6'4" shooting guard John Petty is one of the most highly-touted prospects in the nation right now, as he's a 5-star prospect ranked 17th in the ESPN 100.
However, despite his recognized talent, he hasn't been shown a ton of interest by many schools outside the SEC. That appears to be because most programs think his choice is already down to two schools: Alabama and Kentucky.
Petty is from Alabama, so it's a question of staying home vs going to an elite program. He had once been favored to go to UK, but Alabama has since stepped up its effort to keep him in state. Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson has been in constant contact with Petty as of late, via Ben Roberts of Next Cats.
As Petty says, "They text me a lot. We talk a lot."
Petty noted that he likes Johnson's experience at the NBA level, saying, "I like that he's been to the next level. He knows what he's talking about. He knows how to get you there." Johnson played 16 seasons in the NBA and was also a coach at the NBA level before going to Alabama.
Clearly, Kentucky has the national exposure and "pro factory" reputation that could take Petty's game to the next level, but I'm sure there's an appeal to playing in your home state for a coach that played in the NBA.
UK feels that Petty is a vital target, and they reached out to him early, as he was the first 2017 player to be offered a scholarship from John Calipari. Petty feels as though he's one of the top priorities for Kentucky, and their early scholarship offer "set them out in front" for him.
It also helps that Calipari has been honest with his assessment of Petty and what he'll be at the college level.
"Coach Cal is a great guy. He is always honest with me and if I decide to go there told me that I have to work hard and be competitive, which I am," said Petty. "I will probably be a two guard in college, so I have to learn to handle the ball better. I am getting more comfortable with the ball, too."
While not many other schools are recruiting him heavily because of their belief that he'll pick either UK or Bama, he does have scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida State, and Texas Tech. Additionally, Georgia and LSU have reportedly contacted him recently.
At 6'4" Petty has no trouble getting to the rim as a guard. His length made it easy for him to be dominant in high school, allowing him to reach out into passing lanes to snag steals and block shots in transition. Check out Petty's junior highlights below.