Kentucky Basketball recruiting is a year-long cycle with John Calipari at the helm, and while the 2016 class has been on campus working on their game preparing for the upcoming season, recruits in future classes are doing the same, in hopes of being able to draw an offer from their dream school.
With that being said, here is some of the latest Kentucky Basketball recruiting news from around the country.
John Calipari loves stirring the pot, and sent out a couple tweets Monday morning that seemed to be directed at an unnamed recruit or recruits.
I talked to a kid who has great aspirations and wants to play with other great players.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 8, 2016
If u walk in a gym and you’re by far the most talented, wrong gym. If u walk in & say, “Wow, what talent,” that's the right gym. That’s UK.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 8, 2016
It seems that the most likely candidate for the recipient of Calipari’s subtweet would likely be Trae Young or John Petty, since Kentucky’s main competition for those two are home-state schools Oklahoma and Alabama, respectively. Rules prohibit coaches directly tweeting about recruits, so the mystery of Calipari’s subtweets will continue.
Petty recently trimmed his list to five, and by all indications, it seems as if the two main competitors will be Kentucky and Alabama. Alabama has been on Petty’s trail the longest, as he was offered by previous Alabama head coach Anthony Grant. Avery Johnson has continued to recruit Petty heavily since taking over in Tuscaloosa. However, he seems to really like Kentucky and it could be another Malik Monk-style showdown between Kentucky and a home state school.
The story from al.com details Petty’s recruitment, and how much emphasis Alabama has placed on him. This quote from the story really stood out and should bode well for John Calipari and Kentucky.
"They all have something in common," Petty said of his five favorites. "They have a great history of winning. That's my main goal; I want to win. The coaches all have a good background and a good reputations of getting their players to the next level."
If you follow UK recruiting, you’ll know that five-star big man Mohamed Bamba is John Calipari’s top big-man target in 2017. It may not be a stretch to call Bamba UK’s most important recruit next year. He’s currently considering Duke, UK and even Harvard.
Marvin Bagley has long held the number one spot in the Class of 2018, but recent movement in the 2018 rankings at 247 Sports has the 6’7 forward from South Carolina taking over the top spot. Williamson has been earning high praise over the course of the summer and looks to be one of the more sought-after recruits in the class. 247 Sports Crystal Ball currently has his top three named as Duke, Clemson, and Kentucky. Duke leads the predictions with 60 percent, followed by Clemson and Kentucky with 20 percent each. Neither Duke nor Kentucky have offered, but with consistent performances like this summer, it is very possible those offers will come.
Eric Bossi has recently released his All-Summer teams for each class with the summer basketball season coming to a close. For the 2018 class, the MVP of the summer went to Marvin Bagley, the 6’10 power forward from Tempe, Arizona. He has long been considered the top recruit in the class, but has recently faced competition. However, Bagley had an outstanding summer and Bossi had plenty of strong words for Bagley.
The clearcut No. 1 player in the class of 2018, Bagley showed true superstar potential during an incredible run of games at the Nike Peach Jam. He’s an explosive athlete, he is among the best rebounders in the country and he can score with a high level of skill.
Bagley has a final six of Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Kentucky, Oregon, and UCLA. Kentucky is seen as the leader in his recruitment.
Another notable Kentucky target to make the team was Indiana guard Romeo Langford. Langford has made a name for himself recently, drawing offers from the likes of Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, and Indiana. The 6’4 shooting guard drew praise from Bossi as well.
All the way from April through the end of July, the smooth shooting guard was the best player that Rivals.com saw on the Adidas circuit. Because he makes things look so easy, his production is sometimes a bit underrated and the little things he does like rebound and defend at a high level get lost in the shuffle.
Duke is currently seen as the leader in his recruitment, though Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisville will definitely be in the mix.
The shooting guard from Connecticut is one of the favorites to join Kentucky’s backcourt in 2017 and is known for his freak athleticism. If you don’t believe it, watch this new highlight reel. Wherever he decides to play, it won’t be surprising to see Diallo end up on several Sportscenter Top 10 plays.
The sneaker wars rage on. Nike announced a second Elite Youth Basketball Camp in the Bahamas on August 20, the same weekend as Under Armour’s Elite 24 game in Brooklyn. Several notable players, such as DeAndre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr., Trae Young, Michael Porter Jr., and others competed in the event last year. Incoming freshmen Miles Bridges, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox competed last year as well.
While Knox is a heavy Duke lean, Kentucky is still in the fight and USA Today recently profiled the Tampa native for an in-depth look at Knox and his transition from football to basketball. Knox was formerly a quarterback on his high school football team, but when the number of teams who offered him to play basketball, he gave up football.
And finally, here are more of the newest highlight reels of various UK targets: