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Kentucky was interested in Azuolas Tubelis before pledge to Arizona


U18 Rytas Vilnius v U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade - EB Adidas Next Generation Tournament Photo by David Grau/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Perhaps to distance themselves from Adidas recruits, the Arizona Wildcats have done a great deal of recruiting internationally. In fact, six of Sean Miller’s seven incoming 2020 players are from overseas.

The newest commitment is Lithuanian star Azuolas Tubelis. He brother had previously committed to Arizona, as well. And according to Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, Kentucky also had interest in Azuolas.

“Tubelis is 6-foot-8, 215-pound power forward with a big reputation in Lithuania. He will be rated as a four-star prospect when he enters the 247 Sports player rankings,” Daniels wrote. “Azoulas has a wide range of serious college interest, including Wake Forest and Kentucky.

This is the first that we have heard of Kentucky’s interest in the Lithuanian forward. Tubelis apparently had a great showing in the 2019 FIBA U18 tournament, putting up 14.9 points and 12.6 rebounds per game during the competition. Perhaps John Calipari took a flyer on him at that point, but there has not been any buzz about this recruitment since then.

With a barrage of players from 6-7 to 6-9 coming in this fall, Calipari had other needs to address in the spring recruiting season (i.e. Olivier Sarr). It would not be Calipari’s first interest in an international player, as we saw with Enes Kanter. But it would have been a shock if Tubelis ended up in Lexington this year.

Read more about Tubelis and Arizona’s international class here.