It’s time for John Calipari to fuel up the jet.
Sunday marks the first day that coaches can visit recruits, and you can bet Calipari isn’t wasting any time. The UK coach already has a couple of (known) visits lined up, and he won’t be the only one on the recruiting trail this weekend.
Here’s a look at some of the bigger storylines for UK fans to follow over the next couple of days …
Three recruits scheduled to visit
Starting close to home, 2013 center Dominic Woodson will be one of three recruits on UK’s campus Saturday. Woodson, who has transferred to Huntington Prep for his senior season, is ranked among the top 40 players in the class by Rivals (36th), Scout (38th), 24/7 Sports (30th), CBS (37th) and MaxPreps (33rd). He’s generally regarded as one of the best three or four centers in 2013.
Woodson recently trimmed his list to 10 schools: UK, N.C. State, Baylor, Texas A&M, UConn, Memphis, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Rhode Island and Oklahoma. The 6-foot-9 center has not received a scholarship offer from Kentucky.
Also expected to visit UK on Saturday are Bullitt East’s Derek Willis and Huntington Prep’s Montaque Gill-Caesar, a recruit from the class of 2015. Willis is UK’s lone commitment for the class of 2013. Gill-Caesar is a Canada native and played for the same AAU program as Andrew Wiggins, who also attends Huntington Prep.
Harrisons hold a family meeting
Amid reports of a midnight madness visit to Maryland next month, the Harrison twins and their family will apparently sit down for a Saturday “conference call.” ESPN reported Thursday that the twins and their “inner circle” will discuss all five schools on their list: UK, Maryland, Baylor, SMU and Villanova. More details on future visits (or maybe even cuts to their current list) could be a result of the Saturday meeting.
The twins are expected to announce their decision Oct. 29.
What’s happening in Louisville?
The Cardinals have two big visitors of their own Saturday. Marcus Lee, a UK target, is one of the top power forwards in 2013 and will be making his first trip to Louisville. Lee is scheduled to return to the Bluegrass State on Oct. 12 for Big Blue Madness.
Anthony “Cat” Barber, one of the top point guards in 2013, will also be in Louisville on Saturday.
First stop: Huntington
One day after Woodson and Gill-Caesar visit Lexington, Calipari will return the favor and make a trip to Huntington, W.Va. Of course, Calipari’s No. 1 priority will be Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins is unanimously regarded as the No. 1 player in the class of 2014, and most analysts have said he’s the top player in all of high school basketball. UK and Florida State are reportedly the favorites for the 6-7 forward, who could still reclassify to 2013.
Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said FSU and North Carolina would also be there Sunday to see Wiggins. “Those are the only three I hear from,” he told ZagsBlog on Thursday.
Next stop: Texas
The highlight of Calipari’s weekend should be Sunday’s in-home visit with 2013 star Julius Randle.
Randle, who was recently named the No. 1 player in 2013 by Rivals.com, has narrowed his list to 10 schools, but most believe UK is among his top three or four — if not the early favorite. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for the 6-foot-8 forward. He’ll also meet with N.C. State coaches on Sunday before scheduled visits with the other eight schools on his list.
According to Rivals.com, Randle will also host North Carolina (Sept. 10), Duke (Sept. 11), Kansas (Sept. 12), Oklahoma (Sept. 17), Oklahoma State (Sept. 18), Texas (Sept. 19), Florida (Sept. 20) and Baylor (Sept. 22).
In between those visits, Randle will travel to Lexington to tour UK’s campus and take in the program’s Alumni Game on Sept. 15.
Randle is not expected to make his decision until the spring, but the timing of his two visits with Calipari should give UK an opportunity to further establish itself as one of his top choices.