Arizona basketball: San Diego guard grabs Cats' interest

Recently discovered, 'workhorse' Kell gets late scholarship offer
2013-07-30T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:39:10Z Arizona basketball: San Diego guard grabs Cats' interestBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Four years with the Arizona Wildcats have given coach Sean Miller time to develop relationships with today's key recruiting targets since eighth or ninth grade.

But every now and then, a short-term relationship looks pretty good, too.

Miller offered a late scholarship to 2014 San Diego guard Trey Kell last week, just before UCLA and new coach Steve Alford decided to do the same.

"I'd never heard anything from them," Kell said of Arizona.

Neither had his travel-ball coach, Marshawn Cherry, until recently. Cherry said both UCLA and Arizona began watching Kell closely this month and both offered him scholarships last week, joining schools such as Gonzaga, Oregon and San Diego State.

"Arizona was a surprise," said Cherry, head of the San Diego Allstars travel team, "because they came in, they were here, and I guess they liked what they saw."

What they saw was a 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound shooting guard with a well-rounded skill set that includes ballhandling, passing and shooting. He's also a proven clutch performer, having led St. Augustine High School to an overtime win in the California Division III title game with 30 points and 10 rebounds, hitting three free throws in the final seconds of regulation and adding six more points in overtime.

"If you watch him play, he's pretty much a do-everything guy," Cherry said. "He can handle, shoot, rebound, post up. He's just a workhorse and he loves to be in the gym. If he's not at home sleeping, he's in the gym."

Cherry said Kell started playing with his Allstars club as a high school freshman, starting on the "B" team and working his way up every year, to the point now where he's a high-major college prospect.

It got to the point this month that Kell not only had to lead the team but also wade through heavy recruiting attention as he tried to focus on his final travel-ball event, the Fab 48.

"It's getting bigger and bigger," he said. "Of course, all the media talk about (the offers) and you see it on Twitter or Facebook or whatever. But I feel I've done a good job of staying humble and just playing basketball."

The Allstars ended their Fab 48 appearance with a loss in their first championship bracket game Saturday, and Kell said he would take some time to sit down with his family and figure out a next step. He said he was unsure which schools he might visit, though he said Arizona deserved consideration.

"Arizona's a school that any basketball player would consider," Kell said. "Coach Miller is a great coach. He has a players' system where they have that freedom that every player wants - so it's hard to look past that, especially with what they've accomplished."

Kell said UCLA is also of interest because of the school and the fact that his parents could easily get to all the home games. But he said distance won't necessarily matter.

Staying home "is something I'd prefer, but the main thing for me is just the right fit," Kell said. "If it's on the East Coast then I will go to the East Coast."

The Wildcats currently have as much depth at shooting guard as any other position, but transfers and early professional departures could change that at any moment. UA also has only one point guard, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, in its 2014 class and has been seeking players at all positions.

Wherever he lands, Kell also has the potential to play point guard or small forward, if needed. He played a combo role for the Allstars, showing comfort in bringing the ball downcourt when needed.

"Some schools are recruiting me as a point guard, some as a combo and some strictly as a shooter," Kell said. "So it doesn't really matter to me. Whatever a school needs from me I'm going to do it."

First, though, he has to figure out what he needs from a school.

There's a chance Arizona has that.

"He's going to look at the best fit for him, the best opportunity to develop," Cherry said. "He has some pretty good options. But these two (Arizona and UCLA) are very big, so you have to consider them."

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Utah 6 1 0 0.857 16 3 0 0.842
Arizona 6 1 0 0.857 18 2 0 0.900
Stanford 5 2 0 0.714 14 5 0 0.737
Oregon State 5 2 0 0.714 13 5 0 0.722
Oregon 4 3 0 0.571 14 6 0 0.700
UCLA 3 4 0 0.429 11 9 0 0.550
Colorado 3 4 0 0.429 10 8 0 0.556
Washington 3 4 0 0.429 14 5 0 0.737
Washington State 3 4 0 0.429 9 10 0 0.474
Arizona State 2 5 0 0.286 11 10 0 0.524
California 1 6 0 0.143 11 9 0 0.550
USC 1 6 0 0.143 9 10 0 0.474

AP Top 25

Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Washington at
1/25 56-77
Oregon State at
Arizona State
1/28 6:00 pm
Oregon at
1/28 8:00 pm
Stanford at
1/28 9:00 pm
Colorado at
1/29 7:30 pm
Utah at
1/29 8:00 pm
California at
Washington State
1/29 9:00 pm
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 6:00 pm
Oregon State at
1/30 8:00 pm
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