NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- For most of the spring, the only small forward taking up residence on Kentucky's big board for 2014 was California standout Stanley Johnson.
He may have some company soon in the form of Texan Kelly Oubre, a long, versatile wing who has drawn interest from the UK staff coming off a strong showing in the spring and some impressive performances early this summer at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and the LeBron James Skills Academy.
"A couple of weeks ago, before LeBron camp," Oubre said of his first contact from John Calipari. "... He said he hadn't seen me play yet, so he'd be letting me know more sometime after Peach Jam. I'm trying to show him that I can play."
Some outlets reported Thursday that Oubre had drawn a scholarship offer from Calipari, but he clarified to KyScout that it hasn't occurred yet.
"He said we tell all our recruits that we don't offer scholarships the first day, so you pretty much have to work for your scholarship," Oubre said. "Even when you get to campus, you have to work for everything."
The 6-foot-6, 197-pound Oubre, who will play his senior season at Findlay Prep in Nevada, is currently rated the No. 28 player in his class by Scout. He said his current list features programs like Kansas, UConn, Louisville, Kentucky, Georgetown, UCLA, Florida, Memphis and Arizona.
"It's fair game for everybody," Oubre said. "Nobody's really got a head start."
His high-motor style of play and all-around game may remind some UK fans of former Wildcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
"Hard work," Oubre said of his recent rise in the 2014 rankings. "... As a basketball player, I'm a go-getter. I don't take no for an answer. I'm going to play my hardest every game, every possession, just doing whatever my team needs me to do to win."
That should sound right out of the MKG playbook for many fans in the Big Blue Nation, and it was on display during Thursday opening-round game of the Nike EYBL Finals at Peach Jam. Oubre had a stat-stuffing performance that included 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals in Houston Hoops' 80-67 win over Malik Newman and the Jackson Tigers.
Oubre said he will likely shorten his list of schools after returning home from Peach Jam and learning which schools are the most serious about him. Kentucky could land on that trimmed list if an offer materializes.
"It's a great program," he said. "They produce a lot of pros, and my dream is to be a pro someday, so if I go there I could definitely see myself making it to the pros and excelling in the pros."
Calipari's reputation for developing players is appealing to Oubre.
"Coach Calipari, he's a great coach who cares about his players and produces pros every year," he said.
Oubre said he has become friends with 2015 UK target Malik Newman, the No. 1 shooting guard prospect in his class. Newman went for 40 points on Thursday against Houston Hoops, drawing praise from his colleague.
"He's a great player," Oubre said. "I like his game a lot. "
When told Newman dropped 40 points against his team, Oubre added a good-natured zinger: "He probably did. He was shooting every shot in the game."
PEACH JAM: Oubre joining Cats' 2014 mix?
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