Wednesday was the first day of three live evaluation periods in July and UK’s staff was out in full force. Head coach John Calipari and assistants Kenny Payne and Joel Justus were at the Nike EYBL Finals at Peach Jam. Assistant Tony Barbee was in nearby Atlanta to watch the Under Armour AAU circuit.
Right before the picture above was taken Payne was sitting courtside and there were no empty seats. Calipari arrived later and Payne was booted from the seat. Life as the boss.
Here’s the breakdown (Bold are players watched by only one coach)
Joel Justus: Jeremy Roach, Hunter Dickinson, James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., D.J. Jeffries, Scottie Barnes, Noah Farrakhan, Jaden McDaniels.
Kenny Payne: Tyrese Maxey, Cole Anthony, James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., D.J. Jeffries, Scottie Barnes, Noah Farrakhan, Jaden McDaniels.
Tony Barbee: Dontaie Allen (we don’t yet have confirmation who else Barbee watched in Atlanta, but Scottie Lewis, Bryan Antoine, Aidan Igiehon were also at the event)
John Calipari: Tyrese Maxey, Cole Anthony, James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., D.J. Jeffries, Scottie Barnes, Noah Farrakhan, Jaden McDaniels, Keion Brooks
Thoughts: There are some interesting things to look at here, but nothing overly surprising. UK rolling three deep was a smart move for the Wiseman, Carey Jr, Jeffries and Barnes game. There were so many important recruits that UK maybe should have also had Barbee there to show support, but three was a smart move.
I’m not sure if we should look into Calipari watching Keion Brooks by himself or Payne and Justus watching McDaniels. Maybe they’re still deciding on McDaniels so Cal wanted both to evaluate? We’ve always said Brooks is one of UK’s top priorities and Calipari watching would indicate that’s true.
I’m maybe slightly surprised UK didn’t have all three coaches watching Tyrese Maxey and Cole Anthony. It started with Kenny Payne and then Calipari took his spot. Space was tight and maybe that played a role on why Justus wasn’t there, and seating was an issue for Payne.
It’s only a matter of time before Dontaie Allen gets an offer from Kentucky. Allen went for a game-high 21 points and a team-high seven rebounds while head coaches from Duke, Michigan State and Louisville watched. UK had only Barbee there but perhaps other coaches will make the short drive to Atlanta to watch. When Allen visited UK, Kentucky’s coaches said they would be watching him this summer. Well, Allen is still putting up big numbers.
I think he ends up in Lexington.