The Kentucky Wildcats have made the cut for R.J. Barrett.
The five-star wing announced his final five on Wednesday. It was a very surprising list that, while it included the perceived top two schools in his recruitment, one contender was noticeably absent.
I want to thank all the schools that have recruited me.. these are my top 5 in alphabetical order. Haven't figured out any visits yet. pic.twitter.com/hID9BVGWUg— Rj Barrett (@RjBarrett6) August 16, 2017
The Kansas Jayhawks, who were thought to be a strong player in this recruitment was cut from Barrett’s new list. That’s big news for Kentucky, who is in good position for arguably the best player in the 2018 class.
This recruitment will now be viewed as a heated Kentucky vs Duke battle. After John Calipari lost out on Marvin Bagley to Coach K to finish the 2017 class, Calipari will look to rebound by landing Barrett in 2018. Barrett is currently planning to decide sometime in the fall, though it’s possible it drags into the spring.
What’s going to be interesting is to see how this glutton of elite wings in the 2018 class plays out. Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish are both expected to decide in the fall, but how will their recruitments be affected by Barrett?
Are all three, or even just two of them, willing to play together in college? Duke looks to be in good shape for Reddish, while Kentucky is battling Kansas for Zion. Is Barrett willing to team up with one of those guys in college, or will he go somewhere like Oregon or Michigan to be the man?
Whatever happens, Kentucky should come out of this class with one of Zion, Reddish or Barrett, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. However, Barrett and Zion are viewed as 2018’s top two prospects in some order. Landing one of them is imperative to Kentucky having another top-two recruiting class.
Check out some recent highlights of Barrett in action: