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Narrowing the Focus on UK’s 2010 Recruiting, Part II: Small Forwards

Now that the July evaluation period is over, we can start to narrow the focus on some of the recruits that UK is most serious about getting commitments from. The quickest way to do so is to look at those that CLAIM to have been offered and then, from those, look at who they are making the most “face-time” appearances with. Of those that have not been offered, it is a good indicator to look at how they feel about the school, for example listing them in their top schools or listing them in their “final” lists, and you can get a better feel for how likely they would be to commit if they were offered. For ease of conveyance, I’ll place each player who claims an offer from UK into groups based on the traditional position they are most categorized in, although this may not be where they would play if they were to make it onto UK’s 2010 roster.

We’ll go through this in three different parts. First, its the guards, then the small forwards and, finally, the big men.

Small Forwards

Harrison Barnes: If this guy isn’t a complete player, he’s pretty darn close. The things that most often come to mind when I think about Harrison are smart, efficient and a deadly first step. Duke is probably the leader and Kansas is probably following behind them, although pretty far back. He continues to say that UK is still involved, as well as other schools, but until I see him on campus, I’m not biting. If UK were to pull him away from others, then coaching staff deserves a shrine. His injury also hurt with the “face-time” analysis, but I’d say its safe to say he tops everyone’s wish list but is probably Duke’s to lose. Education is a big factor and he wants to find a good business school. Other schools involved: Duke, Kansas, UNC, Stanford, UCLA, Minnesota…

Roscoe Smith: Roscoe has a lot of athleticism and uses it to beat his man off the dribble. He likes to use the pull the jumper off the bounce, especially mid-range, but his major problem is shot selection. When taking smart shots, and hitting them, he can make a big impact on the offensive end. Roscoe’s recruitment is hard to pin down. Players with Roscoe’s skill set tend to like Calipari’s offense but the rumors of his favorites sometimes don’t include Kentucky. The “face time” game is also hard to play because he played with Josh Selby in Vegas and, thus, drew a big crowd. It is important to note that Maryland and Duke made big showings at his games, even though they haven’t been mentioned in the Selby recruitment. He took an unofficial visit to Georgetown’s campus. Other schools involved: Maryland, Duke, Florida, UConn, Georgetown…

Cameron Clark: Clark practices the near dead art of the mid-range game and that is where he is best. He can also slash but is most efficient when he works the one dribble pull up. Clark also likes to attack the glass on both ends. He has a long list of schools that have offered and he hasn’t narrowed it down yet, although late August is the target date. He plans unofficial visits to UK and Arizona State and also plans to take all of his official visits before deciding. UK’s assistants showed their faces a little at Clark’s games in Orlando but Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel definitely put in the most work. Clark told me that Oklahoma is definitely making a strong push. Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Kansas have also been mentioned as making big time efforts. Other schools involved: Arizona, Arizona State, Texas, UCLA…

Stacey Poole: I’m not quite sure if Stacey would fit better here or in the shooting guard position. While he doesn’t blow by defenders, he has the ability to put his defender on his hip and ride him to the bucket. Stacey scores the most by getting layups in transition. While not a knock down shooter, he can heat up and does have some range. Stacey says he is down to his top 5 schools, which are Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Clemson and UConn, although he also gives a little love to South Carolina, who he says, “has been there since the beginning.” Stacey claims offers from all those schools and plans on making his decision in late August, most likely the last week of August. Stacey really blew up at the NBA camp and Kentucky got involved a little after. He has visited Florida, Clemson and South Carolina, and plans on making visits to UConn, Kentucky and Indiana. Stacey ranking UK in his top 5 should show you that he has some pretty high interest in the Cats. UK didn’t overwhelm Stacey with the face time but did make an appearance. Tom Crean and Billy Donovan were also checking in on his games.

Keala King: King is good at creating off the dribble but is exceptional with his passing. He likes to back a player down into the post and make quick passes under the basket to a flashing big man. His shot needs a little work and I think I would like to categorize him as a player that, although not in the tip top at his position, is someone that Calipari would love the opportunity to develop. When I asked him at the LeBron Camp which schools were in his favorites, he immediately listed, “Stanford, Kentucky and Arizona.” I was not able to attend an event with Keala during the evaluation period but the offer and the listing of UK in his favorites pretty much speaks for itself. Keala is one to keep an eye on too, as he plans on making a commitment “after this summer.” Other schools involved: the entire Pac-10 and UConn, although UConn has not yet offered.

UK’s keeping an eye on these guys, but has yet to officially offer: Jelan Kendrick (Received major face time in Vegas, but also important to note that he plays with Joe Jackson and Tarik Black as well), Casey Prather (UK made final 7 and also got in some face time in Vegas), Mychal Parker (lists in top 5), Justin Martin, Shane Southwell (speaks glowingly of UK) and Rod Odom.

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.