University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari already has a projected roster for next season that includes four McDonald’s All-Americans and the possible No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
What he doesn’t have is a knockdown shooter from the wing.
Mychal Mulder could be the man to fill that role.
Mulder — a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Windsor, Ontario — has spent the past two seasons at Vincennes (Ind.) University, which has a 67-5 record during that span. Mulder was the only freshman starter for Vincennes two seasons ago and led the team in scoring this past season.
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UK started to take notice about a month ago.
Vincennes assistant coach Brian Davis — a UK graduate — said Wildcats assistant Kenny Payne called first to ask about Mulder’s recruitment. When it became clear that UK would lose Aaron and Andrew Harrison and Devin Booker to the NBA Draft, Calipari got on the phone.
Davis told the Herald-Leader that UK and Mulder are working out the details for a campus visit in the near future, and it’s possible a scholarship offer could be extended during that trip.
“He’s very interested in Kentucky,” Davis said. “Obviously, that would be as good as there is in college basketball. And then the tradition of getting guys to the next level, and the opportunity with the Harrisons and Booker being gone — a guy at the ‘2’ might have a chance for some good playing time next year.”
Mulder averaged 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this past season at Vincennes, which finished 33-2 and started the schedule with 32 consecutive victories. Davis said Calipari likes that Mulder is a proven winner. The UK coach also likes that Mulder can shoot.
He made 88 of 197 three-point attempts (44.7 percent) and was an 80 percent free-throw shooter as a sophomore.
“He’s an extremely hard worker,” Davis said. “His mechanics have gotten better. He’s just put in a lot of time. You’ve got a 6-4, pushing 6-5, very athletic kid who can shoot. And he’s a high-character guy. He’s been pretty appealing to a lot of people because of that.”
Mulder has scholarship offers from Wichita State, Missouri, Minnesota, Georgia Tech and Creighton, the only school that he’s been to for an official visit. Louisville and Indiana are among the other programs showing serious interest, and U of L Coach Rick Pitino traveled to watch Mulder play last month.
Calipari said last week that he’d like to add two or three more players to next season’s roster, which is expected to include former McDonald’s All-Americans Alex Poythress, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis and Isaiah Briscoe, as well as possible No. 1 draft pick Skal Labissiere, talented freshman Charles Matthews and junior returnees Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis.
Davis described Mulder as a team-first guy who would have no trouble fitting in with a crew like that.
“He’ll run through a wall for you,” he said. “He’s got no ego. Cal likes those guys that can fit in and don’t try to be all about themselves.”
There is obviously plenty of mutual interest between UK’s coaching staff and Mulder. The next step in the recruitment will be setting up that campus visit. If an offer comes after that, the Cats could be in the driver’s seat.
“He really likes Creighton and Wichita and Indiana and some others,” Davis said. “But (UK) would definitely be right up there with those guys, if not in front of them, if they offer.”