A couple of hours after Kentucky's double-overtime escape at Texas A&M on Saturday, Coach John Calipari popped up in Paducah to do a little recruiting.
The main attraction at the Mustang Madness event at McCracken County High School was five-star shooting guard Malik Newman, who scored 35 points in front of Calipari and assistant coach Kenny Payne to lead his Callaway (Miss.) squad to a 72-66 victory over Huntington Prep (W.Va.).
It was the second time in less than two weeks that Calipari has watched Newman in person. The UK coach traveled to Mississippi on Dec. 29 to see him score 50 points in a game there. The 6-foot-4 prospect is the only uncommitted guard in the class of 2015 with a UK scholarship offer.
Huntington Prep post player Thomas Bryant had 33 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday's game. Bryant — a 6-10 player from Rochester, N.Y. — received a UK scholarship offer earlier this season.
Neither player is expected to make a college decision until the spring.
Calipari stuck around Saturday to watch senior power forward Cheick Diallo and junior standouts Thon Maker and Josh Jackson. Diallo is one of the top five players in the class of 2015 and is still considering UK along with Kansas, Iowa State, St. John's and Pittsburgh.
■ On Thursday night, Calipari traveled to Indiana to evaluate class of 2016 center Isaac Humphries, who is originally from Australia and has been in the United States for only a month.
Humphries had 21 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks for La Lumiere (Ind.). UK assistant coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen watched him the previous weekend in West Virginia.
Checking things out
UK is expected to host two visitors from the class of 2016 for Tuesday night's home game against Missouri.
Five-star point guard Derryck Thornton and New Zealand post player Tai Wynyard are both scheduled to be in town for recruiting visits centered on the game.
Thornton — a 6-2 prospect from California — plays for Findlay Prep (Nev.) and picked up a UK scholarship offer while on a visit to Lexington last June. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 6 overall prospect in the junior class.
Wynyard — a 6-9 prospect — is an under-the-radar player who is not yet ranked by the major recruiting services. He is also expected to visit Villanova and Texas this week. Calipari has been in contact with his family since last fall.
Charles Matthews — UK's first commitment for the class of 2015 — fell dramatically in the recruiting rankings in the months following his pledge to the Cats last February.
Many analysts questioned Matthews' ability to score at the next level and turn his elite athleticism into something more tangible on the court.
He's been sending a message in recent days.
Matthews played in Metropolis, Ill., on Friday night in a game affiliated with the Mustang Madness event in Paducah, scoring 32 points in St. Rita's victory over Arsenal Tech (Ind.), the defending state champion and alma mater of Trey Lyles.
On Saturday, Matthews scored 31 points in a win over Chaminade (Mo.), a squad led by No. 1-ranked junior prospect Jayson Tatum. Last Tuesday, Matthews scored 29 points in a victory over another school from Chicago.
Not a bad week for the future Wildcat.
Big day in Chapel Hill
North Carolina hosted three of UK's top recruiting targets for Saturday's game against Louisville.
Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram and Harry Giles were among several high school prospects in Chapel Hill for the game, which UNC won 72-71.
Brown is the top uncommitted senior in the country and arguably UK's No. 1 remaining recruiting target for 2015. He is also considering Kansas, UCLA, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Michigan.
Giles — a contender for No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2016 — played with his high school team against the UNC JV squad on the Dean Dome court prior to Saturday's game between the Heels and Cardinals. The 6-10 post player is a North Carolina native.
Brown and Ingram took official visits to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October. Giles attended Big Blue Madness in 2013, and UK is among the leaders in his recruitment.