One of the top players in the class of 2017 is five-star guard Gary Trent Jr.
A 6-5, 190-pound shooting guard from Apple Valley (MN), Trent is one of the top guards in the country and a top-10-15 player by nearly every major recruiting service. He's also someone with the kind of talent to be a one-and-done college player, which could give UK an edge in his recruitment.
This weekend, Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne are getting to watch Trent play at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in Indianapolis. There, Trent told the Courier-Journal what everyone knows: Kentucky is the best when it comes to producing pro ball players.
"It’s really NBA University," Trent said. "It preps you. Everything there looks like an NBA facility. Calipari runs everything like it’s the NBA. So really, if that’s your goal, that’s the place."
Trent, rated the No. 2 shooting guard and No. 16 overall prospect in his class, visited Kentucky last fall and "loved it," he said. "The facility was nice. The stadium was rocking. It was packed."
While it seems like the comments would be good for UK, they may not be if Trent doesn't plan to make a quick jump to the NBA when he enters college. Duke is the favorite for him right now, and depending on how UK prioritizes him compared to 2017 guard Hamidou Diallo, the Cats may not last too long in this recruitment, though they are coming hard after Trent for the time being.
And there's no question who fellow 2017 recruit Tremont Waters favors. The 5-11, 164-pound point guard holds offers from Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky among others after the Cats and Blue Devils offered him hours apart this week. ESPN ranks him as the 34th-overall prospect in 2017, while 247 Sports has him at 53rd overall, but he's expected to make a big jump when the rankings are updated.
Waters revealed this weekend that Duke is his dream school, but UK still has a good shot with him.
"I used to always watch Duke. Like, a lot," Waters told Ben Roberts. "For what reason, I don’t know. I just liked Duke. For my dream school to offer me, it’s a dream come true. But Kentucky’s up there now, too.
"It’s going to be a tough choice out of all my colleges now that those two came in."
Let's hope that UK is able to land at least one of these two guys if Calipari and UK make them priorities.