As you read this, I am probably touching down in Charlottesville, VA, giggling like a little school girl all the way through the terminal. Charlottesville is, of course, the home of this year’s NBA Top 100 Camp. It takes place on the campus of the University of Virginia and was set up by scouting guru Dave Telep. Dave sent this twitter message earlier today, which really puts the skill level and excitement surrounding this tournament in a nutshell:
Barnes vs Gilchrist; Irving vs Knight; Thompson vs Sullinger; Bullock vs Barton; Leslie vs Ferguson. This is THE NBA Camp! Enjoy the updates
Here’s the list of players attending the Camp that find themselves on UK’s recruiting radar:
Harrison Barnes, Wayne Blackshear, Rakeem Christmas, Cameron Clark, Luke Cothron, Dominique Ferguson, Michael Gilchrist, Kyrie Irving, Joe Jackson, Terrence Jones, Jelan Kendrick, Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb, CJ Leslie, Ray McCallum, Fab Melo, Mychal Parker, Adreian Payne, Stacey Poole, LaQuinton Ross and Roscoe Smith.
I will also be following Casey Prather, Phil Pressey, Tarik Black and Trae Golden, who have found themselves lost in the mix with the coaching shuffles. We’ll definitely know after this weekend where all the major recruits stand with UK. The amount of information that I’ll compile from this camp will lead to recruiting and scouting summaries continuing into next week. On Friday, I’ll continue the UK Recruiting Notebook profiles, hopefully with a little NBA camp information thrown into the mix. Also, make sure that you follow me on twitter over the next few days for immediate updates from the camp.
For those of you who unfortunately find yourselves in the Louisville area this weekend, there is a bright spot as you will be able to attend the Derek Smith Shootout, which features a lot of the talent from Kentucky and the surrounding areas. It’ll be a great chance for UK fans to get your first look at Lexington Catholic and their sophomore-to-be Jaylen Beckham, who I’ve talked about a few times during the past couple of weeks. He has a ton of raw talent, which has caught the eye of Calipari’s staff and led them to contact the rising young point guard prospect. Make sure you get out to the Hoops Complex and show Beckham and the rest of the young prospects some UK love. You can find more information about the Shootout here.
All in all, it should be a great weekend for basketball and should provide a wealth of information about where UK recruiting is headed in the near future. The 2010 class will be, quite possibly, the most pivotal moment in Calipari’s young career as UK’s head coach, with many top contributors graduating or, most likely, leaving early for the NBA. The Top 100 Camp will feature almost every UK target for the class of 2010 and, if Calipari is highly successful at doing what he does best, most players from the final completed version of the 2010 UK recruiting class will be in attendance this weekend. Michael Gilchrist, Rakeem Christmas, Wayne Blackshear and LaQuinton Ross are future top UK targets from the 2011 class that will pit their skills against upperclassmen in Charlottesville. Taken together, these 2010 and 2011 targets will provide the foundation for any future championship caliber teams that Calipari puts on the floor in Rupp Arena and, hopefully, in many different final four sites across the nation.
Excited yet? I know I am. It is a great time to be a UK fan and the fact that so many of the nation’s top NBA prospects list UK as a possible place for them to play out their collegiate careers is a testament to the job that Calipari has already done in the short time that he has taken control of the program. We have come a long way Coach, from our days talking about UK’s history over greasy plates of hashbrowns and waffles, while dreaming of the heights the UK program could potentially reach under a coach of your caliber’s tutelage. Keep it up Uncle John.
Other recruiting notes:
– Roscoe Smith told Dan Painter of TerrapinTimes.com that he is close to figuring out where he is going to high school next year. His former school, Walbrook High, is closing. After that, he plans on focusing more on his college recruitment.
– Kyrie Irving confirmed via twitter that the man “decked out in IU gear” at this past weekend’s AAU tournament in New York was his uncle. Irving also reiterated, though, that he is still not committed to any school. Keep dreamin’ Blue Devils.