The name will be familiar to many longtime basketball fans.
M.J. Cage, a 6-foot-9 center/forward at Mater Dei High School in California, is the latest sophomore to draw serious attention from UK head coach John Calipari. He is the son of former NBA standout Michael Cage, who played 15 seasons in the league, primarily for the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics.
The elder Cage publicized the offer on his Twitter account, @ExhoopsMC:
"Shout out to Coach Cal and Kentucky basketball offering MJ Cage today thanks for recognizing the skills and potential he will keep working!"
M.J. Cage has attacted early interst from programs like Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, UCLA, USC, Washington and San Diego State, where his father was an All-American in 1984. He plays for the same tradition-rich high school program that features 2014 UK target Stanley Johnson.
FOX Sports Next West Coast basketball analyst Josh Gershon offered the following scouting report on Cage:
"He's a big kid with good shoulders and very long arms. (Reported 7-2 wingspan.) On defense, his timing and length make him a very good shot blocker for a high school center. Offensively, those same tools help him score a lot of points on the offensive glass on tip-ins.
"His best skill offensively is his right-handed hook shot, something that he's made very strong progress at over the last year. He's improving his 12-foot jumper, a shot that he's growing pretty comfortable with, especially from the baseline. Cage prefers to score with his right hand but isn't completely uncomfortable finishing with his left.
"Cage's basketball IQ is proven by how good of a passer he is from the high post, where he'll often toss in the ball over the defense right into the hands of his teammate deep into the paint."