CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — There are eight schools still in the running for the commitment of five-star basketball recruit Miles Bridges.
Only one of those schools is certain to get him on campus for an official visit.
"Just Kentucky right now," Bridges said.
"I talked to (Isaiah) Briscoe and all them, and they say it's an amazing visit," Bridges said. "He told me how crazy it was."
Bridges didn't elaborate on what is supposed to be so crazy about an official visit to UK, but he'll see it for himself in the near future.
The 6-foot-6 small forward from Flint, Mich., picked up a scholarship offer from the Wildcats after a wow performance at the Nike league event in Lexington a couple of months ago.
John Calipari watched Bridges play many times before that weekend — as a standout for nearby powerhouse Huntington Prep — but the UK coach saw something different that led to the offer.
"I was just being more aggressive, getting to the hole," Bridges said. "Like, before when he was watching me, I was shooting jump shots a lot. But I got way more aggressive."
The other schools on his list are Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
Bridges says there are no favorites at the moment, though he acknowledged that his mother is a big fan of Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo, and there's quite a bit of pull in his hometown to play for the Spartans, who won a national title in 2000 with Flint natives Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson, and Charlie Bell.
"It's a lot of pressure on me," Bridges said. "Because everybody from Flint's saying, 'You gotta go to Michigan State. You're from Flint.' But I'm just going to make the best decision for me."
His plan is to cut his list down to five schools sometime soon, then use an official visit to see each of those campuses.
And don't expect Bridges — one of the top 30 players in the class of 2016 — to draw out his decision like so many of the best players in last year's class. He said he expects to make a college announcement by the beginning of the upcoming season.
Like father, like son
So far this summer, Gary Trent Jr. has won a gold medal with USA Basketball, led the best AAU circuit in the country in scoring and skyrocketed up the national recruiting rankings for the class of 2017.
But he still hasn't heard from the University of Kentucky.
Trent — the son of the former NBA player by the same name — is at the NBPA Top 100 Camp this week, arriving at the event less than 48 hours after he led the Team USA U16 squad to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina.
After this, he gets to go home to Minnesota for three days, and then it's off to California for the Nike Skills Academy.
"I'm feeling kind of sore now, but I've got to push through it," he said.
Trent's summer started with a bang.
Already a well-known high school basketball player back home in Minnesota, his national profile picked up with a couple of high-scoring performances in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.
He leads the EYBL in scoring with 22.1 points per game, despite being one of the younger players on the circuit. He's also making 40 percent of his three-point shots.
The stellar play has catapulted the 6-5 shooting guard from an unranked prospect to the No. 5 overall player in the 247Sports rankings for the class of 2017.
Trent has picked up scholarship offers from Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State, among others. Coaches from all of those schools have reached out to him since the June 15 date when they're first allowed to directly contact rising juniors.
Kentucky's coaches watched Trent a couple of times earlier in the AAU season, but he hasn't heard from anyone on that staff since the June 15 contact period began. He said he'd be interested in UK if he does get a call.
The elder Gary Trent was a star at Ohio University — once going for 21 points and 10 rebounds in a narrow loss to UK in Rupp Arena — before playing nine seasons in the NBA.
"Every jump shot, every move I do — it's from him," Trent Jr. said. "Without him, I wouldn't be the player I am today. It all started at the age of 5. And we've been rolling ever since.
"He keeps motivating me to play hard. He says if I keep playing hard, great things will happen."
Next up for 2017?
UK has sent out scholarship offers to five players from the class of 2017 so far: DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter, John Petty and Nick Richards.
Top-five recruits Michael Porter Jr. and Jarred Vanderbilt could be next on that list.
Porter — a super-skilled, 6-9 small forward from Columbia, Mo. — told the Herald-Leader that a UK assistant coach has been in contact with his father, and the player himself received a voicemail from UK this week. He's looking forward to returning that call after the Top 100 Camp is finished.
Vanderbilt — a long, lanky, versatile forward from Texas — said Duke and Kentucky have recently established contact with him. It won't be a surprise if the Wildcats follow through with an offer sometime soon.