The Big Blue Nation may want to familiarize themselves with 2014 small forward prospect Kelly Oubre. Despite being a recipient of a scholarship offer from the ‘Cats, he’s really not mentioned very much as potentially landing in Lexington. ESPN has Oubre ranked as the 20th best player in the class, but I’ve seen him in the top five with other recruiting services. The 6-foot-7 Texas native has long since been tied to Kansas, but now Kentucky may have edged in front of the Jayhawks according to Jeff Borzello of CBS.
While Kentucky head coach John Calipari covets the services of Stanley Johnson at small forward, Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre are not far behind. Johnson’s recruitment appears to be a two-horse race between the Wildcats of Kentucky and Arizona. Johnson is from California, and west coast kids are more likely to stay home rather than come to Kentucky. There are exceptions, but Arizona appears have a strangle hold on the major talent in the west. Factor in the recruitment of Aaron Gordon for instance. The California kid was recruited by Kentucky and Arizona. He kept Kentucky on his list until the final announcement, and chose Arizona. Marcus Lee is evidence that Calipari can get California kids, but Gordon is a higher rated recruit. The higher the profile, the more likely they stay west.
If Kentucky misses on Johnson, they can look to Oubre and Booker to fill in the gaps. Booker is believed to be in a packaged deal with Kentucky commit Tyler Ulis. If that holds true, Booker will land in Lexington. As for Oubre, he is a much different player than Booker despite the fact they play the same position. Oubre is about three inches taller and is much bigger and stronger than Booker. Both are very good shooters, but Booker is the best from the three point line and mid-range.
You have to believe that John Calipari knows he may not get Stanley Johnson away from Arizona. Before Emmanuel Mudiay opted to stay home and play for SMU, Calipari offered Tyler Ulis. Calipari’s interest is still very high in Johnson, but so is the competition. Booker appears to be almost a lock to come to Kentucky at this point, and Oubre is now a possibility as well. Don’t forget about Kentucky still being heavily involved with James Blackmon Jr. and Trey Lyles as well.