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Kahlil Whitney picks Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Highlights and Breakdown

UK gets a 5-star wing who plays like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.


Kahlil Whitney has committed to the Kentucky Wildcats, per ESPN.

Whitney, who hails from Roselle (NJ), is ranked as the No. 18 player and the No. 5 small forward in the class of 2019 on 247 Sports Composite, which measures all of the recruiting rankings. He stands 6-7, 200 pounds and is ranked as high as No. 14 overall by 247 and ESPN.

The 6-7 wing holds scholarship offers from the Kansas Jayhawks, Louisville Cardinals, Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, Oregon Ducks, Virginia Cavaliers and Syracuse Orange among many others.

In terms of Kentucky’s 2019 class, with Dontaie Allen and Tyrese Maxey on board while DJ Jeffries decommitted recently, Whitney is exactly the kind of forward this class needed. Where Allen is a wing that can play shooting guard, Whitney is a more physical wing that can also play power forward.

Whitney is at his best in transition. He can finish through contact at the rim and has the athleticism to beat defenders up the floor. Watch Whitney play, and you’ll see shades of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Like MKG, Whitney is a hard-working forward who plays hard on both ends of the court. He also has a nice jumper and can really frustrate opponents with how balanced his offense is, as well as how great he is on his defense with his quick feet and long arms. His speed and athleticism also lead to him jamming in a lot of putback dunks.

And while Whitney is ranked in the 15-25 range of the recruiting rankings, he definitely looks like a kid that’s going to finish a lot higher in the final rankings.

Some recruiting analysts have suggested he could finish in the top 5-10 range in 2019, which could make him Kentucky’s highest ranked recruit in this class.

Here is a breakdown of Whitney’s game by ESPN:


Whitney is a high level athlete with a strong motor. He gets off his feet to rise up in a hurry and already has a history of dunking on people. He has a long and wiry build that hasn’t really filled out yet but is already deceptively strong. His best work comes in transition, especially when he has a head of steam, or on the offense glass, but he is not incapable of making open shots from the perimeter. His best penetration typically comes off the catch when his first step can be both quick and long. Defensively he has a world of upside to be both a true stopper and multi-positional defender.


While Whitney is a truly elite level athlete, who doesn’t fully utilize that explosiveness in all aspects of his floor game. His half-court style ironically revolves more around his jumper than his drive, and he’s not a natural shooter by any stretch. His stroke is compact but often flat and opposing defenses are very content to live with his marginal shooting percentages at this stage in his development than see him utilize his physical tools on his way to the rim. He also needs to continue to polish his overall skill set, including his ball-handling ability.

Bottom Line:

He’s a high level athlete and competitor with an equally high motor but he needs to learn to play in attack mode and embrace a style that best utilizes what makes him unique as a prospect. If he does that, he’ll continue to climb up rankings and recruiting boards alike.

Now, let’s watch some highlights of the newest Cat in action:

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