UK recruit Marcus Lee to decide soon

By Nick Jones | @Kernel_Nick
njones@kykernel.com

2013 recruit Marcus Lee was on UK’s campus this weekend to take in the action of Big Blue Madness on Friday held in Rupp Arena. It was a night that he will remember for a long time.

“He enjoyed it immensely, from what I have heard from his family. They were really impressed with Kentucky and he loved everything about it,” said Deer Valley High School head coach Lechet Phillips.

Marcus’ brother, Brian Lee, was most impressed by the one-of-a-kind video introduction on the hardwood.

“It was pretty crazy watching the video on the floor.”

But he didn’t stop there when raving about the whole experience of Big Blue Madness

“It was pretty cool to hear the kids get their names shouted out and chanted so they enjoyed it.”

The fan support is what left the greatest impression on Marcus during his official visit to Lexington.

“The support of Big Blue Madness and Big Blue Nation, the support is still just unbelievable to him,” said Brian Lee.

UK head coach John Calipari, along with the rest of the coaching staff has developed a relationship with Marcus that he has become very comfortable with.

“I think he is getting really comfortable with them,” Brian Lee said. “That was the point of cutting down his list to two, so that he could get closer to him and coach Montgomery, and I think it’s working out well. It’s going well for him, and they are having longer conversations and their relationship is just building.”

Even though Calipari has had great success with his ability to have his players’ names called on draft night, Marcus is not focused on the NBA at this point, his brother said.

“He knows Kentucky is bringing in a bunch of draft guys, but he just wants to get to college and enjoy it first.”

As for the current UK commits that spent the weekend with the 6-foot-9 Lee, his brother thinks they are a lot alike.

“I think it went well. They are all pretty quiet kids and they all have similar personalities, but I think it worked well.”

On Sunday night Marcus sent out a picture on his official Twitter account including current commits, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, James Young, Derek Willis and himself.

The photo was followed by a caption that said, “That’s just scary.”

Marcus is a top-40 power forward in the 2013 class, but coach Phillips thinks his upside is higher than any of the current commitments for UK’s 2013 roster.

“To be honest with you I don’t think there is any better person in that group that will finish better than Marcus will.”

But should Lee decide to bring his talents to the UK, he would likely be a glue player for the 2013 roster. His coach describes him as the ultimate team player that would compliment the talents of the rest of his potential teammates.

“He is nice to work with, he is a great team player and he works well with others. He does the little things to make the team better. He has been strengthening up his offensive game but mainly he is a defensive force,” said Phillips. “So it seems like a perfect marriage for all of them. I know they are bringing in the Harrison Twins and (James Young), but its probably a perfect fit for them and vise versa.”

With all the talk about how Marcus will mesh with UK’s current committed players on and off the court it is likely that he will wrap up his recruitment and make a decision in the coming weeks.

A commitment will come “in about three weeks,” his brother Brian said.

Although the star big man is winding down his recruitment, his trip to Lexington this past weekend will not be his final visit. According to Brian Lee, the other school on his final list of two, the University of California, will get the last recruiting pitch for Marcus’ services.

“He is going to go down to Cal on Saturday for a visit and then he will take a week or two and make his decision.”

But what will be the basis of that decision?

“He is just deciding if he wants to stay home and get that local support or go to Kentucky and get the whole Big Blue Nation and all the things they do.”