(Ed. Note: The Emmys were last night, and the Funkhouser crew was on hand to →
Basketball Recruiting News
Bruce Pearl is on a roll. Today, Trayvon Reed, a former Maryland signee, committed to Auburn. Reed, considered the 9th best center in the 2014 class by 247 Sports Composite, was kicked off Maryland’s team after he was arrested for stealing a candy bar. (Really.) He’ll spend a semester at Elev-8 Prep and will be eligible to play for Auburn in January.
This is just the latest of Bruce Pearl’s coups since taking over for Tony Barbee. Pearl’s recruiting ban expired Sunday at midnight, and since then, he’s picked up commitments from 2015 4-stars Danjel Purifoy and Horace Spencer, and JuCo guard TJ Dunans, which has pushed Auburn’s 2015 class into the Top 10 nationally. More elite recruits are visiting this weekend.
Needless to say, this is getting the Twitter world all excited.
I'd take Bruce Pearl over Calipari. Better coach. Good enough recruiter
— Jared Stillman (@JaredStillman) August 27, 2014
Whoa, slow down there buddy. It’s fun to have Bruce back in the SEC, but let’s not get crazy.
The latest Rivals 150 is out and UK’s lone commitment in the 2015 class, Charles Matthews, slid 27 spots to #56. Earlier this summer, the shooting guard took a similar slide in Scouts’ rankings from #15 to #48. Why the dip? Rivals’ National Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi told TJ Walker that while Matthews has all of the physical attributes of an elite player, his production and consistency haven’t been up to par. Matthews has been battling injuries throughout the spring and summer.
Here are the new rankings for all of UK’s 2015 offers:
2. Jaylen Brown
3. Malik Newman
4. Skal Labissiere
5. Diamond Stone
6. Cheick Diallo
7. Ivan Rabb
10. Stephen Zimmerman
13. Antonio Blakeney
14. Carlton Bragg
16. Caleb Swanigan
17. Henry Ellenson
18. Brandon Ingram
41. Derrick Jones
48. Doral Moore
Check out the complete list here.
Doral Moore was considered a strong Kentucky lean even before he earned a scholarship offer back on August 2nd. Now, with a UK offer in hand, the 7-foot Center out of Georgia has 94% of his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions pointing towards the ‘Cats. He was supposed to officially visit campus this past weekend but ended up being unable to make the trip. Anyway, I had already planned to write about Mr. Moore, so here we are.
Moore is the type of big man that Coach Calipari loves to bring in. He has the physical tools at 7’0″, 220 pounds, paired with good mobility and athleticism, that can allow him to make an impact from day one on campus. However, there is also a lot of skill development work to be done before he becomes the next great Kentucky post player. Right now he dominates the game simply because of his size, ridiculous length, and advanced athleticism for a 7-footer. I could see Doral becoming an “auto-lob” type of player down low for the ‘Cats.
While Doral is considered one of the more athletic big men in the country, his game certainly does have some flaws. In terms of skill he is nowhere near the top centers like Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, and Caleb Swanigan. Moore does have decent touch inside of 8 feet or so, he isn’t much of a threat facing up and also doesn’t necessarily wow you with a wide array of post moves. As of now he simply scores a lot of points off of rebounds and by being much bigger and/or more athletic than the opposition.
One thing in particular which could continue to catapult Doral’s progression is his decision to transfer from Luella High School to Montverde Academy in Florida. At Montverde he will receive a lot of individualized attention from a great coaching staff and will also play against the very best competition in the country.
Even though he didn’t make it to Lexington this weekend for his official visit I still fully expect Doral to end up wearing Blue. He is currently scheduled to officially visit Illinois in late September, but if he can reschedule his Kentucky visit before then I wouldn’t be surprised to see him commit before making it to Illinois.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:00 pm
Doral Moore may not have made it to campus this weekend, but 2015 4-star guard Eric Davis did. Davis took an unofficial visit to campus this weekend, and although he didn’t pick up an offer from Calipari, his high school coach Greg McMath told the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts he thought the visit “went well.” McMath said that the UK staff will visit Davis next month on an in-home visit and they encouraged the guard to come back to Lexington for one of his five official visits.
“They’re still actively recruiting him and treating him like a guy that they have offered,” the coach said. “They haven’t treated him any different from anybody else. They’ve been great with him. If a coach wants to come in and do a home visit — and do an official visit with you — that still means a lot. I think the process is moving in the right direction.”
