Mudiay emerging as Cal's point of emphasis

HAMPTON, Va. – For months, Kentucky fans have speculated who might be the latest elite point guard to come down John Calipari's impressive recruiting assembly line. The Big Blue Nation may now have its answer.

HAMPTON, Va. – For months, Kentucky fans have speculated who might be the latest elite point guard to come down John Calipari's impressive recruiting assembly line.

Would it be Minnesota standout Tyus Jones or Texas dynamo Emmanuel Mudiay?

That picture is gradually coming into focus as the AAU season gets under way. During the second leg of the Nike EYBL, all indications are that Kentucky has tabbed Mudiay as the player at the top of its wish list.

The 6-foot-5 Dallas Prime Prep star said he received a visit from the UK boss before he departed for Hampton. Meanwhile, Jones informed media Saturday that he had recently entertained the head coach from each of the top schools on his list with the exception of Calipari.

"I had a home visit with him on Wednesday," Mudiay said. "He's a great guy, a great coach, definitely one of the best recruiters there is in the county. He does a good job with his point guards, and that's a big part that I look into."

Mudiay said the visit also gave him a chance to learn more about Calipari as a person and to cut through some of the negative recruiting for which he's been exposed.

"A lot of people are always trying to talk down on him because he's been real successful, but to be honest, he doesn't talk bad about nobody," Mudiay said. "He just worries about his program and wants to develop his guys. That's all he cares about."

Something Mudiay cares deeply about is winning. Even in AAU games that many view as glorified pick-up contests, he plays at full speed on both ends of the floor.

In his first three games in Hampton, he has averaged 15.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. He flirted with a triple-double (10 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists) in a 67-57 win over Oklahoma's Athletes First on Saturday morning.

The opportunity to win a national title is important to Mudiay when picking a college.

"You're never going to go there and not think you can't win a championship," he said of UK. "… You all see they got seven probable first-rounders coming in (the 2013 class) so that's definitely something we look into as my family."

Mudiay said he knew all along that Texas twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison were going to be Wildcats, but another Lone Star State star who picked UK really grabbed his attention.

Mudiay is averaging 15.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists at the Nike EYBL in Hampton.
"When Julius (Randle), one of my friends, said he was going, that really surprised me. I didn't know he was going to go there. I thought he was probably going to stay around home, but like I said, Coach Cal is a great recruiter, and he knows what he's doing."

Asked what Calipari's sales pitch has been to him, Mudiay said: "Basically you know he has a lot of lottery picks, and that's my dream. I definitely want to get my education first, but if it's in God's will, I'll go to the NBA. He definitely knows what he's doing with point guards."

And does he feel like he is Cal's preferred point guard for 2014?

"That's on him," Mudiay said. "I don't ask him that. But he says he wants to coach me."

Kentucky is one of 10 schools still on Mudiay's list. The others are Baylor, Oklahoma State, Arizona, Louisville, Kansas, Texas, SMU, N.C. State and St. John's.

"Recruiting is good. I'm taking everything slow right now and just waiting it out," Mudiay said.

He plans to make some additional visits this summer and fall to help him trim the list a little further. He said UK will "definitely" be one of his official visits.

Asked about some of the other schools on his list, Mudiay offered the following:

"Baylor is just down the street. Basically just an hour and 15 minutes away from me. My brother, Isaiah Austin, he likes it."

"Oklahoma State is a great school. They put Marcus Smart, another good friend of mine from Dallas, in a great position this year and he played the point guard, so that definitely helps… (Travis Ford) did a great job with Marcus Smart this year, and he played the point guard in college, so that's another thing."

"Arizona, Point Guard U. That's what they had. They're trying to bring that back."

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