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By LARRY VAUGHT
One player Kentucky coach John Calipari paid particular attention to at the Peach Jam was California small forward Stanley Johnson, who will visit UK for Big Blue Madness. He’s ranked the No. 8 player in the 2014 class by Scout.com and Rivals.com. Johnson led all scorers at the Peach Jam with a 25.6 points per game average in five games. He also was third in rebounding at 10.2 per game — just ahead of both Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, two other UK targets.
Johnson is considering attending Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Oregon, UCLA and USC along with Kentucky. He’s expected to make his college choice in January after making his five official visits.
“He is athletic and skilled at both ends of the floor with a motor,” long-time college basketball Dick Weiss said. “Cal is always looking for the next Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Johnson is a USA Basketball kid who played on two championship teams. He was the sophomore of the year in California. He was the best player at Peach Jam. His nickname is ‘Showtime’ and he really is highly skilled on both ends of the floor.”
Weiss isn’t sure who else Calipari might target the most in the 2014 recruiting class even though many are already speculating that Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Julius Randle, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison could all be lottery picks in the 2014 NBA draft.
“My guesses for other targets would be power forward Cliff Alexander of Chicago, guard Rashad Vaughn of Minneapolis, power forward Trey Lyles of Indianapolis, guard Devin Booker of Mississippi and point guard Emmanual Mudiay of Texas. And it won’t be long before 7-0 Myles Turner of Dallas, who some people are calling the second coming of Anthony Davis,” Weiss said. “Kentucky will try for Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, but I am guessing Duke for both.”