October 12, 2012

Big Blue Madness Visitors Preview

Kentucky coach John Calipari is expecting 9 visitors to attend tonight's edition of Big Blue Madness. After securing commitments from three top-ten prospects in the last eight days, Kentucky is expecting a nearly unprecedented 8 five-star visitors for tonight's scrimmage. With four committed prospects in the building, one five-star senior who has yet to make a decision and four ultra-talented underclassmen, everyone of the prospects has a little bit of a different reason to attend.

Test Drive

Currently ranked at no. 15 in the 2013 Rivals150, 6-foot-9 power forward Marcus Lee was one of the surprises of the AAU scene, and has since seen his recruitment blow up into a media circus. On Friday, Lee will get a real taste of what that circus like atmosphere is like when he travels to Rupp arena for his official visit.

Lee is still considering only Kentucky and California, and since he has already taken his official visit to his local program, California, he is expected to make a decision within about a week of his return from Lexington.

The atmosphere, and level of comfort that Lee feels, at Big Blue Madness could likely go a long way towards helping the five-star Californian make his decision.

Getting Acquainted

The entire group of commitments for the class of 2013 - Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison,James Young and Derek Willis - all are expected to make their official visits this weekend to celebrate the start of the new college basketball season; and to get better acquainted with each other.

In addition to getting to know each other, speculation is that the four committed prospects will put their heads together to try and figure out how they can help lure Lee, and even Julius Randle, to the Big Blue.

Three 2014 Five-Stars to Visit

Three of the top 2014 players from the region will also be in attendance tonight, as power forward Cliff Alexander, guard JaQuan Lyle and forward Trey Lyles are making the trip.

Lyles in particular should be able to make a good comparison, as he took an official visit last year to Indiana for Hoosier Hysteria.

Like Lyles, Alexander has an offer from Kentucky (and lists Kentucky along with Michigan State as his top two schools), a positive visit in his eyes could go a long way towards eventually inking the signature of the top-five prospect from Chicago.

Lyle does not have an offer yet, but is one of the most skilled and versatile guards in the class; and also has tremendous upside with his size and talent.

Super Soph Making Return Trip

The lone 2015 prospect making the trip, New Jersey forward Karl Towns, is already more familiar with the Kentucky campus then possibly any other visiting prospect.

Towns spent several days on UK campus last summer as he trained with coach Calipari for the Dominican Republic National Team, a squad that the likely no. 1 prospect in 2015 eventually made (although they did not qualify for Olympic play).

It is no secret that Towns has an infatuation with both Kentucky and Florida. With his relationship with Calipari, and familiarity with what Kentucky has to offer, the Wildcats sit high on the list of Towns. But it's Florida who is the presumed leader. After having him on campus last weekend for an unofficial visit, Towns was quoted in the media as saying that Florida could be a great fit for him.

After taking in Big Blue Madness, we'll see how Towns feels.

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