Fans attending Friday night’s session of the Flyin’ To The Hoop Invitational missed out on five-star senior Rashad Vaughn, who is set to make his return from a knee injury Monday on national television.
Vaughn — a top UK recruiting target — has missed the last six games with a sore left knee. He is expected to be back in the starting lineup when Findlay Prep (Nev.) plays Wesleyan Christian (N.C.) at 11:30 a.m. Monday. That game will be shown live on ESPNU.
Scout.com ranks Vaughn as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Class of 2014. He’s the second-highest rated uncommitted senior in the class behind Texas center Myles Turner.
National analyst Evan Daniels said Vaughn is one of the two best perimeter scorers in the country, along with five-star Seton Hall signee Isaiah Whitehead.
“What sticks out about Rashad is his all-around scoring ability,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “I think he’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s a pretty good athlete. And where he’s really improved his game is his ability to get to and score at the rim. And he’s also seen consistency with his long-range shot.
“He’s a pretty balanced scorer — a guy who can score at all three levels. And, as his high school career has gone on, he’s consistently gotten better. … He’s arguably the top scorer in the country. If I need a basket on one possession, there’s not too many guys I’d choose over Rashad Vaughn.”
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard recently narrowed his list to five schools: Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Iowa State and UNLV.
UK Coach John Calipari has publicly said that he’s looking to add another perimeter player to his recruiting class of 2014, which already includes four-star guards Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.
Daniels said Vaughn’s interest in UK could hinge on what Andrew and Aaron Harrison decide to do at the end of the season. If the twins leave for the NBA, there would be a much greater immediate need at the guard spots.
Vaughn has already taken official visits to Iowa State and UNLV, the two schools considered the frontrunners at this point. He has one scheduled to North Carolina for next month. As of now, there are no set-in-stone plans to officially visit Lexington.
“I think if (UK) gets an official visit, they’re right there in the mix,” Daniels said. “They’re making a strong late push.”