John Calipari's long-term loss was Mike Krzyzewski's immediate gain Tuesday.
Five-star point guard Derryck Thornton announced that he plans to reclassify and play basketball for Duke next season.
Thornton will move from the class of 2016 to 2015, which will allow him to graduate high school this year and suit up immediately for the Blue Devils.
Kentucky was considered one of the favorites in Thornton's recruitment, and he was the first point guard from the class of 2016 to receive a scholarship offer from UK.
His reclassification to 2015 became increasingly more likely in recent weeks, and Thornton had narrowed his choices to Duke and Louis ville if he decided to go that route. He was supposed to visit U of L next month.
Last week, UK extended a scholarship offer to class of 2016 point guard Kobi Simmons, and he is now likely to emerge as the Cats' No. 1 target at that position. The UK coaching staff also reached out to point guard Dennis Smith from North Carolina last week.
Both of those players are considered top-five prospects.
UK will have two talented point guards on next season's roster — sophomore Tyler Ulis and freshman Isaiah Briscoe — and neither is a lock to go to the NBA in 2016.
Scout.com ranks Thornton as the No. 5 overall player in the class of 2016. Scout's director of recruiting, Evan Daniels, said Tuesday that Thornton would be considered the No. 1 point guard in the final class of 2015 rankings.
Duke's roster next season also is expected to include perimeter players Matt Jones, Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard, and frontcourt players Amile Jefferson, Marshall Plumlee, Sean Obi and Chase Jeter.
Additionally, the Blue Devils are considered the favorites to land five-star small forward Brandon Ingram, now ranked the No. 3 overall prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN. He will announce his decision Monday. He's also considering UK, North Carolina, Kansas, N.C. State and UCLA.
Newman is ready
Five-star combo guard Malik Newman will reveal his college decision at 1 p.m. Friday.
Clarionledger.com will provide a live stream of Newman's announcement, which will be made from a "closed setting," according to Clarion-Ledger reporter Courtney Cronin, who has been documenting Newman's recruitment for more than two years as part of a multiepisode web series.
That means the announcement will not be made from his high school.
Newman — a 6-foot-3 prospect from Jackson, Miss. — still lists UK, Kansas, Mississippi State, Mississippi, LSU and N.C. State as possible destinations.
Many recruiting analysts now predict that his recruitment will come down to UK and Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs recently emerging as the favorite.
Another new offer
Class of 2016 standout Josh Langford picked up a scholarship offer from Kentucky during an in-home visit with Coach John Calipari on Monday night.
Langford — a 6-foot-5 guard from Madison, Ala. — is considered a top-20 prospect by all of the major recruiting services. He is ranked as the No. 10 player in the class of 2016 by Scout.com.
He visited UK last month, and Wildcats assistant coach John Robic watched him play on the Adidas circuit a couple of weeks ago. Langford is an AAU teammate of class of 2016 point guard Kobi Simmons, who received a UK scholarship offer last week.
Arizona, Michigan State, Florida, Kansas, Michigan and Louisville are among the many other schools that have extended scholarship offers.
Langford will play in the Adidas event in Indianapolis this weekend, and UK coaches are expected to be there.
Labissiere is No. 2
UK signee Skal Labissiere moved up to No. 2 in the final ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2015, but he couldn't get past Louisiana State signee Ben Simmons for the top spot.
Simmons and Labissiere are listed 1-2 in the final rankings, which were posted on ESPN's website Tuesday morning. Labissiere was No. 3 in the previous rankings.
Top UK targets Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, and Marquette signee Henry Ellenson rounded out the top five.
Future UK point guard Isaiah Briscoe is ranked No. 13, and fellow UK signee Charles Matthews is No. 41 in the final rankings. ESPN ranks Matthews higher than any other major recruiting service, none of which has him in the top 50.
In addition to Ingram and Brown, the Wildcats still are recruiting Cheick Diallo (No. 7) and Malik Newman (No. 10).
Louisville signee Ray Spalding is ranked No. 54 overall and is the only Kentucky high school player in the top 100. Also on the list are fellow U of L signees Deng Adel (No. 31) and Donovan Mitchell (No. 42).