John Calipari's 2015 recruiting class got a major bump Thursday night when two five-star prospects, center Skal Labissiere and point guard Isaiah Briscoe, committed to the University of Kentucky during a live television segment on ESPNU.
"Since my freshman year, I always wanted to go there," Labissiere said on the broadcast. "I watched Coach Cal on TV ... with Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel. I wanted to have a chance to play there."
Labissiere, who said he will officially sign with Kentucky on Friday, is a 6-11, 215-pound Haitian native now living in Memphis. He's rated the top center and No. 4 overall player in his class by Rivals.com. Scout.com ranks him the No. 1 center and No. 3 overall.
"Skal has as much potential and upside as just about anybody in the 2015 class," Scout's national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels told The Courier-Journal. "He's some strength and weight away from being a major impact player."
Briscoe is 6-3, 215 pounds and rated the top point guard and No. 9 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.
"Coach Cal has a machine going on with getting point guards to the NBA," Briscoe said on ESPNU, reeling off past proteges Derrick Rose and John Wall, among others. "I can see myself in that mold."
Unlike Labissiere, Briscoe said on the show he likely won't sign until the spring signing period.
"See who stays and see who goes," he told ESPNU, "and make sure it's the perfect fit."
Jerry Meyer, national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.com, said Briscoe plays "a grown-man's style of basketball" and is a "very, very physical player; he has a very mature game, a high level of understanding of the game, and I think he plays to win. I don't think he plays for his stats."
Briscoe and Labissiere are the 25th and 26th five-star recruits to pick the Wildcats in Calipari's seven recruiting classes at the school.That number will grow before the 2015 haul is done as UK is among the leaders for several more top prospects. Labissiere and Briscoe give Calipari a staggering 16 top-10 overall recruits.
UK'S FIVE-STAR PLAYERS UNDER CALIPARI
2015 (2) – No. 4 Skal Labissiere, No. 9 Isaiah Briscoe
2014 (3) – No. 5 Karl-Anthony Towns, No. 13 Trey Lyles, No. 21 Tyler Ulis
2013 (6) – No. 2 Julius Randle, No. 5 Andrew Harrison, No. 7 Aaron Harrison, No. 9 Dakari Johnson, No. 11 James Young, No. 19 Marcus Lee
2012 (3) – No. 2 Nerlens Noel, No. 8 Alex Poythress, No. 14 Archie Goodwin
2011 (4) – No. 2 Anthony Davis, No. 3 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, No. 5 Marquis Teague, No. 22 Kyle Wiltjer
2010 (4) – No. 3 Enes Kanter, No. 6 Brandon Knight, No. 13 Terrence Jones, No. 21 Doron Lamb
2009 (4) – No. 1 John Wall, No. 2 DeMarcus Cousins, No. 22 Daniel Orton, No. 23 Eric Bledsoe
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