Kentucky making strong push for numerous high-profile 2022 basketball prospects
Special Offer
Kentucky Wildcats

Breaking news. In-depth analysis. Ad-free.

7-Day Free TrialSubscribe Now

Kentucky making strong push for numerous high-profile 2022 basketball prospects

Jack Pilgrim7 months


Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
[caption id="attachment_349427" align="alignnone" width="1291"] (KSR)[/caption] John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff are hitting the ground running on the program's 2022 recruiting class, with five high-profile prospects in the rising senior class singling out UK as a school recruiting each of them the hardest. In one-on-one conversations with Tipton Edits, five- and four-star prospects Brandon Miller, Shaedon Sharpe, Nick Smith, Vincent Iwuchukwu and Dereck Lively II all listed Kentucky among the schools recruiting them the hardest. For Miller, UK joins Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee State and Saint Louis among those making strong pushes. "Coach Cal just reiterated things he had touched on when we went there his freshman year," Miller's father, Darrell Miller Sr., told KSR. "He said that, “Hey, I wouldn’t be on this call if I didn’t think you belonged here. You worked hard for this scholarship, you deserve this scholarship, there’s one here for you. ... He believes he is that prototypical type of player, the kind of guy NBA teams are high on now. A player who can bring the ball up if need be, guard multiple positions if need be. (The call) was great. Coach Cal touched on him being in there and practicing with the best players, you’re going to get better by going against those guys every day." The 6-foot-7 small forward is ranked No. 11 overall and No. 5 at his position in the latest 247Sports player rankings. Smith listed UK alongside the likes of Duke, Michigan, North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Oregon, Oklahoma and Illinois in terms of those recruiting him the hardest. "I only talk to Jai Lucas right now. I’ve been knowing Jai since he came from Texas because I took a Texas visit in the 10th grade, an unofficial visit. Me and him are pretty cool, he’s a pretty cool dude," Smith told KSR back in April. "They’re very serious about their program, and I like that because I’m a very serious guy. I feel like Coach Cal just builds pros, you know what I’m saying? It’s just a great system." The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 22 overall prospect and No. 2 shooting guard in the latest 247Sports player rankings. As for Lively, UK is joined by the likes of Duke, UNC, Kansas, USC, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Oklahoma on his list of schools pushing the hardest. “Kentucky is going great with the recruitment. I talk with them almost every week, just talking to Coach [Brusier] Flint and hopefully I’ll get to talk to Coach [Calipari] soon,” Lively told KSR in April. “If I go there, they could show me how to play more like Anthony Davis, because Anthony Davis is my role model. He can get to the rim, he can step behind the three, he can block shots, he can guard a guard, he’s an overall great big man. "... They always say to me ‘Be patient, because this is a long process’ but they have a lot of interest in me right now,” Lively added. “He [Brusier] said I’d fit in perfectly. They know what to do with people like me and to just move outside the three and all, and still being able to get inside and work in the paint.” The 7-foot-1 big man is considered the No. 24 overall prospect and No. 4 center in ESPN's latest player rankings. Sharpe listed Kentucky alongside the likes of Alabama, Kansas, Arizona State, Oregon, Cincinnati, Cal, Texas, Xavier and Arizona. “I hear a lot from Kentucky,” Sharpe told KSR in April. "... All the players that went through there, through their program and made it to the league. I feel like if I go there I could do the same thing.” Sharpe is considered the No. 20 overall prospect and No. 5 shooting guard in the 2022 Rivals player rankings. To round things out, Iwuchukwu said Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Arizona State, USC, Georgia, Indiana, Texas, Baylor and Florida State were the schools recruiting him the hardest. Kentucky began recruiting Iwuchukwu last year, with assistant coach Jai Lucas serving as his lead recruiter. The 7-foot center is considered the No. 21 overall prospect and No. 3 center in ESPN's latest player rankings.
UK has already earned the commitment of five-star guard Skyy Clark in the class of 2022. Who else will join him in Lexington in 2022-23?

Loading comments...