UK’s top recruits for 2015








Antonio Blakeney

Kentucky offered Blakeney in July amid a stellar showing on the summer circuit. The 6-4 guard from Orlando committed to Louisville — his longtime leader — a couple of months later, only to back out of his pledge to the Cardinals 11 days after that. Blakeney is one of the best scorers in the class and has a knack for getting to the basket. He’s also a good shooter. Former NBA coach John Lucas called him “the most explosive scorer in the 2015 class” during the LeBron James Skills Academy.

Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-4
Weight: 170
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
High school: Oak Ridge
Rivals ranking: No. 13
Scout ranking: No. 22
ESPN ranking: No. 14
24/7 ranking: No. 15
Other leaders: Louisville, LSU, Florida State, Missouri, Oregon, Southern Cal

Carlton Bragg

Bragg is a versatile forward who has established himself as one of the best inside-out players in the class. He’s usually listed as a power forward, but he has said that many schools are looking at him as a “stretch-4″ that can play on the perimeter. Bragg gained around 40 pounds from the summer before his junior year to the current AAU season — and that will help him in the post against more physical opponents in college. When he’s playing with energy, he’s incredibly difficult to stop. Bragg has already planned an official visit to UK for Big Blue Madness in October.

Position: Forward
Height: 6-9
Weight: 220
Hometown: Cleveland
High school: St. Joseph
Rivals ranking: No. 14
Scout ranking: No. 11
ESPN ranking: No. 18
24/7 ranking: No. 16
Other leaders: Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, UCLA

Isaiah Briscoe

Kentucky jumped back into Briscoe’s recruitment after the New Jersey guard’s big showing on the summer circuit, and it doesn’t sound like the delay in interest will hurt the Cats’ standing. Briscoe led his Nike EYBL team to the Peach Jam title in July and won a FIBA gold medal with the Team USA under-18 squad in June. He can run the point guard position or play off the ball, and he is now ranked as one of the 15 best players in the class by every major recruiting service. Arizona and Louisville seemed to be among the favorites during the summer, but both programs have taken other commitments at Briscoe’s position. If UK offers, the main competition could come from St. John’s and UConn.

Position: Guard
Height: 6-3
Weight: 200
Hometown: Union, N.J.
High school: Roselle Catholic
Rivals ranking: No. 9
Scout ranking: No. 15
ESPN ranking: No. 13
24/7 ranking: No. 6
Other leaders: St. John’s, UConn, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Missouri, Georgia Tech

Jaylen Brown

Brown’s game has undergone an impressive transformation over the past few months, and it’s landed him in the discussion for the No. 1 overall ranking in the 2015 class. It also earned him a UK scholarship offer in April. The explosive and hard-working wing has added a reliable jump shot, which had been his main weakness for the past couple of years. “Jaylen Brown is on the rise,”’s Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “We have him No. 4 now, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up higher than that.” Brown has said that he will use two of his official visits on trips to Kentucky and UCLA.

Position: Small forward
Height: 6-7
Weight: 220
Hometown: Marietta, Ga.
High school: Wheeler
Rivals ranking: No. 2
Scout ranking: No. 1
ESPN ranking: No. 2
24/7 ranking: No. 2
Other leaders: Kansas, UCLA, Georgia, Georgia Tech

Cheick Diallo

Nobody plays harder than Diallo, a native of Mali who is arguably the best rebounder and post defender in the class. He was named the most valuable player at last year’s NBPA Top 100 Camp despite being a year younger than many of the top players in attendance. He nearly repeated that honor at the 2014 edition of that event. “He has the highest motor in high school basketball, and I don’t think it’s even close,”’s Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. Diallo visited Kentucky for the first time in late June and could be ready to make a college decision before the end of the calendar year. He also developed a good relationship with UK assistant coach Barry “Slice” Rohrssen when Rohrssen was an assistant at Pitt.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-9
Weight: 220
Home country: Mali
High school: Our Savior New American (N.Y.)
Rivals ranking: No. 6
Scout ranking: No. 7
ESPN ranking: No. 7
24/7 ranking: No. 3
Other leaders: Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Kansas, Iowa State

Henry Ellenson

One of the fastest-rising players in the class of 2015, Ellenson is now considered a top-10 prospect by and ESPN. The 6-10 forward from Wisconsin has a 7-2 wingspan and is a solid scorer in the post. Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky all sent scholarship offers during his breakout summer, but he has now trimmed his list to only UK, Marquette and Michigan State. His older brother recently transferred to Marquette, which could have a major impact on his recruitment.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 230
Hometown: Rice Lake, Wis.
High school: Rice Lake
Rivals ranking: No. 17
Scout ranking: No. 6
ESPN ranking: No. 4
24/7 ranking: No. 18
Other leaders: Marquette, Michigan State

Brandon Ingram

Ingram’s length allows him to be an effective defender and rebounder for his position. UK came late to his recruitment, but Calipari came through with an offer during the July recruiting period and should be a major player moving forward. North Carolina, Duke and Kansas are also heavily involved. Ingram will be in Lexington for Big Blue Madness in October.

Position: Small forward
Height: 6-8
Weight: 190
Hometown: Kinston, N.C.
High school: Kinston
Rivals ranking: No. 18
Scout ranking: No. 25
ESPN ranking: No. 12
24/7 ranking: No. 11
Other leaders: Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, N.C. State, UCLA

Derrick Jones

The high-flying prospect from Philadelphia might be the best dunker in the Class of 2015. Jones has wowed observers with his above-the-rim game, but he still needs to work on his fundamentals and overall basketball skills. He was one of the first players in the class to earn an offer from Kentucky. Jones will take a visit to UK later this summer and seems to be in no rush on making a college decision.

