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Basketball Recruiting News
Coach John Calipari has always been known for recruiting and coaching great point guards. He also has an impressive list of big men that he has coached, especially since he has been at UK. One position that he hasn’t really seen much success recruiting, however, is at small forward. The only player he has recruited and coached at UK that is strictly a small forward is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He didn’t recruit Patrick Patterson or Deandre Liggins. Alex Poythress isn’t a true small forward and plays power forward often. James Young is more of a shooting guard that played small forward because of the Harrison twins occupying the other two guard spots. Cal has a chance to change this trend and pick up a big-time small forward in this year’s recruiting class. He comes in the form of a 6’7”, 220 lb. player from Marietta, Georgia and his name is Jaylen Brown. He is rated a top 3 player in every major recruiting service and is #1 overall in Scout’s rankings.
If you aren’t familiar with his name now, you probably will be in the future regardless of where he chooses to play next year. He has superstar written all over him; not only while in college, but also when he decides to join the NBA. He is one of the most athletic and explosive players that I have watched in high school. If he gets his shoulders squared up to the goal…well you might want to get out of the way or you will be put on a poster. He is the total package and has everything you want in a small forward. He is uber-athletic, a powerful rebounder, finishes at the rim with ease, and is a very good defender. Only part of his game that you could say might need some work is three point shooting. However, he has very good mechanics in his three point shot; he just needs to continue to become more consistent in knocking them down. This will come with experience and hard work. Jaylen Brown is a very, very impressive player and John Calipari would be ecstatic to have him on his team.
But, there is major uncertainty regarding Jaylen Brown. That uncertainty would be his recruitment. No one knows what he is thinking and there is a good chance that he isn’t even sure. He has added random schools after cutting his list and taken a visit to California, a place people didn’t know he was even considering. It will be another whirlwind recruitment of a top prospect and will be a dramatic finish to land the elite small forward. John Calipari and UK should feel pretty good about Brown since they have remained on his list from the beginning and he visited for Big Blue Madness last fall. UK might not land him, but they have as good of a chance as anyone.
Landing Jaylen Brown can take this 2015 class for UK to another level. The class is good as it is and is already ranked #1. They have three very good players in Charles Matthews, Isaiah Briscoe, and Skal Labissiere. They also could get combo guard Malik Newman and one or two other big men like Thomas Bryant or Stephen Zimmerman. It will be another top recruiting class for Calipari regardless of who else he adds, but Jaylen Brown is the missing piece that can make it one of his best. John Calipari is hoping to land Mr. Brown and buck the trend of missing on elite small forwards, while building a team to make another run at a title in 2015-2016.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 24th, 2015 @ 11:15am
Jaylen Brown took his fifth and final official visit to Michigan late last week, then snuck off to California for a top secret unofficial visit, according to Scout.com’s Swaggy E, Evan Daniels.
Cuonzo Martin, who began recruiting Brown once he left Tennessee, managed to get Brown out to Berkeley on Sunday and Monday, though California hasn’t been on Brown’s list of schools.
Along with last week’s trip to Michigan, Brown’s other official visits were to Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA. He visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness.
He is also considering Georgia and Georgia Tech, the two nearby schools for the Marietta, Ga. product.
For the fourth time in school history, the Owensboro Red Devils are state champions. Owensboro defeated Bowling Green 74-58 to win their first state title since 1980. The Red Devils finished the season with a 31-4 record, including three wins over state-runner up Bowling Green.
Owensboro jumped out to a ten point lead early in the first quarter and never trailed against BGHS. Owensboro’s size seemed to over-match the Purples in the first half. Despite being undersized compared to Owensboro, Bowling Green found ways to cut into the lead. Senior guard Tucker Sine knocked down two first half threes and DeAngelo Wilson scored seven bench points to bring the score to 27-23 at the half. Following the Purples’ first half comeback, Owensboro went on the attack in the third quarter. Dylan Sanford scored 13 second half points and Jacoby Harris added nine to lead the Red Devils to a 22 point lead in the second half.
While Sanford hit four threes in the game, Owensboro was led by big men Aric Holman and Justin Miller once again. The two studs were both named to the All-Tournament Team and Miller was named MVP of the State Tournament. Both Holman and Miller showed their ability to take over in the paint against Bowling Green. Holman scored 20 points on eight of thirteen shooting and collected 14 rebounds. Miller, who was playing through an injury, took only five shots but scored 11 points and had ten rebounds. Holman finished with eight blocks, two away from what would have given him a triple-double.
