High School Basketball

Several of nation's top basketball prospects in showcase at Dunbar this weekend

Clockwise from top: Thon Maker, Josh Jackson, Caleb Swanigan and Thomas Bryant.
Clockwise from top: Thon Maker, Josh Jackson, Caleb Swanigan and Thomas Bryant.

The first Joe B. and Denny Bluegrass Showcase will bring some of the top high school basketball players in the country to Lexington this weekend.

The event will be played at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, with six games each starting at 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available at BluegrassSports.org and at the high school on game day.

Here's a rundown of 10 players to keep an eye on during the showcase:

Caleb Swanigan (Homestead): The 6-foot-8 post player is one of nine prospects in the class of 2015 with a scholarship offer from Kentucky. Swanigan emerged as a major UK target over the summer and visited Lexington for John Calipari's NBA "combine" last month. Duke, Michigan State and Arizona are among the many other major programs involved in his recruitment. Scout.com and ESPN rank Swanigan as the No. 8 overall prospect in the senior class.

Thomas Bryant (Huntington Prep): The 6-10 post player from Rochester, N.Y., took an unofficial visit to UK for last week's game against Boston University. Bryant had seemingly narrowed his list to Syracuse, Missouri and Indiana, but his interest in Kentucky has increased in recent weeks and UK's coaches stayed in contact with him throughout the summer. ESPN ranks Bryant as the No. 16 overall player in the senior class.

Thon Maker (Orangeville Prep): The 7-footer from Sudan played the past two seasons at a high school in Virginia and is now part of Canada-based Orangeville Prep. Maker has become a YouTube sensation with his unique game, and some recruiting analysts consider him the No. 1 overall prospect in the junior class. Pretty much every major program in he country has expressed interest in Maker, and he already has a scholarship offer from Kentucky. It's possible that he could reclassify to 2015.

Josh Jackson (Prolific Prep): The 6-8 shooting guard moved to California over the summer after starting his high school career in Detroit. Jackson is a do-everything player who excels on the defensive end and is considered one of the top three prospects in the class of 2016. UK assistant coach Kenny Payne visited Jackson's high school earlier this fall.

Miles Bridges (Huntington Prep): The 6-6 small forward from Flint, Mich., is one of the most exciting players in the class of 2016. Bridges is entering his second season at Huntington Prep, and his game is starting to catch up with his elite athleticism. UK has been evaluating him for more than a year, and he accompanied Bryant on the unofficial visit to Lexington last week. ESPN ranks Bridges as the No. 7 player in the junior class.

Traci Carter (Life Center): The 6-foot point guard from Philadelphia has emerged as one of the top available players in the class of 2015. Louisville Coach Rick Pitino visited Carter's high school last week, and he is quickly becoming the Cards' top immediate recruiting target. Scout.com ranks Carter as the No. 92 overall player in the senior class. His high school coach is former Louisville star Pervis Ellison.

Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep): The 6-6 wing player from Dallas is widely considered one of the top 10 juniors in the country. Ferguson is a high-flyer with great shooting touch and tremendous upside. Louisville, Kansas and Florida are among the many schools that have already extended scholarship offers.

Jamal Murray (Orangeville Prep): The 6-5 point guard from Toronto has achieved five-star status in the class of 2016, and Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 19 junior prospect. He has reported scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan State and several others. Teaming up with Thon Maker means Kentucky's coaches will also see plenty of him over the next few months.

Isaac Humphries (La Lumiere): The 6-10 center from Australia is entering his first season at La Lumiere and was ranked as one of the top 30 players in the junior class before playing a single game in the United States. Duke, Kansas and Arizona have already expressed interest in his recruitment. Many more top schools will likely do the same this season.

Tulio Da Silva (Arlington Country Day): The 6-8 small forward from Brazil is an under-the-radar prospect who could end up being one of the best players in the class of 2015. Da Silva signed early with South Florida, a recruiting coup for first-year head coach Orlando Antigua. He's expected to rise in the rankings as he gets more national exposure this season with Arlington Country Day.

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