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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Way-Too-Early 2018 Class Predictions

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Who will the Cats haul in for their 2018 class?

Kentucky remains in the mix for top recruits, poised for another top ranked class.
Kentucky remains in the mix for top recruits, poised for another top ranked class.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It's July 2017 yet it's never too soon to imagine the recruits that Coach Cal is going to bring into the fold for his 2018 class. Let's dive into all the recruits linked to the Wildcats and see where they could end up.

Marvin Bagley Sierra Canyon High School (CA) 6-11 220 PF 5-star:

Bagley is considered to be the consensus top rated prospect in the 2018 class. He was also the first recruit within the class to receive an offer from Kentucky. The Cats are to be believed near the top of Bagley's list, but Duke and USC have been the buzz lately as Bagley recently visited both schools.

It has been reported also that Bagley has requested to reclassify into the 2017 class which would be a blow for the Cats. Ultimately, I believe Kentucky remains in the race until the end, but think Bagley remains on the West Coast. Way Too Early Prediction: USC

Zion Williamson Spartanburg Day School (SC) 6-7 230 SF 5-star:

Williamson has been praised on the recruiting trail over the past year with his insane athleticism and dunking ability. He recently told reporters on the Adidas circuit that he wants to play in college with fellow 5-star prospect and Kentucky target Immanuel Quickely.

With that being said, I really like the Wildcats chances to land the package deal in the next few months. Don't count out Clemson and South Carolina, which are close to his family and are making Zion their top priority. Deals fall through in recruiting, but this one seems too good not to be true. Way Too Early Prediction: Kentucky

Cameron Reddish Westtown School (PA) 6-7 205 SF 5-star:

Reddish has been at the top of Cal's wish list for some time now. Cam is viewed by Calipari as a position-less point forward as he displayed his versatility with the USA U-19 team this summer. Reddish has been thought as a Duke lean, but after playing for Calipari this summer, I believe we have another Kentucky-Duke battle ahead.

Louis King, who played with Reddish on the Nike circuit wants to continue to play with him in college and King is considered to be a heavy UK lean though he has yet to receive a scholarship. With Barrett reclassifying it's hard to say what will play out for Kentucky's class. Way Too Early Prediction: Duke

Bol Bol Mater Dei High School (CA) 7-2 220 C 5-star:

Kentucky seemed to gain all the moment at the beginning of the summer with Bol, but now his recruitment seems to be trending in a different direction. USC has emerged as a real threat to land his commitment, but he has voiced his opinion on possibly playing alongside Shareef O'Neil at Arizona. I believe he stays out west next year, but his recruitment is far from over. Way Too Early Prediction: Arizona

Romeo Langford New Albany High School (IN) 6-5 195 SG 5-star:

Langford is another recruit that played for Coach Calipari this summer in Egypt. An injury hampered his role on the team as he never found a groove during the team's 7 game stretch. Kentucky appears to be on the outside looking in at the moment with Langford as Louisville, Indiana, and Duke are presumed to be the favorites. We are still a long way from his decision, but I am not confident Kentucky will land his services. Way Too Early Prediction: Louisville

Darius Garland Brentwood Academy (TN) 6-1 175 PG 5-star:

Garland is the latest recruit to land an offer from the Wildcats. He recently just announced his top 6 which included UK, but many wonder how much interest they mutually have for each other. Immanuel Quickley is thought to be the top priority for Cal at point guard, but keep an open mind with this one. It's too early to tell what direction he will go, but expect the pick to be the hometown Vanderbilt Commodores or Duke. Way Too Early Prediction: Duke

Moses Brown Archbishop Molloy (NY) 7-0 215 C 5-star:

Brown's recruitment has been kept quiet for the most part. Kentucky seems to be a favorite as Coach Cal has a great track record in the New York-New Jersey area. Maryland and Louisville have also been eyeing Brown heavily on the UA circuit. This is difficult to gauge as the picture will become clearer on who Kentucky is going to focus on in due time. His recruitment has a ways to go, but for now I'll say he stays closer to home. Way Too Early Prediction: Maryland

Immanuel Quickley John Carroll School (MD) 6-3 175 PG 5-star:

