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Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Jackson, Christmas cut lists

Posted by ibleedblue040 on August 11, 2009

Two top prospects have cut their lists this week and neither included the University of Kentucky.

Joe Jackson, a top point guard in the 2010 class, narrowed his choices down to Memphis, Tennessee, and Kansas. Kentucky was thought to be in pretty good position for Jackson and he was thought to be attending Big Blue Madness in October. Being a Memphis native it is believed Jackson is a heavy Memphis lean, he has already visited the Tigers campus and facilities many times and feels comfortable with the program.

Rakeem Christmas, the best low post defender in the 2011 class, narrowed his list down to eight teams, none of which are Kentucky. Many people around the country are surprised with this decision because it was thought that UK was perhaps the leader—or one of the leaders—for Christmas’ services. Dave Telep, the lead recruiting analyst for Scout.com “tweeted”, “I would have bet my son’s college savings that Kentucky made Rakeem’s Christmas list of 8″.

Many people believe that UK IS still in the mix and it is odd that he would not list them. Either way it would be a big blow if UK were eliminated while Coach John Calipari is in China.

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2010 Kentucky Recruiting Breakdown

Posted by ibleedblue040 on July 31, 2009

Point Guards

Brandon Knight Considered by many to be the top recruit in the nation, Knight brings a high level of offensive skill to the table to go along with having a great basketball IQ. At about 6’3, Knight has great size for the point guard position and loves contact around the rim, something that fits perfectly with the dribble drive motion offense. Knight is without question the top priority for UK at both the point guard position and overall.

Josh Selby Since Josh Selby’s decommitment from Tennessee last week, Kentucky has shown as much interest as anyone across the country. UK has been listed on the short list of schools that Selby will be legitimately looking at and with Selby’s high level of skill there is no doubt the feelings are mutual.

Joe Jackson Jackson has long been called a Memphis lean, but do not underestimate the power of John Calipari on the recruiting trail. Calipari has been to many of Jackson’s games this summer, clearly solidifying the thought that Jackson is one of the top targeted players for the Cats out of the 2010 class. Though he is just 6’0, Jackson has elite quickness and athleticism as well as being able to finish with contact around the basket.

Kyrie Irving The only reason Irving is listed fourth on this list is because it seems less likely that UK will land him than the other three prospects ahead of him. Irving was one of the premiere players at the Orlando AAU Super Showcase and was able to score over 30 points on multiple occassions, including a 39 point outburst. As well as being a big player, Irving is a team player who gets his teammates involved throughout the entire game. Irving has ties to both UK and Indiana so this should be a fun recruitment to watch unravel.

Shooting Guards

Doron Lamb Although he has been forgotten about over the past week or so, Doron Lamb still is one of the most highly touted players in the country and perhaps the best senior-to-be in the state of New York. Lamb has strong ties to the UK staff with assistant coaches Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland being from New York City, as well as Rod Strickland being an Oak Hill alum, the same high school Lamb currently attends. It is very possible Lamb could be donning the blue and white in 2011.

Tyler Lamb No there is no relation between Doron and Tyler but there is no doubt they both can ball. Doron and Tyler are both silky smooth with great shooting abilities, although Doron seems to play with more of a “swagger” than Tyler. Tyler Lamb has definitely burst onto the seen this summer after getting only minimal looks from mid-majors prior to July. After a stellar showing in multiple events earlier this month, Lamb walked away with a valuable scholarship from UK as well as receiving one from UCONN. There is no doubt in my mind at least ONE of the Lamb’s will be apart of the 2010 class.

Small Forwards

Harrison Barnes It seems unlikely that Barnes will have Kentucky on his final list, but that has not stopped the UK staff from showing up at many of his games so far this summer. Barnes is ranked as the #1 player in america by Rivals.com and Scout.com, the two major recruiting websites in the country. A very talented and smart player, Barnes is clearly the most consistent prep player in the land and already looks physically ready to play in college. Look for him to look hard at Duke, Kansas, Stanford, and North Carolina.

Cameron Clark No forward as burst onto the scene quite like Cameron Clark, a 6’6 Texas native. Clark, like many UK targets, is a long body with a very polished and smooth game for a kid his age. Kentucky has already been known to be recruiting Clark as hard as anyone but many Big 12 schools are coming hard for him too.

