UK’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2019

Bryan Antoine

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
Antoine is one of two five-star recruits from New Jersey’s Ranney School — along with small forward Scottie Lewis — and John Calipari has already watched the duo multiple times, extending offers to both players during the fall recruiting period. Antoine is one of the top shooters in the class and has narrowed his list to Kentucky, Duke, Florida, Kansas and Villanova, with the Blue Devils considered by many to be the favorites. He’s expected to take his official visits this summer and fall and then make a college decision before the start of his senior season, in time to sign with the school of his choice in November.

Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-4
Weight: 180
Hometown: Tinton Falls, N.J.
High school: Ranney School
Travel team: Team Rio (Under Armour)
Rivals ranking: No. 8
ESPN ranking: No. 7
247 ranking: No. 11
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Keion Brooks

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
A sign of how serious UK is in their early recruitment of Brooks: he was one of the first five prospects from the class of 2019 to get an in-person visit from John Calipari when the fall recruiting period began in September. The UK coach has kept it up since then, and Brooks will enter this coming fall as one of the top targets on the Wildcats’ board. The versatile small forward is one of the best scorers at his position in this class, and he is also being pursued by Michigan State and Indiana, among others. Brooks visited UK for Big Blue Madness last October, then visited Indiana and Michigan State the following weekend. Those three schools are getting the most buzz in his recruitment.

Position: Small forward
Height: 6-7
Weight: 180
Hometown: Fort Wayne, Ind.
High school: North Side
Travel team: Indy Heat (Nike)
Rivals ranking: No. 35
ESPN ranking: No. 29
247 ranking: No. 9
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Vernon Carey

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
Carey is the son of the former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman of the same name, a longtime professional football player who played for the Miami Hurricanes before being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The younger Carey has emerged as one of the very best players in the basketball class of 2019 — possibly the best — and he visited UK two years ago for Big Blue Madness. Carey is a big-bodied post player who can also play away from the basket and looks to be one of the best rebounders in the class. He’s narrowed his list to UK, Duke, Miami, Michigan State and North Carolina. Carey was the MVP for the gold-medal winning Team USA U16 squad last summer.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 240
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
High school: University School
Travel team: Nike Team Florida (Nike)
Rivals ranking: No. 1
ESPN ranking: No. 2
247 ranking: No. 3
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Matthew Hurt

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
Hurt is one of the most highly recruited players in the 2019 class, and there was a very early show of mutual interest between the talented forward and Kentucky’s coaching staff. Hurt is 6-10 and highly effective in the post, but he’s being groomed as a perimeter player at the college level, and he has the ability to shoot the ball and defend multiple positions. His offensive footwork is outstanding for a player of his age. UK’s coaches watched him on the Adidas circuit over the summer, and John Calipari extended a scholarship offer in December. Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, UCLA and Louisville are among the many other major programs recruiting him.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 200
Hometown: Rochester, Minn.
High school: John Marshall
Travel team: D1 Minnesota (Adidas)
Rivals ranking: No. 5
ESPN ranking: No. 5
247 ranking: No. 6
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Jalen Lecque

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
The New York native moved to North Carolina for his junior season of high school and has emerged as one of the best guards in the 2019 class. UK assistant coach Joel Justus started recruiting Lecque in the fall, and John Calipari came through with an offer in the spring. He’s a quick, athletic guard with plenty of size if he can make the transition to the point guard spot, which is his desired position at the next level. Kansas, Maryland and Syracuse are among the many major programs that have already extended scholarship offers to Lecque, who is considering reclassifying back to 2018 and playing college basketball next season. If he makes that move, UK would probably not be a realistic landing spot; the Cats already have a crowded backcourt for next season.

Position: Combo guard
Height: 6-4
Weight: 185
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
High school: Christ School (N.C.)
Travel team: New York Rens (Nike)
Rivals ranking: No. 9
ESPN ranking: No. 10
247 ranking: No. 15
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Scottie Lewis

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
Lewis — a consensus top-10 player in the 2019 class — is a teammate of fellow UK target Bryan Antoine and has already been seen multiple times by the Wildcats’ coaches. John Calipari extended a scholarship offer during the early recruiting period, and Lewis and Antoine both visited UK last May. “Scottie is a ridiculous athlete,” national analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “He plays the game so hard, and he’s got good size and length. He’s really good in transition. He has the potential to be a really good defender and defend multiple spots.” Duke, Kansas, Florida, Villanova and Maryland are among a number of schools that have already expressed heavy interest in Lewis’ recruitment.

Position: Small forward
Height: 6-5
Weight: 185
Hometown: Tinton Falls, N.J.
High school: Ranney School
Travel team: Team Rio (Under Armour)
Rivals ranking: No. 11
ESPN ranking: No. 8
247 ranking: No. 13
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James Wiseman

***CONFIRMED UK SCHOLARSHIP OFFER***
The still-growing post player from Nashville — now living in Memphis — is ranked by ESPN and 247Sports as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. UK assistant coach Joel Justus scouted Wiseman at the FIBA U16 championships last June and has stayed in constant contact with the 2019 star ever since. Wiseman also told reporters at last year’s Nike Peach Jam event in July that Anthony Davis is the player he tries most to pattern his game after. in September, he became the first player in the 2019 class to land a UK offer. “He’s so long and mobile,” Scout.com’s Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “He always runs rim to rim. When you have that type of size and length and can contest shots, it’s big. I think the light is kind of flickering on with him. You’ve seen him take steps in the right direction over the past year, and this is the time that he needs to do it. He has a lot of upside.” He is expected to choose Kentucky or Memphis.

Position: Power forward
Height: 6-10
Weight: 220
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
High school: Memphis East
Travel team: Bluff City Legends (Nike)
Rivals ranking: No. 2
ESPN ranking: No. 1
247 ranking: No. 1
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