Victor: UK 'America's Team' for top players

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- When Kentucky coach John Calipari went to New Orleans to visit five-star 2014 power forward Craig Victor earlier this spring, he had a familiar refrain that almost every player who has been recruited by the UK boss has heard at one point or another.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- When Kentucky coach John Calipari went to New Orleans to visit five-star 2014 power forward Craig Victor earlier this spring, he had a familiar refrain that almost every player who has been recruited by the UK boss has heard at one point or another.

"When he came to talk to me, he told me about how Kentucky isn't for everybody," said Victor, who played this week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia.

And what did that mean to Scout's No. 4 power forward in the rising senior class?

"It means that they recruit the very best players, and you have to go in there with the mindset of being ready to compete, or the guy who comes in with you or the the class that comes in after you will wipe you out. He said some people can't handle that, so I think that's what he means by Kentucky isn't for everybody."

Is it for Victor?

"Most definitely," he said emphatically. "They get the best talent in the country. It's basically America's dream school for high school players the way the Dallas Cowboys are 'America's Team' in the NFL.

"Who wouldn't want to play there?"

Victor said he follows the hoops recruiting world closely and was amazed by the class that Calipari signed for 2013. He labeled it "a force to be reckoned with."

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Victor has not received a scholarship offer from Calipari yet, but believes that could be coming later this summer. UK has offered Trey Lyles and Cliff Alexander and has a commitment from Karl Towns, three players who could see action at the 4 at the next level.

He's not afraid of the competition if the opportunity comes to be a Wildcat.

"There's competition everywhere," Victor said. "... And I don't believe you even have to start at Kentucky to be a pro. I've seen guys come off their bench and produce (like New Orleans Pelican Darius Miller). If you come off the bench and show Coach Cal you'll compete, he'll find time for you."

Asked what the UK staff has told him about why he's on their watch list, Victor said: "Basically, they say they like my effort on both ends of the floor. My physical attributes. Running the floor, bodying people, playing hard.

Victor has watched UK's recent teams on many occasions, especially the 2012 national champions. He was at the Superdome when the Wildcats defeated Kansas and cut down the nets for the school's eighth title, and one of the players on that squad reminds him of himself.

"Terrence Jones," he said. "I believe me and him have a few things in common."

A visit to Lexington is in the works, Victor said. He's not sure exactly when it will occur, but his best guess was sometime in the early fall.

He was originally planning to take some trips this month, but said those were postponed so that he could focus on taking the ACT between numerous camp appearances.

Victor said the schools currently recruiting him the hardest are Kentucky, Ohio State, LSU, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Florida. He has offers from each school with the exception of UK.

"Coach Cal told me he'd come see me in July at Indy and Vegas, so I believe they'll offer me after that," said Perkins, who will be playing with the New Orleans Elite AAU squad.


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