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The latest on Cal’s six unsigned targets in the 2015 class


College basketball’s late signing period is here and there are six uncommitted five-star talents in the 2015 class with offers from Kentucky. Calipari would like to add at least two of them to help fill the holes left open by the seven players entering the NBA draft, but as it looks now, he will be happy to land just one. For the first time since he’s been in Lexington, Cal could be on his way to a big whiff on his spring recruiting board.

There’s still time for big changes on the recruiting front, but here’s the latest on those six unsigned prospects entering the Jordan Brand Classic:


Jaylen Brown
Small Forward

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

Top247: No. 2 overall, No. 2 SF
247 Composite: No. 2 overall, No. 2 SF
Rivals: No. 2 overall, No. 1 SF
ESPN: No. 2 overall, No. 1 SF
Scout: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SF

The Contenders: UCLA, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia, California, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia Tech

The Favorite: UCLA

The Latest: Jaylen Brown loves Coach Cal and UK but his love for Adidas will likely win out. He recently said UK has “the best basketball program,” but let’s not forget, he also once said, “I’m definitely going to an Adidas school… It doesn’t matter to me if the college is in Switzerland and it’s the best fit for me, that’s where I’ll be going.” With that philosophy, UCLA’s chances look good, while Kentucky’s look bleak. Kansas may also be a major player.

Cheick Diallo
Power Forward/Center

6’9″, 210 lbs.
Centereach, New York (Our Savior New American)

Top247: No. 3 overall, No. 1 PF
247 Composite: No. 7 overall, No. 2 PF
Rivals: No. 7 overall, No. 2 PF
ESPN: No. 11 overall, No. 4 PF
Scout: No. 10 overall, No. 5 C

The Contenders: St. John’s, Iowa State, Kansas and Kentucky

The Favorite: St. John’s

The Latest: Kentucky’s chances with Cheick Diallo took a huge blow when Barry Rohrssen left for St. John’s. Rohrssen has been recruiting Diallo longer than anyone, dating back to his days on the Pittsburgh staff, and he is the reason Kentucky was high on Diallo’s list a couple months ago. Now that Rohrssen is back in New York, where Diallo lives, St. John’s is in good position to win out. St. John’s was already on Diallo’s list before Chris Mullins took the job and hired Rohrssen, so the new staff only helps the Red Storm.

Brandon Ingram
Small Forward

6’8″, 180 lbs.
Kinston, North Carolina (Kinston)

Top247: No. 7 overall, No. 3 SF
247 Composite: No. 11 overall, No. 3 SF
Rivals: No. 19 overall, No. 3 SF
ESPN: No. 12 overall, No. 2 SF
Scout: No. 13 overall, No. 3 SF

The Contenders: Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas

The Favorite: Duke

The Latest: Calipari will meet with Ingram after this weekend but it will take some convincing to pull him out of the state of North Carolina. Ingram originally planned to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Jerry Stackhouse, with a commitment to UNC, but Duke has emerged as a possible leader lately. Still, UNC is a major player due to that relationship with Stackhouse, an alum of his high school, and Kentucky is also in the mix, though likely in second place at best. Don’t count out that Calipari magic, though.

Thon Maker

7’0″, 210 lbs.
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada (Athlete Institute Basketball Academy)

Top247: No. 8 overall, No. 2 PF
247 Composite: No. 8 overall, No. 3 PF
Rivals: No. 5 overall, No. 2 C
Scout: No. 6 overall, No. 3 C

The Contenders: Kentucky, Kansas, overseas and another year of high school

The Favorite: ????

The Latest: Maker reclassified from the 2016 class but still has a long, long way to go before he arrives on any college campus. His guardian, Ed Smith, told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, “Thon has to first finish high school and graduate, which should be in August or possibly later, and he could enroll into a college in September or December. Our other option is to stay at Orangeville Prep in a post-grad year and play with his brother Matur.”

Malik Newman
Combo Guard

6’3″, 175 lbs.
Jackson, Mississippi (Callaway)

Top247: No. 4 overall, No. 1 PG
247 Composite: No. 4 overall, No. 1 PG
Rivals: No. 3 overall, No. 1 SG
ESPN: No. 4 overall, No. 1 SG
Scout: No. 8 overall, No. 1 SG

The Contenders: Mississippi State, Kentucky, LSU and Kansas

The Favorite: Mississippi State

The Latest: Malik Newman’s recruitment is unique. He recently said he won’t take any official visits and he doesn’t plan to sign a Letter of Intent, whenever he does decide. Mississippi State is believed to be the leader — he likes Ben Howland, for some reason — but it’s a narrow lead with Kentucky not far behind, if at all. He told ZagsBlog that Skal Labissiere has been recruiting him hard since the two were at the Nike Hoop Summit last weekend.

