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Calipari announces his 2016 recruiting class

John Calipari and his staff just wrapped up the fall signing period with a stunning 2016 class, and Cal’s celebrating by announcing the class in a video on UKAthletics.com.

“This group, the overriding thing, great kids. Now, they can play. They have some athleticism, they have length, speed, wow. Skill with the ball. They’re basketball players. But they’re all great players who, on this campus, will fit in so well.”

“One of the things I loved about this group is they all want to play together,” head coach John Calipari said. “This recruiting wasn’t just coming from me and my staff; this whole group wanted to play together and wants to be one of the best groups ever. To make this work, they’ve got to like each other and want to play together, and this group already has that.”

Here are some of his comments about each player:

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo

“Of all the players I saw in the summer, no one had a combination of a dominating spirit and a physical presence like Bam,” Calipari said. “He has a skill level of a player that is normally four inches smaller than him. Aside from his rebounding ability, he plays positionless basketball, just like our other kids. Bam is going to be a big-time player for us.”

De’Aaron Fox

“De’Aaron Fox has speed, he has scoring ability, he can really pass and he can guard the ball,” Calipari said. “But those are things that can be said about different players. The intangible that I really loved is that every player wants to play with him. This whole class wants him to be the guard on the team. When I found out how much they loved him, I nicknamed him ‘the General’ because they all want to play for him.”

Wenyen Gabriel

“When I saw Wenyen, I knew he had grown from 6-3 to 6-9,” Calipari said. “I see him as a 6-10 guard in the sense that, if we’re playing three guards, he’s one of them. He can really shoot it, he’s got a great shot and he’s a shot blocker defensively. He’s an energy guy who can guard multiple positions and is getting better by the day. Wenyen fits in perfectly with this class.”

Sacha Killeya-Jones

“When we learned about Sacha and were contacted about him having an interest in us, I asked him why Kentucky,” Calipari said. “His answer was, ‘Because you’ve coached players like me who have had growth spurts and all of those players have done well for you.’ You’re talking about a skilled player who can block shots. He can play multiple positions and fits in with the mold of kids we have, which are great kids, great students and great teammates.”

Malik Monk

“Malik is a scoring point guard who can play both positions,” Calipari said. “Malik has Derrick Rose explosiveness. Think about that for a second. He’s as good of a scorer, as good of a shooter and as good of a shot creator as I’ve seen in a while. With his quickness and speed, he should be a great defender — a great defender.”

Tai Wynyard

“With Tai, you’re talking about a 6-9 physical athlete who is not afraid to get physical,” Calipari said. “He has good skills. The most exciting part is what he’s done with his country’s national team. Everybody that’s watched him recently has said, ‘Man has he gotten better. He’s competing at a high level.’ They’ve never seen him as physically fit. Tai is totally different than any player we have.”

It’s real, guys.

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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.

12 Comments for Calipari announces his 2016 recruiting class



  1. Mathlete
    1:11 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

    Tai gets a jump start too, he’ll get to practice with this year’s team in a couple of months while everyone else is wrapping up their senior seasons. Last year was a great ride. This year is going to be another. Next year is going to be another. It’s a great time to bleed blue.



  2. Michael W
    1:16 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

    So, with 6 signed, and 6 for sure coming back (Willis, Humphries, Hawkins, Mulder, Matthews, Floreal), that only leaves 1 spot left for any of Ulis, Briscoe, Lee to come back. Would he pull Floreal’s scholly if two wanted to come back?



    • Mathlete
      1:23 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      Floreal’s dad is the track coach, not sure he needs a scholarship since his dad’s benefits would probably let him attend for free. Willis isn’t a guaranteed returner either if he keeps putting in efforts like Tuesday night. It’ll all work itself out.



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      3:31 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      I think EJ is a preferred walk-on, meaning he can earn a scholarship on a year by year basis if there is one … so I wouldn’t call it “pulling” his scholarship … and I’m just going to assume Ulis, Briscoe and Lee are all gone, if one or more come back then great, but I’m not going to count on it.



  3. Kyblue34
    1:41 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

    Does this mean Tai will likely redshirt this year? Or did Cal talk about that at all?



    • JoeMoney333
      2:09 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      Quick, can you name another player that has red-shirted under Calipari? . . . There’s your answer.



    • Kyblue34
      2:22 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      No, but I also can’t remember Cal having any players that started in the middle of the year, and plus all of the promos show Tai as specifically in the Class of 2016. So, was just asking if Cal talked about it?



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      3:24 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      I would say he’s part of the 2016 class because he is enrolling in the 2016 spring semester … Cal doesn’t believe in redshirting guys, so I’m sure we’ll see him a little bit this season and then he’ll get 3 more full seasons (if needed)



    • wildcat22687
      3:26 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      Alex Poythress will redshirt last year. But no, Tai will probably play some minutes starting in January but not very much. His big moments will come in next year.



    • J-Dub421
      3:44 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      Alex did not redshirt last year.



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      4:58 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

      Alex met the requirements to request a medical redshirt for another year, but has not done so, and appears set to move on and fight for a chance in the NBA after this year.



  4. Blue ShuShu
    1:46 pm November 19, 2015 Permalink

    Where do we send contributions for new backboards? Should we start a GoFundMe page?😻💙$$$$$$