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UK Recruiting Notebook: CJ Leslie


Position: Power Forward (Could be athletic slasher or big man in DDM)
Height: 6’9″
Weight: 205 lbs
High School: Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC)
Rivals Ranking: #8 PF, #34 Overall
Scout Ranking: #3 PF, #13 Overall

Scouting Report

CJ has the athleticism and explosiveness that can make a big man a star. He likes to model his game after Kevin Garnett and, so far, he is doing a good job at it. CJ can knock down the perimeter shot or beat his man off the dribble. As he continues to grow, scouts would like to see him develop his post game more. Right now he doesn’t have the ability to put his back to the basket against big men and score consistently. If he can bring that part of his game up the level of the rest of his skills, he’d be the complete package. On the defensive end, his athleticism and large wing span will be his best friend but he needs to use these tools to his advantage more often. He has the talent to make some highlight reel blocks when his timing and effort are in full swing. One of the things that really impressed me with CJ’s performance at the NBA camp was the way that he is coming into his own as a team leader. CJ was very vocal on the court and begged his team to play at the top of their abilities. He is true competitor with all the talent one could ask for and that gives him a very high ceiling.

Recruiting Report

In 2007, CJ committed to play for Sidney Lowe and NC State. This spring, CJ reopened his recruitment, saying that he just felt like he didn’t take enough time to look at all his options. Since then, CJ has visited the campuses of North Carolina and Arizona State. When talking about some of the potential future visits he’ll take, he said, “Florida, Maryland, Kentucky definitely, Wake Forest definitely.” CJ has also said that all of the ACC schools, except for Duke, and Memphis were recruiting him. John Wall has been talking to him about Kentucky and CJ has commented about how much John has been enjoying his time in Lexington. In a recent interview with Kentucky Sports Report, CJ said that the visit with Kentucky is pretty much set except for an exact date. He is working on squeezing the visit somewhere into his busy AAU schedule. With Patrick Patterson and Demarcus Cousins almost certainly leaving after this season, CJ Leslie would be the perfect versatile big man to step in and play right away in Calipari’s offense.


Being on one of the most exciting basketball teams in the country, there are plenty of good CJ Leslie videos out there. Feel free to post some in the comments.

In this one he shows good hands, athleticism and the confidence that UK basketball has been missing:

Other recruiting notes:

– The new Scout and Rivals top 100 for 2010 were released today. I haven’t had the chance to completely go through them yet but my early impression is that Jelan Kendrick, whom I absolutely love, is a little bit overrated at the 4 spot for Rivals. Same for Fab Melo in the Scout rankings. Hard to argue with Scout having Harrison Barnes at the #1 spot, just like it is hard to argue with Rivals making Brandon Knight their #1.

Sunday starts the Lebron James Skills Academy for me. That will be followed up by a day at the Adidas It Takes 5ive and a weekend at Eddie Ford’s Kentucky Hoopfest. Honestly, not just for my own ego, follow me on twitter because I hate getting the feeling that I’m not getting some of the breaking recruiting news or other happenings from these events out to you guys quick enough, but it is extremely hard to find the time to do a post for every thing that happens during the hectic tournaments and we don’t want KSR to be bogged down with 20 posts from these events. Have a great holiday weekend and be safe.

Article written by Dustin Rumbaugh

I enjoy basketball, Kentucky sports and extremely short walks on the beach, followed by a nap. Sorry ladies, I'm taken.