Last summer John Calipari had the benefit of being around and coaching several elite recruiting targets for several weeks and this time it’s Bill Self’s turn.
The Kansas head coach, along with Wake Forest’s Danny Manning and Dayton’s Anthony Grant, will coach the USA U18 team this summer in the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 Championship from June 10-16 in St. Catharines, Canada. Last summer Calipari coached the U19 team that traveled to Egypt.
There’s no denying this can be a major advantage for a collegiate head coach and while it didn’t work out well for Calipari, it will be worth watching how Self builds relationships with some of the best players in high school and college basketball.
32 targets will compete from May 31st to June 2nd for 12 roster spots. Several UK targets are in the mix and will be considered to play for Self:
Tyrese Maxey (2019)
Cole Anthony (2019)
Bryan Antoine (2019)
Scottie Lewis (2019)
Armando Bacot (2019- UK hasn’t shown a great deal of interest)
Keion Brookes (2019)
Matthew Hurt (2019)
Jalen Leque (2019)
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (2019)
Hunter Dickinson (2020)
Some of the players listed are major Kentucky targets and some may have just heard from the Cats a time or two, but all will be coached by Self for at least a few days, at most nearly a month. Also, former UK targets Quentin Grimes and Zion Williamson may participate in the camp, so Self will get a chance to have a better idea what to expect from Grimes.
Last year Calipari had a camp that included uncommitted stars Bol Bol, Romeo Langford, Brandon McCoy, Louis King, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Mitchell Robinson. The Cats only landed Quickley, who was a strong Kentucky lean before the games. UK commits/players Kevin Knox, P.J. Washington and Hamidou Diallo were also in the camp with the latter two making the final roster.
It didn’t work out for Calipari and we can only hope for the same result with Self.
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