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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Evan Daniels talks Zion Williamson, UK class and more

UK’s class will grow over the next week, likely with multiple pledges.

USA Today Sports

The fall signing period begins Wednesday, and the Kentucky Wildcats are in good position to build on their 2018 class.

As of now, Immanuel Quickley is the only member of this class, but anywhere from 3-5 more players could join it by the time the spring signing period begins. Several recruits may even join it before the early signing period concludes on Nov. 15, but who could that include?

You could argue there’s never been a more uncertain fall recruiting period during John Calipari’s tenure than this year. We could see superstars like Zion Williamson, Bol Bol and R.J. Barrett join the Cats, though it looks unlikely on Bol, and even Barrett ‘appears’ to be trending toward Duke.

There’s also some big-name guys like Moses Brown, Quentin Grimes, Shareef O’Neal and Keldon Johnson making their decisions very soon.

However, you could make good cases for other schools landing all of them, whether it be Zion (Duke/Clemson), Johnson (Maryland/Texas), Bol, (almost certainly Oregon), Grimes (Kansas) and O’Neal (stay committed to Arizona).

Given Calipari’s track record, we know he isn’t missing on all of them, but how many, if any, players will he sign this fall?

Scout recruiting guru Evan Daniels just did his fall signing period preview, and it includes several updates on UK targets. Daniels thinks that four-star guard Tyler Herro is the safest bet to pick the Cats right now, but there also should be two pledges that UK scores by next Wednesday.

We know that Barrett is announcing Friday, but the other prospects haven’t released details about an announcement. Of that group the safest bet to land at Kentucky is Tyler Herro. He’s set to take an official visit this weekend and the Wildcats appear to be the favorite. I’d be surprised if the Wildcats didn’t add at least two pledges during this signing period.

If you follow recruiting, it’s very likely that the second pledge would be from Keldon Johnson. The five-star wing out of Virginia is poised to pick the Cats at some point, though it may happen next week or even after the fall signing period begins.

However, there’s a chance, albeit one that is getting smaller each day, that Zion Williamson makes his decision during the fall period. But don’t assume that happens, at least based on Daniels’ latest update.

This may be the most unique recruiting situation of them all. Zion Williamson and his family have been very quiet over the past couple of weeks. From polling college coaches involved, it appears they are just as in the dark as we are regarding if he intends to sign early or wait out of the process. Williamson took his final scheduled official visit to UNC the weekend of Oct. 27. He also took official visits to Duke, Kansas and Kentucky, plus multiple unofficial visits to Clemson and South Carolina. So with his visits complete, it would seem logical that a decision is coming, but it certainly isn’t a guarantee.

Be sure to read the full preview here. Also, be sure to read Daniels’ update with SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker, which includes updates on Brown, Barrett, Zion and other UK targets.

For now, I’m guessing that UK lands commitments from Herro and Johnson to join Quickley and give UK a three-man class coming out of the fall. I think Barrett picks Duke on Friday and Zion waits until after the fall period to make a decision.


Who do you think UK comes away with in the early signing period?