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Cal also checked in on Thon Maker this past weekend

Thon Maker

Among the recruits John Calipari checked out this past weekend was Thon “Highlight” Maker, the 7′ 2016 phenom whose talent is only eclipsed by his awesome name. Maker’s guardian Ed Smith told ZagsBlog that Calipari watched Maker at the adidas Gauntlet in Duncanville, Texas, along with coaches from Kansas, Duke, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech. Kenny Payne followed up that visit with a phone call on Tuesday, which Smith said made an impression:

“They said that they thought he had a chance to be really good and really special,” Smith said. “They love what they saw, they love his versatility, but they said the one thing they love is that he plays both ends of the floor. He played very hard, besides his skill, which is different. They love the fact that he played very, very hard while being as skilled as he is.”

Maker is considered the third best player in the 2016 class by 247 Sports Composite, but numbers don’t convey how talented this kid really is. Check out his infamous highlight tape, which had everyone buzzing a few months ago:

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.

51 Comments for Cal also checked in on Thon Maker this past weekend



  1. Ted Campbell
    4:08 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    This kid’s already a beast as a sophomore, and reminds me of Kevin Durant. I can’t even fathom how good he’ll be by his senior year. Can you imagine him having two years at UK under the “hopefully” new NBA age guide lines?



    • DW
      8:37 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Amen!!! He is very special!!! And I believe we just seen him blow by Stephen Zimmerman… just saying. Come on down, please!!!



    • jwcatfan
      11:06 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      WRONG KEVIN!

      He reminds me of Kevin Garnett!



  2. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    4:13 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    dear sweet little baby jesus, PLEASE get this kid, Cal



  3. ReverendBlue
    4:13 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Cal, please make this happen. 7 feet tall and handles and shoots the ball like a small forward. Kevin Durant is not a bad comparison.



  4. Not trying to be mean but...
    4:14 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    does this picture of him look like he’s not real to anyone else? the lighting in the shot makes him look like a wax statue of himself



    • LigginsLoveSAT
      7:08 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      I was thinking he looked like an Under Armour mannequin.



  5. sinful
    4:14 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Dedric Lawson and Thon Maker would be great gets



  6. really the most
    4:15 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    i enjoyed the part with the dunk type shot



    • Doge Maker
      5:05 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Much points, very wow.



  7. Chad
    4:15 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    He needs to be our TOP PRIORITY!! He is a dream fit for the dribble drive.



  8. Hendo Blue
    4:19 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    #2…you are on the right track. Thon “highlight” Maker…come on up to UK!



  9. Autocorrect
    4:22 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Please learn how to use the word infamous correctly.



    • Blue
      5:16 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      You’re an infamous grammar checker. Or is it unfamous?



    • Mrs. Tyler Thompson
      5:20 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know, I thought the highlight tape was pretty badass and wicked.



    • Blue Hair
      5:36 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Infamous is more than famous. Did you not watch the three amigos?



  10. jmfatz47
    4:25 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Hopefully he comes to UK where Thon can leave his Maker’s Mark on the program.



  11. PeachtreeCat
    4:27 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Beast! FYI – MylesTurner just committed to Texas.



  12. BigBlueDiehard
    4:28 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I thought the same thing on the picture … looks like a mannequin or the Silver Surfer or something. What a prospect though. So skilled and he’s got a great frame for packing on more muscle. Praying he ends up in Lexington (for 2 years!).



  13. Alamo_CatFan
    4:29 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Good example of a player who will never where a college jersey if the NBA goes with the “2 years of college or direct to NBA” rule.



    • ukbradstith
      4:34 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      There’s no talk of that rule, so I wouldn’t worry about that.



    • ukbradstith
      4:52 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      That article makes no mention of going direct to NBA out high school.



    • Steve
      4:56 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      ^ That write-up only mentions they are considering leaving the d-league minimum age at 18, not the NBA. So, it would be 2 years of college or straight to d-league.



    • Kelkat
      4:59 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      I would think 2 years at a UK would be far better then spending 2 years on the D-League. And for the D-League to be be a viable options would require that D-League players make more money then what they currently making. If the age limit is 20…and teams were allowed to still draft a player…would a team really wait 2 years on a player and lose that 1st round pick on a player that is over 20 and could come in and help? So the choice would be…go to UK for 2 years and work on your game and a free education and be treated like a king…or go to the D-League and make the minimum for 2 years.



    • Alamo_CatFan
      5:06 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      It doesn’t mention it in that link but they are, in fact, proposing to expand the D-League pay scales. So the question becomes how much money is enough to make the D-League more attractive than college. Other pay avenues have to be factored in as well (like endorsements). Just saying there’s enough uncertainty in the “2-year rule” details to ensure the best HS kids choose college over pro.



