Kentucky Adds Three Decent Recruits
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team has signed guard/forward Ramon Harris, a 2006 high school graduate, forward A.J. Stewart and center Mike Williams to National Letters of Intent during the NCAA’s fall signing period, head coach Tubby Smith announced Tuesday.
The 6-6 Harris, the Alaska Class 4A Player of the Year last season, averaged 16.3 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks while leading Anchorage West High School to its third-straight state championship. Although recruited by several schools, he did not enroll anywhere this fall as he waited to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse. Once cleared, he would be eligible to enroll at UK at the conclusion of the fall semester and begin basketball participation by mid-December.
“Ramon Harris is very athletic with long arms. He is a wing player, but he is capable of playing inside and outside. He is very mobile. He has played for some outstanding teams under Chuck White. We’re hoping a guy like Ramon can come in and help right away.”
Stewart, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., is an athletic, 6-7, 180-pound forward from Jacksonville Arlington Country Day High School. Stewart finished his junior year averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds on a team with five players in double-figures and was named the MVP of the 2006 Florida state 2A tournament. He enters his senior season as the fifth-ranked player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com and ranks 71st on recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons’ Top 150 players.
“A.J. is an athletic forward who can do a lot of things, both on the wing and inside,” Smith said. ”I love his energy and his enthusiasm. He has an outgoing personality, and he’s very excited about being a Wildcat. A.J. plays for an outstanding high school coach in Rex King at Arlington Country Day, and they play all over the country. He’s well-prepared to handle Kentucky basketball and the always-tough SEC.”
Stewart got plenty of work over the summer participating in the Nike All-American camp as well as being invited to the NBA Camp 100. He can score with his back to the basket and moves his feet well for a big man. If he continues to develop his strength, he can be a nice complement to fellow signee, seven-footer Mike Williams.
Originally from Solihull, England, Williams is listed at 7-0, 270 pounds. He averaged 12 points and eight rebounds during his junior year at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
He was an Honorable Mention All-Metro performer in the Washington, D.C., area last season and was named the MVP of the Bishop Ireton Tournament. Williams, who’s earned a 3.2 GPA, missed the entire summer circuit after having a cyst removed from his knee. However he has fully recovered heading into his senior season and is ranked 85th in Gibbons’ Top 150.
“Mike is going to be a solid low post presence,” Smith said. “He has great hands and a tremendous upside. He’s learned a lot under his coach, Mark Vincent, and we feel that Mike can develop into a very good player. He is the right fit both as a player and as a student-athlete for the University of Kentucky.”