While in Lexington, Davis got to hang out with the team and even play a little pick-up with them, and according to his coach, he felt he held his own. Davis is considered the 8th best shooting guard in the 2015 class by 247 Sports Composite, but he can also play point. UK already has a commitment from shooting guard Charles Matthews and has extended offers to combo guard Malik Newman and shooting guard Antonio Blakeney, so Cal may be waiting to see how things develop on those fronts before extending an offer to Davis, who has Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, NC State, Texas, UCLA, and UNLV on his list. The Cats are the only team who hasn’t offered him yet.
Watch him work:
2015 center Doral Moore was supposed to visit Kentucky this past weekend, but according to Evan Daniels, he wasn’t able to make the trip. The Cats are a heavy favorite for the 7-footer from Georgia, and many assumed that he would commit if given the chance this weekend, but it looks like we’ll have to wait a little while longer. Ohio State, Florida, Illinois, and Wake Forest are also on his list, but the Cats hold a commanding 94% lead in his Crystal Ball predictions.
Moore is considered the 11th best center in the 2015 class by 247 Sports Composite, but his stock has been rising after an impressive summer circuit. This is why:
Michigan shooting guard Eric Davis is visiting Kentucky this weekend during the Calipari Fantasy Camp. Davis is a 4-star prospect according to the 247 Composite rating, #36 overall player in the class of 2015.
Calipari’s only other current commitment is from a shooting guard, Charles Matthews. Davis does not have an offer yet, but that could become a reality this weekend. None of that appears to be effecting Davis, who announced earlier this month his top seven schools: UK, UNLV, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State, NC State, and Texas.
Check out his smooth shot in this highlight reel.
Add another name to the growing list of visitors for Big Blue Madness: 2016 shooting guard Tyus Battle. Battle told Adam Zagoria that he’ll take an unofficial visit to UK for Big Blue Madness on October 17 and Duke the week after for their Countdown to Craziness.
Battle visited UK earlier this summer and picked up an offer. He and 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton have discussed playing together at the next level, and UK, UConn, and Michigan are recruiting them both. Otherwise, Duke is considered the favorite for Battle, who also has offers from Louisville, Syracuse, Indiana, Arizona, and others.
Here’s the Big Blue Madness guest list as of now:
2015: Charles Matthews (committed), Carlton Bragg, Brandon Ingram, Stephen Zimmerman
2016: Tyus Battle, Derryck Thornton
The staff hopes to add Antonio Blakeney and Jaylen Brown to the guest list as well.
Four-star prospect Doral Moore will be in Lexington this weekend for his official visit to the University of Kentucky. Things are a little different this year, though, as what is normally a huge recruiting weekend won’t have the same effect with the cancelation of the alumni game. Still, Moore will have plenty to see and do and he may be pressured to commit if he likes what he sees because UK has so many offers out there to higher ranked bigs.
Moore is the 10th ranked center and 48th overall in the Top247. UK currently sits at 88 percent in his Crystal Ball predictions.
Ivan Rabb is in the process of narrowing his list down to five finalists, but he knows two schools that will definitely make the cut. Rabb told ZagsBlog, “I can say Cal(ifornia) and Kentucky will definitely be on that list.”
Rabb will set up his official visits once he is down to five schools. He is also considering Arizona, UCLA, USC, Georgetown, North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, and Kansas.
The 6-foot-10 power forward is the No. 1 player in the class, according to ESPN. He ranks fourth overall in the 247Composite rankings, the No. 1 power forward.
According to the all-knowing Evan Daniels, 2015 small forward Brandon Ingram will visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness on October 17, a week after checking out Kansas’ Late Night at the Phog. Ingram is considered the fourth best small forward in his class, and most think it’s down to Duke or North Carolina for his services, but a visit to Lexington on the program’s biggest night could change that.
So far, the BBM guest list includes Stephen Zimmerman, Carlton Brag, and Derryck Thornton (2016). Antonio Blakeney said he will probably come, and the staff is trying their hardest to get Jaylen Brown on campus as well.
