Despite the calendar displaying a mid-September day, the 2015-16 college basketball season is rapidly approaching. The Sporting News released its preseason All-America teams and two Kentucky freshmen were among the players honored on Monday. Skal Labissiere was named an early-season favorite for second team honors, while classmate Jamal Murray was tabbed to the third team.
Labissiere is a consensus five-star recruit from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is regarded as the No. 1 overall center in the class of 2015 by both Rivals and Scout. A 6-foot-11 freshman, Labissiere will be looked upon to play a big role for the Wildcats in the frontcourt in his rookie campaign.
Murray hails from Kitchener, Ontario and was originally a member of the 2016 class, but reclassified to join the Wildcats in June. A consensus five-start recruit, his stock began to soar following a breakout performance at the Nike Hoop Summit where he scored 30 points against Team USA.
The honors for UK’s freshmen duo mark the first awards of the 2015-16 season for the Wildcats.
What Sporting News Said about Labissiere …
“It is difficult to predict precisely which of Kentucky’s freshmen will have what level of impact. Guard Jamal Murray seems the most ready to break out, but Labissiere’s production seems to be the most necessary. Whether he will be ready to provide it will depend on how quickly he is able to adapt to coach John Calipari’s demands and the next level of competition.”
What Sporting News Said about Murray …
“It was hard not to find some place on this team for Murray after his series of dizzying performances in international competition since April. First it was his 30-point performance against the U.S. in high schoolers in the Nike Hoop Summit. But it was his play for Canada at the Pan-American Games nearly earned him a spot on the nation’s Olympic qualifying team.”