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Sources: Kentucky could have guard situation locked up by the end of the weekend

Jack Pilgrim05/11/21

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Article written by:On3 imageJack Pilgrim
TyTy Washington
Going into the month of May, the Kentucky men's basketball team had zero point guards signed on for the 2021-22 season following the decommitment of five-star guard Nolan Hickman Jr. Just two weeks later, however, the Wildcats appear to be on the cusp of adding not one, but two point guard prospects in the very near future. 2021 five-star guard TyTy Washington is scheduled to make his commitment on Saturday, and all signs are pointing to Kentucky for the nation’s No. 12 overall prospect and No. 2 point guard in the latest ESPN player rankings. KSR spent the weekend in Memphis at the Iverson Classic with Washington in attendance, and several sources close to the five-star guard and those familiar with his recruitment felt extremely confident in UK’s chances. When talking roster scenarios and other potential additions with those in recruiting circles - we'll get to that in a second - Washington was continually brought up as an anticipated signee rather than a possible option in the backcourt. "I followed them throughout this past year, like hey, it’s Kentucky. Everybody wants to watch Kentucky," Washington told KSR this weekend. "And me being a basketball head – I like watching basketball – so when I watched them play, I felt like they were just missing a few things that I’m capable of doing. If I were to go there, I think I’d be able to help them." UK signees Bryce Hopkins and Daimion Collins also spent the weekend recruiting Washington, with the former telling KSR that Kentucky has a "good chance" to land the five-star guard. “He likes it, he says we’ve got a good chance,” Hopkins told KSR. “He’s down to his last options and we have a good chance.” Kentucky has picked up seven consecutive Crystal Ball picks over at 247Sports, including three 'lock' predictions since last week. But Washington isn’t the only player rumored to be leaning toward Kentucky and on the cusp of a decision. Sources tell KSR that Georgia point guard Sahvir Wheeler has emerged as a serious possibility for the Wildcats, with an announcement potentially coming as early as this weekend. Tip of the cap to Shawn Smith, Go Big Blue Country founder and Sources Say Podcast cohost, for being the first to break the news regarding Kentucky’s chances with Wheeler. He was on top of things since the weekend. Wheeler, a 5-foot-10 point guard out of Houston, TX, was a second-team All-SEC member in 2020-21 and led the conference in both assists (7.4 APG) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.68). He recently cut his list down to four schools, with Kansas, Kentucky, LSU and Oklahoma State remaining as finalists. “Hopefully next year, when I choose a destination that I feel comfortable with as the right situation, I’m going to prove that some more on a bigger stage and on a higher level. Hopefully that can catapult me to the next level, get in the NBA conversation,” Wheeler told KSR back in April. “… Big stage, being able to contend for a national championship, Final Four, playing style, playing fit, all those things are factors I’ll consider when making my decision.” Upon cutting his list down to four, Wheeler's father said he trusted the Kentucky coaching staff and felt his son would have "massive success" in Lexington. “I like it. It’s hard not to like. And I trust the dudes on that staff. There is some familiarity," Teddy Wheeler said in his son's announcement video where he broke down his four finalists. "And everybody, it’s going to be the Super Bowl every time you play. It’s going to be a movie every time you go out there. That’s where you typically excel, when the stakes are high, there’s bright lights, there’s cameras, there’s action. You know what I’m saying? It’s like the Spike Lee section is full. I think you show up in that. I think you would have massive success there." Should UK land both, and sources tell KSR it’s a serious possibility at this point, the Wildcats could have their guard situation for 2021-22 locked up by the end of the weekend. Back-to-back decisions in UK’s favor could be on the horizon. https://twitter.com/JackPilgrimKSR/status/1392181157530324993?s=20 Kentucky is still heavily recruiting 2021 five-star guard Jaden Hardy, who is also scheduled to make a decision on May 15. Though the G League is still seen as the favorite heading into the final days of his recruitment, sources tell KSR that UK has surpassed UCLA among college choices and there is internal optimism on Kentucky’s side of things that his decision could come down to the wire. It's still seen as a dream scenario, but John Calipari is certainly giving it his best shot. UK graduate transfer guard Davion Mintz is also contemplating a return to Kentucky for a sixth and final season in Lexington. Needless to say, several moving parts on Kentucky’s end of things, but certainly more clarity now than there was going into the month. For more insight and information on UK's backcourt situation, listen to today’s episode of KSR’s Sources Say Podcast below: Going to be a busy week, BBN.

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2022-06-30