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Recruiting analyst picks against Kentucky for Scottie Lewis and Jaden McDaniels

Kentucky is in the running for these five-star recruits, but they may not be the favorite for either.

Courtside Films

As the days roll on, a decision from Scottie Lewis is expected to happen very soon, but will it be in favor of the Kentucky Wildcats?

While they may be the school with the recent buzz, it can’t be overstated how favorable of a position the Florida Gators were in before his official visit to Lexington. As time goes on and we get further from that trip, Florida may be inching back into the driver’s seat.

Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans recently gave predictions on several 2019 recruits, including Lewis, who he thinks Florida still has the narrow edge for.

I am going to say Florida for Scottie Lewis, but I remain adamant that this is not a done deal in favor of the Gators. Many believe that a UF pledge was in the cards following the commitment of his teammate and friend, Alex Klatsky, earlier this month but that is not the case. I would give the Gators a 60-40 edge over Kentucky, but Lewis has always been about doing things his own way.

Evans added that a commitment should be near, so we’ll know either way soon enough whether Kentucky will play with or against Lewis in 2019-20. It would obviously be a major get for Kentucky, but it would be even bigger for Florida, who hasn’t landed a top-15 recruit since Kasey Hill in the 2013 class.

Mike White has Florida trending upward, but landing Lewis could make them a real contender in the SEC and national landscape. It would also show White can go toe to toe with the nation’s best programs and still win out for elite recruits.

Elsewhere on the recruiting trail, Kentucky is now in the final five for five-star forward Jaden McDaniels, a top-10 recruit who could earn an offer from the Wildcats at some point. But until then, it’s hard to consider Kentucky a major threat to land him.

That’s why most analysts are picking schools not named Kentucky for McDaniels, including Evans, who is siding with the Washington Huskies here. You may be thinking Kentucky and other blue bloods could overcome Washington if they make Daniels a priority, but there’s a good reason why the Huskies are in great shape:

Jaden McDaniels is someone that goes to the beat of his own drum, and he could be the final piece to Mike Hopkins’ reclamation project in the Pacific Northwest. UW already holds the commitment of two of his travel teammates, Marcus Tsohonis and Raequan Battle, and placed a priority on McDaniels before many others even knew who he was.

McDaniels’ brother, Jalen McDaniels, also plays at San Diego State, making them a very real threat in this recruitment.

It really is interesting to see how highly thought of McDaniels is in recruiting circles, yet his offer sheet doesn’t seem to match up with it. He’s a top-five recruit in all of the major services, yet he has yet to get scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, Villanova, Kentucky, or any SEC school for that matter.

Who knows what the deal is. Maybe between the strong connections with Washington and San Diego State, the blue bloods don’t think McDaniels is leaving the west coast, so they’re focusing on other recruits.

For now, Kentucky is keeping some level of interest in him, but it’s not looking like he’ll land in Lexington.