NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — So far, Kentucky Coach John Calipari has offered a scholarship to only one small forward from the class of 2014.
That could change soon.
Calipari was front and center to see Kelly Oubre’s first game at the Nike Peach Jam on Thursday. The UK coach also had a lengthy phone conversation with Oubre and his father in the days leading up to the Nike event.
Oubre — a 6-foot-6 prospect from Texas who will play for Findlay Prep next season — said he recently talked to Calipari for 15 minutes or so, and his father talked to the coach for about an hour.
The phone calls didn’t result in a UK scholarship offer, but Calipari gave Oubre reason to think one was coming soon.
“Coach Calipari hit me up a couple of weeks ago,” Oubre said. “He said they’re recruiting me pretty hard now and, after the live period, he should shoot me an offer.”
Oubre plans to cut his list to five schools after the Peach Jam, which wraps up Sunday. He doesn’t have any plans for official visits or a college decision, but UK’s coach seems to have piqued Oubre’s interest.
“He produces pros and he gets wins. There’s nothing really more to ask for,” Oubre said. “He doesn’t hold anything back. I like that. I like for a coach to keep it 100 percent with me.”
When asked about the other schools recruiting him, Oubre mentioned Kansas, Louisville, Georgetown and Connecticut. He singled out Jayhawks Coach Bill Self and said Kansas was one school that he’d definitely like to visit. “He’s been recruiting me for a while. I like his personality.”
But Oubre said Self’s interest early in the process won’t have much bearing on his final decision.
“Everybody’s pretty much fair game,” he said. “Nobody really has the edge on anybody, because I’m still in the process of seeing which school is best for me.”
Oubre is ranked among the top 20 prospects in the class of 2014 by 24/7 Sports (11th), Rivals.com (19th) and ESPN (20th). He’s No. 28 overall in Scout.com’s rankings.
California native Stanley Johnson is currently the only small forward with a UK offer.