CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Quite a bit has changed in the basketball world of Sacha Killeya-Jones during the past couple of weeks.
On June 2, he backed out of a five-month commitment to the University of Virginia, opting to reopen his recruitment and see what other schools were interested.
Plenty of colleges took notice, and University of Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne was one of those who called Killeya-Jones the night he decommitted. The following night, UK Coach John Calipari called, and the two talked for about an hour.
A week after that, Killeya-Jones was in Lexington for a recruiting visit. He landed a scholarship offer during that trip.
"Kentucky's one of the elite programs," he said. "Coach Calipari, he's great. He's really good at what he does. And I had a great impression of the visit. I enjoyed it a lot. My family enjoyed it. The offer was exciting. So it's been great."
Killeya-Jones is spending this week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp at — of all places — the University of Virginia. The 6-foot-10 power forward said it hasn't been strange being back on the campus he once planned to call home.
The Cavaliers are still pursuing him, but his recruitment could come down to a blue-blood battle of Kentucky and North Carolina.
Killeya-Jones said he was "somewhat surprised" by the immediate interest from UK. He was fully expecting to hear from UNC, which had been recruiting him even before his original commitment to Virginia.
And though he plays for a Virginia high school, Killeya-Jones' hometown is Chapel Hill, N.C. He was excited to pick up a scholarship offer from the Tar Heels, and he obviously was plenty familiar with the school.
"I live like five minutes away," he said, "so I go down there and play pickup. It's a good vibe."
Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels praised Killeya-Jones' skill level for a big man: "He runs the floor well. He's got good hands, he can make jump shots. He's got good touch around the basket. There's some good tools to work with there. He's not a finished product, but he's talented."
247Sports analyst Jerry Meyer has Killeya-Jones ranked higher than any of the other recruiting services: No. 30 overall in the class of 2016.
"He's just extremely skilled, and he processes the game well," Meyer said. "He's smart. He's a modern-day big guy, in that he's inside-outside. He's just really good."
That talent was on full display on the first day of the Top 100 Camp games.
Killeya-Jones was one of only two players to record a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) during the first session Wednesday. The other was Thon Maker, who is considered to be one of the very best big men in high school basketball.
The scouts in attendance raved about Killeya-Jones' versatile game. The player said Calipari has mentioned him in the same sentence as Willie Cauley-Stein, Anthony Davis and Skal Labissiere.
That's probably some hyperbole on Calipari's part, but there's plenty to like about Killeya-Jones' game. And there are plenty of other coaches who would love to have him.
"When I committed in January," Killeya-Jones said, "my phone would only ring about once a week — from Virginia. That's about it. Scouts died down. Colleges, a lot of stuff died down.
"And the night I decommitted, my phone wouldn't stop buzzing. Since then, it's been pretty hot."