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Will It Come Down To Mudiay or Jones?


Tyus Jones


At the Boo Williams event yesterday, recruiting analysts and coaches alike salivated at hearing center Jahlil Okafor claim that there is a “99.9% chance” he and point guard Tyus Jones* will end up at the same school together. Both players have Kentucky on their list, and the two plan on taking their first official visit together to Baylor at the end of August. Getting one elite player is great, but if Calipari can metaphorically kill two birds with one stone and convince a center-gaurd duo to come to Kentucky- well, that would be a great package deal to follow up the Harrisons’ dual announcement.


Not so fast, however. When speaking to reporters yesterday, number two point guard and fellow Kentucky recruit Emmanuel Mudiay  acknowledged that he can’t picture himself playing with Tyus Jones, because he wants to play the point guard position.


Emmanuel Mudiay


Now, Calipari has been recruiting Mudiay pretty hard, telling the Dallas Prime Prep star that “he wants me as his point guard.” Mudiay’s brother, Stephane, seconds that, noting that Calipari has told Emmanuel how he likes point guards with good size (Emmanuel is 6’4″) who can “go to the basket and finish everything as a whole.”


With all this in mind, is Calipari facing an either/or recruiting situation in the 2014 class? Either offer Mudiay, who Cal has been interested in from Day 1 and who fits Calipari’s model of the ideal scoring point guard, or shoot for the moon and try to land both a top center and a top guard?


Personally, I don’t think it’s as simple as “if A comes here, B will go elsewhere.” If we’ve learned anything about recruiting during this past year, it’s that the best players- and the kind of guys that Kentucky wants- are open to the idea of playing together. Calipari has worked the “come to Lexington and win a National Championship” angle to great success with the 2013 class- many of whom, at various times, were the subject of rumors about rivalries between players (Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, anyone?). Even if there are two players wanting to play point guard for Kentucky, Calipari can lead his recruiting pitch with how practices are going to be more competitive than games and will do a better job of preparing players for the NBA than any other college.


Plus, it’s early. So early. All three players in question have yet to take their first official visits (Mudiay mentioned yesterday wanting to go to the Baylor-UK game in Cowboys Stadium, which is a 15 minute drive from his house- Cal, you evil scheduling genius, you), and Mudiay or Jones could easily change their minds what positions they’re willing to play if the end result is a national championship. And as much as it pains me to say this, I kind of take the “99.9%” dual commitment comment with a grain of salt- I’ll believe it when I see an Vine of the signed letters being faxed to Calipari’s office. With the lone exception of the Harrison twins (because duh), Calipari can’t recruit players assuming that their desire to play together is set in stone. Things change. Players realize that different schools have different advantages specific to their game and future. That’s just the way it is.


Calipari is famous for telling his recruits that he’s going to give it to them straight, no bull- and it’s worked pretty darn well for him so far. There’s no reason for him to change his recruiting style for Mudiay or Jones/Okafor. In Cal we trust.


*ESPN has Jones as the top point guard in 2014, followed by Mudiay. Rivals has Mudiay as the top point guard, followed by Jones. So it’s a virtual toss up.  



Article written by Kristen Geil

32 Comments for Will It Come Down To Mudiay or Jones?

  1. Bomb
    4:06 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    What a useless post.

  2. Alamo_CatFan
    4:08 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I guess it comes down to Wall or Bledsoe

  3. Larry Bird's Mullet
    4:15 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    If Jones and Okafor are a package deal, don’t see how they’re coming to UK with Towns, Lee, and Dakari(more than likely) holding down the post…which is fine with me. I’d rather have Mudiay.

  4. Pikeville25
    4:18 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    U all do know Mudiay is rated as the number one pg, not Tyus?? Geez, go by a site that’s worth something!!!

  5. Scooby
    4:18 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Dont get me wrong, Tyus is good but this weekend both NBA scouts and analysts have said Murray is your number 1 pick in the 2014 draft

  6. Scooby
    4:19 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink


  7. well
    4:20 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    There is nothing wrong with a Mudiay and Cliff Alexander combo. Both are beasts and would nominate in kentuckys system.

  8. Jen
    4:21 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay, everyone seen what happened with an undersized guard like Harrow!

  9. Reality Check
    4:27 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Cal will get the player Wes and Nike broker a deal with first.

  10. CalForLife
    4:37 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    It will be Mudiay.

  11. bmt22033
    4:38 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay + Alexander/Towns/whoever comes back from the 2013 class would be just fine with me!

