PEACH JAM: Rising 2017 star likes Cats

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- With more names emerging as top prospects in the sophomore class, it's time to start taking a closer look at some players who could emerge on the Kentucky basketball recruiting radar in the near future.

When Scout recently released its initial 2017 rankings, one of the players to make that list was Trevon Duval of Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict Prep.

The 6-foot-2 Duval is currently rated the No. 2 point guard in his class. He had a good showing here Thursday morning in his first game at the Peach Jam EYBL finals, scoring 10 points and dishing out two assists as part of the NJ Playaz' 81-47 romp over CP3 and 2016 standout Harry Giles.

Afterward, Duval said he currently holds scholarship offers from Villanova, Rutgers and Seton Hall. He said he's starting to hear more from schools from coast to coast and hopes some of the blue bloods are close to making contact.

"It's exciting," he said. "I mean, I'm just going to be a sophomore, so it's all brand new to me. It's still kind of like a dream. But it's very exciting because I can start to see the hard work I've put in paying off."

The UK staff got to see Duval's first game at Peach Jam, primarily because it was scouting Giles in his return from a major knee injury. But the impressive, young guard may have caught the Cats' eye.

Duval said he hasn't heard directly from Kentucky at this point in his recruitment, but stopped just short of issuing an open invitation to the Cats.

"Kentucky?" Duval said as a smile stretched nearly from ear to ear across his face. "Yeah. Yeah. Definitely."

"I mean, it's Kentucky," Duval continued. "They bring in great players year after year. They have great teams and they send players on to the NBA every year. They have a great coach, and it just seems like a really fun place to play. I hope I hear a lot more from them."

In order to make that leap to the type of guards that UK typically recruits, Duval said he needs to continue to improve his perimeter shooting. As of now, he considers ball-handling and slashing to the basket to be his strengths.

He grew up trying to pattern his game after a former John Calipari player, Derrick Rose, and former Duke standout Kyrie Irving.

"I'd like to have Derrick Rose's motor and athleticism and Kyrie Irving's jump shot and court savviness," he said.

Despite being one of the youngest players in the EYBL 17-Under bracket, Duval has averaged a solid 7.4 points per game for the NJ Playaz.

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