Five-star forward Wenyen Gabriel commits to Kentucky

Wenyen Gabriel, a five-star forward out of Wilbraham (Mass.) Monson Academy, has committed to Kentucky. Gabriel broke down the big decision with Scout.

Five-star forward Wenyen Gabriel has verbally committed to Kentucky, he told Scout.

"I like Kentucky," Gabriel said. "What took them over the top was their approach to me and how Calipari took the recruiting into his own hands. The whole time it was me and him. That won me over."

"Their pitch to me was I got to go there and do what I do best," he added. "Go there, play defense, block shots, bring energy and just do what I do. I don’t have to worry about playing out of my comfort zone."

Gabriel took an official visit to Kentucky this past weekend. He also took an official visit to Maryland and had scheduled trips to Connecticut, Duke and Providence.

"It hit me yesterday," Gabriel said of his decision. "I had a good feeling but after talking to coach K and the other schools, we had a lot of in-home visits, I was leaning toward a certain school. After I knew where I was at with the other schools I wanted to decide."

What separated Calipari from the other coaches?

"How invested he was in me and much he believes in me," Gabriel said. "I felt like he cared more about the players. That was his number goal."

Gabriel was the biggester riser of the summer, as he went from unranked up to No. 10 overall in the 2016 class. A 6-foot-9, versatile forward, Gabriel is active, athletic, skilled for his size and has the ability to make perimeter jumpers. He's regarded as the No. 3 power forward in the class.

Kentucky now has a trio of pledges in the 2016 recruiting class. Gabriel joins a class that consists of No. 29 Sacha Killeya-Jones and four-star New Zealand big man Tai Wynyard. Gabriel's commitment jumps the Wildcats up to No. 2 in the 2016 class rankings. 

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