Kentucky-Bound Labissiere Now Projected as No. 1 Pick in 2016 | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / May 22.
  • Kentucky-Bound Labissiere Now Projected as No. 1 Pick in 2016

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    2014top100-45Kentucky 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:

    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.

    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

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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