Power Forwards

CJ Leslie Compared by many to a young Kevin Garnett, Leslie possesses unreal athletic ability and a wingspan that spreads over seven feet. Leslie is about as intimidating a player as you will find, because at 6’9 he has the skills to go around you or simply go over you with a furocious array of moves and dunks. Leslie is a former high school teammate of incoming UK freshman John Wall and has been quoted as saying Wall has been in his ear about UK.

Tobias Harris After a disappointing summer last year, Harris has dropped some of his “baby fat” and become the most versatile power forward in the nation. Fresh off a stellar performance against the top junior in the nation–Michael Gilchrist–Harris is one of the most highly recruited big men in the nation and appears to have strong interest from Kentucky. Harris is one of the few players who have a formal scholarship offer from the Cats but word is he will be hard to get from Syracuse and UCONN.

Dominique Ferguson Once thought to be one of the top 10 players in the nation, Dominique Ferguson has been riddled with injuries this summer. Although he decommitted from Kentucky after Billy Gillispie was fired, Ferguson has still listed the Cats on his list of suitors and has been told by the staff he is a very high priority at the small forward and power forward positions. Ferguson will be playing his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy because of higher competition and to learn the discipline that his father believes he needs.

Centers

Adreian Payne Because he plays alongside Jared Sullinger and JD Weatherspoon, Payne does not get the credit he deserves for being a terrific talent. Payne is very athletic and can finish around the rim with the best of them. He does not have much of a perimeter game just yet but he is improving every day and appears to be headed toward greatness. He is really the only center that Kentucky is pursuing for the 2010 class as of right now.

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July 2010 Recruiting Preview

Posted by ibleedblue040 on July 5, 2009

There is no question that July is the most important month in high school basketball recruiting, and with that much just getting under way UKmadness will break down the top 2010 prospects UK will be recruiting and players the Wildcat fans should be on the look out for during the July evaluation period.

Brandon Knight

Rivals Profile
Scout Profile

Knight is ranked within the top two overall in the class of 2010 by both Rivals and Scout recruiting services and for good reason. He is the unquestioned number one point guard in the U.S. and has one of the most complete games on the circuit with his ability to stroke it from outside and also to use his deceivingly strong frame to bully his way to the basket on an array of drives.

He is not in the mold of a Derrick Rose or John Wall but Knight has the potential to be as good as both of these stars.

Knight looks to be leaning towards the academics of Duke and the in-state appeal of Florida but UK should have a say in the end, seeing as their coach will send three straight point guards to top five draft picks once John Wall spends his one and only year in college and becomes a top five pick.

 

Doron Lamb

Rivals Profile
Scout Profile 

The reason Lamb ranks second on this list is because of the fact that he has publicly stated that Kentucky is one of his favorite schools and the fact that he just made an unofficial visit to the UK campus last weekend.

Lamb is unique in the sense that he actually has a deadly mid range game, an area that seems to be nonexistent in high school players across America for the most part.

Lamb currently plays for Oak Hill (VA) Academy during the high school season, a school that has sent many players to UK over the years, partly because of head coach Steve Smith’s ties to the state—he grew up in the eastern part of Kentucky.

UK assistant coach Rod Strickland also attended the school for his senior season of high school and is from the New York area, as Lamb is.

Look for UK to land Lamb in the end, although this recruitment could be a long, drawn out one.

 
Joe Jackson

Rivals Profile
Scout Profile

Once thought to be a lock to John Calipari at Memphis, Joe Jackson has stated numerous times that he has large interest in the UK program because of its tradition and the fact that Coach Cal is now the man in charge.

Jackson, a Memphis, Tennessee native, seems to be a strong Memphis lean because of his desire to stay near home but if anyone can snag him out of his home city it is Cal.

Jackson is a small point guard with an unmatched first step and unbelievable athleticism and he has the perfect slashing-type game to play in Coach Cal’s DDM offense. 

 

 

 

CJ Leslie

Rivals Profile
Scout Profile

CJ Leslie is ranked more inconsistently than almost any player in the nation. Some feel that his athleticism is such that he should be ranked quite high simply because of his vast potential, while others seem to think that, because he does not have a top 25 game at this moment, he does not deserve to be considered a 5-star prospect.

