By LARRY VAUGHT
One consistent part of John Calipari’s recruiting since he arrived at Kentucky is that he always like to target a point guard early to solidify that position and also hopefully use him to help recruit other players.
That’s why it was significant when Calipari recently made his first point guard scholarship offer in the 2020 recruiting class to Jeremy Roach of Fairfax, Va.
“He plays for one of the top programs (Paul VI Catholic High School) in the area that has produced a lot of top guards,” said Samantha Pell of the Washington Post. “It doesn’t surprise me that he has that offer from Kentucky this early because of his skill set. He’s one of the best players in his recruiting class.
“He’s very versatile. He’s been working on his jumper a lot. He’s a very good ball handler. He won’t turn the ball over a lot. His team preaches passing, sharing and not being a scorer all the time. He does a great job with that. If he needs to score, he scores. If he needs to go to the hoop, he goes to the hoop. If he needs to pass, he’ll pass. He’s that versatile. He has all the tools.”
As a sophomore, the 6-2 Roach averaged 15.2 points per game as his team went 33-4. He averaged 11.1 points per game as a freshman. He has already played on two USA teams that have won gold medals in international competition. He started all seven games in the 2018 Under 17 World Cup and averaged 6.4 points and 2.7 assists per game. He participated in the USA Basketball junior national team minicamp last week.
“I think his versatility is his strength,” Peel said. “His decision making is very good and he can really handle the ball. His on-court vision is one of the best I have seen.”
Roach has offers from Duke, North Carolina, Villanova and many other high major programs along with Kentucky. He’s taking an official visit to Duke this weekend and trying to plan one to Kentucky soon.
“Kentucky is one of his top offers but he’s not done getting offers,” Pell said. “Jeremy is not one to gloat over what offers he has. He’s very humble and he usually doesn’t even like to announce where he has offers from. He usually tells me to tweet it out for him. He could care less if others know. He knows he has the offer, so there is no showboating with him.
“He wants to be part of a team mentality. He doesn’t have to be the star. However, I do think he is enjoy the recruiting process. Who would not enjoy having Calipari wanting to talk to you? At the end of the day, he doesn’t mind the recruiting attention.”