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Six Wildcats ranked in ESPN’s top 100 players in college basketball

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today’s entire college basketball staff got together and ranked the 100 best players in the country for 2015-16. Six of your favorite Kentucky Wildcats made the list.

Up first, Tyler Ulis leads the group as the fifth-best player in college basketball:

5. Tyler Ulis, Kentucky Wildcats

Apparently that Kentucky roster was pretty loaded in 2014-15, because a sophomore point guard who’s yet to make his first career start checks in at No. 5. Of all the returning players listed here, Ulis stands alone in terms of career winning percentage (38-1, .974). [ESPN]

Not far behind, Skal Labissiere just missed the top 10:

11. Skal Labissiere, Kentucky Wildcats

After some doubt, Labissiere is eligible to play, meaning the Wildcats will have the services of the top-ranked freshman big man in the nation. He could be the No. 1 overall pick in next summer’s NBA draft. [ESPN]

And at No. 19, a ranking that needs to be updated after last night, Jamal Murray:

19. Jamal Murray, Kentucky Wildcats

The 6-foot-5 Murray reclassified to join the 2015 recruiting class in June, and the Canadian gives UK a high-volume perimeter scoring threat with a pure shooting stroke. [ESPN]

Isaiah Briscoe is on down the list at No. 62:

62. Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky Wildcats

Listed as a point guard, Briscoe is a 6-foot-3 freshman joining a team that already has a pretty good one of those (see above, No. 5). Nevertheless John Calipari will find minutes for a talent like Briscoe, projected as a 2016 first-round pick. [ESPN]

Kentucky’s two veteran forwards are next, beginning with senior Alex Poythress at No. 69:

69. Alex Poythress, Kentucky Wildcats

After missing 29 games last season due to knee injury, Poythress still takes an occasional “planned day off” to ride a stationary bike. If he’s healthy, he gives coach John Calipari a 6-foot-8 wing who has shown he can score inside the arc. [ESPN]

And last but not certainly not least, Marcus Lee at No. 76:

76. Marcus Lee, Kentucky Wildcats

Lee has played less than 600 total minutes across two full seasons at UK, yet he’s talented enough to make this list. According to John Calipari the 6-foot-9 junior is “still defining who he is.” [ESPN]

For those of you keeping score at home, Kentucky’s six named players are the most by any team. Only North Carolina (No. 1) and Kansas (No. 4) are close with five apiece. Duke (No. 5) and Maryland (No. 3) each have four.

Let’s ball.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

15 Comments for Six Wildcats ranked in ESPN’s top 100 players in college basketball

  1. @BallBlog_Chad
    12:42 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    call me a homer, but I’m feeling pretty good about the game against dook, who wants to put out a guess for that line?

    Poy’s shoes are nice in that pic … on the other hand, we gotta get Jamal Murray some blue/white shoes, looked like he had on black/red shoes last night

    • Randy
      12:46 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      Pretty sure Murray was wearing the Kyrie Irving All Stars.

  2. Dude
    12:51 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    So Ulis is the 5th best player overall in the country, but the 7th best PG? LOL… Makes sense.

    • I know , right?!!?
      2:37 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      Because, ummm….ESPN

  3. mahatma
    1:17 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    IU also has four players on the list. Haven’t you heard? They’re hanging a banner before the Eastern Illinois game next week.

    IU’s four players are actually ranked higher in aggregate than Dook’s four.

  4. Mr. Self Destruct
    1:36 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    I could be biased, but I think Murray will contend for the Wooden Award. These clowns ranked him too low.

    • somerset bill
      2:02 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      i agree. he seems to be everything he has been built up to be. i think, well before the end of the year, he is in every talking head’s final two or three for player of the year.

  5. Syrin
    2:19 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    Looks like we win another NBA draft. Hang a banner. Not gonna win a title with Cal coaching a close game, but he’s happy winning NBA draft after NBA draft.

    • asdf
      2:30 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      The solution to that is to win a championship in a blowout!

    • BlueMonster
      2:41 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      Lol, these clowns act like Calipari hasn’t won a national title, a runner up and a final four banner in the last four years. Name a coach that has done better over the last four years?

    • Ha!
      4:55 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      He’s just mad his team paid hookers, and UK owns them. 😉

    • Not Happy
      5:58 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      Not happy you post here but what can be done?…

  6. rixter
    2:40 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    Indiana also has 4, just saying, doesn’t mean they won’t still lose in the Sweet 16 but they do have 4 on the list and you failed to mention them with the other two teams that have 4.

  7. DesignatedDrinker
    3:15 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

    There are not 18 players in college basketball better than Murray. If there are 5 then college basketball will be really exciting. That kid is a beast.

    • lonnieb
      6:13 pm November 3, 2015 Permalink

      That’s exactly what I was about to say. He is best player at uk since AD. He will be in the running for POY. That’s no direspect to ulis as I also think he is a beast. Or skal for that matter. Anyone with 2 eyes knows murray is best on team