The 3-star power forward is ranked No. 229 in the class of 2018. At 6-10, 195 lbs, he’s certainly one of the taller players in the class. He had 17 offers, including offers from Xavier, Butler, Georgetown and Ohio State.
Hayes received a late offer from Kentucky, and was thrilled about it, but the interest apparently wasn’t enough. it’s also unclear if it was even a committable offer. He played his high school ball at Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Kentucky trended heavily upward in his recruitment after their offer, but Hayes’ comments on his official visit to Texas made it clear they were the favorite. He said that he had a lot of fun and only had good things to say about head coach Shaka Smart.
The amount of talent likely to be on the 2018 roster between returning players and future commits, it wouldn’t have been likely that Hayes saw the floor a lot, especially early on in his career.
What’s Next for Kentucky?
With Hayes’ commitment to Texas, Immanuel Quickley remains the only 2018 commit that John Calipari has landed. Even so, Hayes ending up elsewhere is no necessarily a bad thing for Kentucky.
While the 2018 class is thin with viable bigs, there are still more proven options out there, especially in terms of players expected to make an immediate impact in college. Among them are Bol Bol, Simi Shittu, E.J, Montgomery, Emmitt Williams, Moses Brown, Bryan Penn-Johnson and Jordan Brown.
Kentucky has already expressed some level of interest in Williams, Brown, Penn-Johnson, Bol and Shittu. Montgomery is a new name to emerge after he decommitted from Auburn earlier this week.
Needless to say, Kentucky will be fine without Hayes, though it remains to be seen who they’ll prioritize among the 2018 class of big men.