In any great program, prospective recruits have to be sold on a vision on what they could become in that system — the “best version of themselves” if you will — in order to cast their lot with that program.
In the case of James Wiseman, the No. 1 overall prospect in 2019, UK coaches have focused on the talented big man for his defensive skills, offensive post ability, and unbelievable length. Wiseman patterns his game after Anthony Davis, a fact not lost on the Cats staff. UK is selling the idea on Wiseman following the path of Davis to Lexington.
Vernon Carey got that type of vision from Kentucky coach John Calipari and assistant coach Kenny Payne recently. In recent visits from Coach Cal and assistant Kenny Payne, Carey, the No. 2 player in the ‘19 class, heard the sales pitch from Calipari that he and Wiseman could be a version of Davis and fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins in Lexington.
In the case of Carey, he’s modeling his game after both players, something he discussed with Payne.
“I look at DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis,” Carey told Cats Pause. “I just watch those two guys.
“That’s what he (Payne) discussed with me in the meeting. That I could model my game after both of those two players. He told me to focus on those two. Just Anthony Davis’ effort and DeMarcus Cousins’ versatility.”
The 6-10, 245-pound center knows how to use his strength in the post and at the same time has good athleticism for a player of his size. Couple this with his post game and his surprising ability to hit the mid-range shot, it’s no surprise Carey is drawing favorable comparisons to Boogie.
Kentucky is also receiving a recruiting boost with Carey from former Cat big man Bam Adebayo. The Miami rookie has reached out to Carey about the advantages of playing for Kentucky and joining a loaded recruiting class potentially.
The Cats aren’t the only schools making a push for Carey’s services. Duke and Miami (FL) were thought to be the final two schools vying for the center.
But with UK’s sudden push, Carey has said he could cut his final list by August, so he could get comfortable with the schools and coaches involved.
Stay tuned Cat fans, the recruiting once again is very interesting.