High School Basketball

Next Cats: Marshall County Hoop Fest jammed with top recruits

Arsenal Technical's Trey Lyles beat Scecina Memorial's Sam Elmore in a Jan. 17 game in Indianapolis. Lyles, rated as the No. 4 overall recruit of 2014 by Scout.com, decommitted from Indiana last summer and has Kentucky and Louisville among his college choices.
Arsenal Technical's Trey Lyles beat Scecina Memorial's Sam Elmore in a Jan. 17 game in Indianapolis. Lyles, rated as the No. 4 overall recruit of 2014 by Scout.com, decommitted from Indiana last summer and has Kentucky and Louisville among his college choices. Indianapolis Star

Two University of Kentucky basketball signees will be among several top high school players at the Marshall County Hoop Fest this weekend in Benton, Ky.

Devin Booker and Trey Lyles, who both signed with the Wildcats last month, are part of this year's event, which starts Thursday night with four games featuring in-state teams.

The top national players arrive for Friday night's session, with two more sessions scheduled for Saturday.

Tickets to the Hoop Fest are still available at (270) 527-6714. All-session passes cost $45 for reserved lower-level seats and $35 for general admission upper-level seats. Tickets can also be purchased for $10 a session at Marshall County High School on game day.

Here's a look at some of the top prospects who will play in the event.

Top UK recruits

Devin Booker, Moss Point (Miss.) — One of the best shooters in the country, Booker's team will be matched up against in-state No. 1 Ballard in Saturday night's session. The UK signee is the No. 31 overall prospect in the Class of 2014, according to Scout.com.

Trey Lyles, Arsenal Tech (Ind.) — Generally regarded as UK's highest-ranked signee for the 2014 class, Lyles will play two games at the Hoop Fest. He'll lead Tech against Ballard on Friday night and national powerhouse Huntington (W.Va.) Prep on Saturday. The 6-foot-9 power forward is considered one of the best offensive post players in the country. He's ranked No. 8 overall by Scout.com.

Montaque Gill-Caesar, Huntington (W.Va.) Prep — Currently a member of the Class of 2015, Gill-Caesar is seriously considering a move to the 2014 class. UK is already interested and a reclassification would probably make him the Cats' No. 1 immediate target. The 6-6 small forward is considered a five-star prospect and scored 54 points in a game last weekend.

More UK targets

Thomas Bryant, Huntington (W.Va.) Prep — The 6-10 post player is a native of Rochester, N.Y., and playing his first season with Huntington. He's a five-star prospect in the Class of 2015 and one of the most dominating low-block players in the country. A potential matchup with Lyles on Saturday would make for one of the best battles of the weekend.

Miles Bridges, Huntington Prep — The high-flying forward from Michigan is also in his first year at Huntington. Bridges is just a sophomore, but he's already seeing interest from some of the top schools in the country, including UK.

Braxton Blackwell, Christ Presbyterian Academy (Tenn.) — Another five-star player in the Class of 2016, he already has offers from Florida, Indiana, Memphis and several other top schools.

Others to watch

Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep (Texas) — The No. 1 point guard in the country who spurned UK to sign with Southern Methodist.

Josh Perkins, Huntington Prep — One of the top point guards in the Class of 2014, Perkins has signed with Gonzaga.

JaQuan Lyle, Huntington Prep — A five-star recruit in the Class of 2014 and a former Louisville commitment. Lyle is still being pursued by schools such as Kansas, Indiana, UConn and Oregon.

Jalen Lindsey, Huntington Prep — The four-star senior and former UK target has signed with Providence.

Quentin Snider, Ballard — The likely front-runner for Mr. Basketball honors, Snider is considered one of the top point guards in the country. He's the top-rated player in U of L's five-man signing class.

Kelan Martin, Ballard — Another Mr. Basketball contender, Martin is ranked as one of the top 100 players in the senior class by ESPN. The 6-6 forward has signed with Butler.


Two of the biggest stars scheduled to play in the Hoop Fest will be unable to participate. Elite Class of 2015 recruit Skal Labissiere will miss Friday's game with a stress fracture that is expected to keep him out until January. His competition was supposed to be five-star senior Cliff Alexander, who will also be sidelined by a one-game suspension stemming from his ejection Monday night.

Labissiere — a native of Haiti — was the first 2015 recruit to receive a UK scholarship offer and remains a top priority for the Cats.

Alexander — a one-time UK target — signed with Kansas last month.

Hoop Fest Schedule

At Marshall County High School in Benton

All times Central


4 p.m.: Marshall Co. vs. Massac Co. (Ill.) (girls)

5:30 p.m.: Graves Co. vs. Massac Co. (Ill.)

7 p.m.: Marshall Co. vs. Dyersburg (Tenn.)

8:30 p.m.: Henderson Co. vs. St. Mary


4 p.m.: Curie (Ill.) vs. Evangelical Christian (Tenn.)

5:30 p.m.: Huntington (W.Va.) Prep vs. Atlanta (Ga.) Sports Academy

7 p.m.: Oak Hill (Va.) Academy vs. Whitehaven (Tenn.)

8:30 p.m.: Ballard vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.)

10 p.m.: Prime Prep (Texas) vs. Quality Education (N.C.)


9 a.m.: Warren Central vs. Wilson Central (Tenn.)

10:30 a.m.: Marshall Co. vs. Mount Carmel (Ill.) (girls)

Noon: Hopkinsville vs. Evansville (Ind.) Bosse

1:30 p.m.: McCracken Co. vs. South Fulton

3 p.m.: Marshall Co. vs. Carbondale (Ill.)

5 p.m.: Ballard vs. Moss Point (Miss.)

6:30 p.m.: Huntington (W.Va.) Prep vs. Arsenal Tech (Ind.)

8 p.m.: Oak Hill (Va.) Academy vs. Christ Presbyterian (Tenn.)

9:30 p.m.: Prime Prep (Texas) vs. White Station (Tenn.)