Position: Small forward
Height: 6-7
Weight: 190
Hometown: Philadelphia
High school: Archbishop Carroll
Rivals ranking: No. 41
Scout ranking: No. 65
ESPN ranking: No. 22
24/7 ranking: No. 30
Other leaders: Arizona, Auburn, UConn, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina and UNLV

Skal Labissiere

Labissiere was the first player from the class to get a UK scholarship offer, and he remained the only 2015 prospect to have one for several months. He moved to the United States shortly after his homeland of Haiti was devastated by the 2010 earthquake. The near 7-footer is still raw, but his upside is undeniable. Terry Tippett, a Hall of Fame coach in Tennessee, recalled the first time he saw Labissiere. “He shot the ball and I said, ‘Oh, man!'” Tippett recalled in an interview with the Herald-Leader. “It came out of his hands so soft. Jump hooks. He went right and left. He can really do anything with the ball.” Labissiere has not started taking college visits, though he would like to make a decision by the end of the year. Memphis is the favorite in his recruitment.

Position: Forward/Center
Height: 6-10
Weight: 200
Home country: Haiti
High school: Lausanne Collegiate (Tenn).
Rivals ranking: No. 4
Scout ranking: No. 3
ESPN ranking: No. 11
24/7 ranking: No. 13
Other leaders: Memphis, Baylor, Georgetown, North Carolina, Tennessee

Doral Moore

UK will have three 7-footers on the 2014-15 roster, and the Cats could look to add another for the following season. Moore picked up a UK offer in early August after including the Wildcats among his top five a few weeks earlier. The Georgia star has already had an in-home visit with assistant coach Kenny Payne, and he told ZagsBlog in April that UK’s Willie Cauley-Stein is the player he tries to emulate on the court.

Position: Center
Height: 7-0
Weight: 225
Hometown: Stockbridge, Ga.
High school: Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Rivals ranking: No. 48
Scout ranking: No. 75
ESPN ranking: No. 59
24/7 ranking: No. 48
Other leaders: Florida, Illinois, Ohio State, Wake Forest

Malik Newman

Newman is arguably the best scorer in high school basketball, and he’s generally regarded as the best backcourt player in the class. He’s also the only uncommitted guard in 2015 with a scholarship offer from John Calipari. Newman uses his strength and a quick first step to get past defenders on the perimeter and create easy buckets for himself around the rim. He’s also effective from three-point range. Newman has admittedly not been paying much attention to the recruiting process, but he has told the Herald-Leader that will change heading into his senior season. Kentucky, Kansas and UConn are thought to be the favorites, though he doesn’t plan on announcing a decision until the spring.

Position: Guard
Height: 6-4
Weight: 180
Hometown: Jackson, Miss.
High school: Callaway
Rivals ranking: No. 3
Scout ranking: No. 10
ESPN ranking: No. 3
24/7 ranking: No. 4
Other leaders: Kansas, UConn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Baylor, LSU

Ivan Rabb

Rabb is one of the most well-rounded post players in the class. He’s one of the best rebounders in the country and also an effective post scorer and defender. He plays in the Oakland Soldiers AAU program, which has sent several top players to Arizona over the past few years. Those Wildcats are thought to be a favorite in his recruitment, and Kentucky doesn’t seem to be near the top of his list despite an early scholarship offer from John Calipari.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 220
Hometown: Oakland, Calif.
High school: Bishop O’Dowd
Rivals ranking: No. 7
Scout ranking: No. 5
ESPN ranking: No. 5
24/7 ranking: No. 10
Other leaders: Arizona, California, Duke, UCLA, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, N.C. State, Ohio State, Southern Cal.

Caleb Swanigan

Swanigan is a big but versatile post player from Indiana. He was actually part of the class of 2016 until recently, when he decided to reclassify and get a head start on college. The 6-9 power forward has good shooting range and is surprisingly nimble. New UK assistant coach Barry “Slice” Rohrssen recruited Swanigan while he was on staff at Pittsburgh and stayed in contact with the top prospect when he took the job at Kentucky. He was evaluated by John Calipari during the July recruiting period and earned a UK scholarship offer following a solid Peach Jam performance.

Position: Forward/center
Height: 6-9
Weight: 265
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.
High school: Homestead
Rivals ranking: No. 16
Scout ranking: No. 8
ESPN ranking: No. 8
24/7 ranking: No. 17
Other leaders: Michigan State, Louisville, Indiana, Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, N.C. State, Pittsburgh

Stephen Zimmerman

Zimmerman was one of the first players from the class to get an offer from Kentucky, and it’s become clear that he is one of the Cats’ top frontcourt targets in the 2015 cycle. “It’s an honor,” Zimmerman said when UK first reached out to him. “They’re an amazing team, and they obviously have an amazing coaching staff.” He possesses great offensive skills around the basket and has a good jump shot that can extend out to the three-point line. He’s also shown the ability to be an above-average passer. Zimmerman has scheduled an official visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October.

Position: Center
Height: 7-0
Weight: 240
Hometown: Las Vegas
High school: Bishop Gorman
Rivals ranking: No. 10
Scout ranking: No. 14
ESPN ranking: No. 10
24/7 ranking: No. 22
Other leaders: Arizona, North Carolina, UCLA, UNLV, Kansas, Indiana