UK Men's Basketball

Team USA notes: Bamba out this week, but plans to ‘dominate’ Peach Jam

Trae Young talks about UK and recruiting

Five-star point guard Trae Young talks about his recruitment, John Calipari and much more.
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Five-star point guard Trae Young talks about his recruitment, John Calipari and much more.

A few quick notes following Wednesday’s Team USA U17 and U18 training camps ...

▪  Five-star post player Mohamed Bamba is here at Team USA U18 training camp but is not expected to participate in basketball activities with the rest of the invitees. Bamba — a 7-footer from Harlem, N.Y. — told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that he’s been sidelined for precautionary measures due to the sprained ankle he suffered earlier this spring. Bamba missed the final two regular-season sessions on the Nike circuit because of the injury but said that he no longer has any pain or soreness in the ankle. He hopes to start doing some individual workouts Friday, and he said he’d definitely be back on the court for Nike’s Peach Jam finals next month. “My plan is to dominate at Peach Jam,” he said. There’s nothing new in his recruitment. Bamba has scholarship offers from UK, Duke and several other top schools, but he hasn’t started seriously talking to college coaches on a regular basis. ranks him as the No. 2 overall prospect in the class of 2017.

My plan is to dominate at Peach Jam.

Mohamed Bamba, five-star basketball recruit

▪  Highly touted point guard Quade Green — Bamba’s AAU teammate — has looked good through the first few sessions of U18 camp. The 5-foot-11 prospect from Philadelphia said that he’s still scheduled to visit UK later this month, likely alongside Bamba. Green does not yet have a scholarship offer from UK but said he talks to Coach John Calipari “all the time.” In fact, Calipari called Green on Tuesday with some words of encouragement before training camp. ranks him as the No. 25 player in the class of 2017.

▪  College coaches could contact recruits from the class of 2018 directly starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning, and it was a busy day for Immaunel Quickley, who’s here as part of the Team USA U17 squad. Quickley — a 6-4 point guard from Maryland — received scholarship offers from Arizona, Texas A&M and UCLA, phone calls from Miami, Texas and Villanova, and text messages from UK, Duke and Washington. Schools were still calling and texting when he gave that list to the Herald-Leader on Wednesday evening, and his offer sheet is sure to grow in the near future. Quickley had already been in contact with UK’s assistant coaches, and his text from the Wildcats’ staff said they’d be watching him as part of the U17 team in Spain later this week, as well as on the AAU circuit in July. The text also said that John Calipari would be calling him soon.

Five-star recruit P.J. Washington talks about playing alongside John Petty, his recruitment and John Calipari from Team USA camp.

▪  UK target John Petty updated the Herald-Leader on his recruitment, which is currently a battle between UK and home-state Alabama. The Huntsville, Ala., native says he doesn’t feel any pressure to pick the local school. “People from my hometown, they really don’t say, ‘Stay at home.’ They just want the best for me,” Petty said. “They don’t really tell me to do this or that. They just say to pick the best (school) for me.”

Five-star prospect John Petty talks about UK, Alabama, his spring so far and what's next in his recruitment.

▪  When he decommitted from Texas A&M earlier this spring, five-star post prospect Mitchell Robinson said he’d like Kentucky to get involved with his recruitment. Robinson — a 6-foot-11 center from New Orleans — told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that he has not heard from the Wildcats, but he’s still hoping to in the future. He mentioned North Carolina as one school that’s been in recent contact, and Western Kentucky just hired his godfather, Shammond Williams, as an assistant coach. WKU Coach Rick Stansbury was Robinson’s primary recruiter at Texas A&M, and the Hilltoppers could be a serious player in his recruitment. ranks him as the No. 11 prospect in the class of 2017.

▪  Class of 2017 shooting guards Hamidou Diallo and Lonnie Walker spoke highly of UK on Wednesday — the Cats offered both players recently — but neither prospect has any campus visits planned in the near future.

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats