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Las Vegas Final Wrap Up and The AAU Nationals In Orlando

My initial plan was to let the Las Vegas set of tournaments be my last before heading back to school. Great opportunities, for which I feel very blessed, just seem to be coming up left and right and now I am very excited to be able to tell you guys that I will be attending the AAU Nationals in Orlando this week. I haven’t had much to time to familiarize myself with the list of teams that will be there but a couple of names have already stuck out to me. I am really looking forward to speaking to Doron Lamb about upcoming visits and seeing how much has changed, if anything, since the last time I spoke with him. Jeremy Lamb is the latest player to claim an offer from Kentucky and I would like to find out more about where he stands. Finally, Adreian Payne just shaved his list down to five schools (Kansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona and Michigan State) and I would like to know how he decided on those five and where he is planning on going from here. Dayton was a school that many people thought might have a legit chance at landing their native son and I would like to know more about what his thought process was when trimming them from the list.

But before we get to all that, I’m going to clean out the recorder and checking through the scouting notes and put a little bow on the Las Vegas Trip. Here’s the Vegas final wrap up:

Wayne Blackshear

Scouting:  Wayne is a phenomenal athlete, has a great frame and good feel for the game. During a very heated battle with Team Takeover he showed incredible hops on a breakaway dunk.

Recruiting:  While I didn’t get the opportunity to speak to Wayne personally, Brett Blevins of HoopsReport.com told me that nothing has changed as far as his list goes, but Wayne does plan visits to Kansas and Kentucky in the future.

Mike Shaw

Scouting:  I’ve yet to have the opportunity to watch Shaw do anything but slash. While this may initially seem like a problem, his slashing is so effective that points wise it gets the job done. Mac Irvin Fire ran an out- of- bounds set with the in- bound pass that was an alley-oop for Shaw who fiercely slammed the ball home.  In the future I would like to have the opportunity to see more versatility out of Shaw’s game.  I’m not saying he doesn’t have it, I’m just saying I’ve yet to have the opportunity to see him attempt other facets of his game such as mid-range jumpers or post work.

Recruiting:   Shaw told me that he and Wayne Blackshear still plan on attending the same school on the college level.  Mike also said that Louisville is currently in the position of being in his top five, although he is unable to name specifically the other four schools.   While Louisville is in a good position, the reason may not be that they impressed Shaw that much.  Shaw explained that Louisville is in his top five by stating that “I know thats one of our top schools because we haven’t been to that many visits yet.”   Kentucky may eventually find themself in a similar position as Louisville; Shaw said that he plans on visiting many schools in the future, including Arizona and Kentucky, adding that Kentucky is “one of the top schools recruiting [Shaw and Blackshear] right now.”

Tony Wroten

Scouting:  Wroten seems to be a little streaky with his outside shot , but is very good in transition and a phenomenol athlete and leaper.  This game provided a limited viewing of Wroten, because his team pulled away early and Wroten essentially quit trying to score.  He showed that he does have a tremendous set of skills and should prove to be a very gifted scorer.

Recruiting:   Villanova, Louisville, and Virginia Tech were listed as schools coming pretty hard at Wroten, but he added that pretty much everyone on the list is making an impressive effort to gain his services.  Kentucky has offered Wroten and is coming pretty hard at this point, although Wroten added that their pursuit, along with everyone elses, is at the same high-level.  Wroten’s talent on the court promises to make him one of the top recruits in his class.  Nearly every top school in the nation is pursuing him and it may be important to note that his favorite school growing up was North Carolina.  Wroten plans on taking all five of his official visits before making his ultimate decision.

Josh Smith

Scouting: Smith picked up three quick early fouls and therefore was unable to play for most of the first half and some of the second half.  He has a huge body that he uses to push around defenders in the low post and if he catches the ball near the rim there is a pretty good chance that it ends up getting slammed home.  Most coaches would like to see Josh improve his conditioning before reaching the collegiate level as he has a few pounds of baby fat that needs to be shed.

Recruiting:   On the topic of Kentucky’s recruitment of Josh, he said that they are still near the top of his list and “they just got a lot of top recruits and Calapari is a great coach.”   Smith said that he plans on taking all five of his official visits before making his ultimate decision, but added that “I am unpredictable, so don’t believe that. I change my mind all the time.”  For instance, Smith says that he as been close twice to making a verbal commitment to UCLA and Washington.  Duke, Carolina, Georgetown and UConn were specific schools on the East coast that Josh said may get official visits so that he could allow those schools to foot the bill.  On whether or not UK may get an official visit from Josh, he said “there is a good chance, I am pretty sure that they will.”  At this point Smith does not hold an offer from the Wildcats.

Terrence Jones

Scouting: While I did not get to see Terrence’s game first hand, Roy Williams was on the sidelines watching Terrence score thirty plus points.  Through the grapevine I heard that Jones did so in a variety of ways, including many from fast breaks.

Recruitment: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Duke, UConn, Florida, Indiana, Arizona, Washington, and Washington State are some of the schools that Terrence listed on Friday.  He also added that Kentucky remained on the list and that he speaks mainly with Orlando “Coach O” Antigua.  Terrence was hearing from the previous Kentucky staff and when the coaching change occurred he described his feelings toward the switch by saying, “it was big. It really changed the whole program around.”  Jones currently does not have any unofficials scheduled, but in the past he has visited California, North Carolina, Oregon State, and Georgetown. Right now, I got the feeling that Jones is still looking around and that his decision may not necessarily be a quick one or in the near future.

Starting tomorrow, I will be covering the AAU Nationals in Orlando. Expect to see plenty of recruiting information coming soon and make sure that you are following all the tweets for the breaking news and whatever else I might find “tweet-worthy.” Hope you guys enjoy the coverage!


Article written by Dustin Rumbaugh

I enjoy basketball, Kentucky sports and extremely short walks on the beach, followed by a nap. Sorry ladies, I'm taken.