Calipari pursuing top perimeter targets

Kentucky's 2009 recruiting class included two of the nation's top three players, three of the top 17, and five of the top forty-five; as ranked by Scout. Calipari's MO for 2010 appears to be to build on that #1 class, as he pursues a number of the nation's best perimeter players.

Kentucky's John Calipari indicated to Brett Dawson, of the Louisville Courier-Journal that during July he will not really be evaluating, as the UK coach knows who he is recruiting. This means the UK coach will be putting in face time, making sure his top targets see him seeing them.

Unfortunately, Calipari cannot publicly indicate who he is recruiting, so that has to be based upon player comments and on the movements of Calipari and his staff.

At present it appears the Wildcats are targeting a number of the nation's top perimeter players.

In the late spring it looked like letting some of the air out of Kentucky's bloated roster had a negative impact on Kentucky's standing with 2010's #1 player, Harrison Barnes. This week Barnes has indicated that Kentucky is indeed in this race. The schools recruiting Barnes read like a who's who of top programs as Duke, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Minnesota, Florida and Iowa State join Kentucky on the list of Scout's top player.

Calipari is also in pursuit of the Scout's #2 2010 prospect, and top point guard, Brandon Knight. With John Wall expected to be one and done the UK staff is spending lots of time on Knight, who is more of a scoring point guard. Knight has been rumored to be a UK lean, and is also being pursued by Connecticut, Florida, Duke, Syracuse, UCLA, Kansas and Texas.

The Wildcats are also recruiting Scout's #7 player, and #2 point guard. Kyrie Irving, of famed St. Patrick's HS (NJ). Irving recently gave a list of Duke, Kentucky, Virginia, Seton Hall, Marquette, Indiana, Connecticut and Texas A&M. Irving is the God Son of Kentucky assistant coach Rod Strickland.

Joe Jackson, this Joe is definitely not Shoeless, though he could on occasion probably run right out of his shoes. Jackson is ranked #17 by Scout, is a lightning quick 5-11 point guard out of Memphis White Station HS. Jackson has listed Kentucky since Calipari was hired back in the spring. Among the schools recently in the gym to watch Scout's #4 point guard were Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee, UConn, Kansas, Ohio State and Duke.

Smooth point guard/wing Jelan Kendrick, has been pretty quiet on his recruitment. Kendrick, ranked #18 by Scout, is thought to be highly sought by Kentucky, Texas, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and others. Kendrick's game is one that would be very conducive to Calipari's dribble drive motion offense. A few weeks ago Kendrick told Eric Bossi, in a KSR report, that, "I'd like a coach that can give me good teaching points on life. I'd like maybe a college city and a place where they just love their college teams." Kendrick is a Georgian out of Atlanta's Westlake HS; Kentucky has had a number of players in both basketball and football from the Peach State. Will Kendrick be next?

Scout's #24 player, 6-5 wing guard Doron Lamb is listing Kentucky, where he recently visited, West Virginia, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Marquette. He has said he will definitely visit Kentucky, Kansas and Oklahoma officially. The kid from New York City sees a lot of UK Assistant Coach Rod Strickland in himself, as both were from New York and moved ot Virginia to complete their high school careers at famed Oak Hill Academy.

6-6 wing Cameron Clark has Oklahoma, Kentucky and Kansas recruiting him the hardest, Memphis and Oklahoma State are also in the running. Clark, Scout's #32 ranked player, is noted for his long range shooting, and his ability to pull up off the dribble for the midrange jumper; making him a potentially lethal component in the dribble drive motion offense. His relationship with Jeff Capel may make OU tough to beat.

Next up, Kentucky targets in the post.

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