Cats making push with Alexander?

HAMPTON, Va. -- Five-star 2014 Chicago big man Cliff Alexander revealed Saturday that he had received an in-home visit from Kentucky coach John Calipari earlier in the week. Read more about how it went in this KyScout feature.

HAMPTON, Va. – It appears Kentucky has made a big push for 2014 Chicago big man Cliff Alexander.

The five-star prospect revealed Saturday at the Nike EYBL that UK head coach John Calipari made an in-home visit with him earlier this week, and he likes what he's hearing from the Wildcats.

"They're coming pretty hard," Alexander said. "I had a home visit with them a couple of days ago, and it went well. My parents loved Coach Cal."

According to Alexander, the UK boss appealed to his wish to be developed as a power forward rather than a center, where some other coaches and scouts have him projected.

"He was saying how he was going to move me around and get me to play like a Terrence Jones," he said.

The bruising 6-foot-10, 250-pound Alexander recently sent out a message via the Twitter social network that he wants to play the 4 spot at the college level.

"I think that fits me," he said. "Shoot the jump shot, play down low a little bit, and make good passes."

When noted that he doesn't get to play out on the perimeter much with the Mac Irvin Fire AAU squad, Alexander replied, "(The Wildcats) say they're going to get me that way."

But, Alexander added, Calipari likes how he's "real strong around the basket and tries to dunk everything."

That overpowering style has been on full display this weekend at the Hampton leg of the EYBL. With high-profile teammate and fellow five-star 2014 big man Jahlil Okafor sidelined by a high-ankle sprain, Alexander has more than picked up the slack. Through three games, he has scored 52 points and grabbed 51 rebounds. He has also blocked eight shots.

He has also displayed a high amount of energy, hustling for loose balls, and at one point, almost plastering Calipari while flying out of bounds at full speed. The UK boss smiled and breathed a sigh of relief when Alexander stopped just short of him, and patted the player on the back for his all-out effort.

"He told me great job," Alexander said with a smile.

Alexander said Illinois, Michigan State and Kentucky have recruited him the hardest. They're on a tier by themselves at this stage in his recruitment, although he has not officially trimmed his list to three. Programs like Kansas and Louisville have also been in the mix.

Could another program sneak into the picture? Alexander suggested he'd like to get in on the much-discussed package deal that five-star Minnesota point guard Tyus Jones and Okafor have made no secret of desiring. Many believe Michigan State or Duke could lead for that duo.

"They're saying let's go to the same school and win the national championship," he said.

Alexander said he may make another visit to UK in the fall. He was in town for last year's Big Blue Madness, but the next trip would likely be an official visit.

"It was crazy," Alexander said of Madness. "The fan base is crazy. The kids loved me. Everybody showed me love, chanted my name. I want to go somewhere they have a great fan base."



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