UK target Zimmerman tops new '15 rankings

The updated version of Scout's Class of 2015 Top 75 was released on Monday, and Nevada big man Stephen Zimmerman found himself sitting on top of the board.

The updated version of Scout's Class of 2015 Top 75 was released on Monday, and Stephen Zimmerman found himself sitting on top of the board.

Achieving No. 1 status for the first time in Scout's rankings, Zimmerman was ecstatic to be considered the standard of his class.

"It's a huge blessing to be ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015," Zimmerman told KentuckyScout.com. "My family and I have worked very hard and will continue to work even harder to remain at the top for as long as I'm blessed to be. If anyone takes my spot it would be because they are more skilled, because no one will out work me."

Zimmerman has been given the gift of size and athleticism, but it is his incredibly high motor that sets him apart from many of his peers. He also recognizes the flaws in his game and he works hard to correct them.

The Las Vegas center is exceptional at finishing around the rim, but has also proven the ability step out and knock down the jumper out to the 3-point arc with consistency. Not to mention, his jump hook over his left shoulder is second to none. And having that go-to post move is a skill most players at the prep school level are lacking. As his body develops and he fills out his 6-foot-11 frame, it will be hard to knock Zimmerman out of the top spot in 2015.

Kentucky extended an offer to Zimmerman in June and the staff will continue to evaluate the top-rated big man throughout the July live period. UK head coach John Calipari has offered very few prospects in the 2015 class thus far.

While the 2015 class is dominated at the top by elite level big men, Malik Newman, a combo guard, came in at No. 2 in the new rankings. The Jackson, Miss., native is the latest player to earn a UK offer after being named MVP at the Under-16 FIBA World Championships in Uruguay. Newman averaged 16.2 points per game while leading team USA to a Gold Medal.

Haitian forward Skal Labissiere made his debut in the 2015 class rankings at No. 4. Labissiere earned early interest from UK as he received an offer from John Calipari last fall. The 6-11, 200-pound center plays his high school ball at Evangelical Christian School near Memphis. Labissiere is openly favoring the local program, Memphis, along with UK in his recruitment.

Charles Mathews saw a bit of a decline in the updated rankings, dropping out of the Top 10 to No. 13. Many prospects have emerged as elite talents with added exposure throughout the spring AAU circuit such as Labissiere and Cheick Diallo, who made a huge jump to crack the top five. Mathews has been nursing a hand injury this summer, but it remains clear that he is one of the top-tier guards the class of 2015 has to offer. The Chicago guard received an offer from UK just days after the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June.

The July live period will prove to be an important time for the Kentucky coaching staff as they narrow their interest and unload some offers to a number of 2015 prospects. Here is a list of other 2015 top 75 prospects that have received interest from Kentucky:

5. Cheick Diallo
6. Diamond Stone
7. Ben Simmons
11. Jaylen Brown
12. Carlton Bragg
15. Mickey Mitchell
17. Daniel Giddens
20. Montaque Gill-Caesar
23. Eric Davis
24. Dwayne Bacon


AllWildcats Top Stories