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The latest recruiting predictions for UK targets

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Who will join Kentucky’s already promising 2019 class?

Courtside Films and USA Today

The fall signing period is here, but will the Kentucky Wildcats add any new commitments?

For now, it appears they’ll have to settle for their current three-man class of Tyrese Maxey, Dontaie Allen and Kahlil Whitney. That’s a great foundation for another special class assembled by John Calipari, but it’s obviously lacking a true big man, something Kentucky was hoping to land before the fall period ended.

Many of Kentucky’s top remaining frontcourt targets are not planning to sign early. However, James Wiseman was planning to sign early, and if he does, it continues to look like the Memphis Tigers will be his pick.

ESPN just gave their latest recruiting predictions for the most notable 2019 recruits, and Kentucky is expected to strike out on most of them. That includes Wiseman, was is predicted to pick Memphis with a 55-percent confidence level.

The 247 Sports Crystal Ball is 77 percent in favor of the Tigers. It’s still not a done deal Wiseman signs early, and Kentucky’s best hope of landing the No. 1 recruit is probably if he waits until the spring. Memphis has too much momentum right now to think they won’t be the pick if a decision is made within the next week.

While Wiseman is considered the top prospect, Vernon Carey continues to make a strong push for that distinction. He too is someone Kentucky is in the running for, but ESPN thinks he ends up with the Michigan State Spartans, though it’s with only a 35-percent confidence level.

The 247 Sports Crystal Ball is actually 53 percent in favor of the Duke Blue Devils, who are now thought to be the biggest threat to Michigan State. Carey won’t sign early, but Rivals’ Corey Evans expects a decision to be made within the next 30 days.

Then there’s Isaiah Stewart, who also won’t sign early but may also decide in the coming weeks and sign in the spring. ESPN thinks Michigan State will be the pick with a 40-percent confidence level.

The 247 Sports Crystal Ball is 44 percent in favor of the Spartans. Having a frontcourt of Carey and Stewart would be a devastating combo that would make the Spartans one of the preseason favorites next season.

What would make it sting even more for Kentucky is it’s the Spartans who they’ll face in the Champions Classic. It’s already scary to think of what that could look like if Kentucky can’t find some quality bigs help while Michigan State adds two elite bigs to its frontline.

The good news here is ESPN thinks Kentucky will land Keion Brooks with a 40-percent confidence level. that would be a great get, though it’s unclear when his decision could come. The Indiana Hoosiers remain the biggest competition here. The 247 Sports Crystal Ball is 50 percent in favor of the Hoosiers.

The only other Kentucky recruit on here that ‘could’ decide soon is Jaden McDaniels. ESPN is still picking the Washington Huskies with a 40-percent confidence level. The 247 Sports Crystal Ball has just four predictions, and they’re split between the Texas Longhorns and San Diego State Aztecs.

McDaniels just visited Kentucky, and he’ll take his final official visit this weekend to UCLA. There’s a chance he decides before next Wednesday’s deadline, and even if he doesn’t, a decision shouldn’t be far off.

For what it’s worth, KSR’s TJ Walker is predicting Kentucky to land McDaniels and Matthew Hurt to the 2019 class. That would be a heck of a finish and put Kentucky in contention to finish with the top-ranked recruiting class.

Be sure to read ESPN’s full piece.