Remember Thon Maker?
That was a rollercoaster of a recruitment last year for the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as just about every program that's come after the five-star power forward. The immensely talented big man was at one time seriously considering UK last year before opting instead to go to prep school for a year. There was a belief he would eventually sign with a college team for the 2016-17 season, but that appears to have gone out the window.
"We believe that Thon has fulfilled the academic requirements to be eligible for the 2016 Draft," Edward Smith, Maker's legal guardian said. "He will apply for the 2016 NBA Draft and await approval from the NBA. Thon has been the hardest working and the most astute kid I’ve coached in my 23 years of coaching," Smith continued. "I’m happy to have placed him in the position to have this choice."
The recruitment of Maker has included absurd comparisons to jaw-dropping highlight videos to speculation over an overseas stint for a year to a possible jump into a different age class. It's unclear if he can actually declare for the NBA draft since NBA rules say players are only draft-eligible if they are at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school.
In the end, John Calipari was very wise to stop his pursuit of Maker, despite how badly last season's team needed frontcourt help. UK once looked like the favorite for Maker, but hasn't shown much interest in Maker since he decided not to play college basketball during the 2015-16 season.
Schools like Arizona State, Indiana and Notre Dame appeared to be viable landing spots for him. It looks like they ultimately wasted their efforts in recruiting Maker, something Cal wasn't going to make the mistake of doing too long.