NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Quade Green noticed two things almost immediately upon reaching the University of Kentucky’s campus for a visit last week.
“I see a lot of pros on their wall. A lot of pros. So that opened my eyes,” said Green, who would’ve seen 28 names of players picked in the NBA Draft under coach John Calipari if the wall has been updated to include the latest wave. Also: “When I got there, people were asking for autographs already – as soon as I got there. It’s crazy.”
Green, ranked the No. 20 overall prospect and No. 3 point guard in the Class of 2017 by Scout.com, earned a scholarship offer from Calipari and the Wildcats during that visit. He also has offers from the likes of Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland and Syracuse – but it seems likely to come down to UK and the Blue Devils (again).
Duke’s pitch: “They want me to come in and play, be the Quinn Cook of their team. I like (the comparison). He was a great Duke player, a great one. They like my toughness, how I control the game and get my teammates involved.”
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- The six Class of 2017 prospects Scout.com’s Evan Daniels believes Kentucky is best positioned to land right now.
- 5-star power forward P.J. Washington and his father have formed a tight bond with Wildcats assistant coach Kenny Payne.
- Live updates throughout Peach Jam. Who is John Calipari and his staff watching? Who’s standing out? What are they saying about the Cats? All in one place.
With Calipari and UK assistant Tony Barbee watching Thursday at Nike’s Peach Jam, Green did all of those things. He took over late in a close game, scoring eight of his 26 points in the final 90 seconds. Demonstrating deft handles and a smooth jump shot, he hit 10 of 15 from the field and finished with eight assists, three steals and two turnovers.
“At times, I’ll be the passer,” Green said. “When crunch time comes, that’s when my scoring ability comes out. Know when to pass, know when to score, know when to get your teammates (who include 7-foot, 5-star UK target Mohamed Bamba) involved, know when not to take bad shots.”
Green is the third point guard in the Class of 2017 to earn a Kentucky offer, following five-star Trae Young and four-star Tremont Waters, and knows that both the Wildcats and Blue Devils will happily take any of them. So there’s at least some sense of urgency.
“It really comes down to who commits first. That’s what I’m thinking: whoever commits first gets it,” Green said. “Kentucky said that. Duke said that.”
Even so, he isn’t sure he’ll make a decision in the fall or wait until spring. He’d like to take all five official visits and “see who’s been there, what point guards have been there.” That, of course, bodes well for Calipari and the Cats.
John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague, Andrew Harrison and Tyler Ulis were all NBA Draft picks. Each of them was either a first-round selection or played for a national title – or both. As a 6-foot point guard, the 5-9 Ulis stands out to Green.
“He opened eyes for everybody, for small point guards,” Green said. “He let the small point guards come out and everybody see them.”
Now will Green – whose first name is pronounced Kwah-DAY, just in case – be the next little general in Rupp Arena?
* Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleTucker_AJC. Reach him at Kyle.Tucker@ajc.com