Aug 312014
 
Ingram

Ingram

Brandon Ingram — one of the breakout basketball recruits of the summer — narrowed his list to UK and five other schools Sunday.

The 6-foot-8 small forward from Kinston, N.C., is also consider Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and N.C. State. He will visit Kansas and UK for each program’s midnight madness on consecutive weekends in October. Ingram has already visited the other four schools on his list.

247 Sports ranks Ingram as the No. 11 overall prospect in the class of 2015, and he is ranked no lower than No. 25 overall by any of the major recruiting services. UK offered him a scholarship last month after a stellar showing on the summer circuit. He played for an Adidas-team backed by former UNC star Jerry Stackhouse.

Florida and Louisville were among the other major programs that extended scholarship offers.

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Aug 312014
 
Blakeney

Blakeney

Five-star shooting guard Antonio Blakeney arrived in Louisville on Sunday for his first official visit.

Blakeney — a 6-foot-3 prospect from Orlando, Fla. — also has a scholarship from Kentucky and has mentioned the possibility of visiting Lexington for Big Blue Madness in October. His next official visit will be next month to Louisiana State.

Other schools on his list include Florida State, Southern Cal, Oregon and Missouri.

Rivals.com ranks Blakeney as the No. 13 overall player in the class of 2015, and every major recruiting service has him in the top 25.

Louisville already has one of the highest-rated recruiting classes so far for 2015, with commitments from top-50 players Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel and Ray Spalding.

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Aug 302014
 
Mikel Horton ran for an 18-yard touchdown late in the first half of UK's season opener Saturday. Photo: Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Mikel Horton ran for an 18-yard touchdown late in the first half of UK’s season opener Saturday.
Photo: Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay for the Herald-Leader

Twelve players who were part of UK’s much-celebrated signing class of 2014 made their debuts in the Wildcats’ season-opening 59-14 victory over UT-Martin on Saturday.

Junior-college transfers A.J. Stamps and Ryan Flannigan, and true freshmen Kendall Randolph, Mikel Horton and Blake Bone were among the standouts in a group that should provide plenty of highlights over the next few years.

Here’s a look at what each newcomer did Saturday:

Mikel Horton: The big freshman running back lost one yard on his first carry as a Wildcat, but he showed why he was so highly ranked as a recruit later on. On the Cats’ final drive of the first half, Horton rumbled 18 yards for his first college touchdown. He was hit near the line of scrimmage, bounced off the defender, turned to the right side and beat another defender to the end zone. He scored on a 14-yard touchdown around the left side in the fourth quarter. Horton also played on special teams.
Final stats: 7 carries for 45 yards and 2 TDs
Horton on his running style: “I hope the BBN doesn’t just think I’m a power back or a short-yardage back. I’m an all-around back. I can do everything that the little guys can. I can catch out of the backfield, make people miss, use my speed. I was hoping for a breakaway … I’m talking about like a 75-yard breakaway so I could show my speed. But I hope the BBN knows now that I can make people miss.”

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Aug 302014
 
Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown

One of UK basketball’s biggest recruiting targets will be in town on the program’s biggest recruiting night.

Five-star small forward Jaylen Brown is coming to Lexington on an official visit for Big Blue Madness, according to a ZagsBlog report on Saturday morning. Brown — a 6-foot-7 prospect from Georgia — had been saying for weeks that a trip to Madness was possible.

The Big Blue Madness confirmed guest list now includes Brown, UK commitment Charles Matthews, top class of 2015 targets Carlton Bragg, Stephen Zimmerman and Brandon Ingram, and top class of 2016 targets Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle. That list is expected to grow between now and the Oct. 17 event. Malik Newman and Ivan Rabb are among may other star players who have mentioned the possibility of a Madness visit.

Brown is ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2015 by Scout.com, and the No. 2 prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports. He is also considering Kansas, UCLA, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

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Aug 302014
 
Damien Harris

Damien Harris

Madison Southern running back Damien Harris was among the top recruits in attendance for UK’s season opener Saturday.

Harris — the No. 1 running back in the country — has narrowed his list to UK, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M. He will announce his college decision Dec. 13.

Madison Southern is off to a 2-0 start, and Harris has run 20 times for 380 yards and four touchdowns so far this season. He comes to Lexington on Saturday less than 24 hours after going for 237 yards and two TDs in a victory at Whitley County.

