Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kentucky coach John Calipari has offered a scholarship to 2014 Houston Hoops wing Justise Winslow, his AAU coach told SNY.tv.
“Calipari basically offered Justise and said that they really were impressed and saw some things in him that really think he’ll be a good fit for their system,” Houston Hoops coach Tim Schumacher told SNY.tv at the Nike Global Challenge at Trinity Washington University.
“So as of Sunday when I talked to Justise and his mom, he was wide open still and willing to consider Kentucky, yeah”
The 6-foot-6 Winslow is now playing with his Houston Hoops team in Las Vegas, although Schumacher said his role would be limited because of how much he has played recently.
Winslow recently cut his list to 10 schools — Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Houston, Kansas, North Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.
But his stellar play with the gold-medal winning USA U19 team and at the Peach Jam obviously opened Calipari’s eyes.
The Kentucky offer has implications on a number of levels.
First, it means that Calipari is looking at other wings in addition to Stanley Johnson, who was the first wing player in this class he offered. Houston Hoops wing Kelly Oubre and his father also told SNY.tv they have a Kentucky offer.
Johnson still obviously remains a high priority as Calipari was courtside here at 9:30 a.m. Thursday for Johnson’s 10 a.m. game with the USA West team.
Second, the Kentucky offer to Winslow also means that Kentucky would be in play to potentially land the trifecta of Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Winslow. Jones and Okafor are planning on attending college together, and Winslow may or may not join them.
“Here’s what happens, I mean Justise and Jahlil were roommates on the 19-and-under team this year and then last year Justise and Tyus and Jahlil all were on on the 17U team and they’ve just become really close,” Schumacher said.
“And if you talk to those kids, they all have the same temperament and the same personalities, I mean you could understand how they get along. And they play the game a similar style. They all are smart and they play together and they really like the way they play, so I think it makes a lot of sense for them to be that way because they do have such similar personalities and similar type games.”
Schumacher believes whoever gets Winslow will get someone special.
“Justise is a guy when he steps foot on the floor, he’s the smartest kid on the floor,” he said. “He’s the best defender, he’s the best rebounder. He’s just an incredible teammate. And he’s going to find a way to get baskets, too. So he can do so many things well. His versatility affects the game so many different ways.
“He makes everybody else around him better.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.