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Where UK targets stand in new Rivals Class of 2020 rankings

Sharife Cooper gets a bump as UK ramps up its pursuit of the five-star guard.

Basketball: USA Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

While Kentucky is in the midst of a takeoff during this season, we all know that this coaching staff is thinking ahead. Rivals just dropped their latest recruit rankings for the class of 2020, and per usual, there are a plethora of Kentucky targets.

Here they are in order of their new ranking:

No. 2 - SG Jalen Green

Jalen is the number one shooting guard in the 2020 class, and he has been ranked #1 overall for quite some time, but he was just overtaken in this ranking. Even still, he’s very talented and can score the ball in a multitude of ways. Kentucky is firmly in the mix, though Memphis has gotten a lot of buzz for Green.

No. 3 - SF Jalen Johnson

Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing in at 220 pounds, Jalen is one of those small forwards that can completely change the complexion of a game. He was formerly the #5 recruit, but because of his stellar play this season he is up to #3. Duke is believed to leading in his recruitment.

No. 4 - SF Scottie Barnes

Another talented small forward comes in next and he can really play. He was formerly #3, but got sent down a spot. He’s a very lengthy player that can score off the dribble or from a pull-up. Kentucky is right in the thick of this recruitment, as Barnes is a player they’ve been recruiting for over a year now.

No. 5 - PG RJ Hampton

Here’s a player that Kentucky has been heavily involved with for a year and a half now. RJ is the best point guard in this class, but he is also labeled as a combo guard. He was formerly #4 in the class, and he also considered a reclassification into the 2019 class. Kentucky is probably in better shape with him if he stays in 2020 since Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley should be running the show next season.

No. 8 - C N’Faly Dante

Here we see the first big man that the Cats are pursuing in this class. N’Faly dominates opponents with his size and quick feet. There’s no telling who will stay or will leave, and big men are always a commodity, so this would be a big get for the Cats. LSU is currently in the lead, but expect Kentucky to pursue N’Faly hard for next season.

No. 13 - PF Isaiah Todd

Todd is another reclassification target that Kentucky is starting to make a push for. He was planning to visit for the Kansas game, but weather prevented that from happening. With Kentucky struggling to land bigs in 2019, Todd could be just what John Calipari and co. need to finish off this class. If Todd stays in 2020, he’ll likely still be someone Kentucky keeps in close contact with.

No. 16 - PG Sharife Cooper

The 5-foot-11 point guard made the biggest jump in this ranking for potential Cats, moving up 8 spots from #24 to #16! He has been putting in some major work this season, and it’s paying off as his stock continues to rise. This will likely come down to Auburn and Kentucky, as both SEC schools have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack.

No. 21 - PG Jeremy Roach

Coming in last, and taking the biggest hit is the point guard from Virginia. Jeremy dropped 5 spots from the last ranking, but he is still a very talented point guard. He’s a great game manager and can put the ball on the deck and score. Villanova is currently leading his recruitment, but Kentucky is firmly in the mix and hopes to get him on a visit to Lexington soon.

It’s still very early in the process to determine which school is really in the lead, but it is good to know Kentucky has already offered these guys and aren’t waiting until the spring-summer to do so like they have in year’s past.

Go here for the full rankings.