UK BASKETBALL | Labissiere, Murray earn preseason All-American nominations

09/15/2015 05:47 PM

  • by KSTV
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LEXINGTON — Basketball season is still 58 days away, but two University of Kentucky freshmen have tipped off the 2015-16 award season with All-American honors.

Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray made Sporting News’ Freshmen All-American list on Monday with Skal earning a spot on the second team and Murray on the third team.

It is the second preseason All-American honor for Labissiere after the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook named him a first team All-American earlier this summer.

Sporting News praised the No. 1 player from the 2015 recruiting class for his skilled inside scoring — a need along the Kentucky frontcourt:

  • “It is difficult to predict precisely which of Kentucky’s freshmen will have what level of impact. Guard Jamal Murray seems the most ready to break out, but Labissiere’s production seems to be the most necessary. Whether he will be ready to provide it will depend on how quickly he is able to adapt to coach John Calipari’s demands and the next level of competition.”

Murray, a fellow five-star recruit and No. 12 player from the Class of 2015, skyrocketed up recruiting boards after his impressive performances at the Nike Hoop Summit and Pan-American Games for Team Canada this summer.

  • “It was hard not to find some place on this team for Murray after his series of dizzying performances in international competition since April. First it was his 30-point performance against the U.S. in high schoolers in the Nike Hoop Summit. But it was his play for Canada at the Pan-American Games nearly earned him a spot on the nation’s Olympic qualifying team – only school obligations got in the way – and certainly convinced UK coaches they need to get him the ball in dangerous positions as often as possible.”

Joining Skal and Murray in Kentucky’s No. 1 ranked 2015 recruiting class are five-star point guard Isaiah Briscoe, four-star Australian forward Isaac Humphries, four-star shooting guard Charles Matthews, and junior college All-American Mychal Mulder.

The Wildcats tip off the 2015-16 season on November 13th against Albany at Rupp Arena.

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