Whenever Harry Giles was on a basketball court this past weekend, UK Coach John Calipari was there to see him.
Calipari started the three-day open recruiting period in Indianapolis checking out some of the top players on the Adidas circuit, but he was back in Lexington in time to see Giles and his Nike-affiliated team play their first game Saturday.
The UK coach also watched their second game Saturday night, a contest that didn't end until after 11 p.m.
Giles was back in the gym less than nine hours later for the weekend finale Sunday morning, and so was Calipari.
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The past two days cemented what has been clear for more than a year now: Giles is one of Calipari's top recruiting priorities in the class of 2016.
"He wants to coach me bad, and he thinks he can get me to the next level," Giles said. "He just wants to develop me and make me the best player I can (be)."
The 6-foot-10 prospect from Winston-Salem, N.C., was the second player from his class to receive a UK scholarship offer — behind friend and fellow five-star recruit Jayson Tatum — and he's currently ranked No. 1 overall in the class of 2016 by Scout.com.
Giles' high school career was put on hold two years ago when a serious knee injury suffered during a Team USA trip overseas caused him to miss the rest of that summer and his entire sophomore season.
He returned to the court last spring, but he clearly wasn't 100 percent while competing on last year's Nike circuit. He's finally rounded back into top form over the past few months.
"He's a guy who plays with great energy and great effort," said Scout.com's Evan Daniels. "At 6-10, he's got a long set of arms, a strongly built body. He's not afraid to mix it up inside — likes physical play. He's got very good hands and can score around the basket, but he can also step out and hit face-up jump shots.
"He's an elite talent. He's a guy who can impact the game in a variety of ways."
Giles narrowed his list of possible college destinations to eight a couple of months ago: UK, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, UNLV and Wake Forest.
He's been hosting coaches for in-home visits when he can, and Calipari made Giles one of the first stops on his eight-city, five-day recruiting tour last week.
Part of UK's pitch has been the success of recent big men on campus.
"He just talked about all of them really," Giles said. "Karl Towns, Anthony Davis, Nerlens (Noel). He talked about all of them, how he developed them."
Davis was a No. 1 overall draft pick, Towns might be this year, and Noel is a serious candidate for NBA rookie of the year honors. Towns will be joined in June's draft pool by three other UK post players — Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson and Trey Lyles — and all four are currently projected as first-round picks.
That speaks volumes to promising recruits.
"It's definitely an attraction," Giles said. "Kentucky is a great place, and you can never go wrong going there."
At the same time, he said he needs to find the place that fits him best.
Giles described his recruitment as "steady" at the moment, and he's not expecting to make a college decision anytime soon.
Many recruiting analysts consider the three in-state schools on his list — Duke, UNC and Wake Forest — to be among the most serious players in his recruitment, and representatives from all three programs watched him play in Lexington over the weekend.
Calipari isn't shying away, but this pursuit is certainly being framed as an uphill battle for the Wildcats.
"UK is definitely involved," Daniels said. "They have made him a priority from the beginning, and they've been recruiting him hard. But I also think that Harry Giles could be tough to get out of the state of North Carolina."