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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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Apr 162014
 
Damien Harris

Damien Harris

The new class of 2015 rankings from ESPN were released Wednesday, and Kentucky native Damien Harris remains the No. 1 running back on the list.

ESPN has Harris as the No. 27 overall prospect in 2015. The Madison Southern standout is one of the most highly recruited players in the country and recently released a top 10 list of schools that includes UK.

Harris was once committed to Michigan and is still considering the Wolverines. ESPN’s recruiting staff posted a list of predictions to accompany the new rankings that had Harris ending up back at Michigan. Among the other top contenders are Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State.

There were several other top UK recruits in the updated ESPN 300.

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Apr 162014
 
Myles Turner

Myles Turner

Myles Turner — the top uncommitted player in the class of 2014 — will announce his college decision April 30.

The announcement will be made on one of the ESPN-affiliated channels.

Turner is still listing Kentucky as one of his finalists but has not yet made a visit to Lexington, making UK an unlikely college destination. The 7-footer from Texas used his five official visits on Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke and Ohio State. He has also visited Southern Methodist, which is seen as a dark-horse candidate for his commitment.

Texas and Kansas are widely viewed as the favorites in his recruitment.

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Apr 162014
 
Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

ESPN analyst Chad Ford was chatting about the upcoming NBA Draft again Wednesday. Like always, questions about Kentucky’s underclassmen came up.

Of UK’s seven most likely draft picks, only the returning Willie Cauley-Stein has publicly announced his plans. Everyone expects Julius Randle to move on to the NBA this year — though he hasn’t declared for the draft yet.

Ford broke down the other five during Wednesday’s chat:

“Think James Young is very likely to leave for the draft. I think the two most likely to stay are Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress though I wonder if Cauley-Stein’s decision to stay may push Johnson out. With Karl Towns coming in (and Towns may be the most talented of all of them) there could be playing time issues. As for the Harrison twins, they’ve wanted to go to the NBA all season. I know they’ve been talking to agents and trying to figure things out. The challenge for them is that the feedback from the NBA hasn’t been what they want to hear — even with their strong play in the tournament. If they want guarantees they are first round picks, not sure either will get it. So … it might push them to come back. I think they could really help their stock if they played one more year in Lexington.”

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Apr 162014
 
Marcus Walker

Marcus Walker

Class of 2015 defensive back Marcus Walker announced Wednesday that he is no longer committed to the University of Kentucky.

Walker said he’s opening up his recruitment and wants more time to think about his college destination. He added that UK remains No. 1 on his list of schools.

ESPN ranks Walker as a four-star recruit and the No. 193 overall prospect in the 2015 class. Rivals.com and ESPN both have him among the top 20 safeties in the class.

The 6-foot prospect from Lake Wales, Fla., originally committed to Kentucky in January. Florida is among the other schools that extended scholarship offers before he picked the Cats.

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Apr 152014
 
Barry Rohrssen

Barry Rohrssen

Pittsburgh assistant Barry “Slice” Rohrssen will replace Orlando Antigua on John Calipari’s coaching staff, according to a report by Rivals.com on Tuesday.

A UK spokesman told the Herald-Leader that the assistant coach opening will be posted until Friday and there are no immediate plans to make any announcement related to the vacancy.

If Rohrssen joins UK’s coaching staff, don’t expect Calipari’s success on the recruiting trail to slow down anytime soon.

The Brooklyn native is known as a formidable recruiter himself, with extensive ties to the New York City area. He was an assistant at Pittsburgh from 1999-2006 before taking the head coaching job at Manhattan, where he spent five seasons. After one year in the Portland Trail Blazers’ organization, Rohrssen returned to Pitt last season.

It’s his time with the Panthers that stamped Rohrssen as one of the country’s top recruiters.

“He has a strong reputation — especially in the Northeast — as a guy who can really recruit and a guy who really builds strong relationships,” said Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels. “He has a history of reeling in some pretty good players at Pittsburgh.”

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