The end of August, during the weeks in between the end of the AAU season and school starting, is one of the most crucial periods in college basketball recruiting. Kids will narrow their lists, some will commit to schools and others will start to get an idea of who they have a mutual interest with. With that in mind, you’ll start to notice that over the next couple weeks, most of my posts will be centered around updates from kids that Kentucky is recruiting. These will come both from my personal conversations and other sources. I’m no Calipari, so I can’t be everywhere.
Today is no different. I had the opportunity to speak with Doron Lamb’s parents and Josh Selby’s mother and can now pass along a little update on where they stand and will also give a ton of other updates at the end of this post. First and foremost, I do want to say thank you to both parents for allowing me the opportunity to pick and pry into their high-school-aged son’s life and not calling the local authorities on me for suspected child endangerment. Now to the good stuff.
Doron has long been at the point in his recruitment where he speaks highly of Kentucky, but also says that he wants to visit Oklahoma and Kansas. His father, Calvin Lamb, said that those dates still aren’t set yet and the family is still in the mode of “waiting to see what happens.” Calvin noted that Doron still has all five of his official visits and may spend two of those on seeing Oklahoma and Kansas, while maybe even taking a second visit to Kentucky. Calvin believes that there is no reason why his son would hold out on his commitment into the spring period and thinks that he will probably sign a letter of intent this fall.
There has been plenty of speculation that the reason for putting off the visit was due to the fact that Doron was secretly leaning towards Kentucky. While his father doesn’t believe that he has any such leanings, he would say that “Kentucky is one of his favorites,” and that his son “really likes Kentucky.” The main job for any parent is to make sure that they guide their child into the best decision and that is a point that isn’t lost on Calvin who said, “I just want to put my son in the best position possible.”
Another hot topic amongst basketball writers was Doron’s comments on seeing himself playing the point guard position at the next level. His father agreed that his son could play the point guard position and added, “he’s labeled a shooting guard because of his scoring ability but I would say he’s probably the best combo guard in the country.” I think it would be hard for anyone to argue that point. Doron has played superbly all summer. Also important to note is Calipari’s recent comments about possible running three point guards at the same time, which would seem to mesh very well with the Doron’s wishes.
Another name that has become quite hot in Kentucky since his de-commitment from Tennessee is 6-2 combo guard Josh Selby. His mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, helped iron out exactly where they find themselves in the recruiting process at this point. While a school list has not been formulated, the Selby’s are “right now in the process of trying to schedule some in-home visits and then go and do some unofficial and official visits.” One visit that became public during Josh’s trip to Oregon, where he earned a gold medal in the Nike Global Challenge, was an unofficial that he has planned for UConn, which Witherspoon said would take place this Thursday, as opposed to the Wednesday date that was initially reported. On other possibilities for unofficial visits, Witherspoon said, “We are trying to get something set up with Kentucky and we are trying to get something set up with Kansas, as well.”
At this point there have not been any formal scholarship offers given to Selby, but those will be expected after visits and longer talks with coaches. Since he reopened his recruitment, Kentucky has been one of his rumored leaders. While Witherspoon maintains that all schools are equal, she did describe Josh’s feelings toward Kentucky by saying, “I don’t want to say one of his favorites because I don’t want to alienate other schools but I will say that Kentucky is a strong possibility. They are one of the schools we are considering and, as I’ve said before, if you look at John Calipari’s record and his success rate with point guards, for us not to consider Kentucky would be ludicrous.”
On the feeling of interest from Kentucky’s side of things, Witherspoon said, “There is mutual interest. We understand that it is a recruiting process and Josh is not the only kid that they are recruiting. We’re kind of behind the eight ball with us being committed to Tennessee for so long and a lot of these coaches spending their recruiting time and dollars on other point guards. Our thing is that the right school for Josh will still be there when he is ready to commit again.”
Other recruiting notes:
– Kyrie Irving tells Dave Telep of Scout.com that he noticed the amount of face time that the coaches of IU and Duke put in during the July period and that both schools will definitely be getting an official visit from him. He does plan on taking all five of his official visits and noted that other coaches didn’t have the “luxury” of being able to get to all of his games.
– As has been highly reported, Rakeem Christmas trimmed his tree down to eight schools. Other than making a horrible pun, I also wanted to say that I am highly shocked by this development and expected UK to be in it until the end. He plays with Michael Gilchrist on the AAU squad Team Final and has long been considered a UK lean. His Aunt, Amira Hamid, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that, despite a good relationship with Coach Calipari, it was more about style of play. I think this may be a trend we will have to get used to, with big men that want a lot of post time and slowed tempo shying away from Calipari’s offense. I wouldn’t sweat it though, UK will find lengthy athletes that want to play in their up tempo setting, although I considered Rakeem to be a great candidate for doing just that.
– Also reported was Joe Jackson‘s cutting of his list to Tennessee, Memphis and Kansas. He is considered a Memphis lean and I consider his cutting of UK based on the fact that UK didn’t offer a scholarship. UT, Memphis and Kansas have, along with Ohio State, who was most likely dropped after signing two point guards for their 2010 class.
– Kentucky has offered a scholarship to Terrence Jones. When I spoke to him during the tournaments in Vegas he expressed interest in many different schools and UNC was one of them. Roy Williams sat on the sidelines to watch one of his games in Vegas. All kinds of Pac-10 schools are also interested in Jones but he has told me again and again, throughout the summer, that moving out East wouldn’t be a problem if that’s where the right school is. It’ll be interesting to see if UK receives a visit from the self-described point-forward.
– Keala King tells Greg Hicks of Scout.com that he may hold off his decision, which he has previously said may occur at the end of August. He’s not sure on an exact time frame. King also named Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford and Harvard as his favorites, omitting previously included Kentucky from the list. Those four plus one more should get official visits from King.
– Scout.com also reported that 2010 PG Cory Joseph made an unofficial visit to Minnesota on Monday, which may eventually make for an early clashing of Calipari and Tubby Smith. Joseph’s brother Devoe currently plays for the Tubster. Harrison Barnes also provides that opportunity but, with Joseph, UK’s interest has not yet peaked and he seems to be stuck behind a few others on UK’s point guard wish list. Don’t expect too much clashing on either battleground.
– BurntOrangeBeat.com got the scoop that Jeremy Lamb is getting close to making an official list. The New Haven Register also reported that Lamb will be taking an official visit to UConn this weekend. Kentucky and UConn both extended offers to Lamb after his break out performance at this year’s Peach Jam.
– In somewhat UK related news, there’s a couple of really nice interviews done by Box of M.E.S.S. One has Will Barton mentioning John Calipari, and another features Sebastian Telfair’s little brother.
– And finally, James McAdoo, a 2011 PF prospect for the Cats, will be taking another visit to North Carolina, reports InsideCarolina.com. Duke and Clemson are also on his list to get visits.
– Couple of other notes. I changed my twitter user name and that changed my twitter location. Don’t really know if that matters, but its here now. I also wanted to extend a warm welcome to Drew Franklin, who will be joining the KSR team. I’m a ridiculously huge fan of the Horace Grant Halftime Report and being able to read his posts, before he posts them, on a daily basis will be a huge incentive for me to stick around now that Beisner and Fake Gimel have bored me.