With John Calipari in Egypt coaching the United State's U19 team in the 2017 FIBA World Cup, Joel Justus was tasked with playing host to a big-time Class of 2019 visiting prospect last week.
Calipari might not have been in Lexington, but Justus made a strong case on his behalf, and that's why he's on the staff.
Marcedus Leech visited both Kentucky and Louisville on Friday. The nation's No. 27-ranked player from the Class of 2019, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Poplar Bluff, Mo., spoke with CatsIllustrated.com about his trip to Lexington now that a few days have passed and he's got some perspective.
"It was great," Leech said of Kentucky. "A whole lot of tradition there."
So what was Justus' messaging when Leech was in Lexington?
"He talked about how Coach Cal always says that Kentucky is not for everyone," Leech said. "And how the spotlight is always on you here. He said the goal at Kentucky is to win championships and make pros and they only recruit players that have the potential to be a pro. That statement made me feel good."
It's easy to understand why that would be a flattering statement, especially given Kentucky and Calipari's track record of actually producing those professional players to back the statement up.
But it made Leech feel even better because of the difficulties he's experienced recently.
"I've been out with an injury all summer, so with a prestigious place like Kentucky showing some attention it's truly humbling," he said. "Coach (Justus) said they will be at my high school preseason workouts and at the Marshall County Hoopfest where my high school team will play this year."