Most Recent Posts
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
- Volleyball training, personality will both help Marcus Lee at Kentucky
- UK coach Mark Stoops was patient with Neal Brown because he was “all-in” on hiring him
- UK signee Marcus Lee overcame early education struggles to succeed in academics, athletics
- No. 12 Kentucky and No. 5 Arizona State to start best-of-three NCAA Super Regional set Saturday at 10 p.m. ET
- Stoops: Hiring Neal Brown to run Kentucky offense was a “no-brainer for me”
- Nunley, Cumbess Propel No. 12 UK Softball to Super Regionals
By LARRY VAUGHT
Apparently the Twitter messages and hints that 6-9 power forward Marcus Lee of California made about how much he liked Kentucky during his visit to Big Blue Madness were truthful.
Lee, ranked among the nation’s top 30 seniors, will announce his college choice this afternoon. He was down to Kentucky and California after eliminating schools such as Duke, Indiana, Louisville and UCLA.
The five-star player averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 blocks per game last season for Deer Valley High.
Recruiting analysts and other sources all agree that Kentucky will be Lee’s pick and he’ll join twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison of Texas, James Young of Michigan and Derek Willis of Bullitt East in UK’s 2013 recruiting class for coach John Calipari.
“Calipari continues to impress and amaze me with his recruiting prowess,” said Adam Zagoria of ZAGSBLOG.com. “It shows how really great a recruiter he is that he can do this year after year. Now if he can sell Julius Randle on also playing with Marcus Lee, he’ll really have something special. Same if he gets Andrew Wiggins (of Huntington Prep) to re-classify. That would be even more special.
“I watched Lee last summer at the Nike Global Challenge. He was very impressive then. He was maybe the second or third best American player behind Troy Williams and James Young. He’s a bouncy frontcourt player. He likes to rebound, get after it in the paint, create his own shot. He’s not a perimeter player. I think everyone would agree that Julius Randle is the better player, but if Calipari can sell Randle that they can play together this could really be some special class.”
The versatile Lee can guard multiple positions and is an above average defender. Randle is considered the best center prospect in the 2013 recruiting class.
But remember Calipari convinced point guard John Wall and Eric Bledsoe to play together. He persuaded Demarcus Cousins to sign with UK after center Daniel Orton already had. This season he landed center Nerlens Noel after Willie Cauley-Stein had already joined the Wildcats. That shows Calipari knows how to get players that play the same position to buy into coming to UK together.
“Kids all want to win. The kids that want to win are the ones we’re recruiting,” Calipari said during UK’s Media Day. “Every group we’ve had has come in with the idea we want to win a championship, whether it was John (Wall) and that group, Brandon (Knight) and that group, whether it’s the group last year with Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist) and those guys. They all talked. They wanted to win a championship.
“So what happens first is we’re a players’ first program. All our jobs is to care about those kids. It’s players first. Their job is to care about winning championships. Our job is we’re about them. Every decision we make is about them. Then their job is to go out and basically drag us where we’re trying to go.”