2008 three-star prospect Darnell Wilkes had a great time at Cincinnati's midnight madness festivities, which only served to cement the Big East's schools lead in the recruitment of the 6-foot-8, 205-pound power forward out of Pioneer Christian Academy in Nashville, Tenn.
"We had a great time," said Wilkes coach and legal guardian Carl Reed. "They showed Darnell the campus and all the facilities. They introduced him to the team, and he got to spend some time with Mick Cronin and even got to meet Oscar Robertson."
Along with Cincinnati, Auburn and UTEP have both made the trek to Pioneer Christian to watch Wilkes this fall. Tennessee and Memphis are also expected to visit, but everyone will be playing some serious catch up to Cincinnati according to Coach Reed.
"Cincinnati wants him bad, and they are his favorite school," said Reed. "I've told every coach wanting to recruit him that Cincinnati is out ahead. They have just done the best job recruiting him. They were on him before he began to blow up."
Despite the significant interest in Wilkes, Coach Reed feels he is still being under-recruited because of academic questions.
"The only reason Darnell doesn't have over 50 offers is because he has some academic work to do. He is going to make it, though. He is buckling down in class right now and getting the job done."
A top notch athlete, Wilkes has primarily impressed Coach Reed with improvements he has made in his skill level with the ball.
"I'm most impressed with the improvements that Darnell has made in his outside shooting," Reed said. "He is also making a commitment to be a better defender. Everyone is wowed by his athleticism, but I like what he is doing with his skill game."