The Kentucky Wildcats have had great success on the recruiting trail in 2020, but one of their top targets appears to be trending elsewhere.
Greg Brown, a consensus top-10 recruit, is easily the best remaining 2020 recruit that UK is in the running for. However, the Texas Longhorns have been viewed as the favorites for the Austin native for virtually his entire recruitment.
UK did pick up some buzz once it became public that Brown had an offer from John Calipari over the summer, but everyone knew it was going to be an uphill climb to pry this five-star forward out of Texas.
Based on the latest update from Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader, it’s even more daunting as the calendar will soon turn to January, thanks in large part to the Longhorns’ fast start this season, which has cooled the hot seat talk with head coach Shaka Smart.
So far this season, Texas has an 8-1 record with an early victory over then-ranked Purdue and a lone loss to Georgetown. The Longhorns are among the teams receiving votes in the latest Associated Press poll and will soon face Big 12 competition that includes just two teams ranked in the Top 25.
Meanwhile, the behind-the-scenes buzz regarding Brown’s recruitment is even more in favor of Texas than when the season began a few weeks ago.
The good news is there’s still plenty of season left, and Brown will officially visit UK in January the weekend when UK faces Alabama. That visit will obviously be a great chance for Calipari to make up a lot of ground, but it sounds like the biggest factor in his recruitment will be Texas’ success the rest of the way.
But while the Longhorns are 9-1, they have also struggled at home vs. McNeese, UAB and Central Michigan. Once the Big 12 schedule heats up, the losses could start piling up, and Shaka Smart’s seat could go back to being very hot.
Regardless of what happens, I would bet on UK adding another big man via a high school recruit or grad transfer. But none of them would likely be as good as Brown, who Calipari once said could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.