The offseason is now here for the Kentucky Wildcats.
While Saturday's loss was a painful way to end a promising season, it doesn't have to be 100% bad for the Cats. By that I mean John Calipari and his staff can now put more effort in the recruiting front and figuring out next year's roster in order to add one more guy to what's already a loaded 2016 signing class.
In fact, five-star center Marques Bolden is looking to make a decision very soon, possibly within the coming weeks.
Father of @MarquesB__ tells me a college decision is "coming soon. No date set." Won a state title last week.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 20, 2016
Scout.com recruiting expert Evan Daniels told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Bolden may decide soon with Kentucky and Duke battling for his services.
"I think Marques will make a decision probably in the next two or three weeks," said Daniels. "Kentucky and Duke are two schools at the top of the list. I think they’re neck and neck. At this stage, I don’t know if I see another school having a real good shot at getting him. He’s kind of weighing the pros and cons with those two schools, and I think he changes his mind every other day on which school may be the best fit for him."
Daniels also goes on to suggest Bolden isn't worried that he'll have to battle Skal Labissiere for playing time as he apparently knows Skal is going pro.
"I’m sure he thinks Skal is for sure leaving, so I don’t know if he needs to hear the words out of his mouth," Daniels said. "But also Marques is good enough that I don’t think many players would hinder him from seeing the floor, so I don’t know how much that’ll factor in."
If you follow the 247 Sports Crystal Ball, UK is still the favorite getting almost half of the votes with Duke not far behind. The interesting and probably most telling part though is 20% of his picks are of the 'foggy' variety, meaning there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding his recruitment.
At this point, where Bolden wants to go and where he ends up may be two different things. He may want to come to Kentucky, but the scholarship limit here is probably more foggy than Bolden's recruitment.
It's entirely possible UK ends up over the 13-man scholarship limit if both Skal and Isaiah Briscoe come back.
Along with Tai Wynyard, Mychal Mulder, Charles Matthews, Isaac Humphries, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Marcus Lee and the incoming five-man signing class, that's 12 right there, so either of Skal or Isaiah coming back means UK has hit the limit.
But Duke isn't in a great spot either. Now that Amile Jefferson is likely coming back next year on a medical redshirt, the Blue Devils are full unless someone unexpectedly goes pro (other than Brandon Ingram, who's expected to go pro). Someone like Grayson Allen would need to go pro or another guy transfer.
So at this point, Bolden may want to go to Kentucky or Duke, but where he wants to end up doesn't have room for him.
Then again, it doesn't take long to see Bolden is the kind of guy you make room for, so I doubt this ultimately hinders him from going where he wants to be. Bolden could be the difference in who not only has the top 2016 class, but earns the preseason No. 1 ranking next season as Duke and UK are battling for both.
Here's a look at Bolden's full senior season highlights from Ball Is Life.