Since it is likely that seven players are going to declare for the 2015 NBA draft, UK will need to haul in a couple more high caliber recruits to go along with Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere, and Charles Matthews. Most people are familiar with the names Jaylen Brown and Malik Newman, but a name not as commonly mentioned with Kentucky is Brandon Ingram. Ingram is a 6’8”, 180 lb. small forward from Kinston, North Carolina and is ranked anywhere from 10 to 20 by most recruiting services. However, it is likely that Ingram will move up when the final class rankings come out thanks to a very impressive week at the McDonald’s All-American game. He was the surprise of the week during practice and that carried over to the game where he scored 13 points in the first half while grabbing 5 rebounds. He didn’t get to play as much in the second half to go for the MVP award, but still had an impressive game nonetheless.
Ingram is a very skilled small forward. He does it all on offense as he can shoot 3s, take it to the basket, shoot mid-range, and plays above the rim with great athleticism. At 6’8”, he is very tall for a small forward in the college game and this will allow him to get his shot off any time he wants and he shoots it well from anywhere on the court so he should be a scoring machine in college. As good as his offense is his defense needs a little work, but he has the tools to become a good defender. His length should help him make up for any lack of defense and help him to be a good shot blocker as a wing. Adding upper-body strength is another area of improvement. He is very slim at 180 lbs. and if he can add weight and strength then it will help him on both ends of the floor. He has the potential to be a college star and maybe an NBA star if he improves in those areas.
As for his recruitment, most people don’t expect him to leave his home state of North Carolina and expect him to pick either Duke or UNC. However, Calipari has recruited Ingram for a while and you can never count Cal out of a recruitment. If Cal decides to put the full court press on him then things could get interesting. It will be tough to pull him out of North Carolina, but landing him would go a long way in having a formidable roster to make another run at a title next season for UK. With seven players likely gone, Cal needs to replenish the roster with as many 5 stars as he can and Ingram would be a great fit. Whether he picks UK or stays in state and plays for Duke or UNC you should watch out for the name Brandon Ingram in the future.
Watch him work: