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uk basketball logoBy LARRY  VAUGHT

One of the top prospects in John Calipari’s 2014 recruiting class, center Cliff Alexander of Chicago, will play twice in Kentucky this season.

His Curie Metropolitan High School team will return to the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton Dec. 6-7 and again for the Jan. 10-11 McCracken County Hoopfest.

The 6-9, 230-pound Alexander played this summer with 6-11 center Jahlil Okafor, the nation’s No. 1 prospect. Yet he’s still become one of the nation’s top targets because of his size, power and mobility. He’s an aggressive rebounder.

Alexander is being pursued by Michigan State, Duke, Ohio State, Illiniois, Louisville, Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Kansas, Memphis, Arizona and others.

Recently Alexander told media members at an AAU tournament what he liked about UK and Louisville.

On Kentucky: “Coach Cal is a great guy. I love the campus. A great practice facility. I worked out there when I went down there. He’s a great guy. I love the coaching staff.”

On Louisville: “Louisville, same thing with those guys. Me and coach (Rick) Pitino have a great relationship since they started recruiting me. We’ll go there from there.”

He’s been working on developing a mid-range game, something he indicated at last year’s Marshall County event that he needed to improve. He’s listened to high school coach Mike Oliver’s plea for him to get a 12- to 15-foot shot.

Also scheduled to be at the Marshall Hoopfest is Dallas Prime Prep Academy and star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, another target of both UK and Louisville. Prime Prep also features 6-0, 235-pound junior forward Elijah Thomas, a top 10 player in the 2015 recruiting class.

Huntington Prep, and five-star prospect Jalen Lindsey, is also scheduled to be back at Marshall County and will also play in the first McCracken County event.

Louisville Ballard and guard Quentin Snider, who just de-committed from Louisville, is also scheduled to be back at the Marshall event.

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