PEACH JAM: Alexander dominating inside

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- No one has commanded the paint this week at Peach Jam quite like five-star Chicago big man and major UK recruiting target Cliff Alexander.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- No one has commanded the paint this week at Peach Jam quite like five-star Chicago big man and major Kentucky recruiting target Cliff Alexander.

Through his first five games with Mac Irvin Fire, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound center/forward was averaging 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, numbers that are magnified when you consider he's playing on the same front line as No. 1 overall prospect Jahlil Okafor.

"It's been going good," said Alexander, who is currently ranked the No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2014 by Scout. "I'm just going out there trying to get better every game, trying to work hard."

This week, he's doing it with almost every major coach in the country watching from just feet away as part of the July evaluation period.

"You notice them, but then again, you don't," Alexander said. "You see them over there. You can't miss them. I see Coach Cal and Coach (Tom) Izzo, all those guys. It's nice. But once the game starts, you're not really thinking about them. You're just trying to win."

Kentucky's Calipari was seated in a prominent position for several of Alexander's games this week at the Riverview Center. The Wildcats would love to add him to a class that currently only has one commitment -- New Jersey center/forward Karl Towns Jr.

"They're on me real hard," Alexander said of the UK staff. "I know how much they want to get me down there."

Asked what he likes about the Wildcats, he added: "Great coaching. Great guy in Coach Cal. I loved their practice facility when I went down there."

During the last conversation he had with Calipari, Alexander said the UK boss told him "how they're going to win the national championship this year."

Does he believe it?

"Yeah. Yeah. They've got a chance. They're loaded," Alexander said.

Alexander said the UK staff envisions him as a "Terrence Jones-type" forward with the ability to play inside or outside. "That's kind of how I see myself playing there."

Not surprisingly, UK has some tough competition for Alexander's services. He is also considering Louisville, Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Memphis, Arizona and Kansas, among others.

"I have a really good relationship going with Coach (Rick) Pitino," he said of Louisville. "Them and Kentucky both have great programs, winning programs. They're about championships down there."

Being recruited by both UK and UofL has given Alexander an idea of how passionate the Bluegrass rivalry is.

"Every time I check my (Twitter) messages, they're going to war with each other," he said with a laugh.

Alexander has yet to decide which schools he will take official visits with in the fall. There had been some talk that he might not return to UK since he has already been on campus for an unofficial visit, but he said he hasn't ruled out another trip to Lexington.

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