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Breaking down each remaining recruiting scenario


Today, UK’s 2015 class became a little clearer with the addition of JuCo four-star shooting guard Mychal Mulder and Cheick Diallo’s commitment to Kansas. While missing out on Diallo stings, Kentucky isn’t in dire need of another power forward as much as it is a small forward, making Jaylen Brown’s impending decision even bigger.

With a handful of chips still on the table, here’s every scenario that could play out in the next few weeks.

If no one else commits…

…UK will still have the third best recruiting class in the country and a top five team preseason. With Skal, Poythress, and Marcus Lee protecting the rim, the Cats will still be a strong defensive team, but may have trouble scoring at times. What Kentucky needs most right now is a big wing–cough, Jaylen Brown, cough–but if that doesn’t happen, Cal has plenty of different options to plug the hole, including playing Alex as a four in a guard-heavy rotation or playing Alex as a three alongside Marcus Lee and Skal.

If Derek Willis commits himself this summer, he could become the x-factor. Another option on the table is Tai Wynyard reclassifying, but the last time he spoke about it, that didn’t sound very likely, or if so, he would join the team for the second semester.

On the radio show this morning, Matt and Ryan drew a comparison to this year’s Louisville team but with a better rim protector in Skal Labissiere. With college basketball as a whole down this year, I’ll take that, especially with Tyler Ulis at the helm.

Possible lineups:

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Mychal Mulder
G/F: Charles Matthews/Derek Willis
F: Alex Poythress/Marcus Lee
C: Skal Labissiere

LikelihoodA legit possibility worth coming to terms with

If Jamal Murray reclassifies and commits…


Jamal Murray
Shooting guard

6’5″, 180 lbs.
Toronto, ON (Athlete Institute)

Kentucky, Oregon


…then this team will be in much better shape. Right now, Kentucky needs a scorer, and Murray is just that, with a nice stroke from the outside and ability to fire off the catch or dribble. UK just shored up its outside attack with Mulder, but pulling in Murray would make the Cats a very well-rounded team offensively.

Possible lineup:

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Mychal Mulder
G: Jamal Murray/Charles Matthews
F: Alex Poythress/Marcus Lee/Derek Willis
C: Skal Labissiere

Likelihood: If he visits, high

If Jaylen Brown commits…

Jaylen Brown
Small Forward

6’7″, 220 lbs.
Alpharetta, Georgia (Wheeler)

Kentucky, Kansas, California, Michigan, North Carolina


…then pop the bubbly. UK’s biggest question mark right now is the three spot, and by adding Brown, UK will once again have an elite starting lineup.

While Brown took the big step of narrowing his list from eight to five yesterday, nobody really knows what’s going on with his recruitment. A lot has been made about his allegiance to adidas, which may be the reason Michigan, also an adidas school, has the latest buzz. Given how bizarre his recruitment has been lately, I’m going to bet that’s the only reason.

Possible lineup:

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Mychal Mulder/Charles Matthews
F: Jaylen Brown/Derek Willis
F: Alex Poythress/Marcus Lee
C: Skal Labissiere

Likelihood: Don’t count on it

If UK gets Brown and Murray…


Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)
Girls hit your hallelujah (whuoo)

I don’t see this happening, but if it does, Calipari will have filled two major areas of need. If he can pull this off, he really is a magician.

Possible lineups:

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Jamal Murray/Mychal Mulder
F: Jaylen Brown/Charles Matthews/Derek Willis
F: Alex Poythress/Marcus Lee
C: Skal Labissiere

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Mychal Mulder
G: Jamal Murray /Charles Matthews
F: Jaylen Brown/Alex Poythress/Derek Willis
C: Skal Labissiere/Marcus Lee

Likelihood: Very doubtful

Even if Jaylen Brown doesn’t commit…

Shaun Kirk
Combo forward

6’8″, 185 lbs.
Whiteville, North Carolina

Committed to NC State


…expect UK to further pursue Shaun Kirk, a 3-star combo forward. Kirk committed to NC State last night, but hasn’t signed yet. Even if UK does land Brown, the staff may still want to add Kirk for added depth, especially in practice.

Possible lineups:

G: Tyler Ulis/Dominique Hawkins
G: Isaiah Briscoe/Mychal Mulder
F/G: Derek Willis/Shaun Kirk/Charles Matthews
F: Alex Poythress/Marcus Lee/Shaun Kirk
C: Skal Labissiere

Likelihood: I would if I were him

How do you see the rest of the class panning out?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

11 Comments for Breaking down each remaining recruiting scenario

  1. Willy
    8:32 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Way too many ifs right now, If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass!!!!

  2. Hicksy
    8:34 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Would love to have Brown but I like our team if we don’t get him. We don’t have that all around scorer on the wing but getting Mulder helps, Briscoe can make big shots and Tyler shot 40% from 3 last year hitting some clutch ones. When I look at this team the thing that stands out as a weakness to me is perimeter defense. Mathews and Hawkins will need to play big minutes on that end and hopefully Alex can be the shutdown guy he’s capable of being. Also, are we done with Izundu? This team could use a 6’10 guy for depth, especially considering at this time next year we could lose Skal, Marcus and Alex leaving us with Tai and limited options to choose from in 2016.

  3. BigBlueFan
    8:44 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Good write up Tyler. I would really like UK to get Murray and Brown. However, as you mentioned, I doubt both are likely to come; so if UK got just one of them then I really like next year’s team. As it stands right now I think they will definitely struggle to score against good teams.

  4. Smyrna_Cat
    8:46 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    I just don’t see Brown coming here. Everything is pretty iffy with Murray right now. I like Kirk and would be happy to see him sign.

  5. ColoradoCat3
    8:52 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Whatever Happened to Thon Maker? Dakari really would have helped this team.

  6. Reese Davis
    8:56 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Ulis’ play will make or break our team, and he’s given me no reason to doubt him. I’d say we’re gonna be pretty damn good. All the time people, including me, say this game Ulis won’t play well cause they’re gonna match his quickness, this game he won’t play well because their bigger than him. Well he always plays the best whenever scenarios like that come up (like against UL Chris jones and rozier, ND, LSU, etc.), so I love him as our PG leading our team.

  7. Kyblue34
    9:08 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    What evidence do we really have that Murray is even considering us at this point? All I’ve seen and heard is that the coaches contacted him after the Nike game and an unofficial visit was to occur when he was in Lexington for the AAU tournament, which was abruptly canceled because he needed to “rest.” And nothing has been heard from him since, that I’ve seen. That certainly doesn’t sound promising to me, and you would think he would be chomping at the bit to at least visit. Hopefully I’m wrong, though.

  8. Shawn
    9:21 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    Play Poythress, Lee and Skal together? What are you gonna do, play Lee and Skal for 40 minutes straight? Not gonna work. We really needed another big man. We are a foul out or an injury away from any given team being able to beat us. The loss of Coach O Is starting to rear Its ugly head.

  9. Wedding Planner
    10:06 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

    There is a fairly significant chance that Skal will not qualify – that cannot be ignored

    • BigBlueBandwagonDriver
      11:45 pm April 28, 2015 Permalink

      Says who? You? Was this overheard at a wedding?

  10. satcheluk
    8:30 am April 29, 2015 Permalink

    You can understand recruits not wanting to share minutes when their is a glut at their position, but it’s hard to understand why a top recruit wouldn’t want to come to UK when their position is basically unfilled.