Owensboro’s ability to score in the post helped to push their lead out to 22 in the fourth quarter. Despite a last effort from the Purples, Owensboro pulled away. Two free throws by fan-favorite Gabe Fillman off the bench helped to seal a 74-58 win for Owensboro.
More on this year’s State Tournament to follow.
For the first time in program history, the Bowling Green Purples are headed to the KHSAA State Championship. BGHS defeated Boyle County 68-58 in the semifinals to clinch a spot in Sunday’s title game against Owensboro. The balanced lineup and depth of Bowling Green were too much for Boyle County. Boyle County’s season comes to an end after an incredible Cinderella run to the Final Four. The Rebels knocked off Lexington Catholic and #1 Ballard on their way to the semifinals. One night removed from breaking the state record for made free throws in a game with 40, Boyle County made only three against Bowling Green. The Purples shot 52 percent from the field and 75 percent from beyond the arc.
The Purples led for nearly 28 of the 32 minutes in the game and never looked back after claiming the lead midway through the first quarter. Bowling Green’s dominance can be attributed to their ability to put up high-percentage shots. Terry Taylor shot 58 percent from the field and Kyran Jones shot 75 percent off the bench for the Purples. Jones was named the Player of the Game after collecting 14 rebounds and blocking two shots. Led by Jones, the Purples out-rebounded Boyle County 42-21.
While Taylor and Jones controlled the inside game for BGHS, DeAngelo Wilson paced the game at the guard position. The sophomore led BGHS in scoring with 17 points off the bench. Wilson, listed at 5’9″, reminds fans of Tyler Ulis with his court vision and gritty defensive effort. The Purples relied on Wilson to hit big shots in the second half. Wilson scored 16 points on five of twelve shooting in the final two quarters to push the Purples to a win.
Bowling Green and Owensboro are familiar foes. In two games this season, Owensboro beat the Purples twice. Neither win was by more than nine points and one stretched to overtime. The two Western Kentucky teams will square off Sunday afternoon at 2 EST.
By Trey Huntsman on ©March 21st, 2015 @ 9:30pm
The Owensboro Red Devils are headed back to the State Championship after a 69-65 win over defending champion Covington Catholic. Despite trailing by six at the half, Owensboro rallied in the fourth to send the game to overtime. After Covington Catholic gathered an early lead in the overtime period, Owensboro went on a 10-5 run to end the game and win 69-65. The Red Devils shot 56.8 percent from the field and 50 percent on threes. CovCath shot well throughout the game, but could not hold off the interior game and sharp shooting from Owensboro.
1 MORE TO GO!!!! Devils are playing for the Title Sunday at 2:00! All of Owensboro needs to get to RUPP to watch OHS play for it all! #FILD
— OHS Sports (@OHSsports) March 22, 2015
The biggest portion of Owensboro’s interior play in this tournament has come from Justin Miller. The senior big man has been excellent in the state tournament, but he showed out against Covington Catholic. Miller scored 18 points on eight of twelve shooting while dishing six assists. Owensboro has relied on Miller to be a presence in the post this in this tournament. Miller collected 19 rebounds in the first two games and 11 tonight. Top recruit Aric Holman added 11 points and nine rebounds in the win. Owensboro guard Darion Morrow went three of six on three pointers and scored 18 points. Along with the trio of Morrow, Miller and Holman, Owensboro found Dylan Sanford and Jacoby Harris as key scorers. Sanford and Harris combined to shoot six of ten and score 22 points.
Owensboro will look for their fourth state title and first since 1980 on Sunday. The Red Devils will take on the winner of Bowling Green and Boyle County.
Boyle County 85 vs. Ballard 70- Boyle County continues to surprise KHSAA fans with postseason wins. After knocking off Lexington Catholic in the first round, Boyle County upset Ballard to punch a ticket to the Final Four. Previously ranked first in the state, Ballard lost for only the third time this season. The game was tied at half before Boyle County flipped the switch. The Rebels outscored Ballard 25-12 in the third quarter and polished off a double-digit win in the fourth. Boyle County’s key to the win was their ability to get to the free throw line. With 40 made free throws, Boyle County broke the KHSAA State Tournament record for makes in a game. Ballard was called for 32 fouls in the game, putting the Rebels’ Jeremiah Bell and Tyler Hagen on the line a combined 29 times. Hagen led all scorers with 32 points and tied for the lead in rebounds with 12. The red-hot Rebels will look to continue their Cinderella run tomorrow night at 8 against Bowling Green.
