Tweet watch: James Young arrives in Lexington

 Posted by at 10:16 AM on August 25, 2013  5 Responses »
Aug 252013
James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald's All-American Game in April. Photo courtesy of McDonald's

James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald’s All-American Game in April.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

UK freshman James Young has arrived in Lexington, according to one of his childhood friends from Michigan.

Evan Mahone posted a photo to Instagram of Young shooting at the Joe Craft Center and another of he and the UK forward on campus Saturday night. Mahone was also one of Young’s high school teammates.

Young was one of three UK freshmen who did not show up for summer classes in Lexington, which led to speculation about his eligibility for the 2013-14 season. His godfather (who is also Evan Mahone’s father) and high school coach both told the Herald-Leader earlier this month that there were no problems and the McDonald’s All-American would be on campus in time for the fall semester. Young eliminated all doubt when he posted a picture of his official UK acceptance letter last week.

Andrew and Aaron Harrison — the other two UK freshmen who missed summer school — are also on campus. Classes start Wednesday.


‘No problem whatsoever’ with Young’s eligibility

 Posted by at 2:54 PM on August 7, 2013  Comments Off on ‘No problem whatsoever’ with Young’s eligibility
Aug 072013
James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald

James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald’s All-American Game in April.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

Rochester High School Coach John Pleasant says there’s no need to worry about James Young’s future with the Kentucky basketball team.

Young and fellow freshmen Aaron and Andrew Harrison were not in Lexington with their fellow newcomers to take part in summer workouts. Rumors swirled about their academic eligibility, but Pleasant was adamant Wednesday that Young will be ready to enroll later this month.

“He’ll be good to go,” Pleasant told the Herald-Leader. “I don’t know whether he’s actually cleared (by the NCAA) and all that stuff, but I know he’s good to go (academically).”

When asked specifically about Young’s academic status, Pleasant said there is “no question whatsoever” that he will be eligible to play this season.

The NCAA has a record of taking its time in ruling incoming athletes academically eligible, especially those who play winter sports. Players who participate in fall sports get priority in eligibility cases, since their seasons start earlier.

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Apr 112013
James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald

James Young throws down a dunk in the McDonald’s All-American game as future UK teammate Marcus Lee looks on.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

His homestate school was playing for a national championship Monday night, but James Young probably wasn’t paying that much attention.

The Detroit-area native didn’t grow up a Michigan Wolverines fan, despite the Ann Arbor campus being just an hour’s drive from his house.

Tom Izzo has taken nearby Michigan State to six Final Fours and won a national championship in Young’s lifetime, but he wasn’t a Spartans supporter either.

While his friends wore green or maize, Young preferred Kentucky blue.

“It’s always been my school,” the McDonald’s All-American told the Herald-Leader last week. “I’ve had UK stuff forever. Even before Calipari, I always used to watch them — it was my dream school. So when he called and wanted me to go there, it was a blessing.”

The call from John Calipari was a long time coming. At least, it seemed that way to Young.

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The Magnificent Seven: UK’s recruiting class of 2013

 Posted by at 1:30 PM on March 20, 2013  Comments Off on The Magnificent Seven: UK’s recruiting class of 2013
Mar 202013

With the addition of Julius Randle, UK’s recruiting class of 2013 now consists of seven players — six of whom are McDonald’s All-Americans.

Here’s a closer look at the next wave of Wildcats:

UK’s recruiting class of 2013
Player Pos Ht Wt Hometown Rivals Scout ESPN 24/7
Aaron Harrison SG 6-5 205 Houston, Texas 4 4 7 3
Andrew Harrison PG 6-5 205 Houston, Texas 5 3 5 4
Dakari Johnson C 6-11 250 New York City 13 18 11 13
Marcus Lee F 6-9 200 Antioch, Calif. 18 21 18 9
Julius Randle PF 6-8 240 Plano, Texas 2 5 3 2
Derek Willis SF 6-9 200 Mt. Washington, Ky. 129 64
James Young G/F 6-6 200 Rochester, Mich. 10 10 6 11
Mar 092013

Class of 2014 stars Trey Lyles and Goodluck Okonoboh were in Rupp Arena on Saturday for Kentucky’s possible season-saving victory over 11th-ranked Florida.

Lyles, the No. 4 overall player in the junior class, was making his fourth visit to Lexington since September. He wore a UK sweatshirt and tweeted before the game about sitting near Papa John’s founder John Schnatter.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Indianapolis recently narrowed his list to UK, Florida, Louisville, Duke, UCLA and Butler.

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Mar 042013
James Young is expected to be in Rupp Arena on Saturday for UK's game against Florida. Photo: The Oakland Press

James Young is expected to be in Rupp Arena on Saturday for UK’s game against Florida.
Photo: The Oakland Press

UK signee James Young tweeted Monday morning that he will be in Lexington this weekend for UK’s regular-season finale against Florida.

