VAUGHT: Telep touts Lucas, Patterson recruiting analyst Dave Telep doesn't know if star recruits Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson will come to Kentucky. However, he does know what it would mean to one school if it could sign both star high school seniors in April.

"Put Patterson with any of the best 10 point guards in the country, and he would be great," said Telep. "At this point, there is no player of unsigned players in the country better than them. They are the two highest rated players still on the board and are at the top of their respective positions. At this point in the calendar year, for one school to get both of them would be like hitting the recruiting lottery."

Lucas, a talented point guard from Houston, will be in Rupp Arena tonight to watch Kentucky play Georgia. He has the Wildcats among his Final Four teams and should be able to see that the Cats certainly could use him next year. Telep says not to worry about the 5-9 Lucas being big enough to play in the rugged Southeastern Conference.

"The guy has shown he can play very well at high level situations. He was as good a guard as there was in the Nike camp last summer. His teams win. He has a lot of intangibles to help any team," Telep said.

The recruiting analyst says Lucas' intangible assets remind him of those guard Mike Conley, who now is a key player for Ohio State, had a year ago as a high school senior. "In the clutch situations, they both make plays. You can't teach that," Telep said.

Wait. There's more to like.

"He's certainly capable of running a major college team, but what really sets him apart is that kids enjoy playing with him. He can be like a Pied Piper. He's a guy you will pair recruits with on their official visits. He'll have value not only as a player, but also as a marketing chip," Telep said. "He is a unique breed. If you call 10 top kids around the country and ask about Lucas, they all know him. He is like Grand Central Station for high school recruits. He interacts. He's a people person. He's always connected to the top guys."

That's good news for Kentucky -- or could be -- because for almost a year Patterson has indicated he would like to go to the same school as Lucas. Kentucky is the only school both have on their final list.

"Patrick Patterson is a guy that the way he scores and goes about his business could be ready to come in and be a signature player at a big school," Telep said. "He has big shoulders and can carry a wide load. I think he comes in and should be a 12 (point) and six (rebound) guy early in his career."

Wait. Telep sees one more upside with Patterson.

He's played with high school superstar O.J. Mayo this season in Huntington. He's not resented the attention Mayo has received even though Patterson was the West Virginia Player of the Year in 2006.

"I think being around O.J. has given him a different perspective that can only benefit him," Telep said. "Playing alongside a great player like that has helped him as a player and person. A lot of kids that age could be jealous. I've not seen that in Patterson. He could have been miffed that Mayo came in there and that he no longer was the big guy because Mayo had a bigger reputation. He has seen life under the microscope this year. After being the man for three years, he is sharing that with Mayo this year. His senior year has also been like a college experience in learning to share the spotlight and not having to carry the burden. He will be adjusted to that when he gets to college, and that could be a huge plus."

AllWildcats Top Stories