MiKyle McIntosh is a 6-foot-6, 225-pound guard/forward at Jackson (Ky.) 22 Feet Academy who is drawing offers and interest from many of the top programs in the nation.
Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua will come tonight (Monday) to watch McIntosh and sophomore guard Jamar Ergas – both native Canadians — play about an hour and 20 minutes outside of Lexington.
“Orlando texted me over the weekend and asked me to send him a few highlight tapes,” 22 Feet Academy coach Ryan Schmidt told SNY.tv. “They seem pretty interested.”
McIntosh, who will sign in the spring, currently holds offers from Miami and UCLA, but he’s drawing interest from a Who’s Who of heavyweights, Schmidt said.
“North Carolina, Kansas, UConn and Florida have all called in the last two weeks,” he said. “North Carolina and Kansas are going to try and get up in the next couple of weeks. Same with Ohio State. It’s really picking up for him.” He said Carolina’s Steve Robinson and Kansas’s Kurtis Townsend have been in touch.
Schmidt said McIntosh suffered a “serious ankle injury” in which he tore ligaments last April. He then missed the spring recruiting period and by July, he was at about “75 percent.”
He picked up some mid-major offers by then, including Duquesne, Illinois State, St. Bonaventure, Charlotte and Hawaii.
“He wanted to wait until the late signing period and get 100 percent healthy,” Schmidt said.
His stock took off in December when he averaged 28 points, 11 boards and 7 assists during a three-day showcase in Toronto.
“After that, Kansas called,” Schmidt said.
Some schools see McIntosh as a power forward, but Schmidt says he plays some point guard at 22 Feet and is quick and strong enough to blow by defenders on the perimeter but must still improve his shooting stroke.
“His skillset has improved tremendously,” Schmidt said. “He plays point guard for us as well. He’s about as good as I’ve seen.
“He’s 6-6, 225 and his ball-handling ability is pretty phenomenal. He’s a streaky shooter. That’s what he wants to improve on. He has really good mechanics. When he gets to the next level, he has a chance to be a premier guard once he gets his shooting down.
“No one can guard him off the dribble. He gets half a step, and he’s so strong.”
McIntosh is one of a number of Canadian players now competing in Kentucky — along with Ergas, 2013 point guard Emmanuel Owootoah and 2014 power forward Ray Kasongo, among others. (We featured Kasongo here and Owootoah here.)
Schmidt said McIntosh was with coach Ro Russell at Christian Faith (N.C.), but Russell has since left and Schmidt said McIntosh was “going to transfer anyway.”
Russell maintains ties with several of the Canadians in Kentucky.
“Kentucky is basketball country,” Russell told SNY.tv. “And Canada is close enough for parents to go and watch. Many schools have student-exchange programs.”
More and more coaches are now coming to Kentucky to scout these players.
UCLA assistant Korey McCray was in Kentucky last week to see Owootoah and Kasongo, and his colleague Phil Mathews returns Feb. 8 to see Owootoah.
The 6-4 Ergas, meantime, has made several stops before landing at 22 Feet.
You may recall that he was the runner-up to Julius Randle last year in the Elite 24 Dunk Contest in Venice Beach, Calif.
Now the small forward is drawing interest from Kentucky and others. Schmidt said Antigua first reached out about Ergas, and then became interested in McIntosh.
“Everyone in the country has expressed interest in that kid,” Schmidt said of Ergas. “He’s got a chance to be pretty unbelievable.”