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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Recruiting: 2018 Nike Peach Jam Preview

What you need to know about the Peach Jam and the UK recruits taking part in it.

USA Today Sports and Nike

The Peach Jam is the crown jewel of the Nike EYBL circuit which features a collection of the best high school talent in the nation.

Of the plethora of prospects set to play in Peach Jam beginning on Wednesday, 7 players from the classes of 2019 and 2020 have an offer from Kentucky and another 7 are considered to be targeted by John Calipari.

This also doesn’t include Kentucky’s two commitments from the 2019 class, Tyrese Maxey and DJ Jeffries.

Wednesday’s action will begin at 5 PM EST with a matchup of two close friends with massive ties to Big Blue Nation already as Maxey’s Houston Hoops squad take on Cole Anthony and the PSA Cardinals.

Anthony has an offer from Kentucky as well as the MVP award for the entire EYBL circuit. Maxey recently won the EYBL Defensive Player of the Year award and led his team to a 10-2 record in EYBL play. It’s a can't-miss matchup to start the event.

Immediately following that game you can see Kentucky commit DJ Jeffries as well as his rather popular teammate James Wiseman lead Bluff City to take on Vernon Carey, Scottie Barnes, and Noah Farrakhan on Nike Team Florida.

Everyone listed has garnered major interest from Calipari and company, not to mention the big man matchup of Wiseman and Carey is also a matchup of the top two recruits in the entire 2019 class. That game will begin at 6:30.

You can also catch N’faly Dante (Mokan Elite), Jalen Lecque (NY Renaissance), and Keion Brooks (Indy Heat) before Wednesday night’s finale between Jaden McDaniels (Seattle Rotary) and Cade Cunningham (Drive Nation).

Thursday’s matchups will continue to be epic beginning with Carey and Team Florida taking on Hunter Dickinson and Jeremy Roach of the 2020 class on Team Takeover at 9 am. PSA, Renaissance, and Bluff City all play before Tyrese Maxey gets another prolific guard battle when he faces off against the EYBL’s Breakout Player of the Year Jaden McDaniels.

Keion Brooks and Cade Cunningham both play at noon before the 2nd sleight of games begins at 6 PM. McDaniel’s takes on Dante, Lecque with Ethan Morton and Kofi Cockburn on Renaissance highlight the 7:30 matchups and Wiseman, DJ Jeffries on Bluff City take on Brooks’ Indy Heat and a Maxey-Cunningham matchup caps off the night.

Friday mornings best matchup will pit Jaden McDaniels and Cole Anthony against each other, and then in the evening Anthony will have to deal with Cade Cunningham. Carey and company face off against Keion Brooks and the Group Stage finale will be Tyrese Maxey against N’Faly Dante.

Saturday will be the beginning of the Quarterfinals, in which there will likely be even more high quality matchups. Needless to say the 2018 Peach Jam is must watch television for Kentucky fans to get a good look at who Calipari’s really aiming for in the future.

Here’s a look at the top UK targets in the 2019 class set to take part in the event (based on 247 Sports Composite ranking):

  • James Wiseman (5 star, 1st overall) Memphis East High School (Bluff City Legends)
  • Vernon Carey Jr. (5 star, 2nd overall) University School (Nike Team Florida)
  • Cole Anthony (5 star, 3rd overall) ArchBishop Molloy (PSA Cardinals)
  • Jalen Lecque (5 star, 9th overall) Christ School (NY Renaissance)
  • Tyrese Maxey (5 star, 11th overall) South Garland High School (Houston Hoops)
  • Jaden McDaniels (5 star, 16th overall) Federal Way High School (Seattle Rotary)
  • Keion Brooks (5 star, 21st overall) North Side High School (Indy Heat)
  • D.J. Jeffries (4 star, 34th overall) Olive Branch High School (Bluff City Legends)

Go here for a full schedule of games.

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