Alumni Game visitors list growing

Big Blue Madness has always been a signature event for Kentucky basketball, especially in regard to recruiting. But it may have a little competition now.

Big Blue Madness has always been a signature event for Kentucky basketball, especially in regard to recruiting.

Every year, the event draws some of the top prospects in the country to see the spectacle at Rupp Arena.

While it will likely never be surpassed, Madness is getting a little bit of friendly competition from a relatively new UK tradition: the Alumni Game.

The exhibition game, which was the brainchild of UK head coach John Calipari, brings many former Wildcat stars and current NBA players back to Lexington in the name of charity. With 21 former Cats currently in the NBA, it's also an opportunity to show recruits the power of the Big Blue brand under Calipari.

This year's game, to be held on Monday, Sept. 9, has already lined up a handful of elite prospects who plan to visit.

The nation's top-ranked player for 2014, Jahlil Okafor, plans to be in town for his official visit. The Chicago big man is also considering programs like Baylor (Aug. 30), Kansas, Duke, Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State.

Five-star Mississippi shooting guard Devin Booker also plans to make his official visit for the Alumni Game. The nation's No. 31 overall prospect also plans to visit Michigan State (Sept. 6), Michigan (Oct. 5) and Missouri (Oct. 19). Florida could be in line to receive his fifth visit.

Four-star point guard Tyler Ulis, who made an unofficial visit this weekend and picked up a scholarship offer from the Wildcats, plans to return for an official visit during the Alumni Game. UK is thought to be in a battle with Michigan State for his services, although his current top four also includes Iowa and USC.

The Cats will also play host to one of the top prospects in the Class of 2015, five-star Philadelphia wing Derrick Jones, for an unofficial visit. The 6-foot-6 Jones is one of the most athletic players in the junior class.

Meanwhile, the list of expected visitors for Big Blue Madness on Oct. 18 includes five-star Texas point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, five-star California small forward Stanley Johnson and five-star Indiana power forward Trey Lyles. UK may also entertain five-star Minnesota shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, four-star Texas small forward Kelly Oubre and four-star Indiana shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. for the event.

Minnesota's Tyus Jones, the nation's top-rated point guard prospect, also has an official visit set with Kentucky on Sept. 27.

Two other elite prospects who are listing UK but have yet to announce their visit plans are five-star Texas center Myles Turner and five-star Chicago center/power forward Cliff Alexander.

Kentucky has one verbal commitment in the Class of 2014, five-star New Jersey center Karl Towns.

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