Kentucky played host to the nation's top basketball prospect for 2015 on Friday as Karl Towns made his way to Lexington to watch the Wildcats' game against LIU-Brooklyn.
The five-star Metuchen (N.J.) St. Joseph center is no stranger to Lexington, having spent a great deal of the summer in town with the John Calipari-coached Dominican Republic national team and making a trip for "Big Blue Madness" in October. With a planned college decision looming during the first week of Decemeber, though, he says he wanted to get one more look at UK from "a different perspective."
"I had to get a second opinion of the school different from my time there with the Dominican team," Towns said. "The first time, we were so busy with the team and practice, I really didn't have a chance to see much of the campus and just enjoy seeing things on my own time.
"We were going down to see some close friends of the family, so we decided it would be a great opportunity to go by the school with my parents, check out the actual campus a little more, and see a game at Rupp Arena."
The 6-foot-10 Towns currently has a list of prospective schools that includes UK, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Indiana, N.C. State, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Michigan. He hopes to trim that list to a smaller one in the next few days, then make a college decision on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
"Actually, it may be two decisions," he said. "I'm trying to decide about the whole reclassification issue, too."
Towns is currently in the sophomore class, but may move up a year and become part of the 2014 group.
"I really have no idea about that part yet," he said. "I have the grades to do it, so it wouldn't be very difficult, but I have decided if that's the best fit for me yet."
The college choice, however, may be a different matter.
"I have a pretty good idea right now," he said, adding that he's not in a rush, but also doesn't seek the attention that some players desire from the recruiting process. "I'm getting to the point where I'm confident I can make that call and it be the right school for me and my family."
Can UK fans read much into the trip to Lexington just 12 days before his decision date?
Towns laughed, then offered the following: "Like I said earlier, I just needed a second opinion of Kentucky."
Asked what the second opinion was like, Towns added: "It was good. I really enjoyed being at the game as a fan. It was interesting to see Coach Calipari interact with the players. Definitely different from being one of those players. You can see how passionate he is, how competitive he is, and how he wants to get the best out of his players."
Does he want to be coached that hard at the next level? "Definitely," Towns said. "I think all players need that."
Towns also enjoyed watching the Cats up close. Kentucky got a good challenge early from LIU-Brooklyn, but pulled away in the second half for a 104-75 victory in front of 22,222 fans packed into Rupp Arena for some hoops desert the day after Thanksgiving.
"It was a really fun atmosphere," Towns said. "Kentucky kind of started slow, but when they got rolling and down to business, it was really impressive. It's really fun to watch when they're playing well."
Towns gets 'second opinion' of Kentucky
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