The last star wing at Kentucky was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who went second overall after his teammate Anthony Davis went first overall.
An incoming prospect for 2019, Khalil Whitney, has the potential to be a traditional NBA scoring wing. Evan Daniels of 247 Sports even believes Whitney has top-2 potential in his class.
“He has ridiculous physical gifts. The size, the body, the length, the athletic ability — he just hasn’t put it all together yet,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader. But you see little flashes of the light flickering off and on. I think the area that he’s going to have to improve on is consistent effort. But all the tools are there for him to be great. He just has to dial it in and polish his game.”
Daniels isn’t the only person high on what Whitney can become. Former Wildcat Twany Beckham spoke with Larry Vaught about what Whitney brings to the table, as well as what former Wildcat he reminds Beckham of.
“His athleticism is off the charts. His dunks blew everybody away,” Beckham said of Whitney. “He has a nice shot, good form. I told him he reminded me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. I guarded Michael an entire year at Kentucky. Michael was an absolute beast.
“What separated him from other players was his heart and grit. I told Kahlil that. As far as the intangibles and looks, Kahlil has it. He has the same long arms, gets after it on defense, has the high motor.
“Everything Michael had, he has.”
Whitney was not originally ranked in the top-tier of his class, but after a strong summer on one of the toughest AAU circuits, he shot up the rankings to as high as sixth at 247 Sports.
Hailing from Roselle (NJ), Whitney is also now ranked as the No. 12 player and the No. 4 small forward in the class of 2019 on 247 Sports Composite, which measures all of the recruiting rankings.
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 MKG.
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.
Speaking of shooting, he lit up the three-point arc and piled up 21 points per game on his opposition. His fellow 2019 Kentucky commit, Tyrese Maxey, also lit up the circuit by scoring more than 16 points per game while dishing out three assists.
A tall, scoring backcourt of Maxey & Whitney may be just what Kentucky needs to sway top-recruit James Wiseman from Memphis.
A trio of Maxey, Whitney & Wiseman would undoubtedly give Kentucky the best recruiting class in the country and one of the best classes head coach John Calipari has ever had.
Add in Dontaie Allen, who is ranked 84th in the 2019 rankings, and the recruiting class just gets sweeter. Wiseman is set for his visit this upcoming weekend, so hearing this noise about Whitney is timely.
As November 14th approaches (the first day players can officially sign with schools), the hype of a backcourt featuring Maxey & Whitney will only grow.