Thon Maker Recruiting Update: Kentucky Visits Maker in Orangeville


Thon Maker Recruiting Update: Kentucky Visits Maker in Orangeville

After Kentucky defeated Georgia on Tuesday night, Wildcats’ assistant coach Barry Rohrssen headed north of the border to see Orangeville Prep take on Central Toronto. More specifically, to pay a visit to Thon Maker, as confirmed by Evan Daniels of

Orangeville Prep thrashed Central Toronto, 106-54, as Maker put together another fine game, posting 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Although this wasn’t much of a ball game, the main storyline to take away from the night was the visit from Rohrssen. After stating his intentions to reclassify to 2015 last month, Maker is one of the hottest names on the recruiting trail, as the agile 7-footer has drawn tons of interest.

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With Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana and Louisville all in hot pursuit of his commitment, any visit from a coach is worth mentioning. While Maker is still expected to visit Kansas and Indiana at some point, Kentucky’s effort to bring him to Lexington is very noticeable. Prior to this visit, all of John Calipari’s staff have watched Maker play, which was highlighted by a personal visit from Coach Cal himself during the Hoophall Classic back in mid-January.

But to be fair, Ed Smith, Maker’s guardian, did tell last month that all three schools would get visits if he were to reclassify.

However, if you wanted to try to read between the tea leaves, I would say if Maker were to go the NCAA route, the chances of him playing at Kentucky are extremely high. After all, the connection between Maker and the Wildcats is very evident when you take a look at his timeline since last fall.

Back in October of last year, Ed Smith called UK’s combine a game changer and had this to say about the dozens of scouts showing up to watch one practice:

“That tells you you got pros,” he said. “Scouts are not coming unless they see something they want. So when you have eight or nine guys that could play at that level, you have to do everything that’s good for them to help them get better.”

Then in November, Maker took an unofficial visit to Kentucky.

After that, all the Kentucky coaching staff has watched Maker play at one point or another during the month’s of December and January, highlighted by the Hoophall Classic.

Interestingly enough, when Maker made a second appearance in New England last month, very few college coaches were on hand to see him play (Insider Access Only).

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Coincidence? Maybe.

But another possibility is that many programs feel like this is a two-school race between Kentucky and Kansas, where if Maker does decide to go to school, the only two realistic options are those two programs.

A couple of weeks following his quiet appearance in New England, Maker had this to say to Olgun Uluc of

“I visited Kentucky previously, I got to see their coaching and see them as a unit from the sideline,” Maker told Uluc. “Also I spoke with Coach [John Calipari] and he told me how he showed interest in recruiting me. And as a program I’ve been watching them for a little bit so I know much about them.”

The final “connection” between Maker and Kentucky stems from basketball analytics.

Basketball analytics expert Justin Zormelo, who is the cousin of Maker’s guardian Ed Smith, is Makers personal coach, as many discovered when watching ESPN Films and‘s short film. More importantly, both Zormelo and Smith spoke very highly about the use of analytics at Kentucky earlier this season when asked about it. Given the usage of analytics in Maker’s game, you figure this would also bode well for Kentucky.

Although nobody truly knows where Maker is going to go at this point, one would guess that Kentucky is without a doubt his first choice based off speculation.

News and Notes:

You can watch the full video here.

  • On Wednesday, it was also announced that Maker will play in the BioSteel All-Canadian Game on April 14 at the Mattamy Centre in Toronto.

Next: Thon Maker and Jamal Murray Shine at Bill Crothers Invitational