Kentucky recruiting grad transfer from UNLV

broberts@herald-leader.comMarch 18, 2014 

Kentucky might not be finished with its basketball recruiting class of 2014.

UK assistant coach Orlando Antigua called the head coach of the Compton Magic AAU program Monday night to inquire about Bryce Dejean-Jones, who will graduate from UNLV this spring and intends to transfer to another school for his senior season. Dejean-Jones — a 6-foot-5 guard — was the Runnin' Rebels' leading scorer this season.

Compton Magic Coach Etop Udo-Ema told the Herald-Leader that UCLA, Cincinnati, Florida State and Arizona State have also called about Dejean-Jones.

Udo-Ema previously coached Daniel Orton, who played for John Calipari and Antigua during their first season at UK. Another one of Udo-Ema's former players is Waki Williams, who played for Calipari at Memphis.

"I know Coach Cal very well," he said.

Dejean-Jones is still in the "embryo stages" of his decision-making process, according to his former coach. An immediate professional career has been mentioned, but Dejean-Jones seems more likely to head to another college for his senior season and then try to jump to the pros.

"He's going to check out all of his options," Udo-Ema said. "Coming back to college is going to be a great option for him, considering how heavy this draft is. That's just my personal opinion."

Dejean-Jones averaged 13.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season while shooting 32.3 percent from three-point range. He started his college career at Southern Cal, and played one year there before moving to UNLV.

His time with the Runnin' Rebels ended on a sour note. UNLV Coach Dave Rice suspended Dejean-Jones for the regular-season finale this month for conduct detrimental to the team. He returned for the Mountain West Tournament.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Dejean-Jones was heard yelling at teammates after UNLV's season-ending loss to San Diego State last Friday. Rice announced Sunday that his leading scorer would not return for the 2014-15 season but would remain on scholarship in order to graduate.

Udo-Ema said it's far too early to evaluate Dejean-Jones' interest level in UK.

If Andrew and Aaron Harrison leave for the NBA following this season, the Cats would likely need to add at least one more perimeter player for next season. James Young is expected to declare for the NBA, which would leave Dominique Hawkins and incoming freshmen Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker as UK's only guards.

"We don't know — until you guys get through playing — who's going to be in the draft, who's not going to be in the draft," Udo-Ema said. "Typically, there's so much turnover on that team, we don't know what's what. So there's no way to even evaluate it."

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

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