It has been known for some time now that Quickley is a heavy UK lean. He wants to pair up with Zion Williamson in college, which has made BBN on the edge of their seats. To me, this one's a no-brainer as Calipari has made him the top priority and he is giving the Cats the final official visit before his decision. He could be the first to create a domino effect of commitments for BBN. Way Too Early Prediction: Kentucky

Naz Reid Roselle Catholic (NJ) 6-9 225 PF 5-star:

Reid has been a player linked to numerous schools. The latest being LSU as he may want to play alongside Javonte Smart. Kentucky is in the mix for his services, and he has recently stated he wants to visit Kentucky in the near future. St. Johns has also been in the fold as they are close to home. Not too sure where Naz will go, but playing at Isaiah Briscoe's alma mater can only help the Cats chances. Way Too Early Prediction: LSU

Louis King Hudson Catholic (NJ) 6-8 200 SF 5-star:

King has shown strong interest in Kentucky and believes an offer will come from the program soon. If King does get the nod, I believe he commits to BBN in the following days. Being on the U-19 team, King has proven he is worthy of playing in the bright lights and has been a big riser in the recent updated rankings. If Calipari decides to hold off on the offer, look for King to head in another direction close to New Jersey. Way Too Early Prediction: Kentucky

Keldon Johnson Oak Hill Academy (VA) 6-5 200 SF 5-star:

There has been little talk of Keldon Johnson as I don't think at the moment Kentucky is giving him much attention. With that being said, Johnson is a very talented prospect, but Coach Cal presumably doesn't see him as a top priority. His recruitment seems to be wide open. Way Too Early Prediction: Texas

Emmitt Williams IMG Academy (FL) 6-8 205 PF 5-star:

Like Keldon Johnson, I don't believe Kentucky will pursue Emmitt Williams hard enough to contend for his services. He is an athletic big who can score down low and protect the paint. Many factors will play into his decisions as many big named schools are in the mix. Way Too Early Prediction: Kansas

Quentin Grimes College Park (TX) 6-4 180 CG 5-star:

Grimes is one guard in this class that could either play PG or SG in college. He is smart player who can shoot the lights out. UK made his Top 7 and he has made it known that he believes he can play alongside Quickley if they both decide to commit to the Cats. Kansas is the presumed favorite for Grimes' commitment. Way Too Early Prediction: Kansas

David McCormack Oak Hill Academy (VA) 6-9 290 C 4-star:

McCormack benefitted from a big summer on the Adidas circuit which helped him draw interest from blue blood programs. Kentucky was a school to watch McCormack this summer, but still have yet to offer. Don't expect a decision anytime soon. Way Too Early Prediction: Duke

Simisola Shittu Vermont Academy (VT) 6-8 210 PF 5-star:

Shittu has been one of the best surprises of the summer. Kentucky fans may have only heard of him a week ago, but Coach Cal is showing high interest in Shittu's game. Calipari recently watched Shittu play with Kentucky alumnus Jamaal Murray by his side. Shittu hasn't given much insight on his recruiting process, but I think Kentucky has a good chance for this Canadian. Way Too Early Prediction: Kentucky

RJ Barrett Montverde Academy (FL) 6-6 185 SG/SF 5-star:

Barrett is the newest member of the 2018 class as he decided to reclassify from the 2019 class. Barrett was the unsung hero who led the Canada U-19 team to a gold medal this summer. In recruiting, I believe the Cats will make him a top priority and Barrett's father has said good things about the program.

Duke and Kansas among others will also pursue Barrett heavy, however I expect Kentucky to land another Canadian with their success in the 6. Way Too Early Prediction: Kentucky

Expect the Kentucky class to consist of 4-6 prospects are it is expected the Knox and Diallo may be the only to players to opt for the draft next spring. With no graduating seniors, it may be difficult to sell player roles to some recruits, but Cal will find the right guys. Here's a look at my projected class:

PG Immanuel Quickley 6-3 175

SG/SF RJ Barrett 6-6 185

SF Zion Williamson 6-7 230

SF Louis King 6-8 200

PF Simisola Shittu 6-8 210

This would be another top-ranked class for the Cats that provides a lot of talent and length at numerous positions. If this were to play out, Drake's gotta dedicate a song to this class.