Leslie, a former high school teammate of upcoming UK freshman John Wall, has been telling outlets that he loves Coach Cal and is seriously considering the Cats because of that. He also has stated numerous times that Wall has been in his ear telling him how great UK is and that can only help.

Leslie may be the most athletic player in the 2010 class and has a college-ready body that should only progress in his year and a half until he steps onto a college campus.

 

 

 

 

More to come later on this week.

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Calipari Hitting Recruiting Trail

Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 26, 2009

 

 

Calipari trying to land studs

Calipari trying to land studs

When John Calipari was introduced as the new University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach on April 1, many thought he would have an immediate impact on the recruiting trail, and they were right. 

Calipari has already met with over half a dozen 5-star recruits in person and over 10 either in person or on the phone.

John Wall, the top player in the 2009 class, has already met with Calipari twice within the last two weeks, as has Harrison Barnes. 5-star juniors Will Barton, Joe Jackson, Adreian Payne, Dominique Ferguson, and Brandon Knight have also received in-person visits.

Calipari is known for going after the best-of-the-best type recruits and he has shown that in the three weeks that he has been head coach of Kentucky. Already 2009 All-American John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Darnell Dodson have added UK to their lists or committed to UK under Calipari. Over five top 20 players in the 2010 class have added UK to their school lists since Cal got hired, and the #1 player in the 2011 class, Michael Gilchrist, has listed UK as his top school.

Calipari talked about changing the culture of UK basketball at his inaugural press conference, and he has done an amazing job so far. He appears headed to lock up a top 3 recruiting class this year, and the #1 class if John Wall chooses Kentucky. In three weeks he has signed a 5-star player and a 4-star player, as well as keeping the commitments of 5-star center Daniel Orton and 4-star small forward Jon Hood.

Calipari is well on his way to legendary status, all he has to do is keep hitting the recruiting trail.

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New UKmadness Rankings are up!

Posted by ibleedblue040 on July 10, 2008

The UKmadness 2009 and 2010 rankings have been updated and now everyone can see them (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F500WYGK).

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Biggest Risers
There are a couple players that rose high in the 2009 version of the UKM rankings. One of those players is Wally Judge, a Kansas State commit, who has lit up the summer AAU circuit so far this year. Judge worked out with Michael Beasley in June and it looks like Judge picked up a few things because he is finally putting together long stretches of good performances.

 

 

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Another player that soared in the updated rankings is Clemson pledge Milton Jennings. Jennings has played well all AAU season long, from spring to summer, and has improved tournament to tournament as well as any player on the circuit.

There were a couple players that rose in the 2010 rankings as well. The first is obviously UK target Harrison Barnes. Barnes went from only being known in Iowa this high school season to a top 10 recruit that every school is after. Barnes played as well as anybody at the LeBron James U.S. Skills Camp this past weekend and he is over a year younger than many of the other players. Barnes has the full arsenal of moves and shots on the offensive end and is an improving defensive player too.

Another player that rose dramatically is Roscoe Smith. Smith did not play in the early AAU season because he chose to work out with a trainer and coach to become a better player himself. Smith is now lighting up opponents with his ever improving jump shot and his deadly athletic ability. Watch for him over the next couple of years.

Biggest Fallers

There were a couple players in each class that either fell dramatically or fell from one of the top spots nationally. In the 2009 class the biggest fallers were Latavious Williams and Dexter Strickland. Williams fell because he just was not performing at all in any major events or against any resemblence of competition. He is not worthy of the #14 overall ranking that he had before the update. Strickland has played pretty well in all the events but just has not been the stellar player you are looking for in a top 20 player. He fell from #18 to #32.

In the 2010 class the big fallers were Trae Golden and J.T. Terrell. Golden’s fall is understandable, he is making the transition from off guard to point guard and he is having his fair share of bumps along the way. Golden is improving after every event with his distribution of the ball and his shot is coming back. He will climb the ranks next time most likely. Terrell fell because, well, he is not playing in high school with John Wall anymore. During the high school season teams were so concerned with Wall’s abilities that Terrell went relatively unnoticed, now that every player is good he is being targeted and is not performing up to top 20 standards.

