Who is Kentucky watching at the 2021 Nike Peach Jam?
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Who is Kentucky watching at the 2021 Nike Peach Jam?

Jack Pilgrim5 months

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Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
Peach Jam
(Jack Pilgrim/KSR)

(Jack Pilgrim/KSR)

John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff are back out on the road looking for the program’s next top stars in 2022 and beyond. The first evaluation period of the 2021 EYBL Peach Jam began Friday morning, where Calipari, Orlando Antigua and Jai Lucas all arrived bright and early to check out some of the nation’s top prospects in action, with coaches allowed to attend through Sunday.

Who has Kentucky watched to open the weekend? KSR is in North Augusta keeping track of it all.

2022

Jalen Duren

Through three games of the evaluation period, Calipari has been courtside for the nation’s No. 1 prospect all four times, joined by Antigua twice and Lucas twice. UK had Calipari and at least one assistant at all three games, including all three there for Saturday afternoon’s matchup.

Dereck Lively II

Teamed up with Duren on Team Final, Calipari was front and center for all three of Lively’s matchups, with at least one assistant present for each. The 7-1, 220-pound center is averaging 9.3 points (52.4% FG), 7.3 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 1.0 assists per contest through six games.

Shaedon Sharpe

Kentucky’s top guard target in the class, Calipari has attended all three of the five-star prospects games to open the evaluation period, with Antigua watching one and Lucas sitting courtside for two. Sharpe is averaging 20.3 points (45.5% FG, 45.2% 3PT), 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals per contest through six games.

Brandon Miller

A five-star wing prospect who visited last month, Miller had Calipari, Orlando Antigua and Jai Lucas in at various points to open the evaluation period. The UK head coach was front and center alongside Lucas for all three games, with Antigua attending one, as well. The 6-8 wing is averaging 11.8 points (44% FG), 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per contest through six games.

Nick Smith Jr.

The UK staff was able to double-dip during Brad Beal Elite games, with Nick Smith Jr. teaming up with Miller. Like his five-star wing teammate, Smith had Calipari and Lucas courtside for all three matchups, with Antigua tuned in for one, as well. The 6-4 combo guard is averaging 14.2 points (40% FG, 35% 3PT), 4.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest through five games.

Jaden Bradley

Calipari was in for two of Bradley’s games, while Lucas was courtside for all three matchups to open the evaluation period. The five-star guard has averaged 20.2 points (48% FG, 67% FT), 6.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.8 steals in six games, though he has led the event in turnovers at 4.3 per contest.

Cason Wallace

Arguably the most impressive performer at Peach Jam, Calipari was courtside for two of Wallace’s games, while Lucas was on hand for all three. Through six games, the five-star guard is averaging 17.5 points (50.6% FG, 36% 3PT, 83.3% FT), 7.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.5 steals and just 1.2 turnovers per contest.

If there is one player this week on offer watch, look out for Cason Wallace.

Emoni Bates

It may have only been one game, but Lucas was on hand for one of Bates’ games. The No. 2 overall prospect in the class is averaging 22.4 points (40.2% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 85.7% FT), 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.2 turnovers per contest.

2023

DJ Wagner

The son of former Memphis star Dajuan Wagner had Calipari and Antigua courtside for all three games, emphasizing just how important the five-star junior is for Kentucky’s 2023 recruiting class. Lucas was also in attendance for one, as well. Wagner is averaging 18.5 points (39% FG, 38.1% 3PT, 78.1% FT), 4.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 turnovers per contest through six games.

JJ Taylor

Calipari and at least one assistant have been in attendance for the five-star junior – playing with his age group of 16U, mind you – throughout the weekend. Taylor was the first player in the 2023 class to receive a scholarship offer from the UK coaching staff.

Omaha Biliew

A relatively new name for Kentucky fans to follow, the UK staff pushed all its chips in for the five-star forward, going three-deep with Calipari, Antigua and Lucas at one point. Biliew, a 6-8, 200-pound forward will play at Montverde next season.

Simeon Wilcher

Calipari was in attendance for the 6-5 junior guard once, while Antigua watched twice. Playing up a grade, Wilcher is averaging 8.7 points (50% FG, 37.5% 3PT), 2.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 turnovers per contest.

Cyr Malonga

How about an in-state product to round things out? Calipari, Antigua and Lucas all attended at least one game for Evangel Christian (Louisville) center Cyr Malonga. The 6-11 prospect is unranked by all major services, but holds offers from Georgetown, Georgia, Illinois and Mississippi State, among others.


Coaches will be allowed to attend again on Sunday before returning next weekend for another evaluation period during the Peach Jam finale.

The grind doesn’t slow down for Calipari and the UK staff.

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