Last week, John Calipari and the Kentucky staffed reached out to Isaiah Briscoe, a five-star →
Basketball Recruiting News
— The Boogie CBG (@_IsaiahBriscoe) September 19, 2014
I am the first to admit that I am behind the times when it comes to stuff like emojis. I avoided using them out of principle for the longest time, but like box wine and horrible reality television, the little icons have creeped into my life. Now I use the standard “emojis for beginners,” like the thumbs up, the party horn, the clapping hands, the three goggle, and when I’m feeling particularly festive, the girl who looks like she’s dancing. However, my emoji education is limited, so when I saw Isaiah Briscoe’s tweet about Kentucky last night, I was at a loss. Briscoe had an in-home visit with Calipari and staff last night, and although we’re not sure if he actually has an offer now or not, early reports say he’s planning to visit campus, which seems to imply that he does.
He tweeted “Kentucky” and these two emojis late last night, which means…
1) The first one is easy. Has to be a thought bubble or a dream bubble right? So, “Thinking or dreaming of”…
2) The second one is a little more ambiguous. What do those blue marks mean? Praying? Concentrating? Sweating? Surely not crying? Trying to climb out of a manhole?
Thinking and praying about Kentucky? Dreaming of an offer, which he’ll have to get by sweating? Come on emoji experts, help me out.
Last week, John Calipari and the Kentucky staffed reached out to Isaiah Briscoe, a five-star point guard from Newark, New Jersey. Briscoe doesn’t currently have an offer from the Cats, but that could change after his in-home visit with Calipari and company tonight. Calipari doesn’t just visit anyone; the odds are very high that he’ll extend an offer to Briscoe tonight, so let’s get to know a little something about him.
6’3.5″, 200 lbs.
Newark, New Jersey (Roselle Catholic)
Top247: No. 6 overall, No. 1 PG
247 Composite: No. 9 overall, No. 1 PG
Rivals: No. 9 overall
ESPN: No. 13 overall, No. 1 PG
Scout: No. 15 overall, No. 3 PG
Also considering: Arizona, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova, Missouri, UConn, Georgia Tech
247 Crystal Ball prediction: 64% St. John’s, 18% Arizona, 12% Rutgers, 3% UK, 3% Missouri
He first caught Calipari’s eye at the Peach Jam
Briscoe popped onto Cal’s radar until an impressive performance at the Peach Jam in July. He averaged 21 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists and led his team to the Peach Jam title and won MVP honors. He also won a FIBA gold medal with the Team USA under-18 squad in June.
He’s built like a typical Calipari point guard
At 6’3.5″, 200 lbs., Briscoe is the prototype of a Calipari point guard–big, physical, and powerful enough to muscle his way into the lane. He’s also a great shooter and passer, as his coach Dave Boff told the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts. “He’s a fantastic passer. A great finisher around the rim and a good shooter with significant range from behind the arc.” Wait, does Kentucky really need another point guard next season? Briscoe’s coach said if Tyler Ulis comes back next year, it’s not a problem. “It’s not so much about starting. It’s about getting some good minutes as a freshman and the opportunity to start your development process.”
His nickname is also “Boogie” and there’s a YouTube series about him
Isaiah’s name on Twitter is “The Boogie CBG,” and 8EyeMedia started a YouTube series about him. Here’s the first episode:
Personally, I can’t wait until the spinoff, “Tootie and Slap.”
There’s a possibility he and Antonio Blakeney could be a package deal
Package deals are about as reliable as Tom Crean in the postseason, but there is buzz that Briscoe and Antonio Blakeney may team up at the next level now that Blakeney’s free of his commitment to Louisville. The two schools both are considering? Kentucky and Missouri. Last night, 247 Sports’ Jerry Meyer tweeted that he was hearing Blakeney and Briscoe to Missouri was “not that far fetched,” but Kentucky seems like a much more pleasant option, doesn’t it?
He and his family don’t mind that Kentucky started recruiting him so late
Briscoe’s dad told Chris Fisher that they don’t mind that Calipari and Kentucky have only just became involved in his son’s recruitment. “We don’t think about that. We know how Kentucky recruits,” the elder Briscoe said. “They get the best of the best and sometimes you have to wait your turn at a place like Kentucky. They produce so many pros sometimes you have to wait and see if your position is at a log jam.”
