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Kentucky ramping up the heat in Cade Cunningham recruitment

Cunningham may become the Wildcats’ top target.

Cade Cunningham is currently the No. 8 player in the 2020 recruiting class, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. It seems, however, that he will be even higher by the time the summer ends.

Cunningham was very impressive last weekend in Atlanta for the opening event of the Nike EYBL, where all of Kentucky’s coaching staff was on hand and saw him dominate. Cunningham averaged 25.5 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game while leading his team to a perfect 4-0 record. He also shot 62.1% from the field, taking full advantage of all of his physical tools.

Cunningham recently spoke to Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader about his game and his recruitment.

“I feel like I can do a lot of things. I can guard a lot of positions. I can play a lot of positions offensively,” Cunningham said. “I feel like I’m a really good leader — I like to lead my guys. I try to be like a quarterback for my team, so I feel like that’s big for me. And then I like to win, so I feel like that brings some more value to me.”

Winning is obviously a priority for Cunningham, who went up against some tough competition in Atlanta, including a matchup against another 2020 star, RJ Hampton. That winning mentality may give Kentucky an edge in his recruitment.

“Coach Cal is a great coach,” Cunningham said. “They’re always going to compete for a national championship, which is what I want to do. And they’re always going to have good players playing around me. So, if I was to go to Kentucky, there would be a lot of good players around me. That’s mainly what they’re pitching me.”

While Joel Justus has been the primary coach recruiting Cunningham, he told told the Herald-Leader that Coach Cal “is starting to reach out a lot more” in the last few days.

Cunningham has not even begun putting together a list of potential suitors, but says he plans to do so once the AAU season wraps up. I would assume Kentucky will be present on that list, especially since John Calipari is interjecting himself more into this recruitment.

One under-the-radar thing to watch for with Cunningham is how well he plays point guard this summer. He’s the point guard for Montverde, and he’ll be playing there this summer on the AAU circuit.

With Kentucky fading in the recruitment of Sharife Cooper (favoring Auburn) and Jeremy Roach (looking like a Villanova - Duke battle), Cunningham may very well wind up being Kentucky’s primary point guard target if John Calipari believes he can play the position at a high level in college. But if nothing else, his ability to log minutes there will make him even more attractive to Calipari.

Check out everything that Cade Cunningham told the Herald-Leader here, which also includes comments from Evan Daniels about Cunningham’s game.

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