UK Recruiting

Next Cats: Labissiere, Briscoe, Matthews make Kentucky signings official

Charles Matthews' calling card is defense and analyst Daniels said his game is comparable to DeAndre Liggins'.
Charles Matthews' calling card is defense and analyst Daniels said his game is comparable to DeAndre Liggins'. Sun-Times Media

High school basketball standouts Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere and Charles Matthews all signed their national letters of intent with the University of Kentucky on Friday, making their commitments to the Wildcats official.

As a result of Friday's signings, UK Coach John Calipari is now allowed to publicly comment on his three newest commitments.

"All three of these players had dreams to play at Kentucky," Calipari said in a statement. "Those dreams are now a reality. We didn't have to beg any of them. They wanted to be here. They are all different, yet collectively they will complement each other nicely. It's a great start to what could be a super class again."

Matthews — a 6-foot-5 guard from Chicago — was the first member of UK's recruiting class, committing to the Wildcats back in February. Calipari said he first "fell in love" with Matthews' game while watching him play with former AAU teammate Tyler Ulis, who is now a freshman at UK.

"What stuck out to me about him is he's a great finisher who can get to the basket," he said. "Not only can Charles create shots for himself, he can create them for his teammates as well."

Labissiere and Briscoe both committed to UK during Thursday night's signing period special on ESPNU.

Calipari has spent more than two years recruiting Labissiere, a 6-11 power forward from Haiti and the first player from the class of 2015 to earn a UK scholarship offer.

"Skal is in the same mold of Marcus Camby and Anthony Davis because he went from 6-2 to 6-11 and he has guard skills," Calipari said. "He's a talented two-way player from Haiti with long arms that have helped him both offensively and defensively.

"What really drew us to Skal is he's a high-character kid with a 3.5 grade-point average who wants to get better. Going forward, we've got to get Skal's post game to match his perimeter game."

Briscoe — a 6-3 guard from New Jersey — said during Thursday night's ESPNU show that he did not plan to sign with Kentucky until the spring.

Instead, he also signed a binding national letter of intent with UK on Friday.

"We are very excited for Isaiah and his decision to sign with Kentucky," Roselle Catholic Coach Dave Boff told the Herald-Leader. "He's looking forward to the opportunity to play at one of the premier programs in the country."

Briscoe is widely considered the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2015. Calipari called him a "multidimensional" player who can play both guard positions.

"He's a big, strong guard with great ball skills that are beyond the norm," he said. "He can score the ball at will, but he's an unselfish player who makes plays for his teammates. That's why guys love playing with him and why he's such a great teammate."

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