Bowling Green 65 vs. Calloway County 57- In the final game of the Elite Eight, a familiar face punched their ticket to the Final Four. After never reaching a Final Four before last season, Bowling Green has advanced past the first two games for the second straight season. The Purples jumped out to a huge lead last night, but found themselves behind by double digits in tonight’s game. Bowling Green fought back to cut the lead to seven at the half. Excellent guard play for Bowling Green helped to keep them in the game. Tucker Sine, Malik Carothers and DeAngelo Wilson played incredible second halves to put BG back in front late. Wilson and Carothers helped to push the Purples’ offense against a tired Calloway County who had played a double-overtime game the night before. The long night appeared to hurt Calloway County as Bowling Green attacked the rim with ease in the second half. Purples’ big man Terry Taylor scored nine points in the second half and the three Bowling Green guards combined for 28 points in the half. Bowling Green shot 60 percent from the field in the second half to finish off a 65-57 win.
Semifinals are set! Owensboro vs Covington Catholic at 6:30 p.m., followed by Boyle County vs Bowling Green #khsbkb
— KHSAA Main (@KHSAA) March 21, 2015
Owensboro 71 vs. Hopkinsville 50- The Red Devils of Owensboro never trailed in their Elite Eight win over Hopkinsville. Star seniors Aric Holman and Justin Miller helped Owensboro to be the first team to punch a ticket to tomorrow’s Final Four. Holman shot 71 percent from the field and led all scorers with 23 points. Miller was a force on the defensive end. The senior big man collected 15 rebounds and blocked two shots to add to his 14 points. Holman added ten boards and blocked four shots in a game where Hopkinsville shot under 30 percent from the field. The interior presence of Holman and Miller forced Hopkinsville to attempt 20 three pointers. The Tigers couldn’t find the touch from beyond the arc, making only two. Owensboro made two more shots than Hopkinsville on 44 fewer attempts in a 71-50 win.
Covington Catholic 61 vs. Doss 48- The defending state champs found their groove late in today’s game to pull away from upset-minded Doss. Covington Catholic led by two after three quarters over Doss, but their defense stepped up in the fourth. Doss could not get good looks at the basket as they went the first 7:32 of the final quarter without a field goal. Covington Catholic outscored Doss 18-7 in the fourth to pull out a 61-48 win. The game was a physical, defensive game throughout. There were two double technicals called in the second half on some after-play theatrics by both teams. Covington Catholic was able to survive the game despite hitting only one three and Cole Vonhandorf shooting four of 12 from the field. Vonhandorf was able to knock down nine free throws and lead all scorers with 17. Covington Catholic will play Owensboro tomorrow at 6:30.
The last two spots in the Final Four will be up for grabs tonight beginning at 6:30. Ballard and Boyle County square off first followed by Bowling Green and Calloway County at 8.
Bowling Green 81 vs. Elliott County 41- The Bowling Green Purples jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. BGHS hit 31 shots in 56 attempts, including five of seven on threes to win by the largest margin in this year’s tournament. Tucker Sine scored 18 points and collected eight rebounds, while sixth man Kyran Jones scored 20 points on eight of ten shooting to lead the Purples. Elliott County appeared to be over-matched from the beginning. Bowling Green had much more size and athleticism and it showed. Bowling Green out-rebounded ECHS 44-25 and held Elliott County to 29.5 percent shooting. This is the second straight year BGHS has advanced to the Elite Eight.
Calloway County 73 vs. Knott County Central 68- On a day when March Madness was in full swing, the final game of the first round had enough madness for the whole tournament. The two teams went back and forth leading up to the final quarter. With a over a minute and a half remaining, Knott County Central took a 54-51 lead on an Austin Combs’ layup and two free throws from Cameron Justice. The Calloway County Lakers had one last opportunity to tie the game and send the contest to overtime. The Lakers looked to Connor Wagner in the final minute for a big bucket, and he came through. Wagner knocked down a three from the wing to send the game to OT. After both teams exchanged free throws for the first two and a half minutes of OT, Calloway County took a 63-61 lead into the final 25 seconds. Kentucky Mr. Basketball and Vanderbilt-Commit Cameron Justice drove to the basket and scored a game-tying layup with 14 seconds remaining to ultimately send the game to a second overtime. Knott County Central couldn’t rely on Justice in the final minute of the second overtime after he fouled out. The senior guard finished with 37 points on 14 of 25 shooting. Justice left the with the game tied at 68, and KCCHS would not score again. Calloway County scored the final five points to win a thriller by the score of 73-68.
