Recruitment of Kentucky prospect winding down

The recruitment of Madisonville (KY) junior standout Jon Hood is hitting the homestretch. has the latest …

"I can tell you that he has, obviously, a lot of guys after him, and he's nearing the end of the process and getting close to making a choice," said North Hopkins High coach Marty Kline. "I would say probably by summer time [he'll have a decision]."

Hood, a 6-foot-6 wing player, has a bevy of high-major schools on his trail, including UK, Duke, Tennessee, Kansas and Georgia Tech.

"I think he feels that he has had a good deal of recruitment from schools that are certainly worthy of his attention. He's had an opportunity to experience Coach Gillispie and staff's recruitment," Kline said. "Take this how you want, but they're in the mix."

Last fall, Gillispie made his interest in Hood known by landing on the North Hopkins practice soccer field in a helicopter. This spring he came to watch Hood perform in a track meet, where he high-jumped a state-best 6 feet, 6 inches.

"That was a little bit of creative recruiting on his part," Kline said.

Hood averaged 21 points and eight rebounds as a junior before breaking his wrist in the district title game. The wrist is healed now, and Hood is continuing to look like a player capable of being an impact recruit on the SEC level.

"I have known Jon since he was a boy at the camp here, and he always had that great work ethic for his age … It's hard to identify one thing he does best, but he runs well and jumps well. He also has the ability to pass the ball. He's very unselfish; sometimes people wonder why he doesn't shoot more," said Kline, who coach all-American Tennessee recruit Scotty Hopson as a freshman.

"They both have tremendous athletic ability. Scottie is more of a guy who just overwhelms you with it. But Jon, when he wants to do so, he can go up among the trees and throw one down as well," Kline said.

Kline, whose school produced former Wildcats Travis Ford and – several decades earlier – Frank Ramsey -- acknowledged that it's tough for any in-state player to turn down Kentucky, but stopped short of saying Hood will definitely choose the Wildcats.

"I think Jon grew up a fan of basketball. In terms of growing up in Kentucky, he certainly got an idea of the Big Blue madness, the nation that follows Kentucky basketball," he said.

Stay tuned to KSR and for the latest on Hood as his recruitment nears a close…

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