The summer recruiting season is wrapping up in the very near future, and I think we now have a good idea of who Kentucky is pursuing in the Class of 2012. Seth Davis spent some time at the Peach Jam and the tournament in Las Vegas and put up a profile on 13 of the more intriguing prospects. He lists Kentucky with 3 of them, but there are a couple other guys who we know the Kentucky coaches are at least looking at. Here are Davis’ profile on those particular guys:
Brandon Ashley, 6-9 forward, Oakland, Calif. I was surprised to see Ashley listed at this height, because he seems taller to me. I liked his game last summer, and he has really expanded his repertoire since then. Ashley does great work around the rim, but he now has a jump shot that extends to 18 feet. Even so, he does not roam around the perimeter excessively like a lot of big high school kids these days. Ashley is transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada for his senior season and his list of seven finalists includes UCLA, Arizona and Kentucky.
DaJuan Coleman, 6-8 forward, Dewitt, N.Y. Coleman’s weight is listed at 280 pounds, so that should give you a sense of how he’s built. He is a below-the-rim post player with excellent footwork, putting him in the mold of Jared Sullinger or Sean May. Even though he’s ranked pretty high, Coleman strikes me as the kind of player who has limited potential as a professional but could be effective in college. Kentucky and Ohio State are on him hard, but Syracuse has the homecourt advantage on this one. It also doesn’t hurt that the son of Coleman’s summer coach with the Albany City Rocks is a walk-on guard at Syracuse.
Ricardo Ledo, 6-5 guard, Fitchburg, Mass. Ledo has great size for a two-guard and he makes nice plays from the wing, but he has more red flags on his profile than any other top prospect. Ledo committed to Providence in early January and then de-committed three weeks later, well before the school fired coach Keno Davis. This fall he will be attending his fourth high school in four years. Ledo lists Kentucky as one of his top choices, but I have a feeling he’s more interested in UK than UK is interested in him. Ed Cooley, the new coach at Providence, is recruiting Ledo hard, but Cooley may not feel like he has no choice because Ledo lives a few miles from PC’s campus. I hope it works out for the kid, but let the buyer beware.
And a couple guys that we have heard of but Davis does not list Kentucky as a major player in their recruitment:
Kaleb Tarczewski, 7-foot center, Southborough, Mass. For the over-40 set, Tarczewski reminded me of Eric Montross. For the younguns among you, think of him as a more mobile Cole Aldrich. In other words, he’s big, he’s white, and he cuts his hair real short. He can also score over both shoulders and loves to play with his back to the basket (which is rare these days). Once again, though, he’s a big man playing summer basketball so his teammates rarely get him the ball. Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona are the big three giving chase.
Shabazz Muhammad, 6-6 forward, Las Vegas. Is it damning Muhammad with faint praise to say that the best part about him is his intangibles? Perhaps. Muhammad is a crafty lefty wing player, and while he isn’t a great three-point shooter, he has a terrific midrange floater than he can get off anytime he wants. But what he does best is attack, attack, attack. Muhammad is a classic example of someone who is a great scorer more than a great shooter. He really brings his A game every time he steps on the floor, which is really rare in summer ball. Muhammad was nursing a badly sprained ankle in Vegas, but he sucked up the pain and brought his Dream Vision team to the championship game. UCLA is the team to beat here, but Dave Rice, the newly hired coach at UNLV, is making a strong push to try to convince Muhammad to stay home.