Kentucky Basketball is off to a strong start, but the recruiting cycle never ends for the Wildcats, so here are some updates and tidbits on the recruiting trail.
Kevin Knox in no hurry to make commitment
Kevin Knox is one of the top players in the 2017 class. The 6’8 Knox, ranked as the #2 SF in the 2017 class, plays for the Tampa Catholic Crusaders. Recently, Bob Putnam at the Tampa Bay Times wrote a story about Knox and his recruitment.
In it, he writes that Knox is not planning on choosing where he will play college basketball until mid-March. This will allow him to take all his visits and gather all necessary information to make an informed choice that he feels is best for him.
"A lot of people decided to commit early so they don't have to deal with all that stress," said Knox, who is averaging 27.2 points and 12 rebounds per game. "But I think it's best for me to take my visits, take my time and wait until the end of the season to make my decision. My parents and I realized we don't have to rush this process."
"The plan was to wait was so Kevin can see everything," Knox's father said. "He can look at the personnel. Which players are leaving or coming back. Same with the coaches. You don't know that until the end of the season.”
Knox’s final list consists of Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, and Kansas, in no particular order.
Hamidou Diallo impresses at High School Hoops Festival
Hamidou Diallo is among Kentucky’s top remaining targets in the 2017 class. Kentucky is likely losing all three members of the starting backcourt, and will have a void to fill at the shooting guard spot.
Diallo could fit right into that role as the #1 shooting guard prospect in the 2017 class. The 6’5 Diallo put on a show at the National High School Hoops Festival in Hyattsville, Md. recently, where he scored 29 points on 13-19 shooting and nine rebounds.
Diallo is eligible to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, if he so chooses. However, he has insisted he will play college basketball next season. If he does go the college route, Kentucky is currently leading in his Crystal Ball with 69 percent, followed by UCONN with 25 percent and Syracuse with six percent.
Trae Young not sure when he will announce
Many fans thought Kentucky’s chances of landing Trae Young were gone after Quade Green committed to the Wildcats, but it seems as if Kentucky is still in the race.
However, we may not know for another month or even longer, based on Young’s recent comments to The Norman Transcript. John McKelvey recently wrote that Young has a final six of Oklahoma, Kentucky, Texas Tech, Washington, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. Young said that he does not know when he will make a decision and the date is “completely up in the air.”
McKelvey writes that the decision could possibly come in January, but might be announced even later.
One-and-Done remains the norm... For now.
The NBA and the NBAPA have agreed in principle to a new collective bargaining agreement. The vote to approve the new agreement is expected in the coming weeks, and while there will be some changes made, one thing that will remain the same for now is the “One-And-Done” rule.
Adrian Wojnarowski of thevertical.com tweeted that the two sides eventually tabled the issue and neither are committed to it.
Neither side is committing to keeping one-and-done rule for entirety of the agreement, sources said. Essentially, NBA, NBPA tabled issue.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 15, 2016
Sources: The NBA, NBPA will keep the one-and-done draft rule for now, but will continue researching and discussing issue over life of CBA.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 15, 2016
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has made comments in the past about the issue and some thought the rule could actually change with the CBA. Many thought that the rule would be replaced with a rule that would force players to remain in college for two years before entering the NBA Draft.
However, it seems that for now the One-And-Done Rule will remain in effect.
Top 8th Grader in the country now plays in Kentucky
If you follow Kentucky High School Basketball, you know that Bowling Green is among the top contenders to take home the state title this year. That is due to a loaded roster and a coach in DG Sherrill that has built a perennial contender at Bowling Green over the course of the last decade.
One of the new additions to the Bowling Green roster this year is 8th Grader Zion Harmon. Harmon has been labeled as the best 8th grade basketball player in the country, and transferred to Bowling Green to play this year.
So far, he has had quite the impact, averaging 19 points per game and shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc as the Purples have raced out to an early 5-0 record.
Frakes said that while there is a lot of pressure on players to go to prep school to grow their brand and become more noticed by colleges across the country, Harmon’s father, Mike, said that his son really enjoys living in Bowling Green and playing at BGHS.
“I wouldn’t move him away from a stable situation as long as he’s being challenged,” Mike Harmon said. “Stability is key for him … and he loves it at Bowling Green.”
Romeo Langford goes for 40 in televised game
Romeo Langford, one of the top players in the 2018 class, got a chance to showcase his skills to a national audience when his New Albany (IN.) team took on La Lumiere (IN.) on ESPN2.
Langford went for 40 points in the 85-63 loss. Despite his team falling short, Langford had an impressive showing including this dunk over Michigan State commit Jaren Jackson.
Oh. My. God.— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) December 16, 2016
Romeo Langford just took a soul. pic.twitter.com/ExsJGqv4KQ
Duke currently leads Langford’s crystal ball with 62 percent, followed by Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisville with 12 percent.