“The dominoes are starting to fall”
It’s a phrase that Kentucky Wildcats basketball fans have associated with basketball recruiting. After months of speculating and plotting the move of every top ten recruit on the Rivals list, it appears that we could finally have some more names to ink in to our tentative 2014-15 Wildcats basketball roster. We all know that Devin Booker will make his announcement on Halloween. It now looks like Kelly Oubre could have made his announcement by then as well. Oubre is coming off a visit to Kansas over the weekend.
Oubre arrived in Colorado earlier Saturday after taking an official visit to Kansas for “Late Night in the Phog.”
“It was love , man,” Oubre said. “I loved it a lot.”
Asked what head coach Bill Self and the staff told him his role there would be, Oubre said, “Just filling in for Andrew [Wiggins]. Of course he’s going to the league this year so they just need another big wing to come in and just fill that spot. He pretty much told me everything’s there for me.”
He added: “I love their chemistry and all the things that they displayed on their visit. The personalities and the love from the fans and everything. It was a pretty good experience.”
Oubre next heads to Kentucky for “Big Blue Madness” the same weekend Stanley Johnson, James Blackmon Jr. and others will be there.
“They just need to replace seven guys,” Oubre said of Kentucky. “They need some more wings. They pretty much need to fill every spot. They’re recruiting a heavy class again this year and thats what they’re going to continue to do.”
James Blackmon will also be making his decision within the next few weeks or so as well. Blackmon and Booker both play the same position, but that does not seem to be anything to worry about. Blackmon is expected to play PG as well, giving UK a solid combination with Ulis. Of course, he still needs to commit first.
“Right now I just have a Kentucky official set up for Oct. 18,” he said. “I might have Kansas and Michigan State, I don’t know if I’m going to set those up yet or not. I’ll probably know in the next week or so.”
Blackmon’s father, James Sr., went to Kentucky and they remain a strong contender for his services, especially since they need a shooting guard in 2014.
“I like that it’s one of the biggest places in college basketball,” he said. “Coach [John] Calipari gets players better and where they need to go, where they want to be, so that’s always appealing.”
He added of Calipari: “He said he can prepare me for the NBA and that if I come in there and work hard and do what I’m supposed to do, I’ll be looking in the Green Room. But he also says that it’s going to be real tough and going to Kentucky is probably one of the hardest things I will do.”
Kentucky is also recruiting Stanley Johnson, Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre on the wing, and is looking for their first commit there to complement Tyler Ulis at the point and Karl Towns Jr. down low.
“That’s something that I looked at, but he also said I can play the one and two so that’s really what I want to do in college,” he said. “I’ll probably transition over to the one a lot. That’s something I want to do because my ball-handling is there. I just want to keep working on my point guard skills.”
John Calipari is not one to rest on his laurels and wait for those recruits to roll in. Calipari is working on the 2015 class this weekend and paid a visit to Cleveland to see Carlton Bragg.
John Calipari is in Cleveland tonight to watch the Class of 2015 star work out during an open gym with his high school team, according to Bragg’s mentor Michael Graves. UK assistant John Robic has been to Cleveland twice in the past few weeks to see Bragg.
The 6-foot-8 power forward also took an unofficial visit to UK last Sunday after participating in the John Lucas Midwest Invitational in Louisville all weekend.
Graves told the Herald-Leader that assistant coaches from West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois and UConn were also present at Sunday’s open gym. Those schools — and several others — have already extended scholarship offers.
UK has not yet offered Bragg, but Graves told the Herald-Leader last week that he is no hurry to make a college decision.