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Web Wednesday – 7/9/08

Posted by ibleedblue040 on July 9, 2008

Recruiting Trail – AAU edition

- Well the most anticipated long weekend of summer AAU basketball is coming to a close today with the LeBron James Nike Camp wrapping up today and the adidas Take 5ive Classic ending yesterday. In this edition of Recruiting Trail we will be discussing how some of the major UK targets and commits performed.

* Jon Hood (Committed, 2009) – From all accounts that saw him play at the LeBron James Camp Hood played a very solid few days of basketball. Many people agree that he did not show off his total package offensively because on many occasions he was reluctant to shoot the basketball in situations many would have, but Hood distributed the ball very well while running the point for spurt at a time. Hood did not get caught up in jacking up shots because the dead period just ended and players are now being exposed to top notch coaches and scouts because, well, he is already committed and he does not care enough about rankings to try to hurt his team to improve his. Hood still showed his brilliant and always reliable jump shot many times to go along with his rapidly improving passing skills. Hood has been quoted as saying that Billy Gillispie wants him to play some point guard at UK so he is getting prepared for that.

* Daniel Orton (UK is leader, 2009) – Orton played in the LeBron Camp this week and he played like, well, the beast that he is. Orton was, as always, too physically gifted to be contained on the blocks and scored at will against every team and player he faced. Orton certaintly did not hurt his rankings and ratings with his performance this week, in fact he probably boosted them.

* John Wall (UK is in top 4, 2009) – Wall once again proved why he is considered the top point guard, and by some the top player, in the country. Wall is just too quick and too athletic for other point guards to handle him. Wall hits the jumper when he is wide open so “Rondo-guarding” him is not an option, but when you get too close it is over as well. Wall is considered a Memphis lean but is also considering UK, Baylor, and Oklahoma State.

* Dominique Ferguson (Committed, 2010) – Ferguson played in the adidas Take 5ive Classic on sunday and played brilliantly. He was the best player on the court in both of the games he played and was an athletic dynamo as well. Ferguson showed flashes of why he is considered a top 10 player by all scouts and once he puts it all together for full games instead of spurts he will be top 5. Ferguson only played sunday because of summer school but really played well.

* Harrison Barnes (UK is in top 5, 2010) – Barnes is probably the fastest rising player in the nation and for good reason. Barnes is ranked 6th nationally by rivals.com in their latest rankings and with his performance at the LeBron Camp it looks as though he might rise. Barnes was ranked #1 at LeBron camp by Louisville-based recruiting scout Clark Francis among all players, which included John Wall, Xavier Henry, and DeMarcus Cousins to name a few. Barnes is a smooth small forward with college ready shooting ability and size, if he gets a bit stronger there will be no stopping him. UK has yet to offer a scholarship to him but many believe they will wait for Gillispie himself to offer. Barnes is from Iowa so it is believed that the in-state schools have an advantage but could easily be out-recruited.

* Josh Smith (UK is in the mix, 2010) – Smith is the 2010 cross between Keith “Tiny” Gallon and Daniel Orton. He is about 6’10″ 270 lbs.. Smith, like Orton had his way throughout the whole tournament because of his strength. When he gets position you might as well put two points on the board because getting around him is almost totally out of the question.

- 2009 shooting guard Terrence Boyd announced this weekend that UK is his leader. He is rated top 50 nationally but grades could be his downfall. He is in serious need of academic help and even with help it looks as though he may not qualify. He did not even play the high school season last year because of grades.

Other Notes

- UKmadness will be coming out with the mid early July recruiting rankings some time this week so be ready for those. We will also be updating them in late July or early August.

- Be sure to post on the UKmadness message board here.

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Web Wednesday – 6/25/08

Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 24, 2008

Rumor Mill

- The first rumor from this past week that I have heard is that DeAndre Liggins, a member of Kentucky’s 2008 recruiting class, has reached eligibility status after recieving his much anticipated test scores. A message board poster made the claim that he knows someone in the UK admitance field and they said he had qualified, but those claims have been put to bed by Catspause.com’s Matt May in this article. According to Liggins’ high school coach they are still awaiting the test results.

