Most of the recruiting attention in Rupp Arena on Friday night will be focused on the quartet of 2014 recruits visiting for Big Blue Madness.
One of the top point guards in the Class of 2015 will also be in Lexington that night, and UK has apparently already made quite an impression.
Michigan junior Eric Davis is considered the No. 22 overall prospect in his class by Scout.com. Arthur Hill High Coach Greg McMath said John Calipari is the one who invited Davis to Madness.
“He really likes him, because Eric is a big point guard that can score the ball,” McMath told the Herald-Leader. “That’s Coach Cal’s style. He’s had great success with guards like that — Derrick Rose, John Wall — those guys that can run the point and also score for you.”
A member of UK’s coaching staff was planning to see Davis at Arthur Hill’s open gym over the weekend, but that trip had to be postponed. Still, the coaches made it clear that they wanted Davis to come down to Lexington for an unofficial visit.
It wasn’t a hard sell for the 6-foot-3 prospect.
“He’s definitely excited about coming down there,” McMath said. “He has high interest in Kentucky.”
McMath listed Michigan State, Kansas, N.C. State, Iowa State and Illinois as some of the schools that have been to Saginaw in the past couple of weeks to see Davis work out. All of those have offered, and Duke is expected to visit later this month.
The coach also spoke to Calipari on Monday and has been in contact with assistants Kenny Payne and Orlando Antigua in recent weeks. UK’s coaches saw plenty of Davis with his AAU team over the summer and during a recent all-star camp in Las Vegas.
Kentucky hasn’t offered a scholarship yet, but McMath said the invitation to attend Madness as a junior is a good sign.
And he has no doubt that his point guard is good enough to play at the highest level in college.
“He’s a heady guard,” McMath said. “He’s real smart. He’s gotten stronger and more athletic. You can play him at the point or you can play him off the ball. His basketball IQ is through the roof.
“He studies basketball. That’s why he’s such a true quarterback. He watches basketball — not just like an average kid — but he really studies it. That’s why he’s so high on Kentucky. Because he knows the history with the guards.”
Though some websites still list Davis as a shooting guard, McMath referred to him several times as a “true point guard” who has honed his skills at that position. But he added that Davis is comfortable off the ball and can make plays from the ‘2’ position.
UK has already offered two combo guards in the Class of 2015 — Malik Newman and Charles Matthews — and there’s a good chance that some of the backcourt players they land in 2014 will return for sophomore seasons.
Calipari’s use of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe as interchangeable guards in the 2009-10 is something that McMath said could be a positive in UK’s recruitment of Davis.
“These guys watch and I tell them about different styles and different systems,” he said. “You really sit back and see what would fit for a kid. And Calipari has done a great job — not just at Kentucky but also at Memphis — with guards like Eric.”