#OTRHoopsReport: What We Learned @KentuckyMBB – Oct. 22, 2013
LEXINGTON – The 19 NBA scouts on hand sitting in the Kentucky practice facility on Saturday confirmed what we already knew. This edition of John Calipari’s team could bring home the school’s ninth NCAA National Championship trophy. Here are five things that stuck out to us during “Big Blue Weekend.”
1) This roster has considerably more depth than the 2011-12 one did.
That is not to say that the roster in more top heavy than the Wildcats were in 2011-12. With Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going with the first and second pick in the 2012 Draft, that team was loaded with star power but only had seven players average double digit minutes. This year’s roster could see as many as ten players achieve that distinction before it is all said and done. The second unit was as impressive as any that I have seen in recent memory on Saturday and that was with sophomore post Willie Cauley-Stein playing sparingly with 13 stitches in his right hand.
2) Julius Randle could play in the NBA right now.
Speaking of Randle, the freshman forward from Plano, Texas was a consensus top-5 prospect in the high school graduating class of 2013 and for good reason. The five-star forward shined bright on the stage at Rupp Arena stage Friday night making multiple plays in the open floor around the rim. A left-handed dominant forward, he’s got the strength of former Alabama star turned NBA starter Gerald Wallace but the ball skill of a forward in the Carmelo Anthony realm of comparison at that age. Most nights, the opposing team will not have an answer for Randle’s physicality. The nights that they do, Randle will need to show that he’s capable of making the outside jump shot with his feet set. That was the one aspect of his game that he still did not seem comfortable with on practice Saturday afternoon.
3) Andrew Harrison has a lot of Tony Parker in his game.
Like Randle, Harrison of Houston, Texas was a consensus top-5 prospect in the class of 2013. Harrison is smooth with the basketball in his hands and nothing about the 24,000 people on hand Friday night seemed to phase him during the festivities. Saturday afternoon was more of the same as Harrison consistently took and made right hand floaters inside of 10 feet. That portion of his game coupled with his passing draws the comparisons to a potentially bigger Tony Parker. Harrison’s game and moxie will be tested as he appears to be the starting point for the Wildcats after a 2012-13 season where the position was an issue throughout the year.
4) Jarrod Polson would compete for to start at point guard for half the teams in the SEC.
Polson of nearby Nicholasville, Ky., started his Kentucky career three seasons ago a walk-on. Last season with the Wildcats struggling to find consistent guard play Polson logged quality minutes even serving as the catalyst in a couple of victories. This season the powerhouse program is back on stable footing with Andrew Harrison at the helm. Polson’s evident progress this weekend was a pleasant surprise and bodes well in case of foul trouble or any ailment that Harrison might experience during the season. It was clear that the former walk-on is aiming to make Harrison better each day. In the process, Polson is putting himself in a position to earn enough trust from the coaching staff to see quality minutes as the primary backup.
5) With a 2013-14 title, we believe that John Calipari could win a race for governor of Kentucky.
No disrespect to Steve Beshear but on this trip, it appeared that “Coach Cal” could very well run successfully for state office if these Cats bring home another title to Lexington. His State of the Union speech brought Big Blue Nation to their feet on multiple occasions. After saying “we are college basketball” in referencing Kentucky’s current position in the game, it will be up to Calipari and his crew to win on that last Monday night of the year. In the process, bringing the trophy back down Interstate 64 from Louisville where the 2012-13 trophy resides.
Prospect Evaluation/Exposure Options
***Designed for DII, III, NAIA & JUCO exposure. These events average 25 to 30 schools on hand to watch the showcase participants.
OnTheRadarHoops Spring Showcase (March)
OnTheRadarHoops Fall Showcase (Sept.)
***Designed for evaluation purposes. Every camper will have an evaluation posted online within 6 weeks of the event. There will be multiple recap articles highlighting select standout prospects as well as select video recaps on those highlighted as well.
Elite Basketball Academy Eval Workout (March)
Elite Basketball Academy Fab 5 Camp (Sept.)
Elite Basketball Aacdemy Super 64 Camp (Oct.)
Brandon Clay is the Director of Scouting for the OTRHoopsReport.com. Clay is also the owner of Peach State Basketball, Inc., and ProspectsNation.com. Clay has been involved in the community since 2001 as an evaluator, event operator and trainer. You can reach him at BrandonClay@PeachStateBasketball.com
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