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April 15, 2010

Jordan Brand: Calipari's a factor for recruits

MORE: Kentucky lands top recruits of 2010 and 2011 | Jordan game rosters

NEW YORK - The 2010 Jordan Brand Classic is especially intriguing this year because five of the 20 players in the game have yet to announce their college choice.

Of those five, four still have Kentucky on the menu.

Doron Lamb, Josh Selby, Terrence Jones and C.J. Leslie all list Kentucky as a finalist (Cory Joseph is the lone uncommitted player in the game without the Wildcats).

"[Kentucky coach John Calipari] is good with guards, he's a guard coach," the 6-foot-4 Lamb, out of Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, said Thursday at the Jordan Brand Classic practice at Sports Club/LA in Manhattan. "He knows what to do with them. He gets them in the league [the NBA] fast so we would want to go there."

Asked if he would like play in the NBA, Lamb said, "I would like that, but I ain't saying nothing about no schools. You'll have to see Saturday night."

Lamb and Selby both plan to announce during the game Saturday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m., ESPN2).

Lamb lists Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, UConn and West Virginia and said he already has made up his mind and only his family members know the decision.

The 6-2 Selby out of Baltimore (Md.) Lake Clifton claims he has yet to make up his mind.

"I'm still deciding right now," said Selby, who is mulling Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn and Tennessee. "[Friday] when I have free time to think about my choices, I should know by [Friday] night, though."

Five Kentucky players - including four freshmen - have declared for the NBA Draft, yet Calipari scored big on Wednesday when 6-3 point guard Brandon Knight, the No. 1 prospect in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2010, announced for Kentucky.

Shortly thereafter, Calipari landed another stud when 6-7 junior wing Mike Gilchrist of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, the No. 1 player in the Rivals150 for 2011, verbally committed to the Wildcats. He cannot sign a Letter of Intent until November.

Calipari said Wednesday on ESPNU that he hopes to bring in "five or six players" this year. The Wildcats currently have a signed three-man class of Knight, 6-9 center Enes Kanter of Simi Valley (Calif.) Stoneridge Prep and 6-5 wing Stacey Poole of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence School.

Calipari told the network that last year's Kentucky team demonstrated that a group of young talented players can achieve great things if they come to school together with a willingness to work hard.

"If you want to go fast, go alone," he told ESPNU. "If you want to go far, go together."

Terrences to announce together

They share the same first name, the same high school and, soon, they will share the same college announcement date.

Terrence Jones, a 6-8 forward, and Terrence Ross, a 6-5 guard, plan to announce together at Portland (Ore.) Jefferson High School on either April 23 or April 30.

"We've almost been through everything together, worked out, tournaments and he's back home so we just wanted to give our school something to cherish that day, just choose the same day," Jones said.

Both players are considering four of the same five schools: Oklahoma, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington. Jones, the No. 13 prospect in the Class of 2010, is also considering UCLA, while No. 43 Ross is mulling Kansas.

So, could they end up landing in the same spot for college?

"It could happen, but I want him to do what's best for him and me to do what's best for me," Jones said. "If that's together then that's good. But if it's not, then I'll respect it."

Big East recruits in limbo

The Suburban Team in the Jordan Regional Game (3:30 p.m., Saturday) features four players who initially signed with Big East schools.

Two of those players - 6-7 Ronald Roberts of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep and 6-5 Seton Hall-bound wing Fuquan Edwin of Paterson (N.J.) Catholic - saw their coaches fired.

After new St. John's coach Steve Lavin decided that Roberts wasn't the right fit, Roberts asked for, and received, a release from his Letter of Intent.

NCAA rules prohibit him from signing another NLI this year, and Big East rules prevent him from ever signing with another league club.

As of now, Roberts is looking at St. Joe's, which heavily recruited him the first time around.

After meeting with new Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, Edwin will remain at Seton Hall going forward.

"I felt a relationship with the team also," Edwin said. "I got to know them well during the time I was there. I think I can still fit in with the new coach. I liked how he was talking to me."

A third player, 6-8 forward Gilvydas Biruta of Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's Prep, signed with Rutgers, which is on the verge of parting ways with coach Fred Hill.

And a fourth, Pittsburgh commit J.J. Moore of Brentwood, N.Y., watched as rumors circulated that Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon was in the mix at Oregon. Although Dixon ultimately signed an extension with the Big East school, Pitt associate head coach Tommy Herrion left to take the Marshall job.

Yet Moore remains committed to Pitt.

Free throws

Tobias Harris, a 6-8 Tennessee-bound forward from Dix Hills (N.Y.) Half Hollow Hills West High, broke his foot in the McDonald's All-American Game and is on crutches here. He hopes to be ready for the season. ... Greg Wise, head coach at Houston Yates, will coach the East Team in the Jordan Game. Yates finished 34-0 and atop the RivalsHigh 150. Michael Peck, who led Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep to its second straight National High School Invitational title earlier this month, will guide the West Team. Findlay (32-2) finished third in the RivalsHigh 150. ... Flushing (N.Y.) Holy Cross coach Paul Gilvary will coach the City Team in the Regional Game, while Mike Kelly of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep leads the Suburban Team.

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