For the fourth consecutive fall, the John Lucas Midwest Invitational will bring some of the nation's best underclassmen to Hoops, a basketball complex in Louisville, for two days of competition.
Lucas runs his event a little differently than the average showcase. With an emphasis on team play, defense and effort, games and drills at JLC give scouts a chance to really see who can handle the pressure and shine against the best in their class.
This year, most of the talent at the event will come from the Class of 2016, although there will be plenty of talent from the 2015 and 2017 classes. The showcase is meant for players who will one day be eligible for NBA Top 100 Camp, which is also run by Lucas, and does not accept current seniors in its invite only format.
Last year, current Top 10 2015 prospect Carlton Bragg burst onto the scene in Louisville. Kentucky offer recipient Luke Kennard proved that he could hang with the best at the national level. Andwere also were introduced to exciting new prospects such as in-state 2016 guard Quentin Goodin and Canadian import, and Top 10 prospect, Justin Jackson.
Whose turn is it this year? It's a little tough to predict.
While the official list of about 125 players has not been made public, Cats Illustrated got a sneak peek at a few of the headlining names through a source at Lucas Enterprises.
Not only are there a few Kentucky targets on the list, but some new names are bound to pop up by the end of the weekend.
Bragg is returning to the event in one leg of a two-part trip. He planned to stop in Lexington on Friday to meet with John Calipari and tour the Kentucky campus.
There are a few other Kentucky targets -- or top prospects who could emerge onto Kentucky's radar in the near future -- who plan to play in Lucas' event.
Here's a look at four players to watch:
? Thon Maker - A top-five player in the Class of 2016, Maker already is one of the most promising big men in the country. Combining a tremendous motor with a developed skill-set and a true 7-foot frame, there isn't much to not like about the five-star, who attends prep school in Virginia. Kentucky hasn't reached out to him yet, but it's likely a mater of time before the Wildcats begin recruiting the best true post player in the talented 2016 class.
? Kobi Simmons - One of the most talented guards in the 2016 class, the Georgia native has been on UK's campus recently for the Alumni Charity game and plans to return next month for Big Blue Madness. At 6-foot-4, Simmons is a physical and athletic guard with a love for distributing the ball in transition. In the fast-paced style that most camps favor, Simmons could easily be the breakout star, although he already is well-known as an early four-star in the sophomore class.
? Doral Moore - The 6-foot-10 center from Georgia made a name for himself in July, going from unheard of to a Top 50 prospect and four-star player in the Class of 2015. The Wildcats haven't expressed interest in Moore yet, but as a mobile big man with athleticism and a wide who looks to be just scratching the surface of his potential, Moore could be due for another breakout session, and that could land him on Calipari's recruiting board in the Class of 2015.
? Prince Ali - Like Moore, this 2015 prospect made a name for himself over the spring and summer, tearing up the AAU circuit with Florida Elite. The Florida native is a four-star guard who brings a lot of excitement to the game with his 6-foot-3 frame. Another guy who thrives in the open court, look for Ali to be produce a lot of highlights throughout the course of camp.
In addition to these prospects, Cats Illustrated expects to see a couple more current or future Wildcat targets at the camp, and will have full coverage all weekend long.
Interested in attending John Lucas Midwest Invitational? The event is open to the public on both Saturday and Sunday. Details can be found here: John Lucas Camp Website