He scored 61 points in a game earlier this summer
In other news, the game announcer on that video is hilarious. Is that Reverend Brown from “Coming to America”??
He’s currently on crutches
Briscoe suffered a slight fracture in his right foot during an AAU trip to Las Vegas in late July, and is currently wearing a boot and walking on crutches. Not for much longer though; Briscoe tweeted that the crutches and the boot come off September 23rd. Sad face, annoyed face.
Crutches & Boot Comes Off Sept 23rd 😕😑
— The Boogie CBG (@_IsaiahBriscoe) September 5, 2014
His fellow 2015 prospects voted him the Biggest Trash Talker in his class
USA Today’s Jason Jordan polled more than 30 elite players over the summer, and they voted Briscoe the “Biggest Trash Talker” in his class, as well as the player with the “Best Handle.” Here’s why:
He doesn’t have a timetable for his decision
Briscoe cut his list to five schools in early August: Arizona, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova. However, other schools have now entered the mix, including Kentucky, UConn, Missouri, and Georgia Tech. His dad told Chris Fisher there’s no timetable for his decision: “Whenever the right time comes. It’s not necessarily the spring. It could be tomorrow.” If he gets an offer from Calipari tonight, expect him to schedule a trip to Lexington sometime soon.
We’ll have an update on Briscoe’s visit with Cal as soon as it’s available.
John Vincent Calipari was in Cleveland last night, visiting five-star power forward Carlton Bragg and his family in Bragg’s home. Bragg posted the photo with Cal on the Twitter machine around 11:00 pm last night.
This morning, Sir Adam Zagoria reached out to Bragg’s mentor for some scoop on how things went during the visit. Michael Graves, the mentor, told Zagoria:
“Cal stated that Kentucky is not for everyone. It’s gonna be tough. Carlton will get a great education, be in the best shape of his life and be developed. He also talked about the upcoming [NBA] combine he’s having. He’s doing it for the players. He puts his players first, and getting them ready for the next level [NBA]. He also talked about what it means to play for Kentucky.”
Bragg will travel to Lexington for his official visit during Big Blue Madness weekend next month.
Several elite UK targets will play in this year’s Marshall County Hoop Fest, scheduled for December 4-6. Malik Newman headlines the list of 2015 stars that includes appearances from Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg and Derrick Jones.
Thon Maker, the No. 1 player in 2016, will also be in town to compete against Newman’s Callaway High School. Callaway will also come to the McCracken County Festival of Hoops later in the year.
Check out the full schedule below via the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts:
Marshall County Hoop Fest
Thursday, Dec. 4
4 p.m. – Marshall County vs. Massac (Ill.) girls
5:15 p.m. – Marshall County vs. Dyersburg (Tenn.)
6:30 p.m. – Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. Orangeville Prep (Can.)
7:45 p.m. – Graves County vs. Massac (Ill.)
Friday, Dec. 5
4 p.m. – Oak Hill (Va.) vs. White Station (Tenn.)
5:30 p.m. – Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. Quality Ed (N.C.)
7 p.m. – Callaway (Miss.) vs. Archbishop Carroll (Pa.)
8:30 p.m. – Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.)
10:00 p.m. – Arlington Country Day (Fla.) vs. Carlisle School (Va.)
Saturday, Dec. 6
9 a.m. – Marshall County vs. Madisonville North Hopkins girls
10:30 a.m. – Marshall County vs. Owensboro
Noon – Hopkinsville vs. Lausanne (Tenn.)
1:30 p.m. – McCracken County vs. Lincoln County
3 p.m. – Christ Presbyterian (Tenn.) vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)
4:30 p.m. – Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio)
6 p.m. – Oak Hill (Va.) vs. Our Savior (N.Y.)
7:30 p.m. – Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. Arlington Country Day (Fla.)
9 p.m. – Orangeville Prep (Can.) vs. Callaway (Miss.)