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Aug 282014
 
Diamond Stone | Photo: Reebok

Diamond Stone | Photo: Reebok

Five-star center Diamond Stone announced his top five schools Thursday, and Kentucky did not make the cut.

The 6-foot-10 prospect from Milwaukee has narrowed his choices to Maryland, Duke, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and UConn. Stone had a scholarship offer from UK but is apparently no longer considering the Wildcats.

He will announce his college decision Nov. 12 on ESPN.

UK has extended offers to 13 other uncommitted prospects in the class of 2015, including several post players. The Wildcats’ only commitment so far for that class is Chicago guard Charles Matthews.

Stone and top UK target Malik Newman have spoken publicly about attending the same school, though that talk has died down in recent weeks. If it happens, UConn seems like the only realistic landing spot for the duo. The Huskies are thought to be one of Newman’s favorites, along with Kentucky, Kansas and Mississippi State.

Newman will not make his decision until the spring.

Scout.com ranks Stone as the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2015.

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Aug 282014
 
Malik Newman (in blue) and Antonio Blakeney are the only two uncommitted guards from the class of 2015 with scholarship offers from UK. Photo: Kelly Kline/Under Armour

Malik Newman (in blue) and Antonio Blakeney are the only two uncommitted guards from the class of 2015 with scholarship offers from UK.
Photo: Kelly Kline/Under Armour

There are 14 uncommitted players from the class of 2015 with scholarship offers from Kentucky, perhaps the most from one class at any one time under Coach John Calipari.

Chicago guard Charles Matthews is currently the only 2015 prospect who has committed to UK, but that will change in the coming months. Some of the players on Calipari’s radar are planning to hold off on a college decision. Others have a more immediate timeframe in mind.

Here’s a rundown (in alphabetical order) of the 14 players with UK offers and what might be next in their recruitments:

Antonio Blakeney: The shooting guard from Florida is one of the best scorers in the class and picked up a UK scholarship offer over the summer. He’s taking an official visit to Louisville this weekend, and the Cardinals have made him a top priority going forward. LSU and Kentucky are widely thought to be the other main contenders. LSU commitment Ben Simmons — the No. 1 player in the class — is actively recruiting him for the Tigers, and he’s supposed to go to LSU for an official visit next month. Blakeney recently told Scout.com that he will “probably” visit UK for Big Blue Madness in October, but that trip has not been finalized.
Jerry Meyer’s Crystal Ball pick: Louisville

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Aug 282014
 
Henry Ellenson

Ellenson

Five-star power forward Henry Ellenson has cut his list to Kentucky, Marquette and Michigan State, his father told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday night.

Ellenson also had scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, Wisconsin and several other top schools. The 6-foot-10 prospect from Rice Lake, Wisc., is ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the class of 2015.

John Ellenson, the player’s father, told the Herald-Leader that the family has not yet set up a visit to Lexington. Ellenson has scheduled official visits to both Marquette and Michigan State for next month.

Ellenson’s brother Wally recently transferred from Minnesota to Marquette, and the Golden Eagles are seen as the favorite in his recruitment.

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Aug 272014
 
Malik Newman

Malik Newman

Those around Malik Newman want the basketball world to know that he’s not just a gunner.

Newman — a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Jackson, Miss. — is regarded as the best backcourt player in high school basketball and is known primarily for his scoring ability.

But that’s not all he can do.

Callaway High Coach David Sanders pointed to the FIBA world championships earlier this month, when Newman captained the Team USA under-17 squad to a gold medal in Dubai. Newman averaged a team-high 14.9 points per game during the tournament. He also led star-studded Team USA in assists.

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Aug 272014
 
Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown

Louisiana State commitment Ben Simmons is still the No. 1 player in the class of 2015, according to the new Rivals.com rankings released Wednesday.

Simmons — a 6-foot-8 forward from Australia — is also ranked No. 1 by 247Sports.

The next six players in the new Rivals.com rankings all have scholarship offers from Kentucky.

Jaylen Brown moved up one spot to No. 2 overall, followed by Malik Newman, Skal Labissiere, Diamond Stone, Cheick Diallo and Ivan Rabb. Duke commitment Chase Jeter, New Jersey guard Isaiah Briscoe and top UK target Stephen Zimmerman round out the top 10.

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