On Thursday, 2016 point guard De'Aaron Fox will make his college announcement live on ESPNU at 6 p.m. ET.
Fox, a 6-3, 185-pound guard out of Cypress Lakes (TX), is expected to choose between the Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, and LSU Tigers. He wasn't initially heavily recruited by John Calipari and UK until this past summer, but once they did, the 'Cats have been the favorite.
As 247 Sports' Jerry Meyer writes, it looked like Bill Self and Kansas were going to be the team to beat for Fox, but the allure of UK and Coach Cal really set in once they made Fox a priority:
Kansas was considered the leader in Fox's recruitment, but when John Calipari watched him play in July, he realized he was the best point guard in the country as he was rated at the time in the Top247. Once Kentucky went all in with its recruitment of Fox, it appeared to be only a matter of time before he officially became a Wildcat.
Meyer also writes that UK getting a commitment from Fox "would place the Wildcats into a second place tie with Michigan State in the 247 Sports Composite Recruiting Rankings."
With that said, we gathered our staff for one final prediction on where they think Fox will go, as well as thoughts from some of the nation's top recruiting experts.
I like De’Aaron Fox to become the next great PG for Coach Cal. I think Cal just has too much invested in the kid and he certainly feels the love.
Based on the fact UK was his last visit and he's been recruited by both Cal AND Kenny Payne? I like our chances. No disrespect to Kansas, LSU, Louisville or Arizona but I'm pretty sure De'Aaron will be the next great Texas kid playing for the Blue and White.
The success John Calipari has had with elite point guard prospects cannot be denied by anyone, regardless of which school/coach you support. Calipari has brought the best out of every big-time point guard he's coached, and more often than not, they've ended up being top NBA draft selections.
Just go watch a few of Fox's highlights, and you'll see why he's being mentioned with the likes of those other great guards, and why Russell Westbrook comparisons may be accurate:
I say De'Aaron picks Kentucky. I have no basis for this, I just think he's an amazing kid, a great player, and someone who will fit perfectly at UK.
De'Aaron Fox seems to love Kentucky and is likely going to commit to us. This kid would be perfect for Kentucky, except that we have no idea whether Ulis and Briscoe are staying after this year. If both leave however, in a perfect situation Fox would be the best point guard recruit/prospect we've had since Brandon Knight.
It's going to be Kentucky. He wants to be seen on the big stage and get ready for the next level and there's no where else he can go to get that the way that he will in Lexington. He wants his name to be mentioned with Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight. A fox is kind of like a Cat anyways, isn't it?
Now, here's what the experts are saying about Fox:
The top unsigned point guard in the country, Fox took official visits to Kansas, Kentucky,LSU and Louisville. He's set to decide on Thursday and the Wildcats have been considered the team to beat for a while.
Outside the top three guys, I think De'Aaron Fox is going to make a huge impact at the next level -- and I do think his future home will be Kentucky. He's just so fast with the ball in his hands, and so aggressive off the bounce, that he's going to be one of the best playmakers in the country. Throw in the fact that he's maybe the best defensive guard in the 2016 class, and I just think you have a guy who has a chance to be an All-American right off the bat.
Scout.com's Evan Daniels (via LCJ):
"I’d be pretty shocked if it wasn’t Kentucky," Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels said. "John Calipari has done a great job recruiting him and (UK assistant coach) Kenny Payne deserves a ton of credit, too. He’s really built a strong bond with the kid and his family and they’ve done a great job recruiting him. So all signs point to De’Aaron Fox selecting Kentucky on Thursday.
"De’Aaron Fox is the next in line – the next guy in that longstanding history of very talented point guards that John Calipari has had," Daniels said. "I actually think he has as much upside long-term as anybody in this class."
The 247 Sports Crytal Ball: