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Basketball Recruiting News
2015 Small Forward Brandon Ingram tweeted out his final 6 schools last evening. The two hometown teams, Duke and North Carolina made the list, along with Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina State, and UCLA. The 6’8’’, 180 pound Ingram is ranked as the #17 overall prospect in the 247 Composite rankings and is the #4 Small Forward.
Ingram grew up as a Duke fan, but is coached by fellow Kinston, North Carolina product and former UNC standout Jerry Stackhouse in AAU. The 247 Crystal Ball rankings have the Blue Devils holding a 58% to 39% advantage over the Tar Heels. That obviously leaves little room for hope for Coach Calipari to get him to Kentucky, but we should know by now not to count Cal out.
Ingram has scheduled an official visit to Lexington for Big Blue Madness on October 17th, so that serves as a good opportunity to show the talented wingman what UK has to offer. As of now that is his final official visit as well, he has already visited Duke and North Carolina, he took an unofficial out to UCLA in early August, and is scheduled to officially visit Kansas on October 10th. I suppose he may look into using his fifth and final official visit on North Carolina State, but no date has been set yet.
If Kentucky can get a commitment from #2 overall prospect Jaylen Brown, then getting more involved with Ingram isn’t as big of a deal, but he is still a great talent and it is always nice to steal one away from Tobacco Road. He is still only 16 years old and has a 7’4’’ wing span that would make Duke graduate Jay Bilas drool. Ingram actually went head-to-head with Jaylen Brown at the Adidas Unrivaled event in Chicago in early July and won the match-up hands down according to multiple reports.
While I wouldn’t count on Kentucky receiving the services of Brandon Ingram, we certainly have a puncher’s chance with him making a trip to Big Blue Madness. Ingram has talked in the past about wanting to make a decision at the end of October, so having him on campus right before he decides could be a good thing if Coach Calipari can work his magic.
This morning, 2016 shooting guard Jayson Tatum put the Cats in his top ten, and this afternoon, 2015 power forward Carlton Bragg announced that Kentucky is in his top five, along with Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, and UCLA. The 6’8″, 205 lbs. Bragg is considered the fifth best power forward and the fourteenth overall player in the 2015 class.
Bragg will take an official visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness on October 17, a week after taking an official to Kansas for Late Night at the Phog.
2016 shooting guard Jayson Tatum released his top ten today, and, not surprisingly, the Cats made the cut:
In alphabetical order Arizona Duke Illinois Kansas Kentucky Mizzou North Carolina Saint Louis University UConn Wake Forest
— Jayson Tatum (@Im_that_dude22) September 1, 2014
Tatum has talked about a possible three-way package deal with fellow five-stars Harry Giles (power forward) and Dennis Smith (point guard), but as we all know, package deals rarely come into fruition. Right now, Tatum’s Crystal Ball sits at 47% Duke, 24% Kentucky, 18% Kansas, 6% Memphis, and 6% Saint Louis.
Be lazy on your Labor Day and watch Tatum work:
Jaylen Brown, who some believe is the #1 player in the class of 2015, will be visiting Big Blue Madness on October 17th. According to the source (Desmond Eastmond of the Worldwide Renegades), Brown also plans to visit Kansas’s “Late Night at the Phog,” on October 10th. Jaylen is one of the top targets for the staff in 2015. In the linked article, he speaks about his relationship with Coach Cal and Kenny Payne:
“Coach Cal, Coach Kenny Payne, they’re great coaches,” Brown said. “They hit me up at least once a week. It’s always great hearing from them.”
The 6’6″ forward is also considering UCLA, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. Watch him work:
Last night, five-star center Diamond Stone trimmed his list to five, and Kentucky did not make the cut. Stone narrowed his list to Maryland, Duke, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and UConn, dashing dreams of a Malik Newman/Diamond Stone package deal in Lexington.
UK being cut from an elite recruit’s list is a rarity these days, but don’t freak out. Stone and UK have been distancing themselves from each other for several months now, and UConn is considered to be his favorite. The Huskies have also offered Malik Newman, but as the days go by, the Newman/Stone deal seems increasingly less likely to happen. Stone will announce his decision on November 12th on ESPN, while Newman will wait until the spring.
With Stone out of the picture, I don’t expect UK’s strategy to change much, if at all. They’ll continue to pursue big men Doral Moore, Stephen Zimmerman, Skal Labisssiere, and Caleb Swanigan heavily. Moore was supposed to visit UK last weekend, but couldn’t make it. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before he commits, so stay tuned…
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.