The UK staff obviously went into the July evaluation with an eye out for a versatile forward. With Adreian Payne and CJ Leslie offered to fill the lengthy athletic forward position, Terrence Jones and Tobias Harris must be the type A options that Calipari will use to fill their need for versatility in the forward ranks.
The last time I had spoken with Terrence was at the NBA Top 100 camp, where he said Coach Orlando Antigua had been in contact with him and that the staff was planning on watching Terrence more closely during the July period with an offer following if they liked what they saw. Its now apparent that the staff was pleased with an offer now extended. Terrence described how he received the news by saying, “Coach O called me and offered about two weeks ago,” he continued, “after the July period.”
Kentucky isn’t the only school who has noticed Terrence’s skills on the court, as he has reportedly been offered by the likes of North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA, Indiana, Texas, Florida and Maryland. If you’re pushing in pins on the map, then you’ve noticed that those offers pretty much allow the Oregonian to throw a dart at said map and he’s probably got a big time offer nearby. Terrence, though, has told me each time I’ve nagged him with the question that distance will not be a factor and wherever he finds the right fit is where he’ll go.
His plan is to wait until the weekend following his participation in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game in New York and then sit down with his mother and cut the list for official visits. At the NBA Camp, Terrence listed the factors that he would consider when deciding on which schools to visit as follows: whether he can trust the staff, the staffs ability to get players to the NBA, whether he likes the school itself, and whether he has good chemistry with the players already there.
Where exactly Kentucky falls on his list is still a mystery, but he didn’t have a problem describing what he liked about the school, saying, “Having a big time coach, like Coach Cal, is always an advantage over other schools. Getting the class they got in 2009 is special, and just the history they have is special.”
For Kentucky fans just jumping on the Terrence bandwagon now that an offer has been extended, here’s how the 6-7 combo forward describes what you might see from him if he hits the floor in Rupp: “A wing forward that is just a playmaker. Scoring the ball, passing the ball. A rebounder that likes to push it.” If that description reminds you of how another famous playmaker would be described, its no coincidence. Terrence likes to model his game after Magic Johnson and, after the past few seasons in Lexington, a little magic is exactly what Rupp Arena needs.
ESPN Rise sent out an email today informing everyone of the coaches and judges for the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game, which will take place on Aug. 21st in Harlem’s Rucker Park. Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans will be helping out by coaching and Wilson Chandler will be judging the dunk contest. With Kentucky targets such as CJ Leslie, Doron Lamb, Kyrie Irving, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Tony Wroten, Tobias Harris and Perry Ellis suiting up for the game, having two top NBA players with Kentucky connections mentoring the recruits has to be an advantage for Calipari. Tyreke, of course, played and reached lottery pick status under Calipari’s tutelage and Rondo, aside from obvious UK connections, has been sort of a “fantasy” for Calipari, who tweeted out his wishes for coaching the point guard during Rondo’s Boston Celtic’s NBA playoff run. Believe me, our recruiting whiz of a head coach knows about this opportunity and if Rondo and Tyreke haven’t been given orders yet, they will receive them shortly.
Probably one of the most understated advantages of Calipari’s recruiting tactics, for fans at least, is the visibility and national exposure that those type of recruits receive. As I said before, the game will be actually played on August 21st but a tape-delayed version will be shown on August 22nd at 7pm E.T. on ESPNU. This should provide a great opportunity for UK fans to get a sneak peek at what the future could hold.
Other recruiting notes:
– Adam Zagoria, of Zag’s Blog and other sports writing fame, will be at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game so you can check on his site to get updates from the game before they are actually aired. That is, of course, unless you don’t want the viewing to be spoiled. If that’s the case, then mark you calendar with “Don’t Visit Zag’s Blog” on Aug. 21st or early on the 22nd.
– Josh Selby spent Thursday in Storrs, CT taking a closer look at the situation at UConn. His mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, also told us that visits to Kansas and Kentucky are in the works, as well as a few in-home visits for the month of September. Despite a couple of articles that I’ve come across to the contrary, Witherspoon also has repeatedly said that a decision will not come until the spring and they don’t plan on rushing things this time. Last time around, Selby said that only two schools were given serious consideration, those being Louisville and his eventual school of choice, Tennessee.
-Stacey Poole tells the Clemson version of Scout.com that he had a visit planned for Kentucky in the next couple weeks but that a scheduling conflict is forcing him to reschedule. Poole also mentions that Clemson, South Carolina, Kentucky and Oklahoma are amongst his favorites. His comments about his originally scheduled visit to UK in “a couple of weeks” brings up the fact that UK’s staff may have been planning quite a party on campus at the end of August. CJ Leslie and Marquis Teague will most likely be in town the weekend of the 21st-23rd and its possible, depending on when the actual interview took place, that Stacey Poole may have been another invite for that weekend. Regardless of the actual dates, the point is that UK’s staff is planning to have a lot of top recruits on campus in the coming weeks.
– With that in mind, here’s a nice read on CJ Leslie and what he did this summer.
– Scout.com’s Dave Telep reports that Dwight Powell has cut his list to three schools and did not include UK. UK had some mild interest in Dwight during the July evaluation period but it seems that they’ve found all the forwards that they are willing to offer at this time.
– One of Mychal Parker’s high school assistant coaches told NBE Basketball that Parker’s top five includes Maryland, Wake Forest, Miami, Auburn and Arkansas. Parker had previously named UK amongst his favorites but it seems that may no longer be the case. There was a period in which the interest in Parker climaxed for the staff, and Parker said he might visit, but an offer was never extended and it seems that both parties may have moved on.
– Testudo Times is very excited about breaking the news that Tobias Harris will be receiving an in-home visit from Maryland’s Gary Williams. The visit, according to an anonymous source, is supposed to take place in September. But hey…isn’t Tobias supposed to be cutting his list at the end of August, after the Boost Mobile event? Testudo Times goes over the possible meanings of this, and since I love the way that they are so excited about breaking the news, I’ll just let you read it there.
– Tarik Black’s mother, Judith, said via email yesterday that her son is still in the process of receiving new interest from schools they had not yet heard of. Tarik will work on narrowing his list down in the future but doesn’t seem to be close to a narrowing at this point in time. Tarik is also looking at possibly majoring in Sports Medicine and that, along with how he will fit in with the university both on and off the court, will help aid the family through their decision making process.
– A source tells Zag’s blog that Kyrie Irving’s choices will come down to IU and Duke. While that isn’t really surprising, what is mildly surprising is that the source says that Harrison Barnes is actively recruiting Irving to join him at Duke. While Duke is usually named as Barnes’ leader, and it has been said that Barnes and Irving have talked about going to Duke together, Barnes’ starting to actively recruit for the Duke could just about spell the end for the other schools on Barnes’ list.
– Finally, my apologies to the entire city of Memphis for accidentally writing that Joe Jackson was a Kansas lean in my last post. I just want to set the record straight by saying that I have no reason for believing that and I completely meant to write that Joe was thought to be a Memphis lean. I received a ridiculous amount of texts about this blunder and, being out with my family, I had no way to see what was going on. So texts that read, “Where in the hell did you ever hear that JJ was a Kansas lean,” or “Elvis Hates You,” were completely lost on me. But I did enjoy receiving a reply, after I wrote that I was listening to the radio in Louisville, that said “You shouldn’t tweet while driving while listening to Louisville radio.” My response, which is incredibly believeable if you know Southern Indiana, is that I was stuck in construction traffic. Hopefully I won’t make either of the same mistakes again…