John Calipari, Iowa State watch five-star Rashad Vaughn in injury return

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Rashad Vaughn is the best uncommitted guard remaining in the class of 2014. (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Rashad Vaughn is the best uncommitted guard remaining in the class of 2014. (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Rashad Vaughn has missed most of the past month with Findlay Prep due to an injury, but you couldn't tell on Monday morning.

The five-star senior had 12 points off the bench for Findlay Prep (Nev.) as the Pilots cruised to a win over Wesleyan Christian (N.C.), 73-44. Vaughn didn't show much rust in his return, knocking down a couple of 3-pointers and also getting to the basket effectively.

Moreover, in the second half, he guarded North Carolina signee Theo Pinson for long stretches and helped limit him to just five points after halftime.

“I'm pretty tired, but I think my wind picked up yesterday in practice,” Vaughn said. “I felt the confidence coming back more and more.”

The 6-foot-5 Minnesota native is ranked No. 12 in the 247Sports Composite, and is the second-best uncommitted prospect in the country. His scoring ability separates him from most of his peers, with his ability to score at all three levels and get hot from the perimeter.

After a long layoff from injury, though, Vaughn has plans on improving.

“I'm just going to try and get my confidence back,” he said. “Scoring in different ways, tightening my handle, keep getting better on defense.”

Vaughn picked a good time for his return, as Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant coach Orlando Antigua arrived at halftime to watch Vaughn. Iowa State had assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih there for Vaughn.

“It was fun,” Vaughn said of seeing Calipari. “I talked to him a couple days ago, he told me was going to come out.”

Vaughn is trying to plan a visit to Kentucky soon, but the only trip set right now is one to North Carolina next month.

“I just like both of the coaches,” he said. “They're genuine guys. [I like] both of their styles of play.”

In addition to those two programs, Iowa State and UNLV are also squarely in the mix for Vaughn. Kansas is on his list as well, although the Jayhawks are pursuing JaQuan Lyle and also might see Wayne Selden return for his sophomore season.

Iowa State has had a relationship with Vaughn for a long time, and the Cyclones are considering one of the favorites right now.

“[Fred Hoiberg] is a great coach,” he said. “I feel he's one of the best coaches. I like how he plays; he's got an NBA-style offense.”

UNLV has the proximity edge over the other contenders, as Findlay Prep is close to the Runnin' Rebels' campus. Getting Vaughn would complete a dynamite class for UNLV, as it already has five-star forward Dwayne Morgan and shot-blocking top-25 prospect Goodluck Okonoboh secured for the 2014 group.

[Dave] Rice is a genuine guy too,” Vaughn said. “When I went on my visits, we got to connect and build a relationship. I also like the two players he has coming in for next year too.”

As one of just three top-100 prospects still on the board, all eyes are on Vaughn as he moves forward with the recruiting process.

He said he wants to have a decision by late February or March.

“I got relationships with all the coaches, so it's just where I fit in and can get better and play,” Vaughn said.

 
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