Five-star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay counts Kentucky among a long list of colleges that appeal to him entering his junior year at Grace Preparatory Academy in Texas.
Coming off a stellar spring and summer on the AAU circuit, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Mudiay has caught the Wildcats' eye as a likely high priority in the Class of 2014.
"Everything's good with me and Kentucky," he said. "I've been getting to know Coach Cal and coach Orlando (Antigua). They seem like real good people. Of course, everyone knows about Coach Cal and his great personality. He may be an even better person than he is a coach. I like that about him. It's a real blessing to be recruited by those guys.
"I'm nowhere close to making a decision or anything, but Kentucky's one of those schools that I'm definitely interested in. It's a great school and a great basketball program."
Mudiay, who is currently ranked No. 3 in his class by Scout, says it would take a considerable amount of time to run down all of the schools he heard from this summer.
In addition to Kentucky, some of the major programs linked to him early in the process are Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, SMU, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M. That list will likely expand significantly before it begins to get trimmed down.
"Basically everybody," Mudiay said when asked who he's heard from lately. "It's crazy, and it kind of makes it a tougher decision when I start thinking about it more, but like I said, it's a blessing. I'm just trying to focus on getting better right now and not think about it too much."
That's advice that he received from the UK staff during some of his recent conversations.
"They told me to just keep grinding, don't worry about all this recruiting stuff and don't let it affect you -- never stop working on your game," Mudiay said. "That's what I'm trying to do. I feel like I had a good summer, but I know I can still get a lot better."
According to Scout national basketball analyst Evan Daniels, Mudiay "has elite physical attributes at the point guard position, is a tremendous athlete and has very good vision.
"He picked up his play in the summer and really showed an ability to run a team and make plays for his teammates, while also showing a scoring ability."
Mudiay said he's working on "becoming a championship point guard" and a "better vocal leader," things that should come more naturally as he gets older and commands more respect.
Calipari's history with point guards is something that has impressed Mudiay when he thinks about his college future.
"His reputation with point guards is really strong," Mudiay said. "It's crazy how many great ones have played for him. I mean, Derrick Rose and John Wall, guys like that. He just seems to know how to get the best out of them. That's something that really gets your attention."
Asked what other factors will influence his eventual college decision, Mudiay said: "Education is a top priority. My mom says school always has to come before sports, so it will have to be a school where that is stressed. On the basketball side of things, being on a team where I can be surrounded by other good players and coaches who can help me develop into the best player I can be."
The Wildcats' recent wave of NBA Draft selections seems to fit that final criteria.
"Yeah. No doubt," Mudiay said. "You know if you play there, you're going to play with a lot of highly-regarded guys with talent. You look at what they did this year, winning the national championship with three freshmen in the starting lineup, that was pretty impressive."
2014 PG building relationship with UK staff
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