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Ben Roberts

Apr 212014
 
Julius Randle

Julius Randle

UK freshman Julius Randle will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Lexington to announce whether or not he will enter the NBA Draft.

Randle is considered a likely top-five pick if he does opt to go pro. He led Kentucky with 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season.

There will be live video online of his 1:30 p.m. announcement, which is not open to the public.

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Apr 212014
 
Photo: Matt Goins

Photo: Matt Goins

Madison Southern’s Damien Harris will go into the summer ranked as the top running back in high school football.

Rivals.com analyst Josh Helmholdt says the University of Kentucky recruit has the talent to play college football right now.

“He is college ready, no matter where he goes,” Helmholdt told the Herald-Leader. “He could help an offense this fall, let alone two falls from now. Physically, he is there. He’s a guy who can impact today, if he was called upon.”

Instead, football fans in Central Kentucky will get to see him play one more season at Madison Southern. UK fans hope he sticks around a little longer.

Harris — a 5-foot-11, 205-pound prospect — is one of the most sought-after recruits in the class of 2015. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 4 overall prospect in the class. His list of scholarship offers includes just about every major school in the country.

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Apr 202014
 
Brown

Jaylen Brown

One of the nation’s top high school basketball players got an Easter Sunday visit from UK assistant coach Kenny Payne.

Georgia small forward Jaylen Brown hosted Payne for an in-home visit Sunday. The 6-foot-7 prospect is considered a top-15 player in the class of 2015 by every major recruiting service.

Brown hosted UCLA on Saturday and Georgia Tech on Friday. He has also had in-home visits with Florida and Oklahoma State in the past few days.

Kentucky hasn’t extended a scholarship offer to Brown, but he has been on the Cats’ radar for several months and he’s clearly going to be one of the players UK’s coaches will be watching on the AAU circuit this spring.

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Apr 202014
 
Photo: Mark Cornelison/Herald-Leader

Photo: Mark Cornelison/Herald-Leader

Knott County Central shooting guard Camron Justice announced his commitment to Vanderbilt on Sunday night.

Justice — a 6-foot-2 prospect in the class of 2015 — was committed to Tennessee until February, when he opened up his recruitment and almost immediately named the Commodores his new favorite.

Gonzaga, Boston College, Butler, Notre Dame and Western Kentucky were among the other schools near the top of Justice’s list, but he went ahead and ended the recruitment Sunday.

Justice averaged 25.5 points per game and made 41 percent of his three-point attempts this season, leading Knott Central to its third consecutive appearance in the Sweet Sixteen. He was one of only two juniors — along with Holmes guard Beetle Bolden — to be a first-team selection on the Herald-Leader’s all-state list. Justice will also be among the favorites for Mr. Basketball honors next season.

Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 133 overall prospect in the 2015 class.

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Apr 202014
 

One-time UK basketball recruit Torian Graham announced Sunday morning that he has committed to the University of Houston.

Graham recently completed his sophomore season at Chipola College in Florida. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard was a UK recruiting target both in junior college and as a high school prospect.

Kentucky reached out to him during this past season, and Graham said that the Wildcats would be his favorite if they extended a scholarship offer. That offer never came. In January, he and two teammates were arrested on drug-related charges and suspended indefinitely from the team. Graham returned to the lineup after sitting out several games.

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Apr 182014
 

Highly touted wide receiver Jabari Greenwood was on UK’s campus Friday for an unofficial visit.

Greenwood — a 6-foot-4, 190-pound prospect from Washington, D.C. — also visited Lexington for the program’s “junior day” festivities in February. 247Sports ranks him as a four-star recruit and the No. 35 wide receiver in the class of 2015.

Kentucky has already had success recruiting Washington, D.C., for 2015. One of the Cats’ four commitments for next year is Levon Livingston, a four-star lineman from that area.

Greenwood also has scholarship offers from Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Maryland, N.C. State and several other BCS-level schools. He is one of UK’s top recruiting targets at wide receiver.

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Apr 172014
 
Tommy Mainord

Tommy Mainord

UK wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord talked to the Herald-Leader on national signing day about the five wide receivers who will join the Wildcats this season — regarded as the program’s best haul at the position in the modern recruiting era.

Mainord and offensive coordinator Neal Brown are excited about the five newcomers, and you can read more about how those players will fit in with UK’s returning receivers right here. Mainord also broke down each player in more detail. Here are his thoughts on the five freshmen:

On Dorian Baker: “Very explosive. Vince (Marrow) had gone and seen him in spring ball. I didn’t have a chance to see him until summer camp. I was really impressed with his ‘get-off’ — he was really quick off the ball and really surprised you when he took off. He came back this fall and he’s grown another inch. He’s going to be a big, physical kid for us that can run. So we’re really excited about him. I think he’s got a lot of upside, because he’s going to put on some good weight and because he has breakaway speed.

“He’s explosive and he can do some things with the ball. He’s one we’re excited about, no doubt.”

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Apr 172014
 
Photo: Mark Cornelison/Herald-Leader

Photo: Mark Cornelison/Herald-Leader

UK Coach John Calipari held his season-ending press conference — and talked quite a bit about his book — Thursday morning in Lexington.

Calipari said he doesn’t know which of his current players will declare for the NBA Draft and he had no timetable for any of their announcements. He did say that he and his staff are not actively recruiting anyone for next season’s roster … at the moment.

“We’re not really recruiting anybody for our team right now,” Calipari said. “But there are some names out there, if this thing in the next week or two — and I would imagine there’s players out there waiting to see: ‘If these guys leave, I’m going because I’ll be able to step in.’ And we still have some guys that have decisions to make.”

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Apr 172014
 
Byron Wesley

Byron Wesley

Since every talented perimeter player who will be available as a graduate transfer is probably worth mentioning …

Southern Cal shooting guard Byron Wesley announced Wednesday night that he will leave the program and transfer elsewhere to play his final season of college basketball. Wesley said he is on pace to graduate this summer, which would allow him to play immediately next season.

The 6-foot-5 player led the Trojans with 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. USC was 11-21 with a 2-16 record in the Pac-12 in its first season under Coach Andy Enfield.

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Apr 162014
 

UK women’s basketball signee Alyssa Rice has been named a third-team All-American by USA Today.

Rice — a 6-foot-3 post player from Reynoldsburg, Ohio — averaged 19.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game during her senior season. She also represented UK at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago earlier this month.

USA Today named Notre Dame signee Brianna Turner its national player of the year.

MORE: USA Today All-Americans

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