UK Recruiting

Next Cats notes: UK commitment Killeya-Jones has work to do during Madness

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 8: Sacha Killeya-Jones during the 2015  Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 8, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 8: Sacha Killeya-Jones during the 2015 Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 8, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour) Under Armour

Already secure in his college decision, five-star power forward Sacha Killeya-Jones will be able to relax on his trip to the University of Kentucky this weekend.

Killeya-Jones — a 6-foot-10 prospect from Chapel Hill, N.C. — committed to the Wildcats in August and will be back on campus for his official visit centered on Friday night's Big Blue Madness.

While fellow visitors De'Aaron Fox, Harry Giles and Malik Monk will be evaluating Kentucky as a college destination, Killeya-Jones is likely spend much of his time furthering UK's recruitment of those players.

His fellow commitment in the class of 2016 — five-star forward Wenyen Gabriel — will not be at Big Blue Madness on Friday.

Gabriel was in Lexington on an official visit to UK last month and committed to the Wildcats a couple of weeks ago. He said at the time that he would like to return to town for Madness, but his high school coach, Mike Mannix, told the Herald-Leader this week that he won't be able to attend.

The Cats also have a commitment from New Zealand power forward Tai Wynyard, who is currently classified as a 2016 recruit but is expected to graduate from high school later this year and enroll at UK in December.

Who else is coming?

In addition to Jones, Fox, Giles and Monk, a handful of players from the class of 2017 are expected to be at Big Blue Madness:

Gary Trent Jr.: Shooting guard from Apple Valley, Minn., picked up a UK scholarship offer over the summer and is the son of former Ohio star and NBA veteran Gary Trent. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 14 player in the junior class.

Kris Wilkes: Small forward from Indianapolis was in Lexington for an unofficial visit over the summer and is expected to be back in town for Madness. He has the potential to emerge as one of UK's top targets for 2017. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 12 player in the junior class.

Trae Young: Point guard from Norman, Okla., was one of the breakout stars of the summer and has earned a UK scholarship offer (the first point guard in his class to do so). Calipari visited Young at his high school recently. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 32 player in the junior class.

Wendell Carter: Power forward from Atlanta has expressed interest in visiting for Big Blue Madness, though he has not yet confirmed that he will do so. Duke is among the other top schools for Carter, who some recruiting services now rank as the No. 1 player for 2017. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 2 player in the junior class.

Bolden staying home

Five-star center Marques Bolden will not make the trip to Madness after recently saying he intended to be there.

Bolden's father told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday that his son will also skip a tentatively planned visit to Duke's midnight madness on Saturday.

UK, Duke and Kansas have all hosted Bolden — a 6-10 player from Texas — for official visits in recent weeks, and the late cancellation of the madness visits is not thought to have any bearing on which way he might be leaning.

Alkins coming?

Five-star shooting guard Rawle Alkins was in the process of setting up an official visit for Big Blue Madness, but those plans had not been finalized as of Thursday afternoon.

Alkins' cousin, Rodney Labossiere, is helping the high school senior navigate the recruiting process and told the Herald-Leader on Thursday that he's been in contact with UK's coaching staff about planning an official visit for this weekend but was still waiting for a confirmation from UK on the trip.

Labossiere said Alkins — a 6-foot-4 prospect from Brooklyn, N.Y. — has no other visits planned. He also said that no one from UK's coaching staff has been to visit Alkins at his new school, Word of God Academy in Raleigh, N.C., since the fall recruiting period began last month. Alkins has hosted coaches from North Carolina, Indiana, St. John's and N.C. State during that time.

Rivals.com ranks Alkins as the No. 9 overall prospect in the class of 2016.

Other 2016 targets

Quick notes on some other UK recruiting targets for 2016 who won't be in town this weekend:

Edrice Adebayo: Power forward from Washington, N.C., took his official visit to UK last weekend, but North Carolina State is still viewed as the favorite in his recruitment. Adebayo has scheduled an official visit to Raleigh for Oct. 31.

Jarrett Allen: Power forward from Austin, Texas announced this week that he will take an official visit to Kentucky on Oct. 31. He visited Notre Dame last weekend and will take a trip to Kansas this weekend.

Kobi Simmons: Point guard from the Atlanta area has narrowed his list to UK, Ohio State and UNLV and has already taken official visits to all three schools. Simmons' father told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday that there is no timetable for his decision, though he's aiming to sign with a school in November.

There has been no extensive recruiting contact recently between UK and one-time targets Udoka Azubuike, Josh Jackson and Thon Maker. All three of those players seem to be looking more closely at other schools.

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