  12. Lil c
    4:39 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink


  13. 9-asty
    4:44 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I’d rather have Mudiay because we already got a 7-foot kid named Towns.

  14. LeRoy Byrd
    4:45 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Reality Check can’t stand it

  15. No doubt
    4:50 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay!! NO debate needed….

  16. The Dude
    4:57 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay, he’s bigger, just as talented and wants to play at UK. And we already have Towns and probably Johnson to play center. Go with the sure thing.

  17. Blasphemy
    5:08 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t we just say yes and accept both? I mean, seriously, have a cake, eat it too, the Kentucky way right? Bledsoe/Wall? Cousins/Orton/Patterson? Liggins/Miller? Cauley-Stein/Noel? Aa. Harrison/Young? Cauley-Stein/Johnson/Lee?

  18. SoCal Will
    5:13 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I suspect the actual choice is Mudiay/ Trey Lyles (which are both leaning to UK) and Jones/ Okafor (who claim to be open but slightly favor Duke). Calipari is a Master recruiter so he will make certain he doesn’t get shut out and relive this past season….

  19. Blain3
    5:15 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Muiday+Alexander > okafor+tyus imo after this past weekends games

  20. brain
    5:25 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mu and move on to the next one.

  21. Fortune Teller
    5:50 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor will go to Duke. But it doesn’t matter, because Kentucky will still beat the everything out of Duke in 2014-2015 if they ever play, LOL.

  22. Catlogic15
    5:55 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Cal doesn’t “take” package deals. He “makes” package deals.

  23. Spenser
    6:18 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    I would rather have Mudiay, Alexander, and maybe Lyles. I would really like to see us land Johnson though. Mudiay, Booker, Johnson, Towns, Alexander along with whoever returns. Maybe Cal could throw in a 4 year project from KY as well. That is my ideal recruiting class as of today.

  24. Captain Obvious
    6:43 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Isn’t there another post on KSR proclaiming Mudiay as the possible #1 pick in 2015?

  25. tuxedo park
    6:46 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Gun for Mudiay, Lyles, Stanley Johnson, Booker and maybe Alexander. We got Towns already. Lee or Dakari will return. If we get Wiggins, in 2014 Poythress is ready to take the team over or he’s transferred… I think either Aaron Harrison or James Young returns as well. That gives us a lineup of:
    PG-Mudiay, Hawkins
    SG-Young OR Harrison, Booker
    SF-Poythress, Johnson
    PF-Towns, Lyles, Wiltjer,Willis
    C-Jones OR Lee, Alexander

    How spoiled are we getting here? Yeah, Cal, take a year off from the best ever 2013 haul and just try and pull a class with only 5 top 15 guys in 2014…

  26. bosshogg24
    6:53 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay was offered a long time ago by Cal.

  27. Boogie
    7:42 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    @25 I agree for the most part. I highly doubt either Harrison will return. Stanley Johnson plays the 3 in High School but he’s a 2 guard at the next level.
    Emanuel Mudiay/ Dominique hawkins
    Stanley Johnson/ Devin booker
    Alex Poythress
    Marcus Lee/Cliff Alexander/Wiltjer
    Karl Towns? Trey Lyles

    I also think Derek Willis can develop into a solid contributor off the bench

  28. Ok
    8:43 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    We want Mudiay and lyles. Alexander is good but towns is our center. Pick up two more wings or a back up with those and we will be great.

  29. kwildcat
    9:06 pm April 28, 2013 Permalink

    @25 Who is Jones at the 5? U mean D. Johnson?

  30. L3C8
    7:53 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    I think that .01% that Okafor is talking about is if UK offers him and Jones picks somewhere else, THEN he may part ways with the PG. UK being the ONLY reason he would not pair up with the PG.

  31. tuxedo park
    9:28 am April 29, 2013 Permalink

    29-sorry, yeah, meant Dakari Johnson.

  32. WalterL
    12:08 pm April 29, 2013 Permalink

    If John Wall and Eric Bledsoe can both co-exist on UK’s court and both of them have tremendous success in the NBA… This situation can also work with both of these 2014 PG’s making it to the NBA.

    Bledsoe and Wall were self confident and embraced each others game and presence on the court. That is the type attitude we need at UK. However, Jones may be less physical and athletic than Bledsoe and have trouble playing the 2 when he’s called upon to do so. But Cal’s system is not one that locks players into conventional position roles. They could do this at UK and be the most dominant back court duo in college basketball.