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Kentucky Wildcats predicted to have huge 2018 basketball recruiting class

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SB Nation has Kentucky landing three massive commits in 2018.

High School Basketball: Zion Williamson Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have yet to score a pledge in the Class of 2018. Expect that to change in a big way this fall.

SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell recently posted an article of predictions for big 2018 recruits on the main hub, including predictions for R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Bol Bol, Cameron Reddish, Romeo Langford, Naz Reid, Simi Shittu, Immanuel Quickley, Darius Garland, Moses Brown and Jordan Brown.

The predictions show Kentucky landing Williamson, Shittu and Quickley.

Here’s what he said about Shittu:

Shittu is an athletic Canadian big man who sets himself apart with “his ability to handle and pass the ball at his size,” per ESPN.

John Calipari always loads up on bigs. You can bet at least a couple of the five-star front court players in this class end up in Lexington.

Here’s what he said about Quickley

An athletic 6’4 lead guard out of Maryland, Quickley looks like one of the better NBA prospects in this class if his jumper continues to progress. He’s been in the news recently for hinting that he and Zion Williamson could be a packaged deal.

Kentucky brought in two five-star guards this year who aren’t expected to be one-and-dones in Quade Green and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Quickley is big and fast enough to still carve out a big role if he ends up in Lexington.

The bit about Williamson is lengthy (deservedly so), but here’s the key part.

The thing that stands out about Williamson is the raw power he can generate from his 230-plus-pound frame. He already looks like an NFL defensive end. Combine that grown man strength with an ultra aggressive mindset on both ends of the court, and you have the makings of a game-changing small ball four (or even center) at the college level. He’s going to be a mismatch nightmare in the front court.

Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas are the four schools most often associated with his recruitment. Williamson said he hopes to make a decision before the season starts.

The Quickley/Williamson package deal talk combined with the fact that John Calipari knows how to handle hype is what caused Ricky O’Donnell to stick with Kentucky despite many experts flipping their pick to Kansas.

However, O’Donnell does not think Barrett picks the Cats, but instead opts for Duke, though it wasn’t with a lot of confidence.

“Barrett has kept his recruit close to the vest for now, so Duke feels like a good pick if we’re just taking a wild guess.”

Even if Kentucky doesn’t land Barrett, this would still be a monster three-man class that probably will add someone else like Keldon Johnson, Quentin Grimes or another recruit not mentioned.

Be sure to read the full post here.

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