Young used his official visit for Big Blue Madness, but he still hasn’t seen a UK game in Rupp Arena. The Cats host Florida at noon Saturday.

Young has been sidelined the past four games with a calf injury but will play and is not expected to play for Rochester High (Mich.) in tonight’s playoff opener. Rochester is 2-2 in the four games that Young has missed. The Falcons had won eight straight leading up to the injury, with Young scoring more than 30 points and grabbing more than 15 rebounds in six of those games.

The 6-foot-6 wing player is also one of five finalists for the Michigan Mr. Basketball award.


A record five UK commitments named to Jordan game

 Posted by at 12:16 PM on February 12, 2013  4 Responses »
Feb 122013

Andrew Harrison is one of five UK commitments who will play in the Jordan Brand Classic on April 13.
Photo: Houston Chronicle

Kentucky set a Jordan Brand Classic record Tuesday when five future Wildcats were selected for this year’s game.

UK could even add to that record in the coming weeks.

Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and James Young were all chosen to participate in the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic, to be played April 13 in Brooklyn, N.Y. It’s the first time five recruits from one school have been named to the event.

Three prospects whom UK is still recruiting — Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins — also were selected. They are the only uncommitted players in the game.

Kentucky has had 23 Jordan Brand selections since the game’s inception in 2002. Eighteen of those have come since John Calipari arrived in Lexington in 2009.

EAST ROSTER: Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Kasey Hill (Florida), Kuran Iverson (Memphis), Rondae Jefferson (Arizona), Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Julius Randle (uncommitted), Wayne Selden (Kansas), Chris Walker (Florida), Andrew Wiggins (uncommitted).

WEST ROSTER: Joel Embiid (Kansas), Aaron Gordon (uncommitted), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Dakari Johnson (Kentucky), Matt Jones (Duke), Marcus Lee (Kentucky), Jabari Parker (Duke), Noah Vonleh (Indiana), Troy Williams (Indiana), Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington), James Young (Kentucky)

Feb 072013

There’s no doubt that Marcus Lee‘s stock is on the rise. The question is: How high will it go?

The Kentucky signee jumped to No. 21 overall (up 18 spots) in the latest rankings released last week, which means yet another major recruiting service considers him a five-star prospect.

Lee, a 6-foot-9 post player from California, is averaging about 18 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks per game for Deer Valley this season. national analyst Evan Daniels pointed out that those are similar numbers to what he averaged as a junior.

“He’s really talented,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “I think he can impact the game on the defensive end and impact the game with his ability to rebound. I think those are probably the things that really spurred his move.”

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Friday’s roundup: Willis has big game in Missouri

 Posted by at 8:51 PM on January 18, 2013  Comments Off on Friday’s roundup: Willis has big game in Missouri
Jan 182013

UK signee Derek Willis had 19 points and nine rebounds in Bullitt East’s victory Friday night in Missouri.
File photo: Jonathan Palmer

UK signee Derek Willis had 19 points and nine rebounds in Bullitt East’s 68-58 victory over Little Rock Hall (Ark.) on Friday night at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo.

Willis added six assists and six blocked shots for the Chargers, who improved to 15-4 on the season. Elliot Young had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Rusty Troutman chipped in with 14 points for Bullitt East.

Arkansas signee Bobby Portis led Little Rock Hall with 18 points and eight rebounds. Portis, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked by ESPN as the No. 11 overall senior in the country, was held to just three points in the first half.

Bullitt East will play Hillcrest (Mo.) on Saturday.

Montverde (Fla.) 78, Nixa (Mo.) 61: UK commitment Dakari Johnson had 18 points and seven rebounds in limited action during Friday’s rout in the the semifinals of the Bass Pro tournament in Springfield, Mo.

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Updated stats: Catching up with the future Cats

 Posted by at 4:29 PM on December 30, 2012  1 Response »
Dec 302012

James Young is averaging 23.6 points per game and has Rochester High (Mich.) out to a 5-1 start.
Photo: Ricardo Thomas

Individual game-by-game statistics for 10 recruits have been updated on their respective player pages.

You can view each player’s page by clicking on the links below:

UK signees
Aaron Harrison: The Travis High shooting guard is averaging 30.0 points in 10 games since Dec. 7, when his brother Andrew was sidelined with an injury.
Andrew Harrison: UK’s future point guard has been hampered by a hamstring injury for the last three weeks, and his stats have suffered as a result.
Marcus Lee: Some eye-popping stats are being reported for Lee, who already has three games with 25 or more rebounds.
Derek Willis: The Bullitt East star had his best game of the season Saturday, scoring 30 points and hitting the game-winning three-pointer.
James Young: The Detroit-area wing is averaging 23.6 points through six games and had a season-high 33 points Saturday night.

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