Smith Taps Into 2008 Market

The Kentucky Wildcats awarded a scholarship to a member of the junior class on Monday. One of Tubby Smith's former players has a talent the Wildcats regarded highly.

The Kentucky Wildcats dipped into the 2008 recruiting pool on Monday and picked up a commitment from Saginaw (Mich.) High standout forward Draymond Green.

Green, who averages 25 points and 13 rebounds a game as a junior, received the UK offer the same weekend the Gators came into Lexington to play. Green was in town for a visit.

On Monday, Green spoke with Tubby Smith and sealed the deal. "I talked to him earlier today," Green said. "He was very happy. He told me that he would love for me to be there and I had an offer. I told I was ready to make a decision."

There's a Smith connection to Green. Lou Dawkins, Green's high school coach, played under Smith at Tulsa in the early 90's. The coach has seen a big improvement in his 6-foot-7 horse from his sophomore to junior season.

"He's showing leadership skills and he's like a newborn baby," Dawkins said. "He's got a fresh start and he's amazing in the improvement he's made from this year from last year."

Green is playing the small and power forward roles at Saginaw. Once he arrives in Lexington, the forward feels like he'll be an asset at a few different positions. "He told me that I'd be playing just like I play in high school. They'd use me for whatever they needed me and he could see me playing right away."

Like a lot of kids, Green realized the Kentucky experience was too important to pass on. Having heard from Xavier, Clemson, Indiana, Dayton, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan and Bradley, UK was unique in what it brought to the table.

"The way coach presented it, the program and himself, I know that I could fit in there and it's a nice place to be. Whether I make it to the NBA or not, the life after basketball will be good. You don't want nothing like that to slip by."

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