CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – M.J. Cage knew that a camp setting wouldn't mean too many consistent touches for him, given the up-tempo style and guard-heavy nature of the event.
After an up-and-down first day at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Cage made it his goal to get more involved on the offensive end.
“Make my presence known,” Cage said on Wednesday night. “Be more aggressive than I have at past camps. Call for the ball more. Camps are usually a lot of guard shooting, but I want to show what I can do out here.”
Cage stepped it up a bit on Thursday morning, going for six points and five rebounds in a better performance. The numbers don't jump off the page, but Cage was clearly more effective.
The next step for the 6-foot-9 2016 power forward is to expand his offensive game and become more dangerous in the process.
“I want to be able to take people out and not just post up all the time,” Cage said. “I'm trying to be one of the top players out there.”
In terms of recruiting, three schools are standing out for Cage: Arizona, San Diego State and Kentucky.
Arizona, which has dominated West coast recruiting under Sean Miller, has a couple of things in its favor.
“I'm from Arizona,” Cage said. “Stanley [Johnson], my teammate, went there, so I can always talk to him about it.”
San Diego State has the advantage of being the alma mater of Michael Cage, M.J.'s father, who played in the NBA for 15 seasons.
Kentucky, which offered last fall, stands out because of its tradition.
“Kentucky has a great history in basketball,” Cage said.
Oregon and Washington are also in pursuit.
“Education and a school that will pass the ball to the bigs, and is not just run by wings and guards,” Cage said of what he's looking for in a school.
The Mater Dei (Calif.) product is ranked No. 22 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2016.