Over the past several months, we’ve heard on numerous occasions that John Calipari is interested in a dynamic 2019 frontcourt pairing featuring both Vernon Carey Jr. and James Wiseman, two top-three prospects in the class.
More specifically, he noticed just how well the Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins frontcourt duo worked in New Orleans last year, and he wants to emulate that next season at Kentucky. Wiseman plays a very similar style to Davis, while Carey has drawn comparisons to Cousins for years. Bada-bing, bada-boom.
Both elite big men have mentioned being interested in that potential scenario on several occasions in the past, though they each reiterated they would make the best decisions for themselves.
Yesterday, however, Carey added gasoline to the flame yet again by saying he would not only mind playing with another elite big man, he welcomes it.
In an interview with Jason Jordan of USA Today, Carey said he is extremely interested in playing with both Wiseman and Kentucky target Isaiah Stewart.
“I think it would be great,” said Carey. “I feel like I have the type of game that can play with anyone. So, yeah, I’d love it.”
Carey said he watched how well Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter played together in the frontcourt at Duke last year, and he’s excited to see Kentucky’s ridiculous big men depth with Reid Travis, PJ Washington, EJ Montgomery, and Nick Richards this season. If that’s the recipe for a national title, that’s what he’s going to do.
“Some schools are selling me on playing with another elite big and some are focusing on me,” Carey said. “I think it’s more attractive to play with another big, actually. I think it would help both of us. I want to win and whatever gives us the best chance to do that is what I want to do.”
So what about Kentucky, in particular?
In an interview with Corey Evans of Rivals.com, Carey said the one-and-done aspect is intriguing, and Kentucky commitments Kahlil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey are pushing hard for the elite big man to join them in Lexington.
“Coach Cal (John Calipari) has just said that he really wants to coach me and that I can be a go-to guy and a one-and-done there. He has just been saying that Kentucky would be the best place for me.
“I have been talking to Kahlil (Whitney) and Tyrese (Maxey) about Kentucky; we are all going their next weekend for Big Blue Madness, along with RJ (Hampton), I think,” said Carey. “They are just saying that they have some of the best crowds in college basketball and Coach Cal and Coach (Kenny) Payne, along with the other assistants, they are all a good, collective group. Coach Cal has compared me to DeMarcus (Cousins) and Anthony Davis.”
Carey has four official visits scheduled in the next four weeks, with Kentucky coming first (October 12), followed by Duke (October 19), Miami (October 26), and UNC (November 3). After those visits, it’s decision time.
“After I take my officials, I’ll probably get my decision over with,” Carey told USA Today. “I should know by then. My goal is to sign during the Early Signing Period. If it’s with another big, I think that’s great, but either way, it’ll be what I feel is the best situation for me.”