Kentucky may only have three recruits so far for next year, but one of them is now projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.DraftExpress.com elevated Skal Labissiere to No. 1 from No. 3 after watching him work out for the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore. The 7-foot, 216-pound big man from Haiti by way of Memphis jumped over uncommitted wing Jaylen Brown, who had been No. 1, and LSU-bound forward Ben Simmons. Brown is now No. 2 and Simmons No. 3. From Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress.com:Kentucky remains involved for Brown, along with uncommitted bigs Stephen Zimmerman, Caleb Swanigan, Cheick Diallo and Thon Maker. In related news, 2016 Kentucky commit Tai Wynyard is listed at 6-10, 263 pounds with a 6-10 wingspan at the Hoop Summit. Photo: NBA Top 100 Camp Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And Like Zags on Facebook
The Kentucky-bound 7-footer and #1 prospect in our 2016 Mock Draft turned heads as soon as the ball rolled out on Monday afternoon with his size, developing body, athleticism and smooth shooting stroke. The Haitian big man gave NBA scouts and executives a glimpse of his monster potential in the 5-on-5 sessions on Tuesday. Labissiere showcased his rare blend of size, athleticism and shooting ability by making plays at the rim on both ends, while knocking down a post turnaround over Maker’s 7-3 wingspan and drilling a pick and pop jumper with his smooth, high release. Labissiere wasn’t perfect, but his potential as a two-way, versatile big man who can score inside and out was most certainly on display. The 7-foot, 216-pound athlete figures to be a handful for Team USA on both ends of the floor.Kentucky coach John Calipari said this week after the Final Four that he expects big men Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles and possibly Dakari Johnson to leave for the NBA, likely leaving Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee to remain on next year’s team. If Labissiere is as good as advertised, he could step in right away and help offset the losses of three projected first-round picks in Towns, Cauley-Stein and Lyles, and a projected second-rounder in Johnson.