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Kentucky a Finalist for a Top 10 2025 Target

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush04/24/24

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Since Mark Pope arrived in Lexington 10 days ago, the Big Blue Nation has remained focused on how he’s building the Kentucky roster from the transfer portal. We’ve taken our eye off the ball. The new Kentucky head coach has still found plenty of time to prioritize high school players in the 2025 recruiting class.

Many questioned Pope’s ability to recruit top prospects from the high school ranks. On the day he finalized his three-man recruiting staff, one of the ten best players in America announced that Kentucky is one of his top choices.

Will Riley tells On’3s Joe Tipton that he’s trimmed his options to five: Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona, and the NBL. “Great program, great coaches and I can learn a lot,” Riley said.

The 6-foot-8 athlete is the second-ranked small forward and the No. 9 overall player in the 2025 recruiting class, according to On3. He’s from Kitchener, Ontario, and if that sounds familiar, it’s because you went to Rupp Arena during that 2016 Kentucky basketball season. He shares the same hometown as former Wildcat standout Jamal Murray. Team Canada will have a few former Wildcats in their starting lineup at the Paris Summer Olympics.

Riley has only taken one visit so far. He spent time at Arizona in March. Trips to Alabama and Kentucky are on the horizon.

There was some initial hesitation that Kentucky would take a step back in recruiting once John Calipari departed, and rightfully so. What he did on the trail in Lexington is unprecedented. Taking a step back doesn’t mean Kentucky is all the way out on recruiting future pros.

Jonathan Givony compiled a way-too-early mock draft for the 2025 class this spring. There you will find one Will Riley at No. 16 overall. Kentucky is still fishing in the right waters under Mark Pope.

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2024-05-26