James Young Has Eyes For UK...And Other Weekend Notes

07/15/2012 08:55 PM

2013 small forward James Young has emerged over the past two weeks as the player most likely to be the first to join Derek Willis in UK’s 2013 class and the nation’s eighth-best player fanned the flames Saturday in an interview with Josh Paunil of National Recruiting Spotlight.

Young told Paunil, “I don’t have a list. It’s Kentucky and then everyone else.” Young said he will visit Lexington and make stops at Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona, Missouri and Syracuse before making a decision by the end of August.

The 6’6” forward finished his weekend strong at the Nike Global Challenge by earning MVP honors and going for 29 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game.

A few other notes from the weekend…

UK In A Good Spot With Jabari Parker?

Jabari Parker is the top-ranked player in the class of 2013, who recently appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated labeled as the best high school prospect since LeBron James. Experts and national columnists debated as to whether the tag was appropriate, but they all agree on one thing. He’s an exceptional talent.

But Parker hasn’t been too open about his recruitment to this point, although he did name a list of 10 schools last week, and UK fans often wonder about interested Parker is in the Cats. According to one college assistant, who talked with Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate Messenger, things are looking pretty good for John Calipari. Vaught tweeted “Heard from a college assistant coach who feels 2013 prospect Jabari Parker will eventually pick Kentucky” Sunday, leaving UK fans feeling even more optimistic about a 2013 class that could be historically good.

And while the news is certainly welcomed by UK fans and Jabari Parker could very well end up playing in Lexington next season, it’s fair to still have reservations about the Cats’ place as the leader. You could ask about any prospect Kentucky is targeting and some assistant coach would probably be willing to concede the battle because, well, Calipari has been that good lately. It’s a promising report, no doubt, but by all accounts Parker’s recruitment is just getting underway. Nonetheless, it’s yet another reason to keep an eye on the top player in 2013.

UK Still Watching Chris Walker

The saga of Chris Walker, which we touched on Friday in the things we learned this week, has been interesting as the nation’s seventh-ranked player continues to use the media to lobby for a UK offer. To this point, John Calipari has not extended a scholarship, though it appears that the staff is still keeping their eye on Walker.

Just a few days after Walker said he’d cut the Cats from his list if a scholarship offer was not made in the next month, UK coaches got their morning started Sunday by watching Walker’s Florida Elite team take on Dreamvision 17u. And, according to at least one reporter on Twitter, UK had a coach at every Florida Elite game this week at the adidas Invitational. Florida Elite would go on to beat Dreamvision before knocking off New Heights in the championship game and, for now, things still appear to be complicated between Walker and the Cats.

Legends Gather In Elizabethtown

It seems inconceivable that the state of Kentucky did not have a High School Basketball Hall of Fame until North Hardin coach Ron Bevars got the ball rolling in 2009, but that was in fact the truth. So when the inaugural class was inducted Saturday evening in E-Town, it brought together some of the greatest players in the history of the state and the most-starstudded lineup since Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst made temporary homes there.

The inaugural class was made up of Wah Wah Jones, Ralph Beard, Cliff Hagan, “King” Kelly Coleman, Clem Haskins, Wes Unseld, Rex Chapman, Jim McDaniels, Darrell Griffith, Geri Grigsby, Clemette Haskins, and Richie Farmer. Coaches S.T. Roach, Ralph Carlisle, Roy Bowling and Bobby Keith were also inducted. The group spent the evening talking about their high school basketball memories and why it meant so much to be part of a revered basketball fraternity in the Bluegrass. The sixteen inductees are part of the Hall of Fame’s plan to have 100 members by the time Kentucky high school basketball celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2018 and to finally celebrate the state-wide passion that has bonded communities for generations. It was a fantastic start to what should be a great annual event.

Make sure you tune in to KSTV and cn|2 Sports all week for interviews from the banquet.


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