At one point in time, Trae Young to Kentucky almost seemed like a lock.
The five-star point guard seemed all but certain to be the next point guard for the Wildcats. He was Calipari’s first offer in the 2017 class, which typically means that person is one of the top targets.
But instead, Calipari offered Quade Green a scholarship too, and committed not long after. Young eventually decided to go to Oklahoma.
And in a recent article, Matt Norlander of CBS Sports writes what many in the Big Blue Nation had suspected: Young was very close to becoming a Wildcat.
"He was going to Kentucky or Kansas," Ray Young, Trae’s father, told Norlander. "It wasn't even that big of a debate for a while. Once he got the offer from Kentucky, it's like, 'Dad, Coach (John) Calipari just left our house.' I would never say it was a done deal because we really liked Coach (Bill) Self a lot, and being around the coaches at Oklahoma and Coach Kruger, but there was no way he was not going to go to Kentucky, for about six or eight months. That's the thing people don't understand. He really wanted to go there but things didn't work out."
Norlander writes that Calipari made no promises to Young during his recruitment, and that Young wanted to play with either Michael Porter Jr., or Jarred Vanderbilt.
We really don’t know all the specifics of what transpired for what many thought was a foregone conclusion. There were rumblings that certain players didn’t want to play with Young or that there were disagreements on Young’s role.
There is no clear evidence as to what happened, but it seems that Oklahoma landed a really good player in Young and Calipari and Kentucky landed a point guard in Quade Green that has also exceeded most preseason expectations.
You can read the rest of Norlander’s piece here, which is a really extensive look at Young’s decision to stay home at Oklahoma and how he has developed.