Kentucky back in the hunt for Jarnell Stokes


Jarnell Stokes (Memphis, Tenn./Southwind) is on the move. We texted back and forth Friday morning as he left Memphis for his official visit to Kentucky. Kentucky? The school he cut not too long ago? Yep, that Kentucky.

On top of that, he is no long considering UCLA.

"I knew my heart wasn’t into UCLA," Stokes said.

Kentucky getting involved late is a signature move from the Wildcats. They have tremendous power on the trail right now and they just pulled a big boy move to get Stokes onto campus. The Wildcats hadn't done much with Stokes prior to the last few weeks.

The interesting subplot here is John Calipari’s involvement with a player his former school (Memphis) and assistant coach (Josh Pastner) covets. Calipari knows his way around the city of Memphis and this one would be a tough blow to the Tigers.

Heading into this weekend, Stokes was not ready to make a decision. It’ll be interesting to see how Kentucky’s involvement affects his thinking. The signing period begins next week and I would have thought Stokes would not be ready to decide. We’ll see.

Nnoko to Clemson

After the summer, center Landry Nnoko (Montverde, Fla./Montverde) was on the fence between a first-tier and second-tier recruit for a number of high-major programs. His size (6-10) and length are assets at the highest level. His scoring package is elementary which was a sound reason for him not elevating into the ESPNU 100. However, he’s an outstanding match for Clemson, which scored him over Florida State, South Florida and George Washington. Nnoko is used to structure and coach Brad Brownell covets guys who can adapt.

At Montverde, Nnoko was tutored by Kevin Sutton before the coach left to join George Washington’s staff. Kevin Boyle left St. Patrick for the Florida sunshine and took over at Montverde. These coaches are excellent teachers of the game, some of the best we have at the high school level. Their college players typically transition extremely well to the college game; it’s just a fact. Clemson and Brownell coveted this and made Nnoko a priority. At that point, the Tigers had to connect with Boyle and Nnoko. They did and their commitment to the big man paid off on Friday when he pledged to Clemson.

Food for thought ...

Recruiting 101: the longer the recruitment goes, traditionally the stronger the hometown team gets. Pay attention as we come down the homestretch with guys this year like Gary Harris (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton SE), Stokes, etc. Let’s put this old time theory to test.