- Another rumor circling the net is that Josh Harrellson is not playing very well down at UK. Several posters on the House of Blue have stated that during the latest UK Father/Son Basketball Camp that he played poorly and was upset with his playing time and what not. Another poster who actually has valid information alot has stated that he talked directly to Harrellson and he said that he is just frustrated that he is not getting as much PT as he would like, cry me a river JH.

Recruiting Trail – Scholarships for everyone Edition

- Roscoe Smith, a 2010 recruit from Maryland, said in an interview yesterday that UK has offered him a scholarship. Smith has not played very much AAU ball this summer, instead he has chosen to work on academics and his personal game. Smith has some pretty impressive offers from the likes of Connecticut, Florida State, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Texas, Texas A&M, and Virginia. He stands 6’6″ 185 lbs. and averaged 23.0 pts, 11 reb, and 7 asst per game last season.

- Another player that has claimed an offer from UK is a fellow 2010 player, Josh Smith. Smith is a HUGE kid at 6’9″ 265 lbs. and he plays on the same AAU team as UofL commit Peyton Siva. Many have said that it will be very difficult to keep Josh Smith from the west coast, similar to 2009 standout Renardo Sidney.

- The internet has been EXPLODING with talk about Daniel Orton, the #1 center in the country and unanimous top 10 player. In an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones, Orton said:

There has been some speculation that Kentucky is your leader, is that true?

Yeah, Kentucky is kinda my leader. I like them a whole lot.

Why is it that Kentucky is your leader at this point?

I mean its just a crazy place for basketball. When I went to their Elite Camp, I flew in and got there really late because there was a flight delay. So I got to the hotel at like 3 a.m. and then the next day when I got up, I walked in the lobby and there were these fans there who knew who I was and said to come to Kentucky. I mean that is just crazy. They have such great fans.

Are there any other schools that stand out for you right now?

No, the other schools are really equal.

 
Orton has been considered the best center nationwide for over a year now and he would be a HUGE get for this staff. Orton was asked in an interview with Scout.com’s Evan Daniels if anyone was sticking out, and he responded, “Probably just Kentucky.”. This is really big news for all UK followers because UK has not landed a top flight center since 2003 when we got Randolph Morris.

- Another 2010 prospect, Harrison Barnes, said in an interview with KentuckyInk’s Marc Maggard that he really likes UK and they are among his favorite schools. Maggard has said that UK is in very good position for Barnes, a future 5-star player.

Video of the Week

Roscoe Smith

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Web Wednesday – 6/11/08

Posted by ibleedblue040 on June 11, 2008

Recruiting Trail

- The UK Elite Camp took place over the weekend in Lexington and supposedely there were some great turn outs. Daniel Orton, the #1 center in the country, showed up surprisingly even though he is hurt. This has to help UK’s chances that he decided to show up and probably gets the tour of the campus. Jon Hood was there as well and according to this post by Marc Maggard he played very well and was always in control on the floor. Also in that post by Maggard is a list of all the teams participating. Team 1 is loaded, they have GJ Vilarino, Jon Hood, Dominique Ferguson (Who is ultra-athletic according to Maggard), Covington Holmes standout Jerimiah Johnson, & Louisville Trinity star Josh Sewell (Both 2010).

- Chrisitan Watford has recieved a formal scholarship offer from Billy Gillispie himself. He was offered face to face by Gillispie over the weekend at the Elite Camp and according to Marc Maggard Watford’s dad and Gillispie were really hitting it off, UK is supposedely leading for Watford’s services now.

Watford visited UofL and UK over the weekend and in this interview Jeff Drummond says that Watford seemed more upbeat when talking about his visit to Little Brother. Watford said his time in Lexington was good, though, saying “The facilities are nice and they treat their players really well. I think Coach G (Gillispie) does a good job with his players.” Watford went onto say that his team was very good and didn’t lose a game during the camp.

- In other recruiting news it’s official, Matthew Pilgrim is a Cat! According to this blog Pilgrim has signed to play for UK in 2010 and 2011 but will have to sit out this season but will get to practice with the team. Pilgrim played for Hampton University last season.

