Smith said that Oliver came to Kentucky's attention in Las Vegas in April, "Oliver really played well and impressed a lot of coaches," Smith said, "Kentucky's staff was there. We started getting quite a few calls after that tournament."
Modesto Christian's coach Gary Porter agreed, "Oliver is the best scorer I have ever coached, period. And he has really blown it up this year. He can shoot outside – I think he shoots about 47% from three point range. He can score in transition. And he really knows how to draw fouls."
"Yes, without looking it up I think he gets to the line 10-12 times a game."
And when he gets to the line, he is money. "He probably shoots about 85% or higher from the line," Porter said.
So, why hasn't Oliver received more national attention?
"He really developed this season in high school and in tournament play this spring. Last year this kid looked so thin and young," Porter said, "you would have had to have seen him. I mean, he didn't even have any hair under his arms if you know what I am saying. He was really young looking. He has bulked up some but still has a way to go. But when he puts some strength on that frame, he will be a super player. "
"He is very fluid," Porter added, "he can get up over the rim with ease, and hang in the air and do some spectacular stuff."
So what does he need to develop?
"Well, Tubby Smith is a friend of mine. I got to know him through Chuck Hayes (who also played for Porter at Modesto Christian). He will have to work on his foot speed to play defense in Tubby's system. And like I said, he has gained 12 pounds this year already but he needs to add some muscle to really become a complete ball player."
On most recruiting analysts' lists Kentucky has not even appeared as a consideration. How serious is this visit?
"Well, a school like Kentucky is not going to fly someone out there and spend time with them unless they are serious," Porter says, "As far as Adrian goes, I think he has been favoring Washington, who he will visit next." Most recruiting lists don't even include Washington on it but that has been Adrian's favorite school to date, "He really likes (Washington coach) Romar and they love him and they're all over him. But when he visits Kentucky, who knows what will happen. We'll have to wait and see."
Traveling with Adrian is coach Porter's son, Michael. Michael and the coach were in San Diego visiting San Diego State unofficially tonight.
"Michael is a coach's son, and has the qualities you'd expect," Porter said, "he really sees the floor, really runs the team well and his game is really developing."
"Michael is not the most athletic player on the court but he really has a feel for the game," Porter added. "He has floated under the radar last year. His mom had cancer. I am not making excuses for him or anything but you would have to live through something like that to really know what a young man goes through playing with a burden like that."
The good news is, Mrs. Porter has beaten the cancer and is in full remission.
So did the Chuck Hayes connection have anything to do with this visit?
"Both these kids were Chuck's ball boys when he played here," Porter said, "Chuck was their idol, so I am sure there will be a reunion out there."
So how does coach Porter feel about seeing his son and star player perhaps playing so far away?
"Well, I won't lie to you," Porter said, "as a dad, I think about the fact that I got to see Chuck play one time in his career at Kentucky, so that certainly bothers me. But I will not stop either of them from living their dream, whatever that turns out to be – be it Kentucky or someplace out west."