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Kentucky Basketball: Could former Louisville commit Anfernee Simons be UK’s next 2018 recruiting target?

Could Coach Cal go after this elite guard for the 2018 class?

Sports Illustrated

The Kentucky Wildcats only have three signees for the 2018 basketball class at this point.

If John Calipari wants to add another guy to that class, he will be getting in late on most of the available players and needs to move soon to have a chance.

According to Ben Roberts over at the Herald-Leader, one option for Kentucky could be to target shooting guard Anfernee Simons.

Simons was once committed to the University of Louisville, but once the Adidas scandal broke he decommitted in September. The current leaders for Simons’ services are Tennessee and Florida, each standing at 44% in the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Listed as the No. 7 overall player in the 2018 class, Simons is the second highest rated player that remains uncommitted to a school. His recruitment will also be intriguing because he has the option of declaring for the NBA after this season, as he is technically in a post-graduate year at IMG Academy in Florida.

His situation is similar to that of Hamidou Diallo last season, so he is expected to at least test the waters of the NBA. So regardless of committing to a school this spring, he could find his way into the NBA Draft during the summer.

On the surface, Kentucky pursing Simons may not seem likely. All three signees for next season (Immanuel Quickley, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro) are backcourt players, and the Wildcats are likely to return one if not two guards from this year’s team. So would Coach Cal really go after another guard?

There are two reasons he should consider offering Simons a scholarship. The first is depth. This season, Kentucky only has 11 players on scholarship out of the allowed 13.

Due to unexpected injuries and fatigue, it is obvious that Cal would feel more comfortable having more guys he could call on.

It would also be difficult for Calipari to pass on a player that is such a prolific scorer and also happens to be available this late in the recruiting cycle. Simons is known for being a dangerous shooter and can also score off the dribble as well as anyone in the class.

The Wildcats could also target John Lecque, the No. 9 player and No. 2 point guard in the 2019 class, who could potentially reclassify to 2018. Lecque has said that there is a 50-50 shot for him to reclassify, and it would be hard for Coach Cal to pass on him if he becomes available.

Would you like to see Calipari go after Simons or Lecque, or do you believe he should focus his recruiting efforts for 2018 on the front court?