As one can expect, there were some obscure stats in a game this wild. Calloway shot 42 free throws to Knott County Central’s 17. Justice hit 14 of KCCHS’ 25 made shot and four of their six three pointers. Parker Adams hit 18 free throws to aid Calloway County’s upset win over Knott County Central.
Calloway County and Bowling Green will play tomorrow night at 8:00.
For play-by-play of each game, follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR
Ballard 82 vs. Johnson Central 69- Despite shooting nearly nine percent better from the field, Johnson Central was unable to knock off Ballard in the First Round of the Sweet Sixteen. After Johnson Central cut the lead to three after the third quarter, Ballard outscored JC 27-17 in the fourth to win 82-69. Corey Douglas collected 15 rebounds and scored 14 points for Ballard, while Jalen Perry scored 23 with nine rebounds. Despite shooting much better than Ballard, Johnson County couldn’t put the pieces together for a win. Ballard out-rebounded Johnson Central 48-30 and hit ten more free throws in the game. The 32-2 Ballard will play Saturday against Boyle County.
Boyle County 60 vs. Lexington Catholic 59- In an instant classic, Boyle County came back from a 14-point deficit to beat Lexington Catholic. Led by Jeremiah Bell and Hagen Tyler, Boyle County forced 13 turnovers with their back-breaking full-court press. The Rebels of Boyle County scored 15 points off turnovers in the final quarter and outscored Lexington Catholic 22-12 overall in the fourth. Boyle County trailed by one entering the final 30 seconds of the game. Bell drove to the basket and scored the go-ahead layup with under four seconds remaining. Lexington Catholic’s Michael Talbott missed the shot at the buzzer and Boyle County finished their comeback with a 60-59 win. Bell finished with a game-high 25 points and Tyler contributed 18 to lead the Rebels into the second round.
Boyle County’s Press Conference
Covington Catholic 64 vs. Campbell County 43- As the defending state champs, Covington Catholic knows what to do when they reach Rupp Arena. Cole Vonhandorf scored 29 points on 10 of 16 shooting to lead Covington Catholic to their fifth straight State Tournament win. Campbell County led 18-14 after the first quarter, but combined to score only 14 points over the next two quarters. Covington Catholic’s strong defensive showing led to their offense outscoring Campbell County 50-25 over the final three quarters. The Colonels of Covington Catholic were extremely efficient in their first round win, shooting 51 percent from the field and 43 percent on three pointers. The story of the game was Vonhandorf. The sophomore guard went berserk in the first round of the tournament. Vonhandorf shot 10 of 16 from the field, including two of three on threes to lead all scorers with 29 points. Covington Catholic will look to expand their State Tournament winning streak Friday at 1:30.
Doss 56 vs. Williamsburg 50- In perhaps the closest game of the tournament, Doss fought from behind to beat Williamsburg. Trailing 45-44 entering the fourth quarter, Doss outscored Williamsburg 12-5 in the final quarter to win 56-50. Terrell Gray hit two threes in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead shot with 6:52 remaining. Gray played well throughout the game for Doss. The senior shot 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. Gray finished with 24 points and Dejuanta Weaver scored 13 points and had five steals in the 56-50 Doss victory.
Covington Catholic and Doss will square off at 1:30 on Friday. The first round will continue tomorrow with Johnson Central vs. Ballard at noon followed by Lexington Catholic vs. Boyle County at 1:30. The night session will begin with Bowling Green vs. Elliot County at 6:30 and Knott County Central vs. Calloway County at 8:00.
