Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, dwarf others in NBA prospects

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Can we get an S-E-C chant?  For basketball?

For years, SEC basketball has been trashed and maligned as a second-rate league by the other “power conferences” such as the ACC.  Yet when the dust has cleared, the SEC had two teams in the Final Four last year.  And of course the standard refrain is that the SEC is just the Kentucky  Wildcats and Florida.  While that is true in some aspects, the SEC has double the possible first round NBA prospects than the ACC.  Of course, you can thank Kentucky for most of that but the rest of the conference has talent as well.  

"Givony produced videos on 10 SEC players “considered serious first-round prospects in our view,” and seven of them are from Kentucky: Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee. The three other SEC players? Florida’s Chris Walker, Arkansas’ Bobby Portis and LSU’s Jarell Martin.  “It says more about the overall strength of Kentucky,” Givony told “We did videos on 10 guys but seven of them are on Kentucky.” So of course it makes perfect sense that Kentucky coach John Calipari is holding his own groundbreaking NBA Combine next month to showcase his nine McDonald’s All-Americans. “Everybody’s going there to see Towns,” one veteran NBA scout previously told about the New Jersey native. “They can tell you they’re going to see the other guys, but they’re going there to see Towns because everybody looks at big guys first and they [also] want to see Willie Cauley-Stein and see how he’s playing.” By contrast, the ACC has five first-round prospects (with videos), the Pac-12 and Big 12 have four apiece, the Big 10 has three, the American Athletic Conference has one and the Big East has none. Zero. Nada."

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Turns out that Isaiah Briscoe will not visit Lexington for Big Blue Madness or the Blue/White game after all. He will be in Lexington this weekend.

"Roselle Catholic guard Isaiah Briscoe will take an official visit to Kentucky on Sept. 28, someone with knowledge of Briscoe’s recruiting plans, who requested anonymity because Briscoe has not publicized the date of the visit told NJ Advance Media on Thursday. The five-star recruit will take his visit to Lexington after finishing his official visit to UConn this weekend. The trip to Kentucky comes not long after Kentucky coach John Caliparri visited with Briscoe. Though the Wildcats are yet to formally offer Briscoe a scholarship, many expect the offer to come while Briscoe visits campus. He previously planned to visit Kentucky either during Big Blue Madness on Oct. 17 or the Blue-White game on Oct. 27. He will be taking an official visit to Missouri on Oct. 10, and Zach Braziller of The New York Post has reported that he will be at St. John’s Midnight Madness for an official visit."

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When Kentucky hired Slice Rohrrsen, there was plenty of speculation about Cheick Diallo, who Slice was key in recruiting for Pitt. Turns out that some of that buzz was correct as Diallo’s high school coach seems to think Kentucky will be hard to beat.

"“He is a very good player,” said Stelzer. “He has a high motor, very aggressive. He shoots the ball well, takes it hard to the basket. Has a good wing span. He’s quick and runs the court. Blocks shots, rebounds. He plays with intensity. And he’s a pretty good passer, too, especially for a big man.” Kentucky assistant Barry Rohrssen was recruiting Diallo for Pittsburgh before he left that staff to join Calipari’s staff. “I don’t have any inside scoop on where he is leaning, but I know he is very impressed with Kentucky. It would have to be a very good situation to beat out Kentucky,” Stelzer said."