Kentucky Basketball: Grading Wildcats Targets at 2014 Nike Peach Jam

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Kentucky Basketball: Grading Wildcats Targets at 2014 Nike Peach Jam
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The 2014 Nike Peach Jam was one of the premier recruiting events of the offseason, and where there are great college hoops recruits, there's Kentucky basketball. Many of Big Blue's highest-priority prospects in both the 2015 and 2016 classes were on display in South Carolina as Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) wrapped up its season.

Not all of those ballyhooed youngsters lived up to their hype over the weekend, though. Here's a look at the Peach Jam performances of the high school stars who are most prominent on Kentucky's radar:

 

Ivan Rabb (2015): B-

Good but not overpowering in the regular season, Rabb faded further into mediocrity at the Peach Jam. The highly rated power forward's Oakland Soldiers bowed out early with a quarterfinal loss, and his own numbers (13.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game) were nothing to crow about.

 

Credit: 247Sports

Cheick Diallo (2015): D

Diallo had been one of the EYBL's biggest regular-season stars at center, but he didn't even resemble the same player at the Peach Jam. With his scoring and rebounding dropping off a cliff, he reverted to a one-dimensional shot-blocker, an archetype of which Kentucky's gotten its fill in recent recruiting classes.

 

Stephen Zimmerman (2015): C

Zimmerman's rebounding and defense in South Carolina were solid, but his much-hyped offense fizzled. A terrible shooting weekend (42.1 percent from the floor) left the 7-footer with an anemic 8.6 point-per-game average when his team was in serious need of scoring.

 

Harry Giles (2016): B+

Playing against a deep crop of older (and more physically developed) big men, Giles held his own throughout the tourney. He was particularly impressive in Team CP3's play-in game, a must-win contest in which he erupted for 21 points and 15 rebounds.

 

Credit: 247Sports

Antonio Blakeney (2015): B

Blakeney has scoring potential the likes of which Kentucky hasn't seen from a guard since John Wall20.8 points per game in this tournament. Unfortunately, as he also proved this weekend, he doesn't contribute much in any other area, and he's not a three-point threat.

 

Caleb Swanigan (2015): B

Swanigan's individual numbers were solid (including 15.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game), but the hulking center struggled to keep his team in the win column. His performance also fell short of the dominance he'd shown in the regular season.

 

Montaque Gill-Caesar (2015): C

Gill-Caesar was largely invisible on the ensemble-cast CIA Bounce squad. A severe shooting slump (3-of-14 from deep among other problems) hurt the athletic swingman's scoring numbers while his peripheral stats didn't open any eyes.

 

Tyus Battle (2016): A-

As teammate Diallo scuffled, Battle picked up some of the slack with a terrific shooting effort (including 40 percent from beyond the arc). Against the rarefied competition of the championship tourney, he improved his scoring from 10.7 to 13.6 points per game.

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