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ESPN predicts Isaiah Stewart to Kentucky, James Wiseman to Memphis

Kentucky should get one of these elite centers. Which do you want?

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The buzz for Kentucky in the Isaiah Stewart continues to grow, while James Wiseman continues to trend toward Memphis.

Ahead of a big recruiting weekend in terms of official visits, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello made predictions on where Wiseman, Stewart and other recruits will ultimately land. When it came to Stewart, Borzello feels pretty good that he eventually picks the Wildcats.

The big one is Isaiah Stewart (No. 4), who didn’t include Kentucky in his original final six, but is now considering the Wildcats after a recent offer. With the offer and upcoming visit, nearly all the buzz in Stewart’s recruitment is focused on Kentucky.

Isaiah Stewart prediction: Kentucky

Confidence level: 60 percent

Others in the mix: Michigan State, Duke, Villanova, Washington, Indiana

It’s crazy how fast Kentucky has gone from seemingly not being in this recruitment to suddenly being the favorite. Other recruiting experts share Borzello’s confidence that the five-star center will eventually be a Wildcat, so it’s safe to think this weekend will be a big part in hopefully making that happen.

Unfortunately, Kentucky continues to look unlikely for their other five-star center recruit. Wiseman is set to visit the Kansas Jayhawks this weekend, but Borzello is predicting the Memphis Tigers with a confidence level of 55 percent.

Kentucky will likely be in the running for him going into the spring, but it appears Stewart is now the likelier center to end up in Lexington. Getting Stewart probably wouldn’t help those odds since they’re both true 5s at the college level, not to mention Kentucky is firmly in the mix for five-star power forward Vernon Carey.

John Calipari was selling Carey and Wiseman on being the DeMarcus Cousins/Anthony Davis duo in Lexington, so perhaps now the pitch if for Stewart and Carey to become that.

Perhaps that’s why Kentucky has made such a strong push for Stewart. They were all in on Wiseman forever in this recruiting cycle, but as the Memphis buzz has grown, Calipari has started recruiting other big men harder, including Stewart, Zeke Nnaji, Aidan Igiehon and Oscar Tshiebwe.

Speaking of, Borzello is still picking West Virginia for Tshiebwe, despite that fact he’ll begin his official visit to Kentucky this weekend. A lot of recruiting experts are still siding with the Mountaineers here, which may also explain why Kentucky is putting more work into getting Stewart.

Saying this, I still think Kentucky has a great shot at landing Tshiebwe, and this weekend will go a long way in this battle between Calipari and Bob Huggins.

Be sure to check out Borzello’s full piece, which includes predictions on Igiehon and former commit DJ Jeffries.

Here is a look back at Wiseman and Stewart facing off this past summer:

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