Following a stellar junior season at University Heights — one that drew the attention of John Calipari and ended with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in Rupp Arena — KyKy Tandy is off to another impressive start on the spring circuit.
And he’s a young man on a mission.
“I’m trying to get the coaches to know that I’m a true PG — not a slasher,” Tandy told the Herald-Leader. “I can run a team and get my players involved. I can score, but I can also help my team in a variety of ways.
“I mean, usually scouts say that I’m a shooting guard, but I’m really not. I’ve been a point guard my whole life. But in high school, they thought I was a shooting guard because I shoot the ball a lot. And I always played next to another (point guard). But I’m really a PG. I can run a team. And hopefully I can do that at the next level.”
Whatever position you want to peg him at, there’s no doubting that Tandy is best with the ball in his hands.
The 6-foot-1 prospect averaged 30.5 points per game this past high school season, dropping 31 in his Rupp Arena debut, a first-round state tournament loss. He made 47.6 percent of his three-point attempts.
Following the season, the Rivals.com rankings update for the 2019 class bumped Tandy up 33 spots to the No. 83 position nationally.
On Friday night at the Under Armour league stop in Indianapolis, he helped lead his travel team to a blowout victory over a squad that features five-star recruit R.J. Hampton, who Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi referred to last week as the best point guard in all of high school basketball.
Bossi also mentioned Tandy after scouting the first weekend on the Under Armour circuit.
“If you play wide open and like to put guys on the floor who can make plays off the dribble, Tandy is the kind of guy for you,” he wrote.
The spring recruiting period for coaches — when they can meet with high school prospects and their families away from the basketball court — preceded this on-court evaluation period, and Tandy got visits then from Iowa State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Cincinnati.
All four of those schools have extended scholarship offers. All four are on him hard.
Will one of the local powers be next?
New Louisville head coach Chris Mack recruited Tandy while he was at Xavier, and the rising senior told the Herald-Leader that Mack has remained in contact since he took the Cardinals’ job.
“I like the way he coaches,” Tandy said. “His players play freely, and that’s the type of game I like to play. I’m that type of guy. And (Xavier) won a lot of games last year. He’s a good coach. … He said he’ll probably offer, but it’s just on his terms. So I’m going to have to wait.”
Toward the end of his high school season, Tandy’s scoring spree grabbed Calipari’s attention. UK hosted him for an unofficial visit to one its final home games. Then, Calipari and assistant coach Joel Justus showed up at Tandy’s regional final game.
He said Justus has remained in contact, and UK has watched him play this spring.
“Kentucky is a well-known program — they always have a lot of pros,” Tandy said. “Cal is a great coach. And being a Kentucky kid, growing up, I used to be a Kentucky diehard fan. Now, I have so many schools that are on me, I really don’t know who to go to.”
Tandy explained that he’s now a fan of every school that’s recruiting him. Still, a scholarship offer from the Cats (or Cards, for that matter) would be special to the Kentucky kid.
“It would be a blessing if I got a Louisville or Kentucky offer,” he said. “People from Kentucky really don’t get those types of offers.”