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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Big Board 5.0

A look at who UK is in the running for that ‘could’ be part of the 2018 class.

HoopSeen and USA Basketball

With the 2017-18 season over and three signees in 2018, it’s time to turn our attention to how Kentucky’s 2018 recruiting class could finish.

Head coach John Calipari has only a few targets remaining, though he’s said he hopes to sign a couple of more recruits.


  • Ashton Hagans: Point guard, five-star, Covington, Georgia, 6-4, 185 lbs, national rank: 8, PG rank: 1
  • Brandon Williams: Point guard, four-star, Encino, California, 6-2, 185 lbs, national rank: 31, PG ranks: 7.
  • Jalen Lecque: Combo guard, five-star, Arden, North Carolina, 6-4, 175 lbs, national rank: 12, CG rank: 2.

It’s no surprise that Calipari is going after some of the top talents at the guard spots, especially Ashton Hagans, who is still technically a 2019 recruit, but there’s a real chance he moves up to 2018. Cal has a great lineage when it comes to point guards, and Immanuel Quickley will continue that trend.

Kentucky is currently the favorite for Hagans, but other schools are currently the trending favorites for Brandon Williams and Jalen Lecque. The Oregon Ducks are the favorite for Williams, who decommitted from Arizona following their involvement with the FBI investigation.

The North Carolina Tar Heels and the Oregon Ducks are currently the favorites for Lecque, who is also a 2019 recruit that may reclassify into the 2018 class. There hasn’t been much UK chatter in his recruitment ever since it was revealed that Hagans could move into 2018, and it sounds like that’s who UK prefers.


  • E.J. Montgomery: Power forward, five-star, Marietta, Georgia, 6-10, 200 lbs, national rank: 12, PF rank: 3.

The only forward target that Kentucky has so far, Montgomery certainly wouldn’t have any shortage of star power. The 6-10 big man has great length and athleticism, and while he’s not the ideal break starter, he’s the perfect break finisher, with ability to finish at the rim. His length also makes him a good shot blocker inside.

The Duke Blue Devils are currently the favorite for Montgomery, but they did just lose ace recruiter Jeff Capel, who became the head coach at Pitt. It’s pretty much Montgomery or bust for UK in terms of true power forwards in 2018.


  • James Wiseman: Center, five-star, Memphis, Tennessee, 6-11, 210 lbs, national rank: 1, C rank: 1.

The top recruit in the 2019 class, James Wiseman would be a total game-changer for any team that gets him. His frame resembles Anthony Davis, and his tape doesn’t look much different. He finishes alley-oops with ease, he’s got some shooting ability, and he’s a good shot blocker.

While the rumors were that Wiseman would reclassify into the 2018 class, he’s maintained he’ll stay in 2019 for several months now. Still, he’s someone to keep an eye on into the summer as a potential late addition to UK’s 2018 class.

(Rankings and star ratings are based on 247 Sports Composite).

Current 2018 commitments

Off The Board

  • R.J. Barrett (committed to Duke)
  • Bol Bol (committed to Oregon)
  • Cameron Reddish (committed to Duke)
  • Emmitt Williams (committed to LSU)
  • Moses Brown (committed to UCLA)
  • Romeo Langford (cut UK from list)
  • Simi Shittu (committed to Vanderbilt)
  • Louis King (committed to Oregon)
  • Naz Reid (committed to LSU)
  • Ja’Vonte Smart (committed to LSU)
  • Shareef O’Neal (committed to UCLA)
  • David McCormack (committed to Kansas)
  • Jaxson Hayes (committed to Texas)
  • Bryan Penn-Johnson (committed to Washington)

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