With the fall recruiting period now in full swing, it’s time to once again take a deep dive into Kentucky’s recruiting in the 2018 class.
With Cameron Reddish having committed to Duke, the scope of recruits has narrowed. Here’s a roundup of everything you need to know about the biggest names on John Calipari’s radar.
John Calipari is hosting 5-star guards Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley this weekend. Quickley visiting now had been planned for awhile, but Johnson was a late addition, which is probably a good thing since Quickley can really recruit Johnson this weekend.
As Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald Leader writes, Cal is looking to put a nice bow on Quickley’s recruitment and get him in Kentucky blue.
BBN What's Good?!! ⚪️— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) September 15, 2017
At KSR, Aaron Torres did a fantastic breakdown of Quickley the player and the person. Give it a read.
Meanwhile, while Kentucky is making a strong push in Johnson’s recruitment, Texas is still all the buzz now. Johnson’s last visit caused a huge swing for Kentucky, so maybe this one will too.
The class’ No. 1 prospect, 5-star forward R.J. Barrett, is visiting Duke this weekend, and 5-star shooting guard Romeo Langford is rumored to be heading to the Louisville-Clemson football game this weekend, according to Scout’s Brian Snow.
Kentucky is a major player in Barrett’s recruitment, though Duke is currently the favorite in his Crystal Ball. As for Langford, Kentucky’s barely in the race according to most experts. Louisville is currently the favorite in his Crystal Ball.
Five-star point guard Quentin Grimes broke down his final four schools recently, which was featured in an article by Evan Daniels. Here’s what he had to say about Kentucky.
They came in on Sunday and their main pitch is to see me and another guard they get to be able to come in there and have the same goal, which is win a National Championship and just really get to the next level. They feel like they would be a great fit for me to get to my goals of making the NBA and also develop me on the court as a leader and as a person off the court. That was their pitch.
Grimes’ other three schools are Texas, Marquette and Kansas.
Five-star recruits Bol Bol and Darius Garland will be in town for Big Blue Madness, which Calipari is now using as a major recruiting tool these days. Kentucky isn’t currently the favorite for either, but they’re still very much in the mix for Bol.
It’s likely there will be a lot more recruits at BBM, but for now Bol and Garland are the first two to confirm they’ll be there.
Garland looks like a major longshot, but Bol is someone Kentucky would love to have in next year’s class. His ceiling is as high as anyone in this class, though his motor and physicality caused Kentucky to take a slower approach in his recruitment.
Speaking of visits to Kentucky, Zion Williamson has set his visit with Kentucky for Sept. 22. That’ll be the same time that John Wall is in town. The two share a mutual ability to produce outstanding basketball mixtape material.
Williamson is the No. 2 player in the class according to 247’s Composite, and Kentucky is one of the two biggest factors in his recruitment currently; they trail only Kansas on his Crystal Ball.
While we’re on the topic of Williamson, Immanuel Quickley is still working on getting him to be a package deal, according to CatsPause.
The package deal seemed legitimate at first, but Williamson then started exploring places other than Kentucky, and it changed. Quickley isn’t ready to let him go elsewhere.
"I just talked to him tonight. I literally just texted him three minutes ago," Quickley told CatsPause.com Tuesday. "We talked about trying to play together, him scheduling his visits and just seeing where he's at."
A package deal would change the entire landscape of college basketball.
And Calipari is working hard for Simi Shittu; the Kentucky head coach attended Shittu’s 6 a.m. workout recently at the Vermont Academy. Kentucky is currently the favorite in Shittu’s recruitment, with UConn being second.
And some bonus 2019 news, Cal has offered his first scholarship in the 2019 class to James Wiseman. Wiseman is the No. 1 rated player in 2019 by ESPN. He’s No. 2 on 247 Sports’ rankings.
Wiseman also has offers from Texas, North Carolina, Louisville, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Florida State and Kansas.
Kentucky also offered 2019 star DJ. Jeffries on Thursday, making him and Wiseman the lone recruits in this class with offers from Calipari. It’s early, but those two now appear to be at or near the top of Kentucky’s big board in 2019.