PEACH JAM: Zimmerman eager for UK visit

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Texting back and forth during a sporting event has become something of a new tradition for friends in this age of smartphone communications.

On Wednesday, Stephen Zimmerman tried it out with Kentucky coach John Calipari.

"I saw him on the ESPYs last night, and I texted him to see if he would reply to me," said the 6-foot-11 senior from Las Vegas. "I just thought that would be pretty cool."

Would it be a sign of just how much Calipari wants the elite big man in his program if he actually responded?

"Yeah," Zimmerman said with a smile. "I wanted to see him pick up his phone on TV... I was too slow, though, (to get him on camera). He did reply to me, though. That was pretty cool."

The UK boss communicated to Zimmerman that he'd be at the Peach Jam Thursday night to see the Oakland Soldiers' second game. In his first game, he had 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. In his second, Zimmerman turned in a 7-point, 9-rebound, 4-block effort.

"I've been working hard on all aspects of my game, but mainly I just want to show all the coaches that I can go hard and run the floor and make things happen on both ends," he said.

Zimmerman, who is rated the No. 4 center and No. 8 player overall for 2015 by Scout, recently trimmed his list to eight schools: UK, Louisville, Arizona, Kansas, Indiana, North Carolina, UCLA and UNLV.

Those programs have begun to jockey for position to get one of the coveted five official visits from Zimmerman. So far, he has two scheduled - Louisville on Sept. 26 and Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October.

"I think North Carolina and Kansas (will be scheduled next)," Zimmerman said. "I think somewhere around those other two I have, so I'll have those two and then one more."

Asked why UK was one of his priorities in scheduling visits, Zimmerman said: "Mainly because of the Midnight Madness thing. We watch it on TV, and it's pretty crazy. Me and my parents have always wanted to see that."

Zimmerman is an AAU teammate of fellow Top 10 prospect Ivan Rabb, who is also considering the Wildcats. He said he could see himself playing alongside Rabb at the next level because they're both skilled (and willing) passers in a high-low set. Rabb, a friend of UK commit Charles Matthews, said Thursday that he's considering a visit to Lexington as well.


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