Top basketball recruit Emmanuel Mudiay surprised a lot of people last weekend by committing to hometown Southern Methodist over Kentucky.
As the recruiting world was coming to terms with Mudiay's selection, another top prospect was on the campus of another hometown school that regularly doesn't draw five-star players.
Chicago native Cliff Alexander made the short trip to DePaul last week for his first official visit. The 6-foot-9 post player was one of the first players to receive a UK scholarship offer from the class of 2014.
ESPN considers Alexander to be the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2014.
So is DePaul a realistic destination? His high school coach says it is.
Curie Coach Mike Oliver told the Herald-Leader that Alexander and his mother enjoyed "a great visit" to the DePaul campus. Oliver called his player a "homegrown Chicago guy" who might like the idea of staying in the city to play college basketball.
"That's something that he and his mom have talked about," Oliver said. "They figure he's a one-and-done, or at most two years (in college). So they figure if they can get a good situation in the state of Illinois, or especially in Chicago, that would be something they would consider."
Still, DePaul Coach Oliver Purnell probably will have a tougher time keeping Alexander in Chicago than Coach Larry Brown had keeping Mudiay in Dallas.
Alexander's high school coach has been quoted as saying that he thinks De-Paul would currently be one of three favorites for his star player. He clarified that position Tuesday night to say that he doesn't think Alexander has any solid favorites at this point in his recruitment.
DePaul was the first of five official visits, and Oliver pointed out that "just like any kid who gets a new pair of shoes — he'll always say that's his favorite."
Alexander's other official visits will be to Kansas, Louisville, Arizona and Memphis.
But those aren't the only schools still involved.
Kentucky and Michigan State were long seen as the favorites in his recruitment, and Oliver said those two programs remain major players.
"If I had to say today that he had to pick his top three schools, I believe Kentucky would still be (on there)," Oliver said.
He added that Alexander talks about Michigan State and Coach Tom Izzo "all the time."
Alexander and his mother were in Rupp Arena for last year's Big Blue Madness. He's already visited Michigan State multiple times.
"At this point, he wants to visit someplace he's never been," Oliver said. "It's easy to get him down to Kentucky. And Kentucky's always going to be at the top of the list."
Kansas is another school that Alexander has already visited, but he'll make a return trip to Lawrence for an official visit this fall.
He told the Herald-Leader this summer that he's visiting Kansas again because his mother didn't accompany him on the first visit and he wants her to see the campus.
If there's a perceived favorite in Alexander's recruitment, it's the Jayhawks. His 247Sports Crystal Ball page shows that 87 percent of prognosticators are saying he'll end up there.
"They say he's going to Kansas because the girl he dates goes to Kansas," Oliver said. "People are always spouting rumors."
Alexander's girlfriend, who also attended Curie High in Chicago, will be a freshman on the Kansas women's basketball team this season.
It'll probably be another few months before Alexander makes a college decision.
In the meantime, college coaches will continue to pursue a player who should make an immediate impact.
DraftExpress.com released an (admittedly) early mock draft for 2015 on Wednesday, and Alexander was listed as the No. 3 overall pick.
In high school and on the AAU circuit, Alexander is known as a bruising presence in the paint who can have his way against smaller players.
But Oliver says his game is more complete. He compared him to former UK standout Terrence Jones.
Alexander said in the spring that John Calipari had told him he could play a similar style as Jones if he came to Kentucky. That surprised some recruiting observers, but it didn't surprise his coach.
"I think he's a great face-up basketball player, but people don't get to see him do it because he's so dominant in the post at the high school level," Oliver said. "That's why I think when he gets to college and he's playing against other big guys, people will really see his (game)."
Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: UKrecruiting.bloginky.com.