It’s recruiting season for the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball program and recruiting news is flying left and right as players do interviews, trim their lists, and some announce decisions.
That said, It seemed like a good time to take a look at the latest news regarding Kentucky’s top targets.
First and foremost, James Wiseman. Eric Bossi of Rivals just published a piece about Wiseman last weekend about his recruitment.
Bossi said that Wiseman has been hearing from Kentucky commitments Tyrese Maxey and D.J. Jeffries about coming to UK, but the pull from locals in Memphis for him to stay and play for his former high school coach Penny Hardaway is strong.
Wiseman doesn’t tip his hand either way, but Bossi’s article has some good info on Wiseman. You can read the full piece here.
KSR’s TJ Walker said on Monday that he believes Kentucky still leads for Wiseman, but also said that it may be difficult for Wiseman to tell Penny “no.”
Wiseman will likely decide in the fall, so expect plenty of more Kentucky vs. Memphis talk regarding Wiseman as the summer unfolds.
NIKE EYBL Atlanta: Best Dunk— D1 Circuit (@D1Circuit) May 16, 2018
James Wiseman explodes for a vicious one-handed poster dunk
WATCH ➡️ https://t.co/rylh1YhB54 @BigTicket_JW @bluffcitylegend pic.twitter.com/vZvY7gEjqC
Next up, Vernon Carey Jr. One of the top big men in the class, Carey has seemingly liked the idea of playing in a frontcourt with Wiseman, which has Kentucky fans drooling at the possibility.
Carey cut his list to five this week, and it included Duke, Miami, Kentucky, Michigan State, and North Carolina in no particular order.
By all indications, Kentucky will receive an official visit. While the Wildcats aren’t viewed as the favorite in Carey’s recruitment—most are projecting Duke or Miami—getting Carey on campus would be a major plus in this recruitment.
Walker recently wrote on KSR that he is optimistic about Kentucky’s chances with Carey and thinks he may visit for Big Blue Madness.
Five-Star 2019 Vernon Carey Jr. dominated the final day of EYBL Session 3! @vernoncarey22 pic.twitter.com/yAYH5dZeT5— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) May 14, 2018
Kentucky made the final 5 for Bryan Antoine. However, there isn’t a lot of positive news in regard to Kentucky and Antoine. Duke is still viewed as the favorite, along with Villanova. Those three schools are in his top five, along with Florida and Kansas. It seems like it may be a surprise if Antoine ends up anywhere other than Duke.
However, Antoine’s teammate, Scotty Lewis, seems to be more wide open. A recent story by Ben Roberts at the Lexington Herald-Leader profiled Lewis, who is a top-10 player but doesn’t have eye-popping numbers like many of his colleagues. His coaches attribute that to his team-first attitude and focus on playing defense. It was long thought that Antoine and Lewis would play together in college and it certainly is still a possibility, but certainly not a done deal.
Lewis’s Crystal Ball is a three-way toss up between Florida, Kentucky, and Villanova. However, Roberts points out that analysts are having a difficult time determining where Lewis is leaning. Lewis seems like a great teammate and a guy other players would enjoy playing with. Make sure to go read Roberts’ full story here. It’s an excellent profile of Lewis and the type of player he is.
Scottie Lewis Highlights for Team Rio at @UAassociation Session 1 #HoopMajor@Scott_lewis_23 @teamrionational pic.twitter.com/zYc9DJ2plM— Hoop Major (@HoopMajor) April 25, 2018
Keion Brooks: Brooks has been a top target for Calipari and Kentucky for quite some time. The lengthy wing has a nice offensive skill set, and could fit in well with the group Kentucky is assembling for the 2019 class.
Eric Bossi at Rivals recently wrote that Kentucky and Indiana have the most buzz for Brooks.
Kentucky would love for Brooks to be part of the 2019 class, and this is shaping up to be a battle between Kentucky and Indiana, Brooks’ home-state school. IU Head Coach Archie Miller has been making it a priority to keep Indiana players in the state, so Brooks may not be easy to pull out of the Hoosier State.
If they can, he will be a great piece for Kentucky.
Cole Anthony: Cole Anthony may just be the top player in the class, at least according to USAToday, but his recruitment has also been hard to pin down. Duke has been thought to be a favorite, but some reports have shown Kentucky to be expressing interest in one of the best guards in the class.
Roberts recently wrote an interesting piece on Anthony, which you can find here.
KyKy Tandy: There really hasn’t been a lot of news on Tandy recently, which can be interpreted several ways. He still doesn’t have an offer, and it remains to be seen if one will come. Tandy is a talented player, but with Kentucky potentially having several backcourt players for the 2019-2020 season, Tandy may not see himself fitting in with the Wildcats and would prefer to go somewhere else where more playing time is immediately available.
This piece from KSR’s Drew Franklin on Kentucky and Tandy also drew quite a bit of interest.
We’ll continue to follow Kentucky and Tandy’s interesting dynamic, but for now, it doesn’t seem too optimistic that Tandy will end up a Wildcat.
Dontaie Allen: The 6’7 forward from Pendleton County (Ky.) has been getting some attention and recently picked up an offer from Xavier and new head coach Travis Steele. Allen has been a name for Kentucky fans to monitor as Kentucky has shown some interest in him early on, not exactly a common occurrence. Xavier also just so happened to pick up the first Crystal Ball selection, but it doesn’t appear like this recruitment is ending soon. Josh Moore of the Herald-Leader recently spoke to Allen about Kentucky. You can read more on that here.
Zion Harmon: Harmon, the point guard for the Adair County (Ky.) Indians this past season, currently is in the 2021 class and was recently named MaxPreps Freshman of the Year, but rumors are swirling that he plans to reclassify into the 2020 class. Additionally, there has been no indication on where he will play basketball next season, whether at Adair County, another school in the Bluegrass, or somewhere else.
Harmon has played on the AAU Circuit with James Wiseman and D.J. Jeffries recently, and was also invited to attend the Team USA U17 Training Camp.
New Mexico, Jacksonville, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Stephen F. Austin, Creighton, SMU and Vanderbilt have offered Harmon so far, according to Curtis Burch at Big Blue Insider.
Look for Harmon to make the jump to the 2020 class.