UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua
will be WAS NOT in Eastern Kentucky on Monday night to check out an under-the-radar 2013 prospect who has received a lot of attention in recent weeks.
MiKyle McIntosh attends Breathitt County High School in Jackson, Ky., but plays for the newly established 22ft Academy, a traveling basketball team comprised primarily of international students.
22ft Academy Coach Ryan Schmidt told the Herald-Leader that UK first contacted him in November about another player on the team — sophomore Jamar Ergas. Antigua called again over the weekend and inquired about McIntosh, who until recently was being scouted mainly by mid-major schools.
Schmidt sent Antigua some game footage, and the UK assistant called back Monday to confirm he would make the trip. But Antigua was not in attendance for Monday’s game, according to AllKyHoops.com.
Schmidt said he’s consistently been talking with high-major programs since McIntosh had a breakout performance at a showcase event in Canada around Christmas.
After that trip, Schmidt received calls from Kansas and UConn. Florida, Ohio State and North Carolina have also called about McIntosh, and UCLA and Miami (Fla.) have offered scholarships in the last two weeks.
Such interest seems out of place for a player that remains unranked by every major recruiting service (ESPN has him pegged as a 3-star). Schmidt attributes his status with the analysts to a combination of injury and miscasting.
At 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, McIntosh has been considered an undersized power forward his entire high school career. That’s not the case anymore, says Schmidt.
“The last few years he’s been pinpointed as a power forward,” he said. “Even early in the season, some high majors were coming up and questioning (his size). ‘Well, he’s only 6-6,’ or, ‘We don’t need a power forward.’ But he’s a guard. He’s improved his skill set tremendously over the summer and the fall. Now, he’s playing point guard quite a bit. His ball handling ability and ability to get by people off the dribble and finish is pretty spectacular.
“He’s a high-caliber player.”
Schmidt now projects McIntosh as a wing player — “a legit guard,” he says — and more schools are taking notice.
“I think the perception has changed a little bit now,” he added.
McIntosh has been hampered by an ankle injury for much of the last nine months. He tore ligaments in his ankle last April, wasn’t close to 100 percent when he tried to return in July, and then tweaked it again in the fall. As a result, he missed the AAU season and the high-profile summer camps that tend to attract coaches and analysts.
It was December before he was back to full health.
Schmidt said McIntosh wouldn’t have any eligibility issues, despite attending several schools over the last four years. The Toronto-area native came to the United States before his sophomore year and played two seasons at Christian Faith Center Academy in North Carolina. When that school underwent a coaching change, he joined Schmidt at another North Carolina prep school, which lost its funding earlier this season. That team stayed together and eventually ended up in Jackson as part of the 22ft Academy, which is based in Western Europe.
“He’s fine (academically),” Schmidt said. “Every school he’s been at – they’ve all been legitimate, NCAA-cleared schools. He actually has all of his core stuff done. He just took the SAT last Saturday, so we’ll get the results back from that on (Feb. 14).”
McIntosh wants to make some college visits before the regular season is over.
First, he has to see who’s genuinely interested.
“In the next two weeks, it will be interesting to see how these bigger schools – Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas – who’s actually going to offer,” Schmidt said. “Then I think he’d like to take some visits at the end of this month and then into March.
“He’ll see who’s serious about him and then we’ll go from there.”
IF YOU GO
Game: 22ft Academy vs. Saint Catherine College
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: Oakdale Christian Academy in Jackson, Ky.