The No. 1 player in 2018, R.J. Barrett is winding down his recruitment and has trimmed his list to three schools: Duke, Kentucky, and Oregon, in no particular order.
Barrett was considering Arizona, but it seems like the FBI investigations have taken them off his list, and he also cut Michigan, who never seemed to be a real contender.
Barrett has visited all three and recently hosted Duke’s Coach K and Jeff Capel. After that, the momentum has really swung in favor of the Blue Devils.
There had been speculation Barrett could be deciding as early as the first week or two of October, but Rivals recruiting guru Eric Bossi reports the plan is still for a decision to come within the first few weeks of November.
Evan Daniels of Scout.com projected Barrett to Duke, and most in the recruiting world are thinking the same thing.
If Duke lands Barrett, their class so far will be absurdly talented, with Barrett, Cam Reddish, and point guard Tre Jones.
However, don’t count out Kentucky and Oregon yet. Some believe that those two are the preferred option for Barrett, but his family prefers Duke.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but as of now, Duke seems like the likely pick.
With all that being said, we gathered our staff for where we ‘currently’ think Barrett goes and what it could mean for Kentucky.
I've been following RJ Barrett for some time now here in the Toronto area. There is an abundance of elite talent now coming out of this area. Everybody is of course familiar with Jamal Murray who played at Orangeville Prep just north of Toronto along with Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The same program just produced two players who will play this season at Syracuse in O'Shae Brissett who was a four-star recruit as well as Howard Washington Jr.
Ignas Brazdeikis was also a four-star recruit from the same program who just committed to Michigan earlier this week.
Well, RJ Barrett is by far and away better than all of them. He could play in the NBA tomorrow if he was able to. He is such a complete player in every aspect of his game.
If you want to get a sense of just how good he is watch the U19 semi-final game of Canada vs. USA where he absolutely torches John Calipari's team for 38 points en route the gold medal.
He is a surefire NBA lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
Prediction: Barrett signs with Kentucky. It's between Duke and UK but goes BBN.
All signs point to Duke as the No. 1 ranked player from the Class of 2018 canceled this weekend's official visit to Michigan and had a few special visitors at his Florida school on Wednesday in Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski and top assistant Jeff Capel.
While the 6-6 forward is good friends with fellow Canadian and former UK standout Jamal Murray, the "Canada Connection" had little impact as Barrett said that other than Murray, he wasn't that familiar with Kentucky basketball except for watching on TV. This one hurts a little as Barrett will be a superstar for the "Cameron Crazies." The good news is Zion Williamson is still on the board.
I think Duke is in the best shape right now, and if he makes a decision within the next week, it’s hard to see the Blue Devils not being the pick.
That said, Kentucky and Oregon will undoubtedly pressure Barrett to wait another week, if not longer. That will give Barrett time to visit some of these schools for their midnight madness event, but if nothing else, have some final in-home coaching visits.
Imagine Kentucky having Barrett (would be unofficial visit), Immanuel Quickley and Zion Williamson (visit date pending) at Big Blue Madness. Barrett would also get a chance to meet up with Shai Alexander, a fellow Canadian and good friend.
That connection is really helping Kentucky in this recruitment, as is another Canadian in Jamal Murray, a former Cat who Barrett looks up to.
Prediction: I think all three teams are very much in this discussion, and seeing Barrett pick any of them won’t be a surprise. That said, I’m going with Duke if a decision comes this week.
R.J. Barrett is going to be a stud. He blew everyone in at the FIBA U 19 games in Egypt this summer, including Calipari's USA squad. Calipari has gone after Barret hard in recruiting, but there is too much Duke buzz for me to see him ending up in Lexington.
R.J. Barrett is down to Duke, Kentucky, and Oregon, while it looks like a decision is near. The Cats are in good shape, however the devil of college basketball (Coach K) just took his staff to visit Barrett on Wednesday, and many believe that's where he will end up.
I'm not so sure about this one as Barrett has kept his recruitment very quiet. For the Cats, he would headline next year's roster as he is the consensus number one player in the 2018 class.
For now, I'm not really sure where he ultimately decides, but I'll regretfully side with the experts.