  14. Glenna
    4:33 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    He can shoot from three point as well as dribble all the way down the court. What a future — hopefully at UK.



  15. barberlifemike
    4:36 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Supposedly the new assistant Rick hired has a great relationship with the is kid. Although I will never believe Rick could sign an NBA prospect much less one from Cal it is something worth noting.



  16. Chaz
    4:37 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Likes the chin to the rim and hold on tight an awful lot, that’ll get you a “T” if you do it before the game even starts. Other than that, he’s worth a second look. Just kidding, he looks like the next Akeem, only he handles the ball better. Would look good in KY blue.



  17. Han
    4:48 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    He seems to be good at basketball.



  18. RealCatsFan
    4:49 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Oh. My. Gawd!! We have to get this kid. Seven feet tall and a handle and moves like that! And the chance to have him for two years! Please DO NOT let him go to Louisville. UK = PointGuardU & BigManU = Perfect Fit for Thon! Dunk-a-Thon in 2016 – I can see the T-shirts now. 🙂



  19. Barbara Streisand
    4:50 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Why do all of these mix tapes have terrible music?



    • UpperSectionStudent
      5:00 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Because this isn’t the 80’s and its’ the type of music basketball players his age usually like. Go back to making kids get off your lawn.



    • Blue
      5:32 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Can I listen to Van Halen while I do that?



  20. UKani
    4:54 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    In UK fan terms… Thon Maker is a more skilled Anthony Davis…..



  21. PW
    4:56 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I just wanna know how he is the number 3 prospect? What 2 players project higher than a 7 footer who can dunk, handle, dunk, block shots, dunk, hit the 3, dunk, and hustle??? He’s my #1!



    • raccoon
      6:21 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, I don’t get 247. This kid should be #1 no question.



  22. Steve
    4:58 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Those skills and that motor? Yes, please!



  23. Bleed Blue
    4:59 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    He won’t go to UofL so I wouldn’t even worry about that. I still find it strange that we have yet to offer this kid. Though all I know is if Cal can pull he and Harry Giles oh lord it is over. Giles has been considered the best High School player regardless of class. His torn ACL has hurt him a bit, but the kid is flat out amazing, He isn’t flashy either he just does all the right things. It will likely come down to us and UNC for Giles, and if we make the right moves with Maker us and Kansas. I think Giles comes here just because the influence MKG has been having on him, they hang out and talk all the time and the kid loves Cal and UK.



  24. UKUKUK1865
    5:07 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Based on that video the kid shoots almost 100% from the field. He has to be good!



  25. SoCal Will
    5:08 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Duke has been all over this kid for over a year and he has already been on their campus. If Cal can win this one he truly is without peer in today’s recruiting. It will be interesting to see which assistant he assigns to this kid.



  26. brian
    5:19 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Get ’em Cal!



  27. UKScott
    5:28 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    That kid looks like the Under Armour mannequin at Dick’s sporting goods…. he must be good



  28. piedma schwartz
    5:47 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    looks like emeka okafor and seal’s love child



  29. UKgrad'13
    6:04 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    How the hell are you supposed to gaurd this kid? WOW!. He has a pretty nice step-back too. I’m impressed.



  30. Estepmusicky
    6:46 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    OK …OK … What sold me was the little fake step back jumper. This guy will be at KY .



  31. Quick Question
    8:51 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    “Maker’s guardian Ed Smith told ZagsBlog”…

    So, this “kid” has a guardian? Was he born in the U.S. or another country? The only reason I ask is because I have a hard time believing he is truly 15-16 years old. The age verification process tends to get a little sketchy when people move to the United States from other countries. Looks like a grown man to me…



  32. TheTruth
    9:36 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I have seen this kid play multiple times and he is the hardest working HS phenom I have ever seen. Been coaching 20 years and Ive seen everyone. Maker is the most impressive combination of size, skill, and work ethic I have ever seen.



  33. Geek
    11:19 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I’m picturing BB Madness in a couple years, this kid descending from a chariot drawn by elephants in Rupp, using a postrate Ryan Lemond and Matt Jones as stairs to the court floor (a la Xerxes in the movie 300).



  34. OhioCat
    9:55 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    Very skilled…but I’m not sure if the risk is worth the reward (e.g., Shabazz Muhammad). Google this kid and read up on how he came to the US from Australia after being born in South Sudan. Seems like his guardian/coach is nothing more than a pimp and trying to cash in on his relationship with the kid. I read recently where officials in Australia are extremely pissed off that his guardian took him to the US and out of the Australian basketball pipeline. I can’t hardly blame him for that (USA>Australia), but something just scares me about bringing this kid to the Bluegrass.



  35. Ummmmmm
    12:06 pm May 1, 2014 Permalink

    He aint stepping on a college campus…… straight to the pros