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:
6’7â€³, 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.
6’9â€³, 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.
6’8â€³, 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.
7’0â€³, 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.”
6’3â€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.
7’0â€³, 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?