The Kentucky Wildcats have struggled to add to their three-man recruiting class for 2019. But just like last year, John Calipari has UK set up for a strong finish on the recruiting trail.
As of now, it looks very likely that Kentucky loses PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro to the 2019 NBA Draft, while Reid Travis graduate. There’s also a chance Ashton Hagans goes pro, though it’s looking more and more like he’ll need another year of school to become a first-round pick.
Regardless, Kentucky needs to add at least one more forward to its 2019 class. As of now, Keion Brooks is the most likely player in the class to choose the Wildcats, and he has set a decision date for March 15th.
Brooks took an unexpected visit to Kentucky for the Tennessee beatdown in Rupp Arena, then canceled a planned visit to Michigan State. Indiana was long thought to be the favorite, but Kentucky has the momentum.
With the decision day now a week away, Kentucky still looks like the favorite, but the Hoosiers are still very much in the thick of this, and it won’t be a big surprise if Brooks stays home for college.
One interesting UK prediction that came this week was for Mike Pegram, who runs the Indiana site on 247 Sports. While recruiting ace Evan Daniels has yet to make a prediction, he is slightly leaning toward Kentucky.
KSR’s Jack Pilgrim gives Kentucky a 60% chance of landing Brooks compared to 35% for Indiana and 5% for Michigan State. Pilgrim added that he thinks Brooks himself has favored Indiana, but the family and inner circle want Kentucky, which is why the Wildcats may win out in the end.
However, Corey Evans of Rivals.com is still leaning toward the Hoosiers, for now.
“I’m still sticking with Indiana, for now, until more credible information comes in,” Evans told the Herald-Leader on Wednesday. “I think it’s more of a gut (feeling). Talking with the powers that be, they thought more that it was Kentucky a few weeks ago, but, as we know, a lot changes in the recruitment of a five-star prospect in a matter of weeks.”
It’s also worth pointing out that all of the Rivals.com predictions are still in favor of Indiana, though there hasn’t been a new prediction since late December.
One consistent theme this week has been, while Brooks may be leaning toward Kentucky, a final decision has not been made. The hope was Brooks and his family would work together to make one this week, but it’s possible one isn’t made until next week.
While Kentucky appears to be in a good spot, it’s far from certain that he’s wearing a UK hat on his decision day.