Calipari Visits V.J. King on DMV Tour; Kentucky Recruiting Board | Zagsblog
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Monday / January 30.
  • Calipari Visits V.J. King on DMV Tour; Kentucky Recruiting Board

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA & CHRIS RUSSELL

    Even as he awaits word on Isaiah Briscoe’s decision and courts the stars of the Class of 2015, Kentucky coach John Calipari is actively recruiting for 2016 and ’17, too.

    On Wednesday, Calipari passed through the DMV to see several players, including 2016 wing V.J. King of Fairfax (VA) Paul VI, 2017 shooting guard D.J. Harvey of Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic and 2016 combo guard Markelle Fultz of DeMatha. The visits were first reported by Chris Fisher of Catspause.com, and confirmed by the two coaches at the schools.

    “Yeah, he came to see the team and to see V.J.,” Paul VI coach Glen Farello said by phone, adding that King already holds a Kentucky offer.

    “They offered in the summer.”

    Farello declined to offer a list for the 6-foot-7, 195-pound shooting guard, saying, “It is early in his recruitment. But we’ve had 70 coaches come through in the fall and obviously a good piece of that was to see him.”

    In addition to Calipari, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Florida’s Billy Donovan, UConn’s Kevin Ollie, Georgetown’s John Thompson III and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon have been through to see him.

    A native of Akron, Ohio, who moved to Northern Virginia with his mother and sister, King holds offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Michigan State, among others, according to Syracuse.com. His Paul VI teammate Frank Howard is a 2015 Syracuse commit.

    “I think what everyone likes about V.J. is his versatility,” Farello said. “He’s a pretty polished player. He’s got great decision-making, but he’s got the whole toolset as far as his offensive game and his athleticism and his size and his basketball IQ.

    “I think Coach [Calipari] has articulated that.”

    Farello said Calipari also watched 6-foot-8, 250-pound 2016 center Corey Manigault and 6-2 2017 point guard Aaron Thompson.

    Manigault has offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Xavier and Temple, among others. He has taken unofficials to West Virginia, Pitt, Wake Forest and Virginia.

    “Corey Manigault’s been my biggest, most sought-after kid,” Farello said.

    Thompson has offers from Penn State and Holy Cross and has taken visits to Villanova, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

    “The kid is really good,” Farello said.

     

    KENTUCKY RECRUITING BOARD

    —-                                                                             2014                               2015                            2016

     

    Guards
    • Signed (SG Devin Booker 6-5 180 Moss Point, MS)
    • Signed (PG Tyler Ulis 5-8 150 Chicago, IL)
    • Committed ( SG Charles Matthews 6-5 180 Chicago, Ill)
    • Target (PG Malik Newman 6-3 180 Jackson MS)
    • Target (PG Isaiah Briscoe 6-3 215 Newark, NJ)
    • Target (SG Antonio Blakeney 6-3 170 Orlando, FL)
    • Target (PG Derryck Thornton 6-2 165 Henderson, NV)
    • Target (SG Malik Monk 6-3 170 Bentonville, AR)
    • Target (SG Kobe Simmons 6-5 175 Alpharreta, GA)
    • Target (PG Seventh Woods 6-1 170 Columbia, SC)
    • Target (SG Tyus Battle 6-5 195 Edison, NJ)
    • Target (SG V.J. King 6-7 195 Fairfax, VA)
     
    Forwards Signed (PF Trey Lyles 6-10 245 Indianapolis, IN)
    • Target (SF Jaylen Brown 6-7 200 Marrieta, GA)
    • Target (PF Cheick Diallo 6-9 220 Centereach, NY)
    • Target (PF Carlton Bragg 6-9 225 Cleveland, OH)
    •  Target (SF Derrick Jones 6-6 180 Radnor, PA)
    •  Target (PF Ivan Rabb 6-10 (Oakland, CA)
    • Target (PF Harry Giles 6-10 220 Winston Salem, NC)
    • Target (SF Miles Bridges 6-6 225 Huntington, WV) 
    Centers Signed (C Karl-Anthony Towns 6-11 240 Metuchen, NJ)
    • Target (C Steven Zimmerman 7-0 240 Las Vegas, NV)
    • Target (C Caleb Swanigan 6-8 255 Fort Wayne, IN)
    • Target (C Thon Maker 7-0 200 Mono, ON)
    • Target (C Abdulkahim Ado 6-10 200 Chattanooga, TN)
    • Target (C Udoka Azubuike 6-9 250 Jacksonville, FL)
    Likely to leave in 2015: Karl Anthony-Towns (No. 3, 2015 DraftExpress.com), Willie Cauley-Stein (No. 10), Dakari Johnson (No. 19), Andrew Harrison (No. 26), Aaron Harrison (No. 28), Alex Poythress (No. 32)

    Likely to leave in 2016: Marcus Lee (No. 17, 2016 DraftExpress.com), Devin Booker (No. 19, 2016), Trey Lyles (No. 21, 2016 )

    Short Term Needs: With Towns and Cauley-Stein projected as lottery picks, and Johnson a mid-late 1st rounder, the Center position will be an immediate need. I predict that Steven Zimmerman will end up in Lexington. The Cats are in the mix for numerous big men, including Stephen Zimmerman, Caleb Swanigan, Ivan Rabb, Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo but have stiff competition for all of them. Jaylen Brown, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2015, would be an appealing replacement at small forward, but is considering UCLA, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina and others, too. With the twins’ likely departure, the Cats needs a couple of guards in addition to Matthews to slide in and play alongside Ulis and Booker. Newman, Briscoe and Blakeney are all in play, with Briscoe about to announce next week.

    Long Term Needs: With Cal’s system of pushing players to the NBA, the Cats will have to recruit for all five positions. The 2016 class looks to be promising with big targets: Thon Maker, Harry Giles, Tyus Battle, Malik Monk, Derryck Thornton, V.J. King and others.



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.