basketball Edit


Kentucky's Big Blue Madness is the premier recruiting event of the year and this year's guest list will not disappoint.

John Calipari will host a wide range of stars from the 2018 class all the way through 2021. The Cats have offered six players that will be at Rupp Arena tonight. Big Blue Madness generally touches on the past of UK basketball, the present and Calipari is sure to talk about the future.

Rumors of performing artist Drake being at the event haven't been confirmed, but that would be a nice surprise for the recruits.

Here's who will be at Big Blue Madness 2017.


Class of 2018

Zion Williamson: Williamson will be a rockstar on UK's campus this weekend and has already taken to social media to show how great of a time he's having in Lexington. For a player that once said he didn't like the bright lights, Williamson is the bright light, and there's no grander stage than UK on Big Blue Madness night.

Williamson is considering Kansas, Duke, UNC, South Carolina, Clemson and UK, and will still visit Duke and Clemson after Big Blue Madness, but many have considered the Cats the leader. If things go well this weekend will it solidify Williamson to Kentucky?

Bol Bol: The 7-foot stretch forward is down to Oregon and UK. He's already visited the Ducks and will likely be ready for a final decision after visiting UK. Bol had nothing but great things to say after his Oregon visit, but don't discount assistant coach Kenny Payne's relationship with Bol's family. The Cats will likely know if they have Bol in the bag after this weekend, or if he will fly with Oregon.

Darius Garland: This recruitment has been a bit of a surprise because the Cats haven't made Garland a priority, but several schools would consider Garland their prized recruit. UK visited Garland at his school, but it was a couple weeks after the open period started. Don't expect Garland to end up at UK. The Cats already have Immanuel Quickley on board and may return Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Courtesy of USA Basketball

Class of 2019:

James Wiseman (offered): Wiseman is considered one of the best players in the class of 2019 and maybe one of the best players in all of high school basketball. He is UK's No. 1 priority in the class of 2018 so it's a big deal to get him on campus early. Kentucky is thought to be near the top of his list if not the leader.

D.J. Jeffries (offered): The four-star wing from Mississippi received an offer early from the Cats. UK visited Jeffries and he will return the favor with an unofficial visit. Yesterday we looked at the numbers and Kentucky has a better track record with underclassmen visiting Big Blue Madness than seniors. That may be good news for UK's chances with Jeffries.

Keion Brooks (offered): Indiana, Kansas and Michigan State are considered the favorites for the Fort Wayne, Ind., star, but the Cats offering early should help UK's chances. As a four-star undersized forward, it's clear Calipari will be looking to reload in the class of 2019.

Tyrese Maxey: Maxey was a star on the Nike EYBL circuit this summer and that ended up with the Cats visiting, but there's no offer just yet. Maybe that changes this weekend. Maxey is a strong combo-guard, but it's worth mentioning that SMU just hired his father as Director of Player Development. He's from Garland, Texas.


Jalen Johnson (2020): The No. 5 ranked player in the class of 2020, it may be hard to pull Johnson away from Wisconsin. However, that hasn't stopped the bluebloods from calling. Calipari doesn't offer such young players, but Johnson would be worth it as he has one of the highest ceilings in high school basketball.

Jaemyn Brakefield (2020): The four-star Huntington Prep star has offers from Virginia Tech, Houston and Ole Miss, but the Cats will continue to watch and monitor his development. At 6-foot-8 and 205-pounds, he has a nice frame for being so young.

Zion Harmon (2021): The Kentucky native is already a star on the national scale and will be a candidate for reclassification at some point in his high school career. UK would love to keep him home but there's plenty of time in this recruitment.