MURFREESBORO — A buzz bounced about the Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University on Thursday during a Class AA state quarterfinal between Christ Presbyterian Academy and Memphis Mitchell.
It’s not every day that Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari frequents the building.
About seven rows up from the court, he and assistant coach Orlando Antigua sat. It wasn’t hard to figure out which player they were scouting.
CPA’s Jalen Lindsey, a 4-star talent and 6-foot-7 junior forward, is a next-level talent, and he holds nearly 20 Division I scholarship offers.
Kentucky hasn’t offered just yet. Tennessee has, however.
Lindsey scored 23 points — including a few SportsCenter-worthy dunks — in the 71-47 win. He said his recruitment has slowed down of late, but he expects it to pick back up soon.
“I’ve gotten a lot of offers, 18 or 19. It’s kind of slowed down because they’re concentrating on 2013 guys who haven’t committed,” he said. “Once that happens, I think it’ll start picking back up.”
Lindsey called Tennessee “a great school.”
“They’re in a rebuilding part (as a program) right now,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Coach (Cuonzo) Martin and all those guys. They keep up with me, and I have a lot of respect for those guys.”
Lindsey, a two-time Mr. Basketball finalist, averages 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game. He’s branched out his game this season, showing better accuracy on mid- and long-range jumpers.
“I’ve been working a lot,” said Lindsey. “I got a personal trainer, Drew Hanlen, who went to Belmont. He’s trained a lot of NBA guys. He and I are working all the time, working on my jumper, my pull-up jumper. I’m continuing to still work. I got a lot of things to work on, but I think it’s really helping and paying off.”
Lindsey said he could see himself fitting into Tennessee’s system.
“I feel like I can fit into a lot of people’s system,” he added. “Tennessee’s got a great team and has a great coach who’s coaching them. I think their system fits what we do (at CPA), along with a lot of other schools, too.”