Each day in Akron, after a couple hours of drills and instructions for the athletes, the Nike media area would fill up with kids that had been requested by the media for interviews. And each day in Akron, during both of the two media sessions for each day, I would see Doron Lamb walking across the media area. Funny thing is, Doron Lamb wasn’t always on the media request board. Doron was simply traveling up to the media area and filling his backpack with food and drinks from the media table, presumably for snacks later that night. No harm done, most of the kids took a trip to the snack table during their interviews, but Doron was the only one I saw who would run the risk of having to do media interviews when he wasn’t otherwise requested, all for a couple of miniature-sized snacks.
Maybe his lifestyle in Mouth of Wilson, VA, where he attends Oak Hill Academy, and is constantly away from his family and home, has a little something to do with his survival techniques. “It was hard for me to leave my mom and dad. Mouth of Wilson is far and there’s like no stores or anything,” Doron said. Living far from home is something that he also feels with help in his eventual transition to college. There is another Oak Hill quality that may not have to change when he travels to the eventual university of his choice. Doron explained, “This year we played Coach Calipari’s system. Drive and penetrate.” On whether playing in a similar system in college would play a role in his decision, Doron said, “Yeah, I’m looking for the fast-paced game.”
Doron’s relationship with UK’s assistant coaches is built on the common ground of New York roots and an Oak Hill connection in Rod Strickland. During his visit, he also felt the love from UK’s head man, saying specifically, “Coach Calipari was cool. He told me my game would fit the system and we would be good with me in that system.” In the past, Doron has said that early playing time and room on the roster for him to play right away would be a factor in his eventual decision and that was also a topic that he discussed with Coach Calipari. “He told me I would play right away. He didn’t say I would start. He said I would have to earn my starting spot but I have confidence in my game so I think I will start,” he explained.
One of the things that stood out to Doron about his visit to Lexington were the fans. “The fans are crazy out there and everybody knew me,” he said with a laugh. Fans at two other schools are going to have to be on the lookout for Mr. Lamb as well, as he does plan on visiting Oklahoma and Kansas in the future. He talked a bit about both of those schools, saying this about Kansas: “Russ Robinson went there, he’s from New York. He told me a lot about Kansas’ basketball program. I just want to go out there and see it for myself.” Doron also has a lot respect for the coaching staff at Kansas and talked about how the offensive scheme would allow him to come off screens and knock down shots. Speaking about his interest in Oklahoma he said, “Blake Griffin. #1 Pick. They make pros and you can see that. My man Tiny [Gallon], he was at Oak Hill and he’s going there and he’s a great friend. I would [get to] play with him in college but I got to go there and see if my game fits in their system.”
Doron figures to make his college decision somewhere between the middle to the end of his high school basketball season. If that decision has Doron headed to the bluegrass, expect a post from Matt sometime in the future where he wonders aloud, “What’s with the shortage of chips and drinks in the media room at Rupp lately?”
Other recruiting notes:
– Jeremiah Davis has received a great deal of praise for his play lately, including what his play during this past weekends Kentucky Hoopfest. As Matt hinted towards in his Sunday post, the problem with predicting UK’s class of 2011 targets lies in the still unknown scholarship situation for that year, which will probably remain unknown for quite some time. If Patrick Patterson sticks around until his senior year, the Cats will have two scholarships to use for the 2011 class, unless Cal holds over some from 2010. If he doesn’t, the only senior graduating will be Josh Harrelson, whose spot is likely reserved for top target Michael Gilchrist. The possibility of a low number of available spots and the high number of top recruits that UK is pursuing makes the 2011 class one that UK will have to be highly selective in and very wary of who they offer. Just something to remember when thinking ahead to 2011.
– Cameron Clark is really playing well lately and received rave reviews for his performance in the Peach Jam on Monday. Dave Telep reported from the King City event that Oklahoma, Kentucky and Kansas were currently his hardest pursuers and that his relationship with the coaching staff at Oklahoma was a very strong one. With his great play and the fact that UK coaches have been keeping a close eye on him in July, Clark looks to be one that Cats are going to make a strong run at.
– Darryl Hicks is getting a lot of good pub lately, most coming from the C-J’s Jody Demling. Hicks’ physique and smooth jumper really impressed me during the game I watched. That matchup was taken in by an Ohio State and a Xavier assistant. (Did you just read that as Zah-vee-ay or Zay-vee-uhr? Be honest.) Demling adds that he also spotted Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa coaches watching Hicks throught the weekend. If Hicks progresses as he should, he could be really special in a few years. Demling even goes as far as to say “If he keeps working hard and grows a little, Hicks will be one of the most recruited players from this area in the past decade or so.”
– If you missed this Zag’s blog post from the weekend, you should take a look. First he tells us that UK assistants Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland took in a Kyrie Irving game on Saturday. Irving left the King City Classic in Cleveland early so that he could play in this Reebok event. Also watching Kyrie’s game were coaches from Georgia Tech, Indiana, Duke, Seton Hall, Villanova, Rutgers, Texas A&M and Virginia. Irving may still be a serious target for the Cats coaching staff but Brandon Knight remains their top point guard and, as we’ve told you before, the word is that the Cats are in pretty good with Knight at this point.
– In the same article, Zag speaks to 2012’s massive human DaJuan Coleman. Coleman showed a nice set of skills during the LeBron camp and continued to play well in his games at the King City classic. He admitted that his favorite school right now is Syracuse but that UConn, Ohio State, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and “a couple more” were on his early list. According to Coleman, his doctor predicts he will grow from his current height of 6-8 to 7 foot even by the time all is said and done.
– 2011 forward Quincy Miller spoke to a few different reporters in Cleveland and said that he will visit Louisville soon. He also said that he would likely visit UK around the same time so that’s something to keep an eye on in terms of future visits.
– Rakeem Christmas is getting some good reviews from scouts at the Peach Jam, including Scout.com’s Eric Bossi. He has a frame that should be easy to pack some muscle onto. Rak is already a defensive monster who utilizes his long wingspan very well. When his offensive game catches up and he polishes it to a shine, he’s going to a major major force. He is another one that UK would like to have an available scholarship for in 2011. Bill Self was taking a look at the 2011 prospect on Monday and this just in, Calipari and Self are going to tangle A LOT in the future.
– With the constant traveling this summer and Vegas right around the corner, I’m using the week to spend some scheduled quality time with my family who I’ve rarely been able to see over the past year. Don’t worry, even though the “out of office” sign is up, I’ll still be here at my regularly scheduled times. I’ll have updates from the UK recruits playing at the Peach Jam event and also a post for Wednesday on some “package deal” players that are on UK’s wish list.