Freshman Hooper Hype: De’Aaron Fox & Bam Adebayo

In my last installment of Freshmen Hooper Hype, I’ll be breaking down the next couple of top recruits, who coincidentally are both committed to Kentucky. Their recruiting class, like Duke, also boasts top-10 recruits in point guard De’Aaron Fox and power forward Bam Adebayo, two players who are very likely to be huge pieces of the Wildcat rotation this season. They, as always is with Kentucky, have big shoes to fill with the departures of Marcus Lee, Charles Matthews, Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere, and Tyler Ulis.

De’Aaron Fox PG 6’4”, 171 pounds

Fox is the highest ranked Kentucky recruit out of the Class of 2016, and he’ll make an immediate impact on Coach Calipari’s squad due to the departure of both main guards (Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis) to the NBA. He’s ranked No. 6 on both Rivals and 247Sports, and is the third point guard on the list, behind Lonzo Ball and Frank Jackson. Compared to other recruits, Fox is very thin for his size, and it is shown that in many situations, his strength is lacking. However, he may be the quickest recruit I’ve covered thus far, on both the defensive and offensive end. His energy and effort overcome his size quite easily, and he’s an elite defender. In college, he will need to develop total body strength, and maybe put on a couple of pounds without compromising his speed and handling abilities. Fox is already a competent ball distributor, but Calipari will certainly want more from him if he wants to lock down the starting point guard position over Isaiah Briscoe and fellow top recruit Malik Monk. Depending on how well his development goes, Fox could easily be a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

DraftExpress projects Fox to be the No. 11 pick in the draft. Check him out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1gH5VLU8AY

Bam Adebayo PF 6’9”, 225 lbs

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo has the size to play in either the four or five position at the collegiate level, and he is projected to be the No. 9 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress. He joins De’Aaron Fox as a top-10 overall recruit in the class of 2016. Adebayo is the classic raw, talented big man that lacks skill. Essentially, he’s another piece of clay for Calipari to mold. Calipari has a history of attracting such big men, as seen by the recruitment of Skal Labissiere in 2015. Bam has the athleticism to play above the rim both often and easily, and has shown efficient production at the prep level, on both the offensive and defensive end. If that can translate well into Kentucky’s rotation, Adebayo will be an immediate replacement for Skal, and will likely earn a starting spot over the others.

Check out his hoops mixtape here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_npHr10hzU&list=PL6WyFLw44

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