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UK Basketball: Will Wildcats get an elite 2019 big man?

The class of 2019 is top heavy with serious frontcourt talent.

Drew Brown

The class of 2019 is shaping up to be exceptionally top heavy with frontcourt talent.

James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr, and Charles Bassey are the unanimous top 3 players in their class. They are all 6’10 or taller and each brings a unique skill set to the game.

Kentucky’s ability to sign one or more of these 5 star big men will have a significant impact on the future.

There is still much to be determined with the top 10 players in the class of 2019 remaining uncommitted.

John Calipari still has a multitude of options available in the class of 2019

In my opinion, ranking Wiseman or Carey Jr. as the #1 player is splitting hairs. Both are skilled enough to mature into transcendent big men. I had the chance to watch Memphis East play against NSU University School in the City Of Palms Classic this winter.

When seen in person, it is hard to believe that Wiseman and Carey Jr. both just recently turned 17 years old. By the time they arrive on a college campus, their bodies will be ready to immediately contribute.

Vernon Carey Jr. has elite ability to finish at the rim and is a physical specimen. His father, Vernon Carey, played in the NFL. So. he has the pedigree and genetics of a professional athlete. At times, his motor has been called into question.

When I saw him play live, it did seem like he took the occasional play off. But he also led his University School team to a tournament championship in one of the premier holiday events in the entire country. He is an absolute beast when attacking the rim.

I will looking forward to watching Carey Jr. continue to develop and especially interested to follow his recruitment. As of now, 247 Sports has picks for Miami and Duke. But it seems pretty wide open on where he could potentially sign.

John Calipari was in to visit Carey Jr recently. Adding him to the roster would be a game changer for Kentucky.

James Wiseman is projected as the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft by He was said to be a Kentucky lean before Penny Hardaway was introduced as the head coach at the University of Memphis in mid-March. It is now believed that he could follow his high school coach and play for the Tigers.

I think there is still a good chance that Calipari signs Wiseman but it is now an uphill battle. A lot can happen in a year and it’s clear that Wiseman has a promising future in the NBA ahead of him.

So, what better place to prepare than UK?

Charles Bassey has not had much connection to Kentucky during his high school recruitment. Although, he does play his high basketball in Louisville at relocated Aspire Academy. He recently dominated at Basketball Without Borders, winning MVP honors. As his stock continues to rise I expect the interest of blue blood schools to increase.

Assuming he stays in Louisville at Aspire, it will be easy for local schools to stay close to the #3 player in the class of 2019. Bassey has a long frame, can finish at the rim, and has a nice shooting touch.

Per usual, many of the top high school players will be keeping their eye on what Kentucky’s roster will look like before making decisions. I would not be surprised to see some of these commitments drag out into next spring, especially Vernon Carey Jr.

In Cal we trust.