Cool Website Alert

- I was talking to a friend of mine earlier this week and he introduced me to this very cool website. It’s called whatifsports.com and it is based on the idea of comparing sports legends from the past to the present stars. For example, in the NBA Sim league you have $42mil (I think) of cap room to pick 12 players from any year in NBA history and based on some crazy simulation software it actually simulates the games! You can multiple of the same player but from different years, so you could have 1995 MJ on your team along with 1988 MJ.

Videos

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Web Wednesday – 5/28/08

Posted by ibleedblue040 on May 27, 2008

Recruiting Trail

- There has been a bit of confusion over where UK stands with the #1 player in the nation, John Wall. There have been a couple articles, one of which Wall was interviewed, that have some UK fans thinking they have a good shot to land the #1 prospect in the nation. The first article was written by a Charlotte, NC newspaper and interviewed Wall about his recruitment, he stated that Kentucky IS in his top schools but those who think that UK is in the lead probably think that because he has visited there twice. Although he never says UK is not in the lead this, to me, implies that we are not. In the other article, by the lead writer of the North Carolina Rivals site, says that the rumor is that Wall is favoring the Cats. This is not just some guy who is assuming either, this writer has been following Wall’s recruitment from the beginning because he lives in North Carolina and UNC is recruiting him.

- Word is coming out that Vinny Zollo, the rising sophmore, is considering a transfer to Clark County High School in Winchester, KY. Clark County High is only 20 miles from Lexington and right in the heart of Big Blue Country so UK fans could easily see him play and he could make a trip to see CBC any time he wants.

- Scout.com is reporting that Tommy Mason-Griffin, a rising senior from Houston, has recieved a scholarship offer from UK. Mason-Griffin had a great tournament out in Arizona a few weeks ago and has been playing well ever since. Mason-Griffin is also contemplating a transfer to high school basketball power Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Mason-Griffin is also considering Texas, Baylor, and Texas A&M.

Videos

Hunter McClintock in the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina this past weekend:

Christian Watford highlights from this past high school season:

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UK targets in Arizona: Update #1

Posted by ibleedblue040 on May 10, 2008

– I am sorry to report this but Michael Avery is not having a great tournament through two games in Arizona. Avery, the kid out of the 2012 class that committed to the Cats last week, has only 2 points and 1 rebound total through 2 games in which his team is 1-1. Avery did not register anything in the first game, a 10 point win, and followed that up with 2 points and a board in a 24 point blowout loss to the D-One Sports AAU team.

John Wall (above), a UK target, plays for the D-One Sports team and finished with 12 points and 11 assists against Avery’s Belmont Shores team. Wall has firmly established himself as the #1 point guard in the nation and according to Jerry Meyer he is knocking on the door of the #1 overall player in the 2009 class. Meyer said of Wall “…the speedster is also staking a claim as the top overall player in the country. With a tight handle, blazing speed, top level court vision and uncanny body control around the rim…”. Wall lists UK, NC State, Oklahoma State, and Memphis as teams recruiting him among others.

– Another UK target that is playing well in the Arizona Cactus Classic (We’ll call it the ACC for now) is Michael Avery’s teammate Darius Morris (above), a player that has been in contact with Kentucky heavily over the past few weeks. Morris scored 20 points against the D-One Sports AAU club after having 14 points and 6 rebounds in his first game of the tournament. If he continues his hot play he could get some more national attention and UK will have to compete with a few more teams for his services.

Anthony Wroten Jr. (above), one of the top 5 freshmen (2011) in the country, is a flat out beast. UK is not recruiting this guy but they should get right on it. Wroten is out of Seattle, Washington and a scoring machine who can score in bunches, he is already 6’3″ 175 lbs. and is a left handed kid. In three games out in Arizona he has scored 15 points, 17 points, and 18 points respectively. He does everything on the court, he can shoot from three and can finish around the rim, he is long and athletic so he is a very good defender and athlete, and he is a very good passer for a kid who projects to be a small forward. If you did not know he was only a freshman in high school you would assume this kid was a junior or senior because of his ability and his confidence on the court. The only knock on Wroten’s game is that he does not give 100% effort all of the time and that can be fixed by any good coach. He has already been offered by Washington and lists Washington, Tennessee, Louisville, Memphis, and North Carolina among others in his top schools on Rivals.com

Here are a couple videos of Wroten in action during this past high school season (He wears #22):

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