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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: 2019 Fall Signing Period Primer

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Everything you need to know regarding Kentucky’s targets going into the fall recruiting period.

USA Basketball, Courtside Films and USA Today

Kentucky Basketball has had a sluggish start to the 2018-2019 season, sitting at 1-1 that includes an opening-night blowout loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

However, with the 2019 Fall Signing Period is here, life could potentially become much brighter for head coach John Calipari and the rest of Big Blue Nation.

With many top-recruits on Kentucky’s radar, the program is sure to land at least one of their favored talents. But, which star (or stars) will that be?

James Wiseman

James Wiseman has been most people’s undisputed, top-overall prospect. Though Florida State, Kansas and Vanderbilt have Wiseman’s attention, Kentucky and Memphis seem to be battling it out for Wiseman’s signature.

Though recent reports have all but claimed Wiseman will wear Memphis blue next fall, his mother has clarified to 247 Sports that there has yet to be an official announcement date set and her son’s decision has yet to be made.

Decision Date: Unknown

Vernon Carey Jr.

  • 247 ranking: 3rd
  • ESPN Ranking: 3rd
  • Rivals Ranking: 1st
  • Commitment: Undecided

Unlike the long & lanky Wiseman, Carey Jr. brings a 6’10, 275 pound frame to the table. He has expressed interest in playing with Wiseman, though his expected landing spot is with Duke instead of Kentucky or Memphis.

The Wildcats are in his top-5, but don’t seem to currently have the majority of his attention. He’s currently planning to commit right after the early signing period and sign in the spring.

Decision Date: After fall signing period

Jaden McDaniels

  • 247 ranking: 4th
  • ESPN Ranking: 5th
  • Rivals Ranking: 4th
  • Commitment: Undecided

McDaniels made a recent trip to Lexington for Friday’s game abasing Southern Illinois, While winning in more dominant fashion would have probably been more appealing, the talented recruit did indeed get to witness what a win is like in Rupp Arena.

Calipari’s strong efforts as of late have asserted Kentucky into a battle that also involves Texas as well as San Diego State. The current plan is for him to decide sometime after the fall signing period, though it may not be long after.

Decision Date: Unknown

Khalil Whitney

  • 247 ranking: 6th
  • ESPN Ranking: 9th
  • Rivals Ranking: 7th
  • Commitment: KENTUCKY

The Wildcats scored Whitney back in early August as their current top-recruit for the 2019 class. As a dynamic wing, Whitney’s ability to excel on both ends of the court will wow Big Blue Nation.

Whitney’s size, along with superstar talent, will allow for him to become a generational talent at Kentucky. Surrounding Whitney with other top-tier talent should be at the top of Kentucky’s agenda.

For now, it appears Whitney will not be signing in the fall.

Isaiah Stewart

  • 247 ranking: 7th
  • ESPN Ranking: 4th
  • Rivals Ranking: 5th
  • Commitment: Undecided

Stewart is the attention-grabber, as Carey Jr. said he has serious interest in playing with him, too. However, Duke, Michigan State and Washington seem to be getting warmer while Kentucky hasn’t escalated much.

Stewart’s visit to Duke will likely be his final stop on the recruiting trail, and it’s set to take place beginning Nov. 23. That means he will not be signing in the fall, and it’s unclear how soon his decision may come.

Decision Date: Unknown

Matthew Hurt

  • 247 ranking: 8th
  • ESPN Ranking: 6th
  • Rivals Ranking: 6th
  • Commitment: Undecided

Unfortunately, Hurt’s visit to Kentucky was never completed after he wasn’t able to attend Big Blue Madness as originally reported.

Other news that falls on the negative side is that there’s strong mutual interest between Hurt and the Kansas Jayhawks. Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Minnesota, North Carolina and Villanova have made their case, but Kansas has gotten the most with Kentucky trailing.

However, with Hurt’s decision expected to come close to next spring, so schools will have plenty of time to make up ground. Plus, Kansas’ involvement with the FBI investigation could lead to them losing ground in this recruitment.

Decision Date: Unknown, expected in 2019

Tyrese Maxey

  • 247 ranking: 10th
  • ESPN Ranking: 7th
  • Rivals Ranking: 9th
  • Commitment: KENTUCKY

Maxey was the first commitment of Kentucky’s 2019 class and has been a key asset in actively recruiting other top-players. James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., etc. have all been mentioned as players Maxey has reached out to.

Landing Maxey solidifies the point guard position for Kentucky, as Calipari has acquired yet another tall, lanky, fast PG that can score the ball as well as set up his teammates.

Maxey is set to sign with Kentucky on the first day of the fall period.

Keion Brooks

  • 247 ranking: 12th
  • ESPN Ranking: 33rd
  • Rivals Ranking: 26th
  • Commitment: Undecided

Brooks is scheduled for one more official visit, which is to Michigan State on November 16th. Many things can change by the time he decides, but his decision is most-likely to come down to Indiana and Kentucky.

While Indiana seems to be the favorite in this battle, Kentucky is known for their recruiting as well as putting players in the NBA to succeed.

Decision Date: Unknown

Dontaie Allen

  • 247 ranking: 84th
  • ESPN Ranking: 91st
  • Rivals Ranking: 54th
  • Commitment: KENTUCKY

Allen is trending upward as much as any player on the high school level. The four star committed to Kentucky less than a week before Whitney.

Standing 6’6, 185 pounds, Allen will provide exceptional wing depth for a team that is expected to lose Keldon Johnson and potentially Tyler Herro to the 2019 NBA draft.

Allen is set to sign with Kentucky on Friday.