Don’t worry, it’s just a recruiting trip. Coach Cal is flying up to The Land to visit with five-star power forward Carlton Bragg, the No. 15 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings. The two are planning to meet up around 8:30 pm, possibly to watch The Goldbergs together.
Bragg plans to visit Big Blue Madness next month for his official trip to Kentucky. He took an unofficial visit to Lexington around this time last year and has hosted the UK staff several times.
His Crystal Ball predictions are tight but UK leads at 32 percent, narrowly ahead of Kansas and Ohio State.
While you were packing to camp out or watching Sons of Anarchy last night, John Calipari was visiting with Skal Labissiere, one of the premier prospects in the 2015 recruiting class. USA Today’s Jason Jordan caught up with Labissiere today to see how things went and the 6-foot-10 power forward told him, “Let’s just say it went great!”
Labissiere was the first member of the class to receive an offer from the University of Kentucky. He will take his official visit to UK this weekend, followed by trips to Texas and Baylor. He used his two other officials on visits to North Carolina and Georgetown earlier this month.
Memphis was named Labissiere’s leader back in July and Josh Pastner’s program currently holds 85 percent of his Crystal Ball vote. He resides in the Memphis area and was recently deemed ineligible for his senior season after transferring between two Memphis high schools.
When Labissiere arrives on campus to see the mayhem around Memorial Coliseum on Friday, it will really show him what playing for John Calipari and Kentucky is all about. Couple that with last night’s “great visit!” and the gap with Memphis will more than likely grow closer.
John Calipari’s trek across America continues, and today, he’ll watch 2016 shooting guard Malik Monk play in Bentonville, Arkansas as well as visit 2015 center Skal Labissiere in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Evan Daniels is reporting that Skal will host Calipari on an in-home visit at some point today. Skal will take an official visit to Kentucky starting on Friday.
Memphis is still considered the favorite for Skal, whose high school career may be over after he was ruled ineligible by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association last week. His final six schools are North Carolina, Tennessee, Baylor, Georgetown, Kentucky and Memphis.
Late last night, news broke that Antonio Blakeney has reopened his recruitment after committing to Louisville eleven days ago. This led to a meltdown in the Card Nation on Twitter and rumors swirled as to why Blakeney decommitted, with 247 Sports’ Jerry Meyer tweeting it was “shoe company related.” Blakeney’s high school coach Alex Jackson spoke to the Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones this morning and denied that shoe companies had anything to do with it, and Blakeney simply told him he wanted to take more visits and felt he had rushed his decision. The shoe company argument in recruiting has lost a lot of steam recently, as several top prospects, like the Harrison Twins and Andrew Wiggins, have gone against their “shoe allegiance” when picking colleges, but it’s a convenient excuse for Blakeney decommitting from Louisville, right?
Meyer is also reporting that Blakeney will take official visits to Kentucky, LSU, Oregon, and Missouri. Another interesting wrinkle in the story happened Sunday, when Malik Newman and Blakeney spoke via phone. Newman denies this had anything to do with Blakeney’s decommitment, but the two are close and Newman is one of UK’s top targets in 2015. However, Blakeney is also close with Ben Simmons, the number one player in the class who is currently committed to LSU. He’s considered the third best shooting guard in the country, and Cal’s currently laying the groundwork for the 2015 class, so stay tuned…
Not even two weeks after committing to the University of Louisville, Antonio Blakeney is no longer committed to the University of Louisville. The third-ranked shooting guard in the 2015 class announced he is opening his recruitment back up to consider other schools. Kentucky, LSU and Missouri were in his final four when he chose the Cards on September 4.
Go get him, Cal.
— Stephen Zimmerman Jr (@BIGG_ZIMM) September 13, 2014
Coach Cal has been all over the nation visiting the top players in the class of 2015. Today he is on his way to visit Ivan Rabb in California. Yesterday, he dropped by Vegas to visit big man Stephen Zimmerman. Stephen is the 14th ranked player in the class according to 247′s composite rankings and UNLV, Arizona, and Kentucky are battling it out for his services. Zimmerman said the visit was “great” in the above tweet and we’ll be hearing from him again soon at Big Blue Madness.
