May 282013
 
Stanley Johnson is one of UK's biggest recruiting targets in the class of 2014. He won the Peach Jam title last year with the Oakland Soldiers. Photo: Orange County Register

Stanley Johnson is one of UK’s biggest recruiting targets in the class of 2014. He won the Peach Jam title last year with the Oakland Soldiers.
Photo: Orange County Register

John Calipari and his assistant coaches will have plenty of prospects to keep an eye on when they travel to the Nike Peach Jam later this summer.

The EYBL regular season wrapped up Monday, and several teams featuring UK recruiting targets qualified for the event, which will take place July 10-14 in North Augusta, S.C.

Here’s a look at some of the players Calipari and company are sure to be watching:

Players with UK offers …

Stanley Johnson, Oakland Soldiers: 2014 small forward will try to lead the Soldiers to back-to-back Peach Jam titles. He teamed up with Aaron Gordon last year to defeat Andrew Wiggins and CIA Bounce in the championship game. Johnson has a list of seven schools: UK, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, Duke, UCLA and Southern Cal. Kansas is also trying to get in on his recruitment.

Trey Lyles, Indy Spiece: 2014 forward visited UK several times last season and many analysts consider the Cats a favorite to land his commitment. Lyles injured his knee late in the high school season but has returned to the court and should be at full strength for Peach Jam.

Tyus Jones, Howard Pulley: 2014 point guard was arguably the best player during the EYBL regular season. The Minnesota native visited UK earlier this year and is also considering Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Baylor, Minnesota and Ohio State.

Cliff Alexander, Mac Irvin Fire: 2014 big man has been a double-double machine for Mac Irvin. He’s still considering several schools, but UK, Michigan State and Illinois are the three most often mentioned in his recruitment.

Jahlil Okafor, Mac Irvin Fire: 2014 center has been dealing with an ankle injury all spring, and he sat out most of the Minnesota session over the weekend. He will announce a list of eight schools soon, and UK is expected to be on it.

Skal Labissiere, Team Penny: 2015 center has mentioned UK and Memphis — his adopted hometown — as the two schools recruiting him the hardest. The Haiti native is the only player in his class with a scholarship offer from UK.

Players who UK is recruiting …

D’Angelo Russell, Each 1 Teach 1: 2014 combo guard is a Louisville native and plans to visit UK sometime this summer. U of L, Ohio State, Florida and North Carolina are among the others involved in his recruitment.

Zylan Cheatham, California Supreme: 2014 forward from Arizona was visited by UK assistant Orlando Antigua last fall. There’s still no offer from UK, but he’s been getting rave reviews all spring. Most of his offers have come from schools out West.

Abdul Malik Abu, Expressions Elite: 2014 power forward got a call from Kentucky after last month’s EYBL session in Virginia. Kansas, Florida, UConn and Michigan State are among the major programs that have already offered.

Malik Newman, Jackson Tigers: 2015 guard is considered by some analysts to be the No. 1 overall player in his class. The Mississippi native is being recruited by every school in the SEC and should be picking up a UK offer sometime soon.

Elijah Thomas, Team Texas Elite: 2015 power forward caught the eye of UK’s staff during his high school season and is considered one of the top 10 players in his class. Louisville, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Ohio State and several others have already offered.

Charles Matthews, Mean Streets: 2015 guard was visited by Calipari just before the end of the live recruiting period earlier this month. He’s been nursing a hand injury during EYBL play and hasn’t been at full strength.

Cheick Diallo, Team Scan: 2015 big man is emerging as one of the best post players in his class. Kansas, U of L, Syracuse, Texas and several others have already offered.

Who’s missing …

Class of 2014 targets Devin Booker (Alabama Challenge), Rashad Vaughn (Wisconsin Playground) and Jalen Lindsey (Southern Stampede) played for EYBL teams that did not qualify for the Peach Jam. Another UK target, Emmanuel Mudiay, left Texas Pro earlier this month. That team also failed to qualify.

UK’s lone commitment in the class of 2014, Karl Towns Jr., does not play on the spring/summer circuit.

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