Gilchrist thinking UK, not NBA

He knows Kentucky had a record five players taken in the first round of last week's NBA draft. However, Michael Gilchrist, a 6-6 forward from Philadelphia ranked as the nation's top senior-to-be, says his verbal commitment to Kentucky has nothing to do with the NBA.

He knows Kentucky had a record five players taken in the first round of last week's NBA draft. However, Michael Gilchrist, a 6-6 forward from Philadelphia ranked as the nation's top senior-to-be, says his verbal commitment to Kentucky has nothing to do with the NBA.

"I am trying to win a national championship, not go to the NBA," said Gilchrist. "I am going to work as hard as possible to win a national championship. That chance to win the title is what drew me to Kentucky.

"I talk to coach (John) Calipari all the time. He is special. There is just something about him that you have to like. But the NBA is not really a concern of mine. I want to win a national championship. What Cal does getting guys ready for the NBA really is not why I am coming to Kentucky."

Gilchrist is in Texas now training with the USA under-18 team even though he arrived a few days late.

"I had the chicken pox and the doctor wouldn't let me come," Gilchrist said. "I never thought about getting something like that. All I could do was wait to get better. I am fine now."

Gilchrist, who plays for St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J., has an uncanny ability to create shots for himself and is regarded as one of the most intense competitors in his recruiting class. He admits he needs some work on his perimeter shot, but he compensates with his ability to slash to the basket and in transition. He has also shown the ability to guard anyone from a point guard to power forward.

Gilchrist was named the outstanding prospect at the NBA Players Associations Top 100 Camp.

Now he's trying to help persuade other players to come to Kentucky like Indianapolis point guard Marquis Teague, another UK verbal commitment who is ranked as the nation's No. 1 player at his position.

"I feel very good about my decision to come to Kentucky and I hope maybe I have helped influence other players to want to come to Kentucky because I want to play with the best players," Gilchrist said. "I talk to guys on this team about playing at Kentucky. I just like to play and have fun, but I have known coach Cal a long time and I know it's hard to say no to him when he's recruiting you. I am looking forward to playing for him and I want other guys to feel the same way."

Teague committed to UK shortly after Gilchrist did.

"Marquis is my best friend. He can do everything on the basketball court," Gilchrist said. "Everything he does on the court is good. I think I am versatile and can do a lot, too. That's why we team together so well."


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