Big man set to visit Kentucky next week

KSR spoke to Ralph Sampson III Wednesday evening and discovered that the big man will be visiting the Wildcats next week on a day to be determined. Read what Ralph had to say about his upcoming visit and about his visits to other schools.

Ralph Sampson III is set to visit Kentucky next week, according to the 6-foot-11 center from Duluth, Ga. "I don't have all the details down," said Sampson, "so I don't know the exact day yet, but I am excited about the visit.

Kentucky will be the third school that Sampson has visited. Earlier, he visited Minnesota and Georgia Tech, and was duly impressed with both schools. "I had a good time during both visits. Coaches (Tubby) Smith and (Paul) Hewitt have a lot of similar qualities. They are both great coaches and teachers and are very easy to talk to."

There is a potential for Sampson's recruitment to come down to the first real head to head battle between Minnesota and Kentucky since Tubby Smith left the program for the Golden Gophers back in April. "If that happened, it would probably be good for basketball," Sampson said, "Tubby Smith is a great coach but Kentucky will always be a great program. I don't see it as something for me to be concerned about."

Outside of Kentucky, Minnesota and Georgia Tech, Sampson says he is still hearing from California, UNLV, Clemson, South Carolina and Maryland. UCLA, he said, has not spoken with him in a while. Kentucky, on the other hand, contacted him later in the recruiting process but is coming on strong, "I have spoken both with coaches Cyprien and Gillispie," said Sampson, and they have been staying in touch a lot. I appreciate that and I am really looking forward to seeing Lexington and finding out what Kentucky basketball is all about."

Sampson says that Georgia Tech, Minnesota and Kentucky, the three schools he will have visited by the end of next week, are "pushing the hardest" for his services, but the Georgia center says he would like to see as many of the other schools as he can before he makes a decision, "I am not sure if I will commit in the fall or spring yet," Sampson said, "It will all come down to what I feel is the best fit. If I get a strong feeling for a school by fall, I will go ahead and make the commitment. But then again, I may decide to wait until spring to decide. I am just not sure, yet."

Sampson said he learned the fundamentals from his famous dad but that his game has developed somewhat differently, "I learned a lot from my father but I also have developed a style that is somewhat different. I have put my own spin on things," he said, "a lot of people told me that my style reminds them of Tim Duncan."

Kentucky was in a heated competition with Ralph Sampson the elder many years ago, which resulted in a fierce recruiting battle that did not come out in the favor of the Wildcats. In a press conference that many Wildcats fans still hold in infamy, Ralph the elder said he must have changed his mind 50 times but then announced for Virginia.


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