Next Cats: Several UK targets on TV this weekend

broberts@herald-leader.comJanuary 15, 2012 

HOOP RECRUIT

Bishop Gorman junior Shabazz Muhammad talks to a reporter during an open workout at Bishop Gorman High School Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. The first day of the fall college basketball recruiting season was Thursday and many college coaches attended to evaluate the talent.

STEVE MARCUS — LAS VEGAS SUN

  • Schedule

    Five nationally televised high school basketball games over the next two days include seven recruits Kentucky is known to be pursuing for the classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

    Sunday

    2 p.m.: St. Mark's School (Mass.) vs. Friends Central (Pa.) (ESPNU, ESPN3)

    4 p.m.: Tilton School (N.H.) vs. Brewster Academy (N.H.) (ESPN, ESPN3)

    8:30 p.m.: Skills Challenge (ESPN3)

    Monday

    11 a.m.: St. Anthony (N.J.) vs. Miller Grove (Ga.) (ESPNU)

    1 p.m.: DeMatha Catholic (Md.) vs. Bishop Gorman (Nev.) (ESPNU)

    3 p.m.: Chicago Simeon (Ill.) vs. Findlay Prep (Nev.) (ESPNU)

    UK targets

    Shabazz Muhammad

    Class: Senior

    Position: Shooting guard/small forward

    Height, weight: 6-6, 215

    School: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

    Rankings: Rivals 1, Scout 1, ESPN 1

    Other top schools: UCLA, UNLV, Duke, Kansas

    Anthony Bennett

    Class: Senior

    Position: Power forward

    Height, weight: 6-8, 230

    School: Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.); Native of Brampton, Ontario, Canada

    Rankings: Rivals 7, Scout 9, ESPN 7

    Other top schools: Florida, UNLV, Washington, Oregon

    Amile Jefferson

    Class: Senior

    Position: Small forward

    Height, weight: 6-7, 185

    School: Friends Central (Wynnewood, Pa.)

    Rankings: Rivals 36, Scout 20, ESPN 24

    Other top schools: Duke, North Carolina State, Temple, Villanova, Ohio State

    Tony Parker

    Class: Senior

    Position: Power forward

    Height, weight: 6-9, 265

    School: Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)

    Rankings: Rivals 37, Scout 19, ESPN 31

    Other schools: Duke, Ohio State, UCLA, Memphis

    Nerlens Noel

    Class: Junior

    Position: Center

    Height, weight: 6-10, 205

    School: Tilton School (N.H.); Native of Everett, Mass.

    Rankings: Rivals 3, Scout 3, ESPN 2

    Other top schools: Syracuse, UConn, Florida, Georgetown, Duke, Louisville, Providence

    Jabari Parker

    Class: Junior

    Position: Small forward

    Height, weight: 6-8, 220

    School: Simeon High (Chicago, Ill.)

    Rankings: Rivals 2, Scout 1, ESPN 1

    Other top schools: Duke, Illinois, Washington, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas

    Wayne Selden

    Class: Sophomore

    Position: Shooting guard

    Height, weight: 6-5, 200

    School: Tilton School (N.H.); Native of Boston

    Rankings: Rivals 12, Scout 9, ESPN 10

    Other top schools: UConn, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Boston College, Providence

    Online

    Keep up with all the latest UK basketball recruiting headlines and links on the Herald-Leader's Next Cats page at Kentuckysports.com, and follow Ben Roberts on Twitter @NextCats.

Three elite high school basketball players have already signed with Kentucky for the 2012-13 season, but they're sure to be joined by others as John Calipari tries to secure his fourth straight No. 1 recruiting class in Lexington.

It's a pretty good bet that at least one of those future Wildcats will play on national television over the next two days.

Seven major UK targets — including four in the class of 2012 — will take part in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., on Sunday and Monday.

Calipari attended the event last year, and current Cats Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Doron Lamb have all participated in recent incarnations.

This year's showcase is headlined by Shabazz Muhammad, the unanimous No. 1 player in the class of 2012 and Calipari's biggest recruiting target for next season.

Many national analysts now consider Kentucky the favorite to land Muhammad, who also has UCLA, Duke and hometown UNLV high on his list. The 6-foot-6 star will lead Bishop Gorman against DeMatha (Md.) on Monday in one of three games to be televised on ESPNU.

The other two Monday matchups will feature senior big men Anthony Bennett and Tony Parker.

Bennett cut his list last week to UK, Florida, UNLV, Oregon and Washington. He played a game at Lexington Christian Academy earlier this season and then visited UK's campus the next day. Bennett is expected to take an official visit to Lexington sometime in the coming weeks. His Findlay Prep squad will take on Chicago Simeon and Jabari Parker, the top-ranked junior in the country and one of UK's biggest targets in 2013.

Monday's opener will feature Tony Parker, a four-star power forward who has drawn interest from Calipari in the last couple of weeks. Parker was already considering Duke, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis and has added UK to his short list.

Amile Jefferson, another of Calipari's 2012 targets, will start off Sunday's slate of games when he faces fellow post player Kaleb Tarczew ski, a former UK recruit and Arizona signee.

Jefferson had trimmed his list to UK, North Carolina State, Villanova, Temple and Ohio State, but Duke emerged last week with a scholarship offer. The Philadelphia native has already visited every school on his list, and his decision could come down to the Wildcats and Blue Devils.

Also on Sunday, UK recruits Nerlens Noel (2013) and Wayne Selden (2014) will team up to lead Tilton School (N.H.) against Brewster Academy (N.H.), which includes former UK targets Mitch McGary and T.J. Warren.

None of the four seniors on Calipari's wish list has set a date for a decision, but those announcements should come with the end of the high school season in March and the start of the regular signing period in April.

■ UK signee Archie Goodwin played Saturday in Missouri. That game will be shown Sunday on CBS Sports Network (formerly CBS College Sports) at 4:30 p.m.

Keep up with all the latest UK basketball recruiting headlines and links on the Herald-Leader's Next Cats page at Kentuckysports.com, and follow Ben Roberts on Twitter @NextCats.

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