UK recruiting: 7-footer and UK target Turner swiftly moving up rankings

broberts@herald-leader.comJune 14, 2013 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The new Scout.com player rankings for the class of 2014 won't be released for another few days.

Scout national analyst Evan Daniels couldn't wait to make one update.

One of UK's newest targets — Texas center Myles Turner — was dominating the competition at the NBPA Top 100 camp Thursday, and Daniels saw no reason to hold out until next week to elevate him from three-star status.

"We need to go ahead and make that change now," Daniels said of his thought process. "There's no point in wasting time. That dude's a five-star player, a potential top-10 recruit. He can play anywhere in the country. There's not a school he can't play at."

Turner, a 7-footer, now has five stars in the Scout database. And he'll have a lofty national ranking in no time.

He also has more schools calling him than he can count.

Turner tried to list them all Thursday night. He didn't say anything about Duke, and someone asked about them. The Blue Devils were on list. No mention of U of L. The Cardinals have inquired too.

Others included Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Baylor, UNLV and Miami. It's probably safe to say if a school has a college basketball program, one of its coaches has asked about Turner.

"He's the break-out guy this spring. He's this year's Anthony Davis, so to speak," Daniels said. "Maybe not to that extent, but in the high school season he was fairly unknown and now he looks like a top-10 prospect."

John Calipari called Turner's father last weekend, and he's been trading text messages with the UK assistants.

Turner plans to cut his list of schools to 10 sometime next month.

Until then, newcomers are welcome.

"Right now, I'm just wide open. I'm wide open to anybody," he said. "I never shut a school out, no matter what the name, no matter what the tradition. ... I really appreciate everything that's going on and respect every school that comes to me."

On UK's radar

Add power forward Abdul Malik Abu to the list of 2014 recruits who might be next in line for a UK scholarship offer.

Abu, a first-generation Nigerian-American who lives in Boston, recently fielded a call from Calipari and the UK coach said he'd be watching the rest of the summer.

"It's an offer that I feel like I can get as long as I just play the right way and just keep playing tough," Abu said.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pounder has recent offers from Kansas, Tennessee and N.C. State. He hasn't planned any official visits.

Huntington Prep forward Jalen Lindsey said he has never spoken to Calipari but occasionally exchanges texts with UK assistants. Memphis forward Leron Black said he has never had any contact with UK's coaches.

Both Lindsey and Black have been mentioned as possible Kentucky targets.

Who's missing?

UK target Rashad Vaughn was expected to be at the NBPA Top 100 camp, but he didn't make the event. Vaughn was on the road checking out possible destinations for his senior season of high school.

The 6-6 shooting guard has played the last three years in his native Minnesota. Huntington Prep and Findlay Prep (Nev.) are among the schools trying to get him for next fall.

Seven other uncommitted players have UK offers for 2014. Of those, Mississippi shooting guard Devin Booker was the only one at the Top 100 camp.

Booker said he might visit UK sometime in the near future.

The Cats' only commitment for 2014 — Karl Towns — arrived at camp Friday night after missing the first three sessions to play with his high school team.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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