Stephen Zimmerman

7’0″, 230 lbs.
Las Vegas, Nevada (Bishop Gorman)

Top247: No. 11 overall, No. 3 C
247 Composite: No. 9 overall, No. 3 C
Rivals: No. 11 overall, No. 5 C
ESPN: No. 10 overall, No. 5 C
Scout: No. 9 overall, No. 4 C

The Contenders: UNLV, Kentucky, Arizona and UCLA

The Favorite: UNLV

The Latest: The recruiting process is over for Stephen Zimmerman and it will be shocking if it’s anywhere but UNLV for the big man from Vegas. Today he told reporters at the Jordan Brand Classic that he may simply tweet his decision and go to bed, and that could come any day now.


Time to panic?

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

12 Comments for The latest on Cal’s six unsigned targets in the 2015 class

  1. Delk for 3
    9:42 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    I’m not worried at all. There’s simply no way that Cal doesn’t at least one of these kids, and I’m very confident it will be Malik Newman. Talk Mississippi St. all you want, but at the end of the day Kentucky is Kentucky.

    • Mc12
      10:03 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

      Agrees. But who knows. He wants to run the point. He can play at msu and get all the shots he can handle, but he should realize he’ll also be getting double teamed and won’t have a lot of talent around him to take the pressure. At UK he’d have maybe the best big in the country and get to play in some 3 guard sets with two good point guards getting him some easy looks. He’ll also need to get up a decent amount of shots and can do it all in the spotlight.

    • WeareBBN
      10:43 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

      If we only get one just hope it is not Maker. Not bashing the kid but we need help this coming year and he is not good enough to provide that. May be a good player in 2 or 3 years which we could still use but most important is help now. Diallo is the one I want if we only get one but really prefer Newman and Diallo.

  2. eyebleedblue
    9:45 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    That question mark guy is giving birth to a shoe.

  3. Kyblue34
    9:52 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    Umm, why even bother posting this if you don’t think we’re going to get any of these guys? I’m not saying we won’t, but geez what a depressing post! Might as well just put up the profiles of the potential jucos and transfers.

  4. daveUK1
    10:10 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    Zimmerman just tweeted out he is going to…..Disneyland.

  5. 3 fan
    10:16 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    That’s depressing. Even more depressing is the second and third tier talent we are scrambling for now

  6. JLP
    10:50 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    I am OK with transfers & jucos. This class is not as loaded as the next class & we need the space for recruiting the 2016 kids. So a one year transfer or 2 year juco makes sense. A juco means a recruit is not buried behind a Mickie D player. But transfers/recruits could give us vital backups – like when Cal wants to make a point with a starter!

    PLUS, look at who we already have. Boy are we spoiled. A few years back we would be ecstatic with Ulis. Lee, Dom, Willis plus the recruits like Skal and Briscoe. Oh, how could I forget Alex, who may have a monster year. Geez, I cant cry over a roster like that!

    • Gowcats
      11:12 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

      Agree that we were especially spoiled by all the McD All-Americans who selflessly gave up “me” for “we” this year. Is someone who is making a decision based on a shoe company thinking about team? Also, hopefully, Willis will realize that he will have a great chance to shine next year if he works very hard on his game and body this off-season.

  7. Gowcats
    10:52 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    Yeah, would have been nice if we would have won out and taken the top spot this year. Would have left no doubt in some of the recruit’s minds, but that’s the way it bounced that one particular night. Big picture is the players first (team first), the exposure, and ability to advance your career, and who does that better than Cal and UK?

  8. bigblue09
    10:59 pm April 16, 2015 Permalink

    Hearing from a reliable source that Newman is a lock, and jaylen brown could end up a cat as well…take it for what you will.

  9. beaudiddy
    7:12 am April 17, 2015 Permalink

    None of these guys are coming. Thats why cal is looking at juco transfers and graduate students. Its gonna be a repeat yr when Julius May was here.