May 28, 2013

First look at the 2015 recruiting hotboard







After a busy spring of evaluating and feeling out where Kentucky stands in the recruitment's of various prospects, Cats Illustrated feels very confident that we have accurately identified where the Wildcats stand with the class of seniors-to-be, also known as the class of 2014. As the summer approaches, it's going to be time for the coaching staff of the Wildcats to emerge theirselves into the class of 2015, in an attempt to get an early lead on some of the nation's top rising juniors. Heading into June, here's a look at every prospect from the 2015 class who we can confirm has seen some form of interest from Big Blue coach John Calipari and his coaching staff. 



Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting Hotboard






















2015 Top Targets



PROSPECT

NOTES


Stephen Zimmerman - PF/C

7-0, 215 lbs

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman

Five Star - #2 Overall



 



Corey's Call: Zimmerman is the highest ranked rising junior that Kentucky has confirmed interest in at this point. Over the last two summers with his Dream Vision AAU team on the Adidas circuit, Zimmerman has made a name for himself as a skilled big man with great potential to be an offensive force at the college level in a few years. His recruitment is currently wide open, but schools like Arizona, Kansas, UCLA, UNLV, Oregon and Baylor have already extended offers.  


Malik Newman - SG

6-3, 180 lbs

Jackson (Miss.) Callaway

Five Star - #3 Overall



Corey's Call: Newman has had interest from the Wildcats since the spring after his freshman season a year ago, and will likely attract significantly more interest in the future. The Jackson Tigers guard has torn up the Nike EYBL this spring, finishing the regular season as the events most prolific scorer. Newman is the top ranked guard in the 2015 class as of right now, and appears to have that spot locked down. Several schools are involved, but Newman's dad says the "entire SEC" has show the most interest in his son over the spring. 


Skal Labissiere - PF/C

6-9, 200 lbs

Memphis (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian

Five Star - #6 Overall



Corey's Call: The Hatian import could potentially be the most talented player in the class nationally, as his raw ability on both ends of the court is undeniable. Currently the only 2015 prospects with a confirmed offer from Kentucky, Labissiere lists the Wildcats along with Kansas and Memphis as the early leaders in his recruitment. He's a shotblocking machine that can score in a variety of ways offensively, and also has top level athleticism, meaning his upside is virtually unlimited at this point.  


Charles Matthews - PG/SG

6-4, 180 lbs

Chicago (Ill.) Saint Rita

Five Star - #9 Overall



Corey's Call: Matthews has already received a live visit from John Calipari to his school for an open gym this spring, making it obvious that Kentucky is serious about this skilled and athletic combo guard from Chicago. One of the most versatile guard prospects in the class, Matthews excelled in the EYBL with Meanstreets, but was hampered somewhat by nagging injuries. DePaul, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas and SMU are all involved already in his recruitment in addition to Kentucky. 


Elijah Thomas - PF

6-9, 240 lbs

Dallas (Tex.) Prime Prep

Five Star - #10 Overall 



Corey's Call: Players like Thomas will always be in high demand, that is because this Dallas native has the rare ability to score with his back to the basket, and do so in dominant fashion. One of the strongest and most skilled interior players in 2015, Thomas drew attention from Calipari in high school and also in AAU with Team Texas Elite team in the EYBL. The Wildcats area heavily involved already, in addition to Louisville, Kansas, Arizona and all of the regional Big XII schools. 


Mickey Mitchell - SF

6-7, 200 lbs

Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood Christian

Five Star - #13 Overall



Corey's Call: Due to an injury that he suffered late in the football season, Mitchell hasn't played serious basketball in almost a year; but is expected to return to the court for AAU play this July. When he's healthy, he's likley to re-establish himself as one of the premiere wings in the 2015 class, and potentially the most versatile due to his combination fo skill, size and athleticism. Kentucky will likely get involved with Mitchell at this time, and thanks to Julius Randle they have excellent ties to his high school and AAU program, the Texas Titans of the Nike EYBL. 


Isaiah Briscoe - PG

6-3, 200 lbs

Newark (N.J.) Saint Benedict's

Five Star - #16 Overall



Corey's Call: Briscoe is a throwback guard out of New Jersey who listed Kentucky as the school that is showing the most interest in him the last time that we talked with him in April at the Boo Williams Invitational. A strong bodied guard who excels in the change of pace game, Briscoe is equally able to play the role of distributor or scorer, and is also known as one of the circuit's toughest competitors. Cincinnati, Florida, Miami (Fla.) and Syracuse are among the other schools pursuing Briscoe. 


