UK Recruiting

Next Cats: James Young enjoys visit; could return for Big Blue Madness

James Young
James Young

  University of Kentucky basketball recruit James Young made his first visit to Lexington over the weekend.

The trip went so well that he might return in less than two weeks for Big Blue Madness.

“Great visit, great visit,” Young’s godfather, Sean Mahone, told the Herald-Leader on Monday. “We were able to witness firsthand the quality of the facilities and the entirety of the program. It’s clear why they are so successful. All of the things we read about, all of the things they verbalized to us when they came to visit, the things that we’d seen on TV — we were able to see firsthand. “We were impressed with every facet of it.” Mahone said the family is planning to visit Michigan State “within a week” and then sit down and figure out how to proceed with the recruitment.

Young, a 6-foot-6 wing ranked by ESPN as the No. 5 recruit in the class of 2013, is also considering Syracuse and Kansas.

The UK visit and the upcoming trip to Michigan State are classified as “unofficial visits,” which means the recruit has to pay his own way. For a prospect to make an official visit, he must first provide the college with an academic transcript and proof that he has taken a college-entrance exam.

Mahone shot down reports that implied Young has not yet met those qualifications.

“There’s a lot of speculation as to whether he’s eligible to take an official visit. He certainly can take an official visit,” he said. “ We’re going to start getting these officials going.”

Young’s first official visit could be Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12.

UK’s season-opening spectacle usually draws several top recruits, and this year is expected to be no different.

But John Calipari isn’t the only coach trying to get Young on campus for that date.

“Everybody’s asking to visit on that weekend. Not just Kentucky,” Mahone said. “Every school is asking us to visit on their big night.”

Young’s original plan was to wait until the spring to make a decision, but his godfather said a commitment could come at any time — maybe even after next week’s family meeting.

“If the fit is there, we aren’t afraid to move forward and make a decision,” he said.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: