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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Can UK overtake Duke Blue Devils for the top 2018 class?

Thanks to some potential surprise additions, UK may rally past Duke for the top spot.

Courtside Films and HoopSeen

The Kentucky Wildcats have been hot on the recruiting trail the last few weeks, landing 2018 5-star forward E.J. Montgomery and then the next day, the top point guard in the 2019 class in Ashton Hagans (who may reclassify to 2018.)

But even with Montgomery and possibly Hagans in the fold for 2018, it will be difficult for the Wildcats to overtake the Duke Blue Devils’ stranglehold on the #1 2018 recruiting class, according to Rivals’ Eric Bossi.

Duke is solidly in the lead with commitments from the top 3 players in the class in R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, and Zion Williamson, as well as the top point guard in the class in Tre Jones, a top-10 player.

For Kentucky to take over the top ranking, Bossi said that Hagans needs to reclassify in which he would likely be a top 10 recruit in 2018, and Kentucky would need to pull in another commitment, such as a reclassified James Wiseman, to take over the #1 designation. That doesn’t look likely right now, as it seems Wiseman and his family are content with staying in 2019.

But indications from John Calipari and some media members are that Calipari isn’t done yet with the 2018 class, either through a reclassification from 2019 or through a grad transfer.

The newest name to emerge is five-star guard Tyrese Maxey, who is currently ranked No. 13 overall in the 2019 class. However, he’s considering a move into the 2018 class, so that could be another five-star recruit UK adds to an already-deep class.

If there were to happen, UK’s class would have six players who currently are five-star prospects in at least one recruiting service. Tyler Herro is the only recruit who’s not a consensus five-star guy, but that could chance once all of the final rankings are released.

Whether Kentucky takes over the #1 recruiting class or not, it is clear that John Calipari has taken Duke’s recruiting success personally and is on a mission on the recruiting trail.

It looks like there may be a few more surprises when it comes to this recruiting class, so buckle up.