Kentucky makes offer to Texas 7-footer who draws comparisons to ex-Cat Davis

broberts@herald-leader.comSeptember 12, 2013 

Myles Turner

Add Myles Turner's name to the list of basketball players with a scholarship offer from Kentucky.

John Calipari visited the 7-footer in his Dallas-area home Wednesday night and formally extended the UK offer, Turner's high school coach told the Herald-Leader.

Turner has rocketed up the recruiting rankings in recent weeks following a dominant showing on the summer circuit. ranks him as the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2014.

Trinity High Coach Mark Villines was present for Wednesday's in-home visit, and he said it went well.

"The family and everybody was very impressed with Coach Calipari," Villines said. "I mean, it's Kentucky basketball, but he really pitched it to Myles. He didn't sugarcoat anything — was very honest. When he walked away, the initial vibe was they were very impressed."

Calipari is hoping Turner visits him next.

The ideal date for the UK coach would be Oct. 18 for Big Blue Madness, which already has a guest list that includes 2014 targets Stanley Johnson, Trey Lyles, Kelly Oubre and James Blackmon Jr.

"They really want him to come up for midnight madness," Villines said. "But everybody wants him to come that weekend. So I'm not sure where he's going to choose. ... I know Myles is considering it."

Turner already had a tentative visit scheduled for Ohio State that weekend, but that trip isn't set in stone, according to Villines. Oklahoma State also wants him to visit Oct. 18. As of now, Turner's only solidified official visit is Kansas on Oct. 4.

Other schools on his list include Duke, Louisville, Texas and Arizona.

Villines said Turner and his family are still planning to wait until the spring to sign with a school.

Turner shot up the recruiting rankings this summer by showcasing an impressive combination of defensive skill and offensive touch. He broke an ankle last year and missed the entire summer circuit, which made him a lesser-known prospect going into his junior season. analyst Evan Daniels elevated Turner to five-star status in June.

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

Villines has coached Turner his entire high school career. He said the UK recruit measured at about 6-3 and 160 pounds as an incoming freshman.

He grew 2 or 3 inches that season, and has been growing gradually ever since.

Turner's slight frame early in his high school career forced him to develop skills away from the basket.

"He's been so skinny and thin growing up that he's had to develop his game," Villines said. "He's not been a back-to-the bucket kind of guy, because of his weight. And now that he's 228 (pounds), he still has the skill to play on the perimeter. ... He's going to pick-and-pop, he's going to shoot threes, he's going to run the floor. Because that's what he knows."

Turner's most impressive skill over the summer was his defensive awareness.

"That's always been a strength," Villines said. "That's always kind of been his forte and what he's prided himself on. He had five games in district play last year where he had a triple-double, so 10-plus blocks. And he keeps a lot of those alive. ... He doesn't swat them out of the gym. He knows how to block shots."

So, a lanky big man who plays away from the basket, blocks a lot of shots and controls where they end up?

That sounds like another recent Calipari recruit who Daniels alluded to over the summer.

"There were a lot of comparisons to him and Anthony Davis in the meeting last night," Villines said.

Ulis to announce Friday

Class of 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis will reveal his college decision Friday.

The announcement will be shown live on at approximately 8:20 p.m. ET.

Ulis' three finalists are Kentucky, Michigan State and Iowa.

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

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