It looks like Simi Shittu is still someone being recruited by the Kentucky Wildcats.
UK has previously expressed interest in Shittu, but there hasn’t been much reported on that interest since May. That appears to be changing in a hurry.
According to Adam Zagoria, John Calipari checked in with Shittu recently and expressed excitement over the five-star forward. Zagoria also writes that UK assistant coach Kenny Payne is expected to watch Shittu this weekend at a CIA Bounce event in Brampton, Ontario.
Calipari called Vermont Academy coach Alex Popp as well as Shittu’s mother.
“Calipari was excited that Simi is just 17 years old,” Popp said. “He was also excited to hear that Simi is a gym rat. He mentioned that Simi is very fortunate to be playing the game of basketball in this era. Cal said the trend right now is positionless basketball and that’s what Simi is.
Shittu is likely to become the latest in a recent trend of Canadian superstars to play for an American college. The 6-8, 210-pound forward is a five-star prospect in every major recruiting service in addition to being 247’s No. 8 prospect in 2018.
Shittu already has several offers from programs like Arizona, UConn, Alabama, Louisville, Baylor, Texas, Notre Dame and UCLA among others. Bigger-name programs like UK and Duke have shown previous interest, though no offer has come yet.
Part of that has been both blue-bloods have been in the running for Marvin Bagley, who Shittu probably isn’t playing at the same school as. But with Bagley trending away from UK, perhaps Shittu is about to become a bigger priority for UK.
Of all the big men in 2018 that don’t have a UK offer, I’d rank Shittu at the top. UK has shown interest in other bigs like Naz Reid, Moses Brown and Emmitt Williams, but Shittu is arguably better than all of them.
With Payne set to watch Shittu this weekend, perhaps a scholarship offer will come shortly thereafter.
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