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John Petty recruiting: Kentucky Wildcats backing off?

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For much of the past year, John Petty has been viewed as one of the Kentucky Wildcats' likeliest commitments in 2017.

Petty has made it no secret that UK is somewhere he'd loved to be. The only question was if John Calipari would give the five-star wing a committable offer. It does not appear Petty has that at this time, and it looks like it may not come anytime soon.

This past week, SEC Country's Ben Roberts took a stab guessing who those 8-9 guys were, but also provided this tidbit on Petty:

Petty was the first 2017 prospect to receive a UK scholarship offer and might have hosted Calipari more than any other recruit in the class at this stage, but the narrative has changed in the past few months. Some sources are saying UK has backed off Petty to prioritize other wings (like Diallo and Walker), while Alabama’s coaches are going all-in on their home-state star. It’ll be interesting to see how early Calipari touches down in Huntsville next month.

There has been no concrete confirmation as to UK backing off, but I do think Calipari is slow-playing Petty in hopes he'll make his decision in the spring. That would give UK more time to figure out if they can/will land Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo, Lonnie Walker and/or other guard/wing prospects.

I believe Petty will eventually be a Wildcat if he waits for as long as Cal asks him to. Cal isn't going to drag this out into the spring and then decide not to take Petty, which could leave Petty in a bad spot with his recruitment.

Also, Petty just wrapped up his official visit to Alabama this weekend, but no word of a commitment or even Bama becoming his leader has emerged.

Instead, we got an interesting tweet from former Wildcat star Devin Booker about visiting Bama head coach Avery Johnson.

That would have been Friday, the second day of Petty's visit before it wrapped up Saturday.

Coincidence? Maybe, but odd nonetheless.

In the end, I feel great about UK getting Petty if he just stays patient with Cal and UK. If Petty gives them an ultimatum to let him commit this fall or he'll sign with Bama, that's when things get shaky.

And I'll say this: If UK has in fact backed off Petty, that speaks to how confident they are in getting at least two of Diallo, Knox and Walker. I do not think UK has though, so expect them to remain in the running for Petty.