This summer, one of KSR’s recruiting crushes has been Jaylen Brown, the star of the AAU summer circuit. UK, UCLA, Kansas, and Georgia are considered the favorites for Brown, who recently vaulted to the top of Scout’s 2015 rankings. There were rumors that Brown wanted to commit on his birthday, October 24, but he told D1Circuit.com over the weekend that he’s “probably not going to sign or commit until after basketball season.”
This is good news for the Cats, who have been trying to get Brown on campus for a visit, specifically for Big Blue Madness on October 17. If Brown waits until the spring to commit, he’ll be able to see which Kentucky players go pro and which stay, which could greatly impact his decision. He’s already scheduled to visit Kansas on October 10 for the “Late Night at the Phog” festivities, and plans to release a Top 10 list after the Elite 24 game on August 23.
Here’s his latest mixtape:
Hopefully when you read the title of this post you didn’t say “who?” Since KSR readers and Kentucky fans in general are pretty knowledgeable I assume you remember that Charles Matthews is the one and only 2015 commitment to Coach Calipari. The 6’6” Chicago native was ranked as one of the top guards in the country when he pledged to the ‘Cats back in February but after falling in two consecutive rankings updates Mathews is just #61 overall and the #19 shooting guard according to 247Sports.
So why did he fall so far in the rankings after being as high as #17 overall? If you ask his high school coach at St. Rita’s, Gary DeCesare, it is quite simple. “It was because he was injured” is what DeCesare had to say after the initial drop in the rankings. Matthews was forced to sit out two Nike EYBL events in Minneapolis which caused him to fall off the radar of some recruiting analysts and scouts. However, Kentucky fans should remember that he was named MVP with USA Basketball out in Colorado Springs and that he also performed very well at the NBPA Top 100 against some of the best competition the nation has to offer.
The thing that really sticks out to me when evaluating Charles Matthews is his unparalleled versatility. He is 6’6” and ridiculously long with the skill to play the 1, 2, or 3 spots. He does a great job of getting to the rim and is such an explosive athlete that he can finish above the rim over taller defenders. I think that is ball-handling is really underrated; I am not saying that he will ever play much, if any, point guard at Kentucky but I do think he has the ability to really attack off the dribble on the perimeter. He has the skill to make an immediate impact as a freshman and the upside to continue to develop into a go-to player.
Between now and when he steps on campus in Lexington he will need to put on some weight and work on his shot, but all reports are that he is a great kid with an outstanding work ethic and that he is very coachable. Also, he comes from two outstanding programs with great coaches at St. Rita’s in Chicago and in AAU with the well-respected Meanstreets program.
I know it can be easy to let Charles Matthews slip from the mind since he committed back on February 26th, has fallen in the rankings, and us UK fans have turned our attention towards landing other top recruits. However, let’s give the St. Rita senior the attention he deserves as a Kentucky commit. He is an outstanding player who I expect to have a very good career in Lexington.
Photos via Zimbio and Strideline
Jaylen Brown and Malik Monk are two of the most talked about prospects in all of high school basketball, and 2 of the most exciting players in the country at any level. The 6’7, 217lb. Brown is rated the 2nd best player in the 2015 recruiting class with offers from Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, and UCLA among others while Monk is a Top-10 talent in the 2016 class and already drawing interest from Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Baylor and plenty more. Both of them competed at the Nike Global Challenge this weekend in Chicago and threw down some of the more impressive dunks you’ll see by prospects not old enough to vote yet.
Check out these 2 monster slams by a couple (possible) future Wildcats:
The good people over at Scout.com released their updated rankings for the 2015 basketball recruiting class and Jaylen Brown, the star of this summer’s AAU circuit, moved up to the top spot. Brown jumped up from No. 4 to take the spot away from Diamond Stone, who fell to fourth behind Brown, Ben Simmons, and Skal Labissiere.
Charles Matthews, the lone UK commit in the class, dropped down to No. 61.
See the rankings here.
2015 power forward Skal Labissiere trimmed his list to six, and the Cats made the cut, along with Memphis, North Carolina, Tennessee, Baylor, and Georgetown. Memphis is considered the heavy favorite (they have an 84% lead in his Crystal Ball), but never count out John Calipari.
Skal, who hung out with former Cat Nerlens Noel at the Reebok Classic X earlier this week, says he’s going to start planning his official visits soon. Keep in mind, Labissiere said he’s also considering going overseas to play for a year, ala Emmanuel Mudiay.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted a recruiting mixtape, so enjoy.