Kentucky is in the hunt for one of the best high school basketball players in the country, but he’s planning to enroll in college a year earlier than originally thought.
Kentucky has been after RJ Hampton for a while, but amidst a heavy amount of rumors that have been swirling, Hampton announced he would be making the jump from the Class of 2020 to the Class of 2019.
In the process, he cut his list to four schools, knocking Duke out in the process (a team that was once thought to be the leader) and replaced them with in-state Texas Tech.
Kentucky remained on the list, although Duke point guard Tre Jones returning to school apparently factored into Hampton’s decision to eliminate them from contention. That is interesting because Kentucky brings back guards Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley next year, while also bringing in Tyrese Maxey.
On the surface, it doesn’t seem good for Kentucky’s chances if the returning backcourt will be a factor in Hampton’s decision, but his dad said he likes how coach John Calipari has handled multi-guard lineups in the past.
Of course, Calipari utilized a three-guard lineup with Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe, as well as the following year with Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. It’s not hard to see a lineup where Hampton plays alongside some combination of Hagans, Maxey and Quickley.
Hampton is planning a visit to Lexington soon, and the coaching staff will pitch their idea of how to play him alongside the other talented guards and put him in a position to be a lottery pick the following year. It’s kind of a crazy scenario, but if anyone can do it, Cal would be the one.
Memphis, Kansas, and Texas Tech are the other options, all of which have a much more obvious opening for Hampton to come into.
This will really be a recruitment to follow.
Tweets of the Day
One more note on RJ Hampton. Those that say UK has enough guards has quickly forgot guard play struggled in the final two games. Would’ve been nice to have too much then. If RJ chooses Kentucky, you’d see some three-guard looks with Hagans, Maxey, and RJ. Just a thought.— Shawn Smith (@gbbcountry) April 30, 2019
It would be very interesting to watch Cal utilize all those guards on the floor.
Have you heard the news?— University of Kentucky (@universityofky) April 30, 2019
Every UK freshman in the Fall 2019 class will receive an iPad Air as part of our “Smart Campus” initiative and our ongoing commitment to students’ needs and successes. #seebluehttps://t.co/L9kixriyeb
Where was this when I was in college?!
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