The 2016 recruiting class for the Kentucky Wildcats is already arguably one of the best in school history. However, John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats are looking to add one more big man to this monster recruiting class, and two big men are at the top of the list.
Marques Bolden and Jarrett Allen are two of the top uncommitted players in the country, and both will likely make an immediate impact during their one (and possibly only) season in college basketball.
Both were selected as McDonald's All-Americans and had solid showings in the game for the West squad.
Bolden finished 6-of-8 from the floor, scoring in a variety of ways from lobs, back-to-the-basket post moves, and putbacks (he finished with three offensive rebounds). Bolden was also hard to handle on the glass, finishing with a total of seven rebounds to go with 13 points.
Allen had a strong showing, mainly on the defensive end. He showed the length and athleticism that college coaches love about him. Allen finished with nine points (4/7 shooting) and six rebounds, but more impressively, had five blocks and two steals.
Oh, and Calipari is going to be in Texas this weekend for a spot on the Dan Patrick Show, but you can bet he's going to meet with at least one, if not both of these two talented Texans.
Could Kentucky end up with one of these players to finish out this class? It's certainly possible. First, let's look at Bolden.
While Kentucky is heavily recruiting both players, it seems that Bolden is the top choice for Calipari, while his second option is Allen. From reports at the McDonald's Game, it seems as if Kentucky's current commits are recruiting Bolden the heaviest. De'Aaron Fox has been openly campaigning for Bolden to commit to the Wildcats, even joking that he would "break his [Bolden's] kneecaps" if he goes anywhere else. Malik Monk has also been heavily recruiting Bolden to Kentucky as well.
Kentucky commits aren't the only ones trying to sway Bolden. The Duke commits are also trying to make a pitch as well. Frank Jackson and Jayson Tatum have been talking to Bolden, trying to convince him to come to Durham next fall.
Bolden's final list includes Kentucky, Duke, and TCU, in no particular order. TCU's hiring of Jamie Dixon may have kept them in contention, but nearly everybody in the world of high school basketball recruiting believes he is down to Kentucky and Duke. Most have called it a 50/50 recruitment right now. Kyle Tucker at the Courier-Journal believes Bolden wants Kentucky, but his mother wants Duke.
Bolden has said that he will commit before his birthday on April 17.
Allen, on the other hand, said in an interview with Scout's Evan Daniels that Udoka Azubuike (a Kansas commit) has been recruiting him the hardest. Kansas is on Allen's final six, which also includes Kentucky, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Houston, and Texas. Allen is from Austin, and many are projecting him to go to Texas.
However, Kentucky has recently re-entered his recruitment after slacking off. At one point, many believed Kentucky to be Allen's favorite, but after slacking off, things changed. Now with the Wildcats back in the hunt (possibly with the uncertainty of Bolden), could Allen begin to switch back to the Wildcats? They would certainly have to make up a lot of ground to pull it off.
Allen has spoken highly of Kentucky, noting that two of his criteria include building a relationship with the coaching staff and seeing how they develop big men (seemingly a good sign for the Wildcats). He even said this about Kentucky.
"Well with Kentucky, Coach Cal and Barbee keep talking about, you don’t have to play 30-40 minutes to show your skill set," Allen said. "So he keeps saying we all can play together, me, Bam (Adebayo), Sacha (Killeya-Jones) and Wenyen (Gabriel).
"As long as I can show what I have … as long as they can develop me, I’m fine with that," Allen said.
Allen has stated that he will not make an announcement until after the Nike Hoops Summit, which will be April 9.
The Wildcats have a great recruiting class now, but in my opinion, bringing in either Bolden or Allen pushes the class to even greater heights than before.