Southern narrows its focus to athletes from Georgia and Florida, and Eagle coaches travel where ever teams from those states are playing.
    Once the Eagles narrow down their prospects, coaches work to establish contact, talk with players’ families and set up on-campus visits. Price likes to sign players during the early signing period in November, although there is a second period in April.
    “We recruit way ahead of time, so we’ll make decisions in July about who we might want to try to sign in November,” Price said.
    GSU’s 2007-08 team is already in place, and Price has three scholarships available for the following season. He’s looking to seal gaps that’ll be left by rising senior forwards Louis Graham and Matt Fields. Graham was the team’s second-leading scoring a year ago, putting up 14.5 points a game and grabbing a team-high 8.2 rebounds. Fields averaged 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds.
    “They are (both) athletic, slashing type players, and we definitely feel a need to fill that,” Price said.
    Depth at point guard will also be a focus as current starter Dwayne Foreman heads into his final year with the Eagles, who were 15-16 last season. Price is hopeful about the future of a couple guards he signed for this year, and rising sophomore Antoine Johnson showed promise at the position in a back-up role last winter.
    As they bounce between AAU events, there’s not much down time for GSU coaches during July. Not even an NCAA-mandated dead period next week, during which Price will host a day camp at Hanner Fieldhouse.
    “It’s a busy month for college basketball,” he said.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.