On Monday, John Calipari went home to Pennsylvania and visited two rising sophomores, Alier Maluk and Meleek Thomas. While both are top prospects in each of their positions, they are vastly different players.
Standing 6-foot-3, 165 pounds, Thomas is ranked as the best point guard in the 2025 class and the No. 7 prospect overall and there is a lot to like about his game. Thomas is creative and uses sudden and quick-twitch movements to get to the basket, but he excels in transition and is a team defender.
As for Maluk, he is the cousin of 7-foot-2 center Bol Bol, who currently plays in the NBA with the Orlando Magic. With that said height runs in the family, and Maluk already stands 6-foot-10, 180-pounds.
Given his height, Maluk is a dynamic two-way prospect and can be looked at as a“modern” big man. Well-known for his shot-blocking ability, Maluk is also capable of handling the ball but hopes to develop that more and develop as a stretch-four. This is why John Calipari has expressed interest in Maluk since he was a freshman.
Neither player has an offer from Kentucky right now, but I would expect both players to receive scholarship offers next summer when coaches are able to communicate with them.
Last year, Calipari recruited Adou Thiero from the Pittsburgh area and has secured a commitment from Justin Edwards, the No. 3 recruit in the 2023 class. It looks like Calipari is looking to capitalize on the talent from his own turf.
Note: Rankings from 247 Sports.