With summer recruiting now in full swing, the Kentucky Wildcats continue to show what their 2017 big board looks like.
That also includes which recruits are either near the bottom of the board or off it completely. We've already posted on how Wendell Carter Jr. may be off the board for UK, as he's very likely to end up at Duke.
That's probably also the case with Gary Trent Jr., who has already talked about being a package deal with Carter. While UK was at one time was hoping to be the school landing that deal, Duke has also been the heavy favorite for Trent, and it's looking more and more like those two end up bring Blue Devils.
As Kyle Tucker notes, UK coaches have shown very little, if any interest in Trent this week at the Nike Peach Jam.
Think UK is basically done pursuing Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr., two likely Duke guys. Staff hasn't talked to Carter or watched Trent.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_AJC) July 7, 2016
KSR's Nick Roush also adds that it's time to "consider UK and small forward Gary Trent Jr. finished."
It's tough seeing UK, more or less, concede a recruit to Duke, but it's no surprise to see two more USA Basketball guys end up eventually committing to the head coach of Team USA, Mike Krzyzewski.
But this is actually a smart move by Kentucky, and one that doesn't mean they'll end up with a lesser prospect. After all, Mohamed Bamba and DeAndre Ayton are right there with Carter, if not better than him outright. Those are two guys UK has been recruiting harder in recent months while focusing less on Carter.
A similar situation is in play with Trent, who is a great prospect, but there's other elite guards/wings UK is in great shape with. The most notable of which is Hamidou Diallo, who is currently one of the two or three likeliest commits for UK in 2017.
While Duke is also after Diallo, it's hard to see two guys like Trent and Diallo at the same school, especially when Duke may have guys like Grayson Allen, Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson returning in 2017-18, whereas UK will graduate Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder while likely losing Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe to the draft.
You've also got guys like John Petty, Kris Wilkes, Jarred Vanderbilt and Lonnie Walker that UK is in good position with. Taking Trent off the board to put more focus in those guys is a great move by John Calipari and his staff now that Trent and Carer look Duke-bound.
So while UK may be conceding the likes of Carter and Trent to Duke, they're doing so to focus more on prospects equal to them.