UK target Azubuike a dunking machine

broberts@herald-leader.comJune 16, 2014 

Florida center Udoka Azubuike has received a scholarship offer to play basketball at Kentucky, his high school coach told the Herald-Leader on Monday.

Potter's House (Fla.) Coach Steve McLaughlin said that UK Coach John Calipari called Azubuike with the scholarship offer Sunday night, the first day college coaches were permitted to directly contact players from the class of 2016.

Azubuike — a 6-foot-10, 265-pound prospect with a 7-5 wingspan — is ranked as high as No. 6 overall in the class (by ESPN). McLaughlin said Calipari watched Azubuike play at a Nike event in Sacramento, Calif., this spring.

That viewing was enough to warrant an offer from the Wildcats.

"He's a physically imposing, athletic freak," McLaughlin said. "He's a powerhouse. He finishes around the rim strong. He has a good back-to-the-basket game. He can finish with the left-hand jump hook, the right-hand jump hook. But he's so physically imposing — he tries to dunk everything. He wants to dunk on everybody. Every time he's on the court, he wants to send a message.

"He's an animal, man. He's the real deal."

McLaughlin said Azubuike has also been in contact with Duke, Kansas, UConn, Florida and Florida State, among others, in the past couple of days. All of those schools have either extended scholarship offers or have indicated that they will be doing so in the next few days.

"They all want him bad," McLaughlin said.

Azubuike is not related to former Kentucky star Kelenna Azubuike.

He is the fifth player from the class of 2016 with a confirmed scholarship offer from Kentucky, joining Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, M.J. Cage and Thon Maker.

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

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