After an afternoon dominated by the Dan Dakich/Trey Lyles fiasco, No. 1 recruit Julius Randle tweeted Friday night that he had arrived on Kentucky’s campus for his official visit. Randle has established himself as John Calipari’s single biggest target from the class of 2013, and UK is the site of his first official visit.
Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi wrote Friday that “the buzz behind the scenes has Kentucky tabbed as the team with the most momentum” in Randle’s recruitment.
Randle had in-home meetings earlier this week with UK, N.C. State, North Carolina, Duke and Kansas. He’ll meet next week with Baylor, Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. The only other official visit that Randle has planned is Florida on Oct. 6.
He’s expected to hold off on a decision until the spring.
Willis won’t attend UK’s Alumni Game
Derek Willis, UK’s only commitment from the class of 2013, told the Herald-Leader on Friday night that he won’t be in Lexington this weekend for the Alumni Game. There were reports earlier in the week that Wills would be in town, but he said he decided not to make the trip.
The Bullitt East star was in Lexington on an unofficial visit last week.
Local fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch the future Cat over the next few months. Bullitt East’s second game of the season will be against Henry Clay at Tates Creek High School. Willis will also play at Lexington Catholic in January.
Mayes cuts list, keeps Seminoles
Class of 2013 shooting guard Xavier Rathan Mayes tweeted Friday night that he had narrowed his list of schools to UConn, Illinois and Florida State.
That decision doesn’t have any direct impact on UK, which was cut from Mayes’ list last month. But it could have an indirect effect on the Cats.
Mayes is a teammate and close friend of Andrew Wiggins, who is UK’s top recruit from the class of 2014 and generally regarded as the best player in high school basketball. Most analysts have predicted that Wiggins will choose either UK or Florida State. The two players have discussed attending the same school in the past, and the Seminoles are the only team that they have in common.
Wiggins, whose parents were athletes at FSU, has tried to downplay the “package deal” talk, but if the Seminoles were to land Mayes it certainly wouldn’t hurt their chances with Wiggins.
Chicago teachers’ strike almost over?
The Chicago Tribune reported Friday night that a tentative agreement had been reached that could end that city’s teachers’ strike this weekend.
Why is this important?
College coaches can only perform in-home visits with class of 2013 recruits. Any visits with younger prospects must be done through that player’s school. It just so happens that Chicago is home to two of the top 10 players in the class of 2014, Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor.
Alexander was the first recruit Calipari watched when the spring recruiting period began, but he could not meet with him this week due to the strike. Calipari has visited four of the six 2014 recruits with UK scholarship offers, and will see Wiggins on Monday. The sixth is Alexander, who will be able to meet with coaches as soon as the strike ends.
Okafor does not yet have a UK scholarship offer, but is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 2 player in the class.