Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Tracking the Official Visits

Prospect Nerlens Noel and commit Willie Cauley took in Kentucky's win over Ole Miss last Saturday.


I'm just throwing up a quick post to keep Kentucky fans aware of where the top 2012 targets are visiting. Keep in mind that the first day of the Late Signing Period is less than two months away: April 11, 2012. Kentucky is still in hot pursuit of several key targets, which I'll cover in my next 2012 Big Board update (coming shortly!).

  • As previously mentioned, the #1 overall prospect in the country, Nerlens Noel, took a visit to Kentucky last Saturday. Because Noel has not finalized his reclassification to the 2012 class, the visit was technically an unofficial one. Noel recapped the trip in his ESPNHS diary blog, mentioning that he still plans on visiting Florida, North Carolina and Georgetown, as well as local schools Connecticut and Providence. No confirmed dates have been set.

I got there Friday morning and went to their practice for about an hour. I really liked the way they practice there.

[...]

I went to the game the next day and the fans most definitely lived up to the hype. They were just real live and they chanted my name about eight times. It was so loud in there.

One of the fans came up to me and said "SEC girls love flattops!" I thought that was pretty funny.

[...]

I did notice that Coach Cal’s and Coach Boeheim’s recruiting styles are very different. Coach Boeheim is way more laid back. He lets you know that he wants you, but he doesn’t press it too much. Coach Cal tells you everything about how he’ll use you, where you’ll fit in, everything.

  • Noel wasn't the only prospect to take in Kentucky's win over Ole Miss. Signee Willie Cauley took a surprise visit to Lexington and caught up with Nation of Blue's Garrett Tucker after the game:
  • "It would be sick if Nerlens came to Kentucky," he said enthusiastically.

    Cauley also went as far as believing that UK will reel in Noel, along with two other top recruits.

    "We can land Nerlens, Shabazz Muhammad, and Anthony Bennett for sure. We may could get another one, too.

    "I think Kentucky will bring in four more players, but I think at least three."

    • Shabazz Muhammad will be in Lawrence this weekend, officially visiting Kansas as the Jayhawks take on Missouri. He'll follow that up with a visit to Duke on March 3 for Duke-UNC. That would wrap up Muhammad's five allotted official visits (he previously visited Kentucky and Texas A&M). UCLA, USC and UNLV round out his list.
    • There may be a little bit of credence to the Scout report that Muhammad and Tony Parker will eventually pick UCLA. At the very least, their decision-making seems to be intertwined: Parker plans to officially visit Kansas along with Muhammad. It's worth noting that Kansas entered the Parker sweepstakes even later than Kentucky. Parker would have one official visit left, and may still visit Kentucky or UConn. Duke and Ohio State are also favorites.
    • Amile Jefferson has planned a follow-up visit to Duke to take in game against UNC as well. That visit lends further credence to the belief that Jefferson will eventually pick Duke over NC State. Kentucky is still listed, but likely will not get a commitment from Jefferson.
    • Devonta Pollard still plans on visiting Georgetown, Mississippi State, Alabama and Kentucky after taking official visits to Texas and Missouri earlier this winter.
    • Finally, Anthony Bennett has not yet taken any official visits and may not until his high school playoffs are over. In an earlier interview, he mentioned that his mom "really likes" Kentucky and Florida.

    Follow my Twitter feed (@JC_Hoops) for the latest updates and keep an eye out for the next big board update.

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