John Calipari was in to see 2019 five-star center Vernon Carey Jr. on April 7, and Kenny Payne followed it up with a visit on April 16. This weekend at the Nike EYBL in Dallas, the Kentucky staff was in to watch him, as well.
James Wiseman has gotten the majority of attention from fans, and rightfully so. The UK coaches have made the No. 1 overall prospect in 2019 their top target, as he possesses ridiculous length and instinct on defense. He runs the floor well, has polished offensive moves in the post, and a developing mid-range jump shot. He models his game after Anthony Davis, and the Kentucky coaching staff is selling him on following in The Brow’s footsteps in the correct shade of blue and white.
But the staff is obviously making the No. 2 overall prospect (No. 1 on Rivals) a priority as well, with dreams of matching up Wiseman and Carey Jr. for easily the best frontcourt in college basketball.
Last week I wrote an article about how Wiseman and Carey Jr. could become Davis and Cousins v.2. You can check that out below:
According to Chris Fisher of The Cats Pause, John Calipari is using the talented Pelicans’ frontcourt duo as his top pitch for bringing in both prospects to Kentucky.
In fact, Coach Cal is telling Carey Jr. he could be a perfect mix of both Cousins AND Davis.
“That’s what he discussed with me in the meeting,” Carey Jr. told The Cats Pause. “That I could model my game after both of those two players. He told me to focus on those two. Just Anthony Davis’ effort and DeMarcus Cousins’ versatility.”
The 6-foot-10, 245-pound center is currently considered a consensus top-three prospect in the class of 2019, and for good reason. He knows how to throw his weight around in the post better than anyone in the nation, has deceptive athleticism, terrific rebounding fundamentals, and he’s surprisingly solid from mid-range and out to the three-point line.
As far as his interest in Kentucky goes, Carey Jr. told Fisher that he was appreciative of the Wildcat staff putting the full-court press on him, and that the visits have gone well.
“I was supposed to see Coach Cal. He was supposed to come down but I think he had to get surgery or something so just Coach Payne came down for an in-home visit like a week ago,” Carey said. ‘That was good. We just talked about the program. I’ve already been on campus twice so he was just trying to sell his pitch about the program.”
And it’s not just the Kentucky staff selling Carey Jr. on the Cats. According to several reports, Bam Adebayo has talked to the elite big man about playing at Kentucky and why it’d be in his best interest in joining a potentially loaded class in Lexington.
Carey Jr. had originally planned on making a decision in August, but that was when it seemed Duke and Miami (FL) were the two runaway favorites. Now that Coach Cal and company have made a massive push, among others, Carey said he may just cut his final list around that time to give him a chance to get more comfortable with all of the coaches and schools involved in his recruitment.
For more on Fisher’s conversation with Carey Jr. in Dallas this weekend, take a look here.