John Calipari has two point guards in mind for his 2017 recruiting class, and those two guards are Trae Young and Quade Green.
Both have received scholarship offers from Kentucky, they are two of the best guards in the 2017 class, and they both have great respect for Calipari and the program. We'll take a look at each recruit, and see what they'd each bring to the table for Kentucky.
Young is the point guard that many believe is Calipari's number one choice, and there's good reason to think that. He was offered a scholarship way before Green was, and his play thus far in high school and in AAU ball gives everyone reason to believe that he's the better player (we even named Monday's quickies after him).
Young was playing well before, but at the Nike Peach Jam, he absolutely dominated. He led MOKAN Elite to the championship, scoring 28 points and grabbing 11 boards in the title game. His stats for the tournament show that he was nothing short of dominant, as he averaged 26.9 points, 6.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 steals.
Young's performance has only raised Calipari's interest, and it's clear that Cal wants Young, and Young seems to be very interested in UK. The 247 Sports Crystal Ball predicts there's a 50% chance he'll choose Kentucky--the next highest team on that list is Kansas at 19%.
When looking at Young's full body of work, and not just his Peach Jam performance, it's still obvious that he's one of the best guards out there. He's got length, he's intelligent when running the point, and he can light it up from the field.
He's not the fastest guy on the floor, but his ability to pass and score gives him everything he needs on the offensive end to be successful. It's no wonder why ESPN has him as the No. 2 point guard in his class.
Calipari wants Young, and it's clear to see why. Young would be a potential centerpiece for Kentucky's offense, giving them a scoring option from the same person who brings the ball up the floor, but also giving them a guard who can move the ball and work within the flow of Cal's dribble-drive offense.
Young can do it all, and there's no reason he shouldn't be next-in-line for the point guard position should De'Aaron Fox leave early.
Green, while not the superstar that Young has become, is also one of the best point guards in his class. He was just recently offered a scholarship by Kentucky, and that offer led to speculation on whether or not Young would be less of a focus for Kentucky in recruiting.
However, Young put those rumors to bed, and even said that he would be open to sharing the backcourt with Green. For Kentucky, that would be a dream come true, because Green is nearly as good as Young is. He's ranked 22nd in the ESPN 100, just one spot behind Young, and he's the No. 3 point guard in the class, again just one spot behind Young. Green has sparked the interest of Calipari in recent months because his game has evolved.
This year, Green has become one of the best playmakers in his class, as he has been racking up the assists. In the EYBL, he led the entire league in assists with nearly 11 per game, which was over 3 more than anyone else. He also takes care of the ball even though he passes so much, as he had a 4:1 assist/turnover ratio.
His increased passing ability has made him a true point guard that can thrive at setting up players for great shots, which allows him to find his role in any offense. Green is also an elite defender outside, as he led his EYBL in steals too, showing that he can get it done as a guard on both ends of the floor.
Unfortunately, Green is small for a five-star prospect. He's 6'1", 170 lbs, and he, like Young, lacks that elite speed. He won't blow by a defender in transition. He's able to jump on weaknesses of another player when he's on defense, helping him get so many steals, but it's much tougher for him to stick with higher-level guards like himself.
He'll be able to rattle a lot of lesser-known guards in the SEC, but if he were to play at Kentucky, he'd likely struggle to be a disruptive defender when they face their more elite competition.
Green's offer from Kentucky almost seems overdue, although it's understandable because he was continuing to grow as a player (and still is). Cal's interest in Green is apparent, and there's great reason for him to be interested. Green would be the facilitator of Kentucky's offense.
Cal is always able to recruit major offensive weapons, and there's no one in the country that would be better at feeding those weapons than Green. His passing ability would set up Kentucky's offense for great success, and his defense would cause all kinds of problems for the opposition in most games.
Both of these guards would be great additions to the Kentucky program. Young is the superstar that Kentucky is used to getting, and it appears that they can indeed get him. However, Green has interest, and he's the best passer in this class, which is something that can at times trump any other strength or weakness at the point guard position (see: Rajon Rondo).
It seems clear that Young is the guy that Cal wants, but getting them both isn't out of the question yet. However, Young looks like the surer bet, as well as the bigger star.