Nine UK recruits to watch at Mustang Madness

 Posted by at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2014
Jan 082014
Trey Lyles

Trey Lyles

The first Mustang Madness basketball showcase will be held this weekend at McCracken County High School in Paducah, and the event is set to feature several top prospects from around the country.

UK signees Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis will play in the showcase alongside seven other players who are on UK’s recruiting radar. The event will include Southern Methodist University signee Emmanuel Mudiay, Kansas signee Cliff Alexander and uncommitted 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle (full schedule).

Top 2015 target Skal Labissiere will be unable to play this weekend as he recovers from a stress fracture in his spine.

Here’s a look at the nine players for UK fans to keep an eye on (all times Central):

TREY LYLES, Arsenal Tech
6-10 | 240 | Power forward
Class of 2014
Rivals: 8
Scout: 8
247Sports: 17
Status with UK: Lyles signed with Kentucky in November and is having a stellar senior season for Arsenal Tech. The future Wildcat is averaging 23.9 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, leading Tech to an 11-1 record and a national ranking. In last month’s trip to Kentucky, he led victories over national powerhouse Huntington Prep and the state’s No. 1 team: Ballard.
This weekend: 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Villa Angela St. Joseph

TYLER ULIS, Marian Catholic
5-9 | 150 | Point guard
Class of 2014
Rivals: 33
Scout: 29
ESPN: 33
247Sports: 52
Status with UK: Ulis also signed with Kentucky in Novemeber and is likely to be looked to as the starting point guard next season, assuming the Harrison twins bolt for the NBA. The diminutive guard from the Chicago area told the Herald-Leader a few months ago that he had marked this date on the calendar, looking forward to his first game in Kentucky after committing to the Wildcats. Ulis is having a McDonald’s All-American-caliber season, and his Marian squad is among the best teams in basketball-rich Chicago.
This weekend: 9 p.m. Saturday vs. Lausanne Collegiate

6-6 | 185 | Small forward
Class of 2015
Rivals: 24
Scout: 18
ESPN: 19
247Sports: 35
Status with UK: Gill-Caesar hasn’t made a decision on a possible reclassification to 2014. If he does make that move, he’ll have a UK scholarship offer waiting for him and will be one of the Cats’ top remaining targets to fill out the current class. The Toronto-area native helps lead a balanced Huntington Prep lineup that features several high-major Division I prospects. Coach Rob Fulford recently told the Herald-Leader that there is no timetable for Gill-Caesar to decide on reclassification or his college choice.
This weekend: 8:30 p.m. Thursday vs. vs. Our Savior New American

CARLTON BRAGG, Villa Angela St. Joseph
6-8 | 195 | Power forward
Class of 2015
Rivals: 10
Scout: 9
ESPN: 10
247Sports: 5
Status with UK: He doesn’t have a scholarship offer yet, but Bragg seems a likely candidate to land one over the next few months. Coach John Calipari has seem him play twice in recent weeks — once in Cleveland and once in West Virginia — and UK assistant John Robic has visited several times. Bragg told the Herald-Leader last fall that he likes “everything about Kentucky” and took an unofficial visit to Lexington in late September. His mentor, Michael Graves, told the Herald-Leader recently that they plan to attend a UK game this season. Bragg will get to face Lyles and Kansas signee Cliff Alexander this weekend.
This weekend: 5 p.m. Friday vs. Curie; 7:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Arsenal Tech

CHEICK DIALLO, Our Savior New American
6-9 | 210 | Power forward
Class of 2015
Rivals: 8
Scout: 6
247Sports: 2
Status with UK: Another top-10 prospect who doesn’t yet have a confirmed scholarship offer from UK, Diallo, a native of Mali in West Africa, is among the best defenders in the country. His recruitment is  in the early stages, but there’s  heavy interest from Syracuse, St. John’s, North Carolina, Arizona and Louisville. When asked over the summer which schools were recruiting him, UK was the first one he mentioned. He’ll have high-profile matchups this week with Huntington Prep’s impressive frontcourt and Thon Maker, one of the top post players in 2016.
This weekend: 8:30 p.m. Thursday vs. Huntington Prep; 8 p.m. Friday vs. Carlisle School.

THOMAS BRYANT, Huntington Prep
6-10 | 200 | Power forward
Class of 2015
Rivals: 19
Scout: 13
ESPN: 15
247Sports: 11
Status with UK: Bryant doesn’t have a UK scholarship offer, but assistant coach Orlando Antigua has scouted him at two games this season and John Calipari has seen him once. The Rochester, N.Y., native said last month that he hears from Kentucky on a regular basis and called UK “one of the best programs in the country.” Syracuse — the team Bryant grew up watching — is seen as the early frontrunner, but he told the Herald-Leader in November that he doesn’t have any favorites.
This weekend: 8:30 p.m. Thursday vs. vs. Our Savior New American

5-11 | 150 | Point guard
Class of 2015
Rivals: N/A
Scout: N/A
247Sports: 118
Status with UK: Bolden doesn’t have a lofty national ranking like the other players on this list, but he does have UK’s attention. John Calipari and Orlando Antigua visited with his coach after Bolden’s impressive Sweet Sixteen performances last season, and they’ve kept tabs on the in-state prospect, watching him several times over the summer. The lifelong UK fan has offers from West Virginia, Xavier, Butler and Purdue.
This weekend: 3 p.m. Saturday vs. McCracken County

THON MAKER, Carlisle
7-0 | 200 | Power forward
Class of 2016
Rivals: 3
Scout: 3
247Sports: 3
Status with UK: Considered by ESPN the No. 1 overall prospect in the sophomore class, Maker is certainly on UK’s radar early in the process. He was born in Sudan but left for Australia at age 5 and came to the United States in 2011. Maker said last summer that watching a UK-Vanderbilt game as a child in Australia was one of his earliest basketball memories. He has reported offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Ohio State, Memphis and several other top programs. UK will surely be on that list sometime soon.
This weekend: 8 p.m. Friday vs. Our Savior New American; 6 p.m. Saturday vs. Sunrise Christian Academy

MILES BRIDGES, Huntington Prep
6-5 | 190 | Small forward
Class of 2016
Rivals: 18
Scout: 24
247Sports: N/A
Status with UK: The high-flying sophomore from Flint, Mich., is out to prove he’s more than just a highlight-reel dunker during his first season with Huntington Prep. UK has expressed interest in Bridges. He called UK “a dream school” last month and said he also jas been in touch with assistant coach Orlando Antigua. Michigan State — another early favorite — Kansas, Indiana and Ohio State are among others showing interest.
This weekend: 8:30 p.m. Thursday vs. vs. Our Savior New American


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