CLEVELAND -- Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall has been electrifying crowds and wowing fans this season.
He won over LeBron James long ago.
"He's great," the Cavaliers superstar said Friday night. "He'll be the No. 1 pick in the draft."
James has developed a strong relationship with the speedy Wall, who has attended the MVP's basketball camps in Akron the past few summers. Wall is averaging 19 points per game for the No. 4 Wildcats, who will play at Indiana on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Wall had a season-high 25 points, scoring 12 of Kentucky's final 15 in a win against Connecticut (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) at New York's Madison Square Garden -- one of James' favorite stages.
So what does James like about Wall's game?
"His speed with the ball. He's like [Chicago guard] Derrick Rose," James said. "Derrick is much stronger than he is, but he has some of the same athleticism that Derrick has and Coach Cal [Kentucky coach John Calipari] is going to let those type of guys play. He has shown why he came out being the top player in high school and is one of the top five players in college."
It wasn't long ago that Wall was cut from his high school basketball team, mainly because of his attitude.
"He won't be cut again," James cracked. "Unless he's in a barber's chair."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press