A nonprofit publication of theKentucky Center for Public Service Journalism


由Deb Moore.

During a year in which much has changed, one thing has remained a constant: University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and his staff have again started to build one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.

UK signed three of the nation’s top players in the early fall signing period on Wednesday. Highly rated prospects Daimion Collins, Bryce Hopkins and Nolan Hickman have all inked national letters of intent with UK.

All three players are consensus four- or five-star prospects and all are ranked in the top 50 by at least one major national recruiting service. They will join the program for the 2021-22 season.

John Calipari.

“我们的粉丝听到了很多关于它意味着”建造不同的人“。当你谈到这个秋季时,你有三个孩子在肯塔基州玩耍,”卡利普利说。“他们想成为这种文化的一部分。他们想对抗其他真正的好玩家。他们不需要任何承诺或保证 - 只有这样的承诺,这将是他们曾经做过的最艰难的事情,我们将挑战他们成为自己最好的版本。

“这个地方不是为了每个人,它需要某种类型的球员 - A'建立了不同的'心态 - 来到这里并在这个竞争的环境中。这三人准备采取这一步。“

With the spring signing period still to go, UK is going to be in the mix for one of the top classes in the nation yet again. Rivals and 247 Sports currently rank UK at No. 3 with the three fall signees.

在每个赛季Calipari时代,野猫have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking. With the fall additions, Kentucky has signed 61 top-50 recruits, 47 top-25 players and 26 top-10 players (according to Rivals) in what will now be Calipari’s 13 recruiting classes at Kentucky.


Upside and a high ceiling are the first two things that come to mind when recruiting analysts talk about Collins, who has shot up the recruiting rankings over the last year. Collins, who has an impressive 7-foot-4-plus wingspan, is an elite rim protector and can impact the game in a multitude of ways.


“I’m really excited for Daimion and his family to join our program,” Calipari said. “Daimion is an incredible young man with a bright future – someone who has only begun to realize just how good he can be. Our fans know I don’t like to make comparisons to our other guys, but Daimion has that type of length, the athleticism and the versatility that have separated our players from others. He wanted to be pushed and to be in a competitive environment to help him reach his full potential. The staff and I cannot wait to help him grow.”

At 6-foot-9, Collins is explosive and plays above the rim. He finishes with strength and has range offensively. Defensively, Collins is an exceptional shot-blocker who can step out and defend on the perimeter. He averaged 24.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 7.7 blocks per game as a junior at Atlanta High School. The Atlanta, Texas, native was a third team all-state selection by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.




Hickman is simply a playmaker. With Calipari known for utilizing multiple ball-handlers on the floor, Hickman has the ability to play with or without the ball and has the reputation as being one of the best lead guards in the country. He was the first commitment in this class, announcing his intentions on Aug. 22.


Hickman还在6英尺2张2英尺的翅膀上增加了6-8个翅膀,让他长度保护了许多职位。一个物理播放器,西雅图原住民拥有多才多艺的进攻游戏,他的韧性也让他成为一个艰难的后卫。他上赛季每场比赛,3.4次助攻,3.7次竞争,3.7篮板,每场比赛。希克曼也以38%的三分球场的目标连接。Scietebook和3A类相关新闻第一队荣誉的第一个团队选择,Hickman将与Wasatch Academy发挥最终的高中赛季。


“Kentucky was upfront with me from the start,” Hickman said. “I felt welcomed right from the jump and I could feel their honesty. They didn’t make any promises. They want to help me get to the highest level of basketball and challenge me off the floor and in the classroom.”


Hopkins announced his intentions to join the Wildcats on Oct. 26.

UK recruit Bryce Hopkins


“Bryce’s dream was to play on the biggest stage in college basketball. He will get to do that here at Kentucky.”

At 6-foot-7, Hopkins is a physical player who has a willingness to impact the game on both sides of the floor. The Oak Park, Illinois, product averaged 24.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Fenwick High School as a junior. The News-Gazette tabbed Hopkins as a First Team All-State selection and the Illinois High School Association honored him as a first team 3A all-state pick following his junior campaign. He also finished fifth in the Illinois Mr. Basketball voting a season ago.

A four-star signee, Hopkins is ranked as high as No. 30 overall by Rivals. ESPN rates him at No. 32 and 247 Sports lists him at No. 39 overall.






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