Ex-Cats

NBA Draft profile: Get to know Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe

Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe worked out for several NBA teams ahead of Thursday’s draft.
Kentucky’s Isaiah Briscoe worked out for several NBA teams ahead of Thursday’s draft. UK Athletics

All about Isaiah Briscoe

College: Kentucky

Position: Guard

Measureables (at NBA Combine): 6’2¾” with shoes; 222 pounds; 6’9” wingspan; 8’3½” standing reach; 28” no-step vertical; 33.5” maximum vertical.

Hometown: Newark, N.J. (Roselle Catholic High School)

UK statistics: Averaged 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.5 turnovers per game as a sophomore. Shot 47.0 percent from the field, 28.8 percent from three-point range and 63.5 percent from the free-throw line.

Honors and superlatives: After sophomore season, named to Sports Illustrated’s All-Glue Team for his leadership and intangibles. … Named the Southeastern Conference’s player of the week on Jan. 2 after getting the third triple-double in program history with 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds at Mississippi. … Averaged 9.6 points and 3.1 assists per game as a freshman.

Before Kentucky: Born April 13, 1996, in Newark, N.J. ... Was named a USA Today All-USA first-team selection and a Parade Magazine All-American. ... He also participated in the McDonald’s All American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. ... Helped Team USA to a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship ... Also played for the USA at the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit. … Ranked the No. 9 overall player in his high school class by Rivals and 247Sports.com, the No. 13 overall pick by ESPN and the No. 15 overall player in the class by Scout. … Chose Kentucky over Arizona, Connecticut and St. John’s.

Briscoe on Twitter: @ZayBriscoe

Since John Calipari began coaching Kentucky in the 2009-10 season, the Wildcats have had more players selected in the NBA Draft than any other school or foreign country.

NBA Draft rankings

While Briscoe is not projected to be among the 60 players drafted, here is where he ranks on NBA analysts’ overall lists:

DraftExpress (June 14): 71st

ESPN’s Chad Ford: 67th

NBADraft.net (June 20): 86th

Draft analysts on Briscoe

DraftExpress: “Briscoe has an exceptional wingspan to go with long and strong hands, wide shoulders and a big frame, all of which makes for an intriguing physical profile from a combo-guard. He has a strong first step, is particularly tough to stop when he gets a head of steam and changes gears and directions efficiently off the bounce. … There is no doubt that shooting remains the biggest weakness in Briscoe’s game.”

ESPN’s Chad Ford (on April 16): “It’s an uphill battle for him. I actually think he’d be much better off staying at Kentucky. Not necessarily because he’ll improve his draft stock, but because he’ll have a chance to come back and win a national championship, and get a great college degree, and play two years of really high-level basketball under John Calipari. … I think his most likely scenario is maybe a D-League player. And probably overseas is where the money will be. If that’s what he needs and wants, then that’s great. But I don’t think it’ll be the NBA.”

When the 2016-17 NBA season ended, former Wildcats who played under Calipari were spread across 15 of the league’s 30 teams. That number is likely to increase at Thursday's NBA Draft.

Coach Cal on Briscoe

▪  “Isaiah is a winner. Physically and mentally he’s a pit bull with skills with the ball. We averaged nearly 30 wins a season over the last two years and Isaiah played a big part in all of them. Isaiah defends, he rebounds and he creates shots for others. I am so proud of his improvement over his time here and am looking forward to seeing his continued growth at the next level.”

▪  “The thing that is driving me crazy is he’s a sophomore … So when you look at him, you think, ‘Well, here’s a veteran.’ No! … He’s like one of the young guys in this draft. But he played at Kentucky. He’s been through the wars. He knows how to win. He’s improving his shooting.”

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Dennis Varney: 859-231-3514, @ExCats

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