Yet another high-profile guard and former Kentucky target is staying in the SEC. Just one day after Nick Smith Jr. announced his commitment to Arkansas, five-star prospect Jaden Bradley has also come off the board, picking Alabama on Thursday.
The consensus top-25 prospect chose the Crimson Tide over Arizona, Florida State and Gonzaga, among other finalists. Kentucky was once seen as a heavy favorite in Bradley’s recruitment before other top guard options emerged for the Wildcats.
A perfect fit for the Tide
Bradley, rated as high as No. 8 overall by ESPN, is Alabama’s first commitment in the class of 2022. The Crimson Tide remain in the mix for five-star forwards Brandon Miller and Jarace Walker, among other prospects.
The five-star guard is considered one of the fastest players in the senior class and thrives in transition, a match made in heaven for head coach Nate Oats and the Alabama basketball program.
“They play a fast-break style and it is guard-heavy,” Bradley told ESPN. “They play multiple pick-and-roll games and some five-out when they have big men that can shoot. I like how they keep the floor open. The plan is to come in right away and help them win.”
What’s next for the Wildcats?
As for Kentucky, contact with Bradley died down during the spring and to open the summer. Instead, the staff ramped up communication with five-star guards Shaedon Sharpe and Cason Wallace. The former committed to UK back in September while the latter is heavily favoring the Wildcats going down the home stretch of his recruitment.
Sharpe is rated as the consensus No. 1 prospect in the class of 2022, while Wallace is also a consensus top-ten recruit in his own right. The five-star guard has a commitment date scheduled for November 7, but there is continued speculation he could come off the board before then.
The SEC continues to grow stronger, but Kentucky is sitting comfortably at the top of the food chain.