One of John Calipari's first stops on what is expected to be a busy week of in-home visits was to five-star Texas forward Julius Randle.
"It went really well," said Chris Mayberry, Randle's coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano. "Coach Cal's really great. You can tell why he's so successful in recruiting. Kentucky kind of speaks for itself, but when you have a guy like him as your salesman, it's just really impressive to sit there and listen to him explain to kids what they have to offer."
Asked what the UK pitch was to his star prospect, Mayberry said: "It was the whole program. You have the tradition, the crazy fans, Rupp Arena... all that stuff. He told him he'd have the oppportunity to play with other great players and a chance to win a championship. Plus, the success they've had with the NBA Draft."
"Oh, there's definitely a wow factor to Kentucky right now," Mayberry said, "especially coming off a championship."
According to Mayberry, Calipari also noted the special challenges of playing at Kentucky.
"He said it's a high pace, a high level of expectations," Mayberry said. "He said you'll be a like a rock star, and you have to be ready for that, but here's what we'll do to help you prepare for it and adjust to it.
"I think Julius understands that part wherever he ends up going."
The parties also discussed Randle's official visit, which will come next weekend in conjunction with UK's alumni charity game that will feature several former Wildcat stars from the NBA. It will mark the first of Randle's five permissible official visits.
"He's excited about it," Mayberry said. "He's heard a lot about the program, so he's eager to go see some of it for himself. I know (the UK staff) is really interested in him seeing the new dorms and some of their other facilities."
Randle also has an official visit scheduled with Florida for the weekend of Oct. 5. The Gators will be playing host to SEC rival LSU on the gridiron that weekend in what is expected to be a wild atmosphere in Gainesville.
Randle (6-8, 235) is rated the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2013 and No. 4 overall by Scout. He is considering a long list of scholarship offers, but is widely thought to be focused on Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Baylor, Kansas and Florida at this stage.
Kentucky was one of two in-home visits for Randle on Sunday, the first day that coaches could be back out on the road to meet with prospects. He also played host to N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried. North Carolina coach Roy Williams is expected to be in Plano on Monday.
Julius Randle plays host to Calipari
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