After the Cactus Classic, the writing was on the wall: Kemba Walker was on the verge of becoming an extremely popular individual. We've said it before in relation to the Class of 2008: its point guard thin.
Walker's rise just made it a tiny bit fatter.
In time, Walker could project to Top 5 status in the current class. Should he continue piling up victories and admirers, it could be a special summer for the Manhattan (N.Y.) Rice standout.
"I think not only has he earned everything he's done it the right way," Gauchos coach and former college assistant Emanuel Richardson said. "Everything that Rice High School has asked him to do and everything the Gauchos have asked him to do he's done it.
"He's been great on and off the court. He just plays hard. He's not as concerned with rankings, he just plays hard. He's old school; a throwback kid."
Confidence has played a part in Walker's rise. He was always a good player but believing and doing lead to bigger and better things. "He wasn't ready to lead, now he's ready to lead and he sees that we're going to go as he does," Richardson said.
Let's be fair, it's not like schools were slow to catch onto the guy. Clearly, it was the recruiting analysts (and we'll take the hit on that one) who didn't value him properly. Then again, maybe now's his time. Regardless, Walker had plenty of offers heading into the spring.
The Huskies did not offer prior to the visit but they might during the trip.
"Coach LaFleur told me that when I get on campus they're going to offer," Walker said. "Hopefully they do. I know they have a history of sending guys to the NBA and they've had some good players. I know he's a tough coach and that's the kind of coach I'd like to have."
As far as anyone dialing his digits and entering the mix, not likely to happen. "I think it's a little late for schools to be coming in. I'm starting to put some thought into it and it's late."
Walker indicated two schools have told him "you're our guy." St. John's and Cincinnati phrased their interest that way. "That's exactly what they said to me."
For the homegrown New Yorker, playing in the Big East is what drives him. "I really want to play in the Big East that's my main thing. It's the level of play and you get to come home a lot."
Like the legions of New York grown standouts before him, Walker is cool and not about to tip his hand. "I think I look at (all of) them as equals. I don't think anybody leads right now."