— Lori Stvns ZimmerMoM (@VegasBballMom) September 13, 2014
While out and about on the recruiting trail, Coach Cal has found the time to kick it with Jamie Foxx. Foxx told him he wants to go to the Fantasy Camp next year and that he’ll be good for at least 20 points per game.
I don’t know about 20 a game, but I’d bet good money that his stat line looks better than Matt Jones’.
Skal Labissiere, one of the top prospects in the 2015 class, will not play basketball this coming season, his senior year of high school. Labissiere was ruled ineligible after transferring from Memphis’ Evangelical Christian School to Lausanne High School last month, and today, his hardship waiver request was denied by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.
Ranked seventh overall in the 247Composite rankings, Labissiere is one of the most sought after talents in the nation. He is currently scheduled to visit Kentucky the weekend of September 19-21, the backend of the Big Blue Madness campout.
John Calipari is in the middle of a very busy two weeks of in-home visits. Today, Calipari will see three recruits in three different states, and after stopping in Chicago to check in on 2015 commit Charles Matthews tomorrow, he’ll head to Vegas to see Stephen Zimmerman. Next week, Cal is scheduled to see Carlton Bragg in Cleveland on Wednesday, and on Thursday, he’ll be in Newark, New Jersey to see point guard Isaiah Briscoe (more on him in a minute). While in the area, Adam Zagoria is reporting that he’ll also see Cheick Diallo in Centereach, New York. The visit is significant because Diallo will head to Kansas the next day to begin his official visit. Currently, the Jayhawks are the favorite in his Crystal Ball. Diallo took his official to UK back in June.
Back to Briscoe, who is the only recruit Cal is seeing without an offer. The Cats becoming involved in Briscoe’s recruitment earlier this week was surprising, and Briscoe’s father told Chris Fisher that the staff has been in contact with his son since the Peach Jam in July. The elder Briscoe said that Cal’s history with guards is appealing, to say the least. “The way Cal[ipari] develops point guards, combo guards, guards period, it’s second to none. He gets it done. That’s the appeal.” Briscoe Sr. added that if his son gets an offer during the in-home visit, they’ll come to Lexington to see what it’s all about.
While John Calipari is criss-crossing the country to see Brandon Ingram (Kinston, NC), Caleb Swanigan (Fort Wayne, IN), and Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake, WI), John Robic is headed to Lepanto, Arkansas to see 2016 shooting guard Malik Monk.
Monk is considered the 5th best player and the 2nd best shooting guard in the 2016 class by 247 Sports Composite, and took an official visit to UK back in early August. Most think it’s down to Kentucky and Monk’s home-state school of Arkansas, and the Cats have an ally in former UK player Archie Goodwin, whom Malik refers to as his “big brother.” Hopefully Robic can play up that La Familia angle when he sees Monk today.
Watch him work:
ESPN’s new recruiting rankings for the 2015 and 2016 classes are out, and there was some movement for UK’s top targets. LSU commit Ben Simmons has taken over the top spot from Ivan Rabb, who dropped to #5. Here’s where all of UK’s offers ended up, with their previous rankings in italics:
2. Jaylen Brown (2)
3. Malik Newman (3)
4. Henry Ellenson (5)
5. Ivan Rabb (1)
7. Cheick Diallo (7)
8. Caleb Swanigan (17)
10. Stephen Zimmerman (8)
11. Skal Labissiere (11)
12. Brandon Ingram (12)
13. Isaiah Briscoe (20)
18. Carlton Bragg (14)
22. Derrick Jones (27)
44. Charles Matthews (UK, 30)
59. Doral Moore (36)
Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram, Stephen Zimmerman, Charles Matthews, and Carlton Bragg are all scheduled to take official visits to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness.
In the 2016 rankings, Jayson Tatum took over the top spot from Thon Maker, who wasn’t included because of his move to Canada.
1. Jayson Tatum
3. Harry Giles
4. Malik Monk
9. Udoka Azubuike
10. Derryck Thornton
15. Tyus Battle
37. MJ Cage
Tomorrow, Kentucky will watch Tyus Battle play in New Jersey. Battle and Derryck Thornton are also scheduled to visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness.