Having found success with one Canadian big man in the not-so-distant past, Kentucky coach Tubby Smith is again seeking talent north of the border.
Bernard Cote, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward who compares favorably to former UK standout Scott Padgett, will make an official visit to Lexington this weekend.
"I'm getting ready to leave Friday morning for Kentucky," he said late Thursday night from his Montreal, Quebec, home. "I'm very excited. This is my first trip, and I'm eager to see the university, coach Smith and the players there.
"I get along really well with coach Smith and coach Sutton. They'll be coming back here for an in-home visit Monday night. I just really like the total package Kentucky has to offer."
Cote says there's no significance to UK being his first official visit --- "It just turned out that way" --- but notes that the Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks are currently his two leaders.
"They're both great basketball schools with tradition and both have good academics. If I started listing things I liked, it would be about the same for Kentucky and Kansas," he said.
Notre Dame, Ohio State, Minnesota, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are also still in the hunt for his services.
Cote averaged 14 points and nine rebounds last season at Champlain St. Lambert. He was a relatively unknown prospect until an eye-opening performance at this summer's Nike camp. He's described by many analysts as a strong player on the blocks with a relentless rebounding attitude. He's also reportedly improved his perimeter game of late, stretching his jumper out to 3-point range.