BOZICH | Derby Classic lands 8 U of L, UK & IU recruits
The first list of recruits for the 45th Kentucky Derby Classic has been announced -- and it includes eight recruits from Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – It’s difficult to convince fans of Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana to agree on much, but the three fan bases have reason to attend the 45th Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic April 15 at Freedom Hall.
The Cardinals, Wildcats and Hoosiers will each be represented by at least one recruit, with a total of eight U of L (four), UK (one) and IU (three) signees committed to play.
That’s the largest collection of local recruits for the game since 2013, when it drew 10,205 fans.
The four members of Rick Pitino’s U of L 2017 recruiting class are:
Forwards Malik Williams, Lance Thomas and Jordan Nwora as well as guard Darius Perry.
Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has committed to play for Kentucky while all three of Tom Crean’s IU recruits – guard Al Durham and forwards Clifton Moore Jr. and Justin Smith – have agreed to play.
Although walk-on Brad Calipari played in the 2016 game, Gilgeous-Alexander will be the first UK scholarship recruit to participate since 2013.
“We are excited to announce that a University of Kentucky recruit will be joining both U of L and IU’s entire recruiting classes in this year’s game,” said Keith Conrad, the recruiter for the game.
The remaining roster will be announced later.
Tickets for the game will be on sale Friday at www.ticketmaster.com as well by phone at (800) 745-3000. They are priced at $18 in advance, $20 the night of the game, with VIP Courtside seats available for $50.
The game will also be televised live by WDRB.
Williams, who is 6 feet 10, plays for Snider High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. According to Scout.com, he is the highest ranked U of L recruit at No. 20.
Perry, a guard who plays at Wheeler High in Marietta, Ga, is ranked 75th by Scout. Nwora, of Vermont Academy, and Thomas, from Norcoss (Ga.) High are ranked outside the Top 100 by Scout.
Rivals.com ranks Williams 22nd nationally, followed by Nworah (87), Perry (88) and Thomas (123)
Gilgeous-Alexander is a 6-5 point guard from Hamilton Heights Christian in Chattanooga, Tenn. Scout ranks him No. 45. His ranking at Rivals.com is better – No. 32.
Justin Smith is IU’s top-ranked recruit at No. 90. He plays for Stevenson High School in suburban Chicago. Smith is a 6-6 forward.
Moore, a 6-10 forward, and Durham, a 6-3 guard are also ranked outside the Top 100 by Scout. Moore plays in Horsham, Pa., while Durham is from Lilburn, Ga.
Rivals.com ranks Smith No. 107 and Moore No. 126.
The players are also scheduled to participate in the Night of the Future Stars on April 14 at Indiana University-Southeast in New Albany, Ind.
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