A Kentucky Basketball Recruiting Status Report

Nick Roushalmost 5 years

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Aritcle written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

pj-washington A day before the Blue/White Game, John Calipari usually has at least once recruit committed for the next season.  Calipari has yet to receive a pledge from a member of the class of 2017, but that doesn't mean he's in bad shape on the recruiting front heading into the regular season.

On the Brink

Arizona was considered UK's toughest competition for P.J. Washington, until he replaced Arizona with UNLV in his Top Three earlier today.  Now the Cats' greatest threat is North Carolina.  Washington told USA Today they had the best in-home presentation, but I think he meant nerdiest presentation.
"They did something I’d never seen or heard of before. They basically put on a play and they brought different jerseys and masks and walked me through my life as a Tar Heel. They showed me committing, winning a national championship and then getting drafted into the NBA. It was special! I mean they really went in-depth with the play too. It was really good! I’ll never forget that.”
Washington isn't going to a school for the performing arts, he's going to play basketball.  For that reason and so many more, I believe Washington will commit to Kentucky.  He might not be the first, but I believe he will be a Wildcat. John Petty could be UK's first commit.  The Huntsville swingman is taking his official visit to Lexington October 28.  He will choose between Kentucky and his home state of Alabama sometime in November.  There are many reasons to be optimistic about UK's outlook, but there's one that sticks out above the rest.  Petty took his official visit to Alabama in August.  If Avery Johnson was going to get Petty to commit, it was going to be this summer. Calipari has a good record with The Patrick School.  One of their best alums, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, is helping Coach Cal bring Nick Richards to Kentucky.  Over the last month, Richards went from the fringe to "most likely to commit first."  After taking an official visit a few weeks ago, he's hosted Kentucky coaches at his home and returned for Big Blue Madness.  Richards will be an exceptional post to build around in the 2017 class.

Feeling Better

Until he took his official visit for Big Blue Madness, I thought landing Quade Green was a longshot.  Green was perceived as a Duke-lean, but now Green's leaders appear to be Syracuse and Kentucky, with Duke, Villanova and Temple rounding out his Top Five.  I feared Cal would be forced to go all-in on Trae Young, but Green could be a pleasant surprise. Jarred Vanderbilt has kept his recruitment pretty quiet, but this weekend's surprise official visit can only be good news, right?

Playing the Waiting Game

Kevin Knox and Trae Young will not decide anytime soon, but at this moment Kentucky couldn't be in a better position. Knox attended Big Blue Madness before beginning official visit season with a trip to Duke next weekend. Florida State and North Carolina are in the mix too, but Kentucky has an inside connection: Knox's father and Vince Marrow played football together. After visiting for Big Blue Madness, Trae Young's father had nothing but good things to say.  Calipari's transparency has his parents on-board, but this class' point guard situation is complicated.  Whoever commits first between Kentucky and Duke will get that spot, but could Green and Young play together?  It's possible, especially considering their style-of-play, but there's no greater question in Calipari's 2017 class than the point guard question.

Unknowns

Landing John Petty would stabilize the fluid shooting guard situation.  The Cats are recruiting Hamidou Diallo and Lonnie Walker, but it's difficult to tell where they stand, especially Walker.  He was planned to take an official visit this weekend, but Ben Roberts reports Walker will not make the trip to Lexington. Mohamed Bamba was a surprise late-addition to Big Blue Madness.  Richards might commit first, but Bamba could be Cal's biggest get in the class of 2017.  When Bamba eventually announces his decision, Duke, UConn, Harvard and Michigan will also be in the mix.

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2021-09-19