JOHN: UK showing Randolph the love

JOHN: UK showing Randolph the love

When was the last time you saw three Kentucky coaches at one AAU game watching one recruit? I'm not sure if it's ever happened but I know I have never seen it – until Saturday night.

Riddle me this? When was the last time you saw three Kentucky coaches at one AAU game watching one recruit? I'm not sure if it's ever happened but I know I have never seen it – until Saturday night.

Tubby Smith, Reggie Hanson and Scott Rigot all showed (as well as former UK Assistant Shawn Finney) up for an evening Dallas Mustang's game, a team which features high profile target, Anthony Randolph. Randolph, the five-star power forward from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, did not disappoint.

Randolph has the whole package and put it on full display on Saturday night. In addition to solid low post moves, rebounding and shot blocking ability that is just about best in show, Anthony can handle the ball as well or better than any big man in his class.

Randolph is thin. For UK fans think Tayshaun Prince in high school. But also think about some of Tay's skill set in a package about three inches taller. Randolph needs to work on his stroke a little if he wants to play like Tay, but a lot of the package is similar right down to the southpaw shooting hand. Randolph led a number of fast breaks and finished a number of others. On one key play he gracefully moved from ten feet away to block a shot, then beat everyone down the court for an uncontested sky dunk.

With the Kentucky staff one shy of virtually bringing its own basketball team, Anthony Randolph would have most certainly had to feel the love from the Bluegrass State. But will it be enough.? Most experts lingering around the media tables that night think not.

Looming ominously about ten feet away from the UK contingent was coach John Calipari from Memphis.

In a non-scientific random poll of recruiting guru's on hand such as Dave Telep and Clark Francis among others, the prevailing thinking is that Memphis or late-comer Cincinnati have the edge on Kentucky in this recruiting race.

But give the Wildcats credit. The staff has certainly shouldered some criticism this summer and it is no secret that Kentucky is out in force looking to score a solid recruiting class, and Randolph would have to be near the top of their list. An attempt to reassert themselves back into the DeAndre Jordan race is another example of the efforts Kentucky is making.


Tucker hot on Saturday It's a shame UK is not in on the Darquarvis Tucker sweepstakes. Tucker played before coach Rick Pitino of Louisville, presumed frontrunner of this recruiting race. The 6-foot-5 swing player from Michigan responded by scoring 20 points and pulling down five rebounds. There was a downside. Tucker went 2-10 from three point range. If Louisville wins out over Miami as expected, the Cards will have picked up one really solid player. Tucker's team lost to the D1 Greyhounds behind 23 points from O.J. Mayo. Teammate Bill Walker added 19.


Speaking of "it's a shame someone other than UK has this guy", Eric Gordon, the 6-foot-3 Illinois-bound shooting guard lit up the Southern California All-Stars for 34 points Saturday night. Fellow superstar Brandon Jennings scored just four points for the All-Stars, but big Kevin Love tossed in 20 to go with 8 boards and the All-Stars won by eleven.


Justin Brownlee got the job done for the Smyrna Stars Saturday evening, bombing Rocktown for 21 points (including 4-6 from three-point range). Rahmon Fletcher, a 5-foot-10 ball of energy tossed in 24 for Rocktown. Keep your eye out for his name. Fletcher has some upside.


Modestly regarded Maurice Jackson, 6-foot-2 guard from Arizona, scored the Georgia Hurricanes for 26 points, including 5-6 from three point range. But the Canes won anyway behind a solid 22 point effort from Tracy Smith.

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