Young has in-home with UK, plans others

James Young, one of the nation's top wing prospect, hosted John Calipari for his first in-home visit this week. His Godfather -- Sean Mahone -- broke down the meeting, plus discussed their upcoming visits.

While a number of the nation's top prospects met with a handful of schools during the first few days of the Recruiting Period, James Young, a top 10 prospect, met with just one – Kentucky.

John Calipari and the Wildcats met with Young on Monday. Young's Godfather – Sean Mahone – said the visit was "a nice, quality visit."

"What I loved about what [Calipari] did was the bulk of our conversation wasn't about basketball," Mahone said. "It was getting to know him as a person, his staff and his institution and a lot of the things that they represent."

"He really preached the importance of academics and getting that degree and making sure you are in a position, throughout your basketball career that you can manage your career from a business perspective," he added. "He was really talking about the business side of the high profile athletes and some of the business challenges that they could face."

To go with Young, UK is also recruiting Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Harrison on the wing. Mahone said Calipari discussed Kentucky's 2013 recruiting targets and his plan for the class.

"He started talking about his style of play and his philosophy around the team," Mahone told Scout.com. "If one wins, if we all win. He said, ‘J, I'm recruiting a lot of top athletes' and we know who they're going after."

"He said he believes that if you guys adhere to my plan that chemistry will not be an issue," he added. "There's an opportunity for everybody to have individual success. He said if they put the team first that individual success will come out for it."

Calipari also went over Young's style of play and mapped out how he would use him if he were to end up at Kentucky.

"He talked about J's style of play being a perfect fit for his system," Mahone said. "He was really excited about J's ability to dominant inside and outside. His ability to keep people outside and get people to the basket is attractive. He talked about his passing and that J's style of play fits the mold of players that he's trying to recruit and his overall system."

Overall, Mahone said the in-home visit with Kentucky was a success.

"Those guys did a very good job validating why they've been successful in the past and while they have a formula for success in the future," he said. "It was great visit. Those guys definitely have their act together."

The next step in Kentucky's recruitment of Young is getting him to campus. Mahone said they are actively working on a date for Young to visit Calipari's program either unofficially or officially.


Young had in-home with UK
"Our goal is to get there this month," he said. "We are trying to figure out what weekend. The whole thing about an official visit, we may just have to do an unofficial visit, until we decide to do an official visit. We want to see those guys when the ball is tossed up."

"Clearly to be straight up, the midnight madness is a weekend that they are excited about and would love to have us, but we are trying to make sure that matches up with what we are trying do."

Next week Young, who recently transferred to Rochester (Mich.) Hills, is expected to meet with Michigan State, Syracuse, Kansas and Arizona, according to Mahone.

"It's scattered throughout the week," Mahone said. "We are going to get remaining visits scheduled."

Michigan State has heavily pursued Young for quite some time. Mahone said MSU's interest has never waivered and that's one of the reasons they are so high on the Spartans.

"They've made a commitment to J that he would be an integral part of their roster, lineup and their offense," Mahone said. "They love him. They've been recruiting James for a long time. I give that guy a lot of credit. Since day one he acknowledged the fact that he intends to give J an offer and wanted him at MSU a long time ago."

Mahone said Izzo's ability to develop players and the consistency of the program over the years really stand out to him and Young.

"Coach Izzo, the things that I love about him is the guy a few years ago had the NBA pursing him and the guy is a great coach," Mahone said. "It's a testament to the fact that the guy can coach college players and can coach pros. All of that is exciting to us because he's a proven winner."

"The program is a first class program," he added. "It's an unbelievable institution. It's like playing basketball in your backyard. Getting to play in your backyard is extremely exciting and it would probably be an unbelievable story to have J playing in Michigan."

According to Mahone, Michigan State's roster is a good fit for Young.

"Based off their team and their roster there's a heck of an opportunity for J to play in that offense and not only be a feature guy, but have an opportunity to do some special things in their offense. They have a lot of talent there."

On Monday, Syracuse is expected to conduct an in-home visit with Young. Syracuse is selling Young and his family on their style of play.

"Their offense is wide open," Mahone said. "You look at it and they openly support the ability to shoot the trey ball. If you think about James, he loves to shoot the trey ball and I think he's worked really hard to develop his perimeter game."

"Their offense supports the up and down, slasher type of player that James is. These guys will run and get the ball up and down the court. That style of court bodes well for James' type of game. He's a slasher and a scorer. We want James to be at a place were he can showcase his perimeter game and also out on the break. I think that offense is really conducive to his style of play."

Young, a five-star prospect, is currently regarded as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2013 class.


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