Allonzo Trier - SG

6-3, 185 lbs

Tulasa (Ok.) NOAH

Five Star - #8 Overall



Corey's Call: Trier is a name that is relatively new to Kentucky fans, but our sources believe that he's a name that we all better get familiar with. Calipari first saw Trier in the Nike EYBL with Athletes First, and the coaching staff has been aggressive on the phone lines with his advisors ever since. The Tulsa product is an abundant scorer with athleticism and a knack for getting to the basket, making him a natural fit for UK. Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are currently Trier's top offers. 


Cheick Diallo - C

6-9, 220 lbs

New York (N.Y.) Our Savior New American

Four Star - #24 Overall



Corey's Call: Diallo is a high level shotblocker from Nigeria living in New York City whom Orlando Antigua has been all over since the fall. This season, Diallo has shown remarkable improvement, going from a virtual unknown to someone who will likely achieve five-star status in the near future. His game could fit in perfectly with Calipari's recent success with shotblockers, but the Wildcats have stiff competition in Arizona, Rutgers, Kansas, St. Johns and several others.  


Eric Davis - PG/SG

6-3, 180 lbs

Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill

Four Star - #25 Overall



Corey's Call: Davis is a high scoring combo guard from Michigan who, despite four-star status, has gone under the radar a little bit this spring. Playing mostly in the 16-and-under age group with Detroit The Family, Davis has made a splash as one of the more efficient guards at that level, but his production still is unheralded. However, Orlando Antigua has placed confirmed phone calls to Davis' advisors in Saginaw, and UK has joined schools like Michigan and Michigan State in his recruitment. 


Carlton Bragg - PF

6-9, 195 lbs

Cleveland (Oh.) Villa Angela-St. Joe's

Four Star - #27 Overall



Corey's Call: There might not be a 2015 prospect who had a quicker rise to stardom than Bragg, who as recently as late September was a complete unknown in the recruiting world. After some camp performances, a big high school season and success on the Adidas circuit with the Ohio Basketball Club AAU team, Bragg is now being recruited by everyone, including the Wildcats. Schools like Ohio State, Indiana, Louisville, UCLA, Texas and Michigan State are also in the Bragg race.


Luke Kennard - SG

6-5, 185 lbs

Franklin (Oh.) High School 

Four Star - #32 Overall



Corey's Call: A high scoring wing with a pure jumper and great court vision, Kennard has already achieved legendary status in Southwestern Ohio after just two seasons. Playing on the AAU scene with King James he's achieved national recognition, and now the admitted Wildcat fan is getting interest from Kentucky. Kennard has visited Lexington, and also has offers from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, West Virginia and several other elite programs. 


NEXT MAN UP



While we can only confirm that the previously listed twelve prospects have confirmed Kentucky interest, here's a look at a few other 2015 standouts who have either been connected to the Wildcats via rumors, or who will likely begin being recruited by Calipari and his staff in the very near future:




  • Thomas Bryant - New York power forward is a five-star talent and tremendous inside-outside prospect. 


  • Tyler Dorsey - Los Angeles combo guard is a five-star prospect and you could argue that he's in fact 2015's top guard prospect. 


  • Daniel Giddens - The five-star post from Atlanta could challenge Cheick Diallo as the top shotblocker in 2015, and has major upside. 


  • Montaque Gill-Caesar - The Toronto native had a breakout sophomore year at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, earning four-star status. 


  • King McClure - The five-star is the top guard prospect in a loaded Texas rising junior class. 


  • Luis Montero - The unranked 6'6 point guard from the Dominican Republic had a big year on the New England prep school scene. 


  • Ivan Rabb - The five-star power forward from Oakland is listed by Rivals as the top 2015 prospect in the nation. 


  • Malachi Richardson - The New Jersey four-star has rumored UK interest and is a prolific scorer with confidence. 


  • Ben Simmons - Expect big things from the five-star Australian wing in his first full year at Montverde (Fla.) Academy next season. 


  • Diamond Stone - The five-star from Milwaukee is the top ranked pure center in his class, and a load on the low block. 



**The opinions of this piece in no way reflect those of the University of Kentucky or any of its employees. This content is exclusive property of Rivals.com and Cats Illustrated and should not be copied or posted on to any other sites without written permission.**







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