Owensboro 55 vs Collins 38- The first game of the tournament was dominated by Owensboro. The Red Devils never trailed in a game that was controlled by Aric Holman, Justin Miller and Darion Morrow. Holman, ranked as a top five player in the state by ESPN, scored 15 points and collected nine rebounds for Owensboro. The 6’9″ Holman had a much improved game from last year. Holman did not score and fouled out in a loss to Trinity in the first round of the 2014 Sweet Sixteen. Alongside Holman, big man Justin Miller added 18 points. Miller went six for six from the field and hit six of eight free throws. In a game where the two teams shot a combined 22 percent from beyond the arc, the post play of Holman and Miller helped Owensboro to pull away from Collins. Morrow added 15 points to give the group of three a combined 48 of Owensboro’s 55 points.
The defensive effort from Owensboro helped to push their lead up to a game high 22 in the fourth quarter. Holman blocked four shots and the team finished with seven steals. Owensboro forced 15 turnovers and allowed Collins to only score two points off of turnovers. Collins scored more than ten points in only two quarters as Owensboro ran away with a 55-38 win.
Owensboro, up 51-29 with 3:42 to go, will be the first 3rd Region team to win a game in the Sweet 16 since Grayson Co. in 2009.
— Kevin Patton (@kjpatton67) March 18, 2015
Hopkinsville 76 vs. Taylor County 64- Top 2016 Recruit Quentin Goodin’s 23 points were not enough for Taylor County to get past Hopkinsville. Hopkinsville’s Jaqaulis Matlock led the way with 16 points on seven of nine shooting and 11 rebounds to push his team to the second round. Along with Matlock, Hopkinsville got 11 points apiece from CJ Henangan, LeDonald Gary, Jordan Gary and AJ Tyler. Taylor County shot 40 percent from the field and hit five threes in the game, but turnovers killed their ability to comeback.
Quentin Goodin had 23 points for Taylor Co. but was 7-of-18 from the field and 7-of-15 from the field. David Sloan added 19.
— Kevin Patton (@kjpatton67) March 18, 2015
Hopkinsville scored 34 points on 19 Taylor County turnovers. Taylor County continually shot themselves in the foot by missing 15 of their 32 free throws. Taylor County cut the lead to four in the final quarter, but big baskets from Jordan Gary and Jordan McGee expanded the Hopkinsville lead back out to nine in the final minutes. Hopkinsville finished the game on a 12-4 run to win 76-64.
Owensboro and Hopkinsville will square off in the Elite Eight this Friday at noon. Tonight’s session will begin at 6:30 with Covington Catholic up against Campbell County followed by Williamsburg vs. Doss at 8:00.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 18th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
2015 big man Caleb Swanigan is down to seven schools: Duke, Cal, Chicago State, Purdue, Kentucky, Arizona, and Michigan State. In an interview with the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Swanigan described each of his the schools on his list, and I know you’ll like what he said about Kentucky.
“You don’t know who is going to leave and when they are going to leave, but Kentucky is obviously the best organization in college basketball right now, so that’s something you definitely have to look at,” Swanigan said.
Based on his comments about the other schools, it’s clear Swanigan is primarily concerned about who is leaving from each school and how he can fit on the roster, and rightly so. Swanigan says it would be a “huge honor” to fill the void left by Jahlil Okafor at Duke and calls Arizona “the Kentucky of the West,” but you have to think if UK sees the mass exodus of big men to the NBA that we expect and Cal tells Swanigan he wants him, Swanigan will be a Cat.
Couldn’t get enough basketball? This year, KSR will bring even more March Madness to our readers. Throughout the week, KSR will be recapping games and posting live from the KHSAA 2015 Boys Sweet Sixteen Tournament at Rupp Arena. All stories will be posted under the Basketball Recruiting page.
— KHSAA Events (@khsaaevents) March 13, 2015
For updates throughout the week, follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR on Twitter and check back here.
We now interrupt Bracket Monday for a small peek at the future. The vine of future Cat Tai Wynyard is making the rounds today and it’s pretty spectacular. We don’t know a lot about Wynyard other than the fact his parents are world-champion woodchoppers, but he seems to have made a habit of dunking over people, as you can see in the picture above and the video below:
We’ll get our first real chance to see Wynyard play in the Nike Hoop Summit on April 11. Hopefully he’ll do that again.
UK-bound recruit Isaiah Briscoe won a state title Saturday night, and earned another birth for his team in New Jersey’s Tournament of Champions.
Briscoe, a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American, scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished four assists in the 56-52 victory over mighty St. Anthony’s, coached by legend Bob Hurley.
The Tournament of Champions begins Wednesday, March 18.