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Time to Get to Know the 2014 Prospects Vol. 4: Leron Black

It’s almost that time of year when the next batch of high profile John Calipari recruits become household names. As the AAU summer circuit heats up, a few new names will start to pop on the radar for Kentucky other than the 5-6 we’ve been hearing about for months now. One of those new names on the radar is Leron Black.  Let’s take a moment to get to know Leron Black a little bit better, shall we?

LERON BLACK

Vital Signs:

Power Forward

Memphis, Tennessee

6’7″, 215 lbs.

Rivals:  22

ESPN:  36

Scout:  26

247:  35

 

(Chart via 247 Sports)

 

“THE LIST”: Baylor, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, N.C. State, Ohio State, Tennessee, UCLA, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville, Memphis, Kansas, Missouri, Vanderbilt

“Buzz”: Leron Black originally gave a verbal commitment to Baylor, but has since backed off an re-opened his recruitment. Since re-opening his recruitment, some of the bigger names have started to come knocking, including Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana. Black told the Courier-Journal recently that he likes Indiana a lot, “I like them a lot, and I like the way they play. I watched them a lot this year. I loved watching them play this year. I had them winning it all, but you know how that goes. I love the coaching staff over there.”

 

Strengths:

– Versatile combo forward

– Rebounding

– Works baseline to baseline and grabs everything

– Good finisher in transition

Weaknesses:

– Shot is improving, but mechanics aren’t great

– Inconsistent

– Ball handling

 

What They’re Saying About Leron:

Eric Bossi: “Known as one of the toughest players in the class of 2014.”

“He’s a jack of many trades. When he first came onto the scene it was his rebounding that stood out. He gets any rebound in or outside of his area. He’s improved his ball handling. He started off the spring a little less than full strength, but he’s started to come on of late and is playing like a 5-star prospect.”

InsideTheHall.com: “He’s been a high energy guy that can score the ball in multiple ways. His mid-range game is becoming a strength at 6-7 he can still step out to the 3-point line and knock down shots. He still seems to be at his best when he’s operating in the paint and using his upper body strength and athleticism to finish through contact at the rim.”

 

What Leron is saying:

Black on his recruitment with Indiana: “We’ve been talking every day. I like the coaching staff, I like the program they’ve got. He’s a nice guy (Crean). I’m big on my faith. I can talk to him about my faith all the time, and I love that. He’s a nice person.”

“I love all the schools that are talking to me. I’m big on my faith, so they’re talking to me about my faith and trying to get me to have a good feeling with the coaches.”

Black will not take his visits until the fall, and he hasn’t decided which schools he wants to take a closer look at just yet. “I’m still taking my time, letting the recruiting process take place.”

Black to the Memphis Commercial Appeal: “What I’m really gonna look at is, I’m gonna compare campuses and I’m just gonna see how the coaches are. I wanna be at a school where the coaches are Christians like myself. It’s been a good learning experience. I’ve just been thinking about it for a while. I just need to compare.

 

Former Calipari Player Comparison:

Think of the Patrick Patterson toward the end of his time at Kentucky. Patterson was always comfortable with his back to the basket, using the strength in his frame to finish– but ended up developing a mid-range game and becoming more of a combo forward.

 

Reasons to think Kentucky has a good chance:

– Kentucky came on to the scene a little bit late with Black, but Black seems to be intrigued at the new level of interest.

– Calipari can point to other big men in a similar position ranking wise (Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee) who he will potentially develop into first round draft picks.

– Black talks a lot about wanting to have a good solid relationship and level of comfort with his college coach. We’ve heard Cal recruits lately talking about how Calipari talks to them about more than just basketball, including discussions about self-improvement and being the type of person who “gives back.” This type of recruiting strategy seems right up Leron Black’s alley.

– If he’s looking for a coach in good moral standing, he’s probably NOT going to pick Louisville. So that surely has to help us jump at least one team on his list…

 

Reasons to worry if you’re a Kentucky fan:

–  Tom Crean seems to have the early in with Leron Black. If you’ve ever followed Tom Crean on Twitter, besides just sending creepy tweets to “recruits,” he also makes no secret about displaying his faith on a daily basis. Crean probably fits that mold the best with Black.

– A lot of home-state Tennessee schools are on Leron Black’s list. Those schools could have an advantage geographically.

– Black likely won’t be Kentucky’s TOP priority at his position with other guys like Stanley Johnson, Cliff Alexander, etc. on Calipari’s wish list. Black could be the Willie Cauley-Stein to Nerlens Noel though if he is interested in joining another big man in Kentucky’s class.

 

Reading the Tweet Leaves/Tweet Beat Potential:

It appears as if Leron Black does not have a real Twitter account. But it looks like he might have a fake one. Why do we think it’s fake? Because it’s the last twitter account on earth to still think that Ryan Harrow has an official Twitter:

 

Video Evidence:

 

Final Judgment/How bad do we want him?:

Leron Black wasn’t an initial prime target for John Calipari and his coaching staff. In the last week or so, we’ve seen Cal extend the net a bit to include some more top 20-40 guys who may not be THE top players in the class of 2014 (though still very good). This broadening in the recruiting strategy might have something to do with the fact that Cal doesn’t feel AS confident with the 2014 class’ top prospects as he has in year’s past. That’s not necessarily a reason to panic by any means, but it’s a reason to start paying attention to guys like Leron Black who might end up being bigger targets as the next few weeks go on. Black is a strong and talented player, who could very much end up being a Willie Cauley-Stein type of 2-3 year guy for Calipari. He might not be an immediate star at Kentucky, but he would be a solid contributor right away and potentially stick around for a few years.

