A relatively new name on Kentucky's 2013 basketball recruiting board is New Jersey prospect Tyler Roberson, whose energetic play this summer on the AAU circuit has drawn the Wildcats into the mix.
Kentucky and Kansas, who battled this spring in New Orleans for the national championship, were both at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic to watch the four-star forward work out Thursday.
"I have a little bit of an ankle injury, but I decided to go ahead and push through it since the coaches were coming in to see me," Roberson said. "Overall, it went pretty well. Coach (Orlando) Antigua was there from Kentucky. We didn't get to talk all that much, but he did tell me that they'd be coming back for an in-home visit next week. I think it will be on Tuesday."
According to Roberson, the UK staff likes "all aspects of my game, but especially how hard I play on both ends of the floor.
"They really came on after I got back from Florida (for the AAU nationals). They said they really liked my game and wanted to recruit me."
And his reaction?
"Oh, I was glad to hear that," he said. "Kentucky is one of the top programs in the country. It's great to be recruited by them. Coach (John) Calipari is a really good coach, and he always has a strong team."
Some have compared his style of play to that of recent UK standout Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, another New Jersey product.
"I guess you could say that," Roberson said humbly. "We're about the same size, and we both do a lot of different things well. We both play hard and compete."
"Tyler's a combo forward who prefers to play on the perimeter right now, but he's probably a little bit more effective when he's on the inside," said Scout national basketball analyst Brian Snow. "He's a 6-7 athlete who does everything good, nothing great, but nothing poor. He's a guy that just finds a lot of ways to be productive."
Roberson, who is currently rated No. 46 in the Class of 2013 by Scout, does not currently hold a scholarship offer from the Cats. He says he should know more about that in the next week.
"I'm hoping to hear that when they come to visit me at home," he said.
In the meantime, some other major programs are in the process of lining up official visits. Roberson said he'll be at SMU on Sept. 27, Syracuse on Oct. 5 and Kansas on Oct. 12 for the Jayhawks' version of "Midnight Madness."
Seton Hall, Rutgers, Villanova, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina are also in the mix, he said.
"I wouldn't say anyone stands out yet," Roberson said. "That will probably depend on my visits."
Cats picking up interest in Roberson
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