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De'Aaron Fox admits Louisville was pick if not Kentucky; Harry Giles says Kansas for him

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It's a good thing the Kentucky Wildcats were able to land who they did in the 2016 class.

The alternatives wouldn't have gone well had guys like De'Aaron Fox, who ultimately signed with UK, gone with their second choice instead, In an interview with USA Today Sports, who asked about various recruits' second choice had their first not been available, Fox revealed he would have committed to the Louisville Cardinals had UK not been his pick.

If I hadn't picked my school I would've gone to: "Louisville. I love the way Coach Pitino plays his guards; I've always said that. That up-and-down style, pressing a lot; I really feel like I would've fit in well there."

I went with my choice because: "Coach Cal gets you ready for the NBA and that's the ultimate goal. That put him over everyone else. That's hard to compete with."

Another five-star guard in the 2016 class that would have picked the Cards as his second choice is Markelle Fultz, who had UK among his finalists, but was ready to go with UL instead had Washington not been his pick.

If I hadn't picked my school I would've gone to: "Louisville. It was just their style of play and plus they had guys leaving at the point so my spot would've been wide open. Plus, it's the ACC and Coach Rick Pitino is a great coach."

I went with my choice because: "The coaching staff; they're like mentors to me and I went where I felt as comfortable as I could possibly be. They came to every game and they made it feel like home."

But perhaps the biggest surprise revelation came from arguably the No. 1 overall player in the class in five-star forward Harry Giles. Leading up to his commitment to Duke, it looked as though the Wildcats and Blue Devils were the teams to beat. However, Giles indicated that Kansas was his pick if Duke was not the choice.

If I hadn't picked my school I would've gone to: "Kansas. Coach Self really does a good job at developing bigs and I felt really comfortable with the team. I could definitely see myself playing there and I know that I'd fit into that system."

I went with my choice because: "That's where I felt the most comfortable and that's the staff I knew had my best interest in mind. Coach K is Coach K. Coach Capel is my man; everybody. I just knew that Duke was where I'd have the most success so that's why I'm going there."

UK would have still landed some quality players like Jarrett Allen, Rawle Alkins and Kobi Simmons had Fox, Malik Monk and other signees gone elsewhere. Still, it's safe to say that alternative would have been dramatically different, and instead of being the preseason No. 1 or 2 team next year, they'd probably be in that 5-10 range with Louisville and Kansas clearly ahead of them.