 

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

18 Comments for Time to Get to Know the 2014 Prospects Vol. 4: Leron Black



  1. cracka
    3:44 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    there are 8 guys in 2014 with an offer from cal, this guy isn’t one of them, not sure why he is volume 4 of this series … would be nice if you linked your previous volumes with each one … thanks for putting in the video, had never seen leron black

    how does 247 sports not include ‘shooting’ in their chart? that’s still a basketball skill, right?



  2. Cotton Mash
    3:49 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Things that make you go… When I hear about Tom Crean’s “faith”.



  3. Cats
    3:55 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Can we get a run down of all the football prospects being in town two weeks from now… Please..



  4. mudcreekmark
    4:09 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think that by recruiting some of the players in the 20-40 range has anything to do about the strength of the top 10 players. I think Cal has figured out a different way to recruit. He can go after 4 or 5 of the top ten and then sprinkle 2 or 3 players in that will stay more than one year.It seems that almost all his top 10 recruits all leave after one year thus opening up enough scholarships each year to get the next great group and if everything works out right, there should be enough players graduating or leaving after their 2 or third year to go after a new group of 20 to 40 range players. This way we should have a good mix of experience and young studs that we don’t have another 2012-2013 year ever again.That would be my long version on why he is going after some of the second tier guys.



  5. dkb1985
    4:19 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Any idea when the podcast will be up? Bout to start my commute from work. I need it!!!



  6. brain
    4:19 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    We haven’t offered him and he doesn’t compare to PP at all. Poor blog all the way around.



  7. BlueTruth
    4:25 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Read the title. Keyword, Prospects. Not who UK has made offers on.



  8. UKBlue
    4:28 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    The dude said on twitter the Clear Channel website is down; it will be uploaded when they fix it.



  9. Clint
    4:49 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Pretty sure Leron Black said like a week ago that UK wasn’t recruiting him. Sounds like Cal backed off.



  10. Awaiting Moderation
    5:05 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    7 – Prospects also means future players….this kid is on our C or D list….Cliff Alexander, Trey Lyles, Craig Victor and probably Justice Winslow are all before this kid… this kid is nowhere close to getting an offer yet…



  11. WWjW
    6:14 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Black is not coming to UK.

    Neither is Justise Winslow. It’s down to duke and Arizona.
    Craig Victor already committed to Arizona.



  12. bosshogg24
    6:22 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Cal did not get in late on Black, he went to see him as a freshmen but he has not been a top target. It is not if Cal can get him, it’s if Cal wants him!



  13. ukfan
    6:30 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    it kills me how spoiled some of us have become when it comes to recruiting.. why on earth could a FIVE STAR prospect not come in and be an immediate star right away? Just because we don’t get the number 1 ranked player in his position doesn’t mean the players behind can’t be instant superstars as well. If the kid has 5 stars next to his name then he can flat out ball! Not every one can be number 1 in their position so someone HAS to be the second best, or third best, or fourth best.. it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being studs just like the first ranked player. k that is all, peace.



  14. Megan
    7:33 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    “I wanna be at a school where the coaches are Christians like myself.” Oh boy. Oh dear. This is awkward. Somebody’s going to have to tell him. If Leron wants to play for Christian coaches, then he’s ruled out Memphis, one of the teams on his list. Yup, that’s right. Josh Pastner (not Pastor) was the recipient of the 2011 Red Auerbach Coach of the Year award, which is given annually to the nation’s top Jewish college coach, as voted on by the members of the Jewish Coaches Association.

    You’d think a Memphis kid might know that. Particularly one with such “discriminating” tastes. (see what I did there?) After Cal left for Kentucky and Pastner took over at Memphis, one of the storylines of the Memphis-Tennessee game in 2010 was that both coaches were of the Jewish faith. Bruce Pearl, incidentally, is president of the Jewish Coaches Association.

    It’s too bad the kid feels like that. I’m sure he doesn’t mean it in a bad way. Like some kids his age, he’s probably just really into his faith. I pray he gets over it.



  15. BlueTruth
    8:56 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    @10 – Prospect does not mean future players. Prospect means UK is looking at them and their destination is not certain.

    Prospect comes from the Latin Pro (“first” or “Forward”) and Specere means “to look like or to look ahead.”

    There’s your Latin 101 lesson for today, idiot.



  16. BlueTruth
    8:56 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    sorry that was meant for 11.



  17. OwensboroBro
    9:59 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    I usually go by what ESPN says. Says he is 36th in the nation. Never seen cal go up that high to get a player. He must be pretty good. Cal usually stays in the 1-25 range. With the exception of WCS



  18. facts
    6:22 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    reminds me of darius miller more then anyone , can handle, shoot, and has a flooter to boot(I liked the rhyme i just did)