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Why did Kahlil Whitney fall in the final recruiting rankings?

Recruiting analysts help explain the drop.

High School Basketball: McDonald’s All American Jamfest Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

You may have noticed Kentucky Wildcats signee Kahlil Whitney recently dropped in the final rankings of every major recruiting site.

In the fall, Whitney was unanimously ranked as a top-10 prospect in the 2019 class. When the final rankings came out a few days ago, he had slipped — to No. 11 in the 247 Sports rankings, No. 12 on ESPN, and No. 14 on Rivals.

So, what was the reason for his uniform decline?

Well, to start, Whitney struggled at the McDonald’s All-American festivities. He didn’t do so well in practice, and he looked even worse in the game. He only scored two points in the contest.

However, he quickly turned it around in the Allen Iverson Classic. The 6-7 wing earned Co-MVP honors after putting up 38 points, joining PJ Washington who also won the award in the inaugural event in 2017.

The McDonald’s All-American event was a much bigger platform, though, and Whitney failed to produce in the national spotlight. But to attribute an unanimous fall in the rankings to one game seems brazen, unless it was premeditated.

Some national recruiting experts sat down with Ben Roberts of the Herald Leader and helped explain what happened.

Evan Daniels, the recruiting guru from 247 Sports, referred to Whitney’s fall from No. 8 to No. 11 as more of a “reshuffling” than a drop. That’s a fair response, especially considering RJ Hampton’s reclassification.

Rivals’ Corey Evans also downplayed the decline, where Whitney fell from No. 8 to No. 14.

“It’s still 14, and the amount of separation between 6 and 14 is miniscule,” he said.

While Whitney is an athletic freak, it’s his shooting ability that is really holding him back from reaching his full potential.

“I think it’s just a matter of shot-making. Can he consistently make shots?” Evans said. “And I know there’s still some time to go before he can be a consistent three-point shooter, or even a mid-range shooter. I do know Kahlil is a very, very hard worker, but shot-making is so valuable in today’s game...I don’t think Kahlil’s shot is broken by any means, but it all comes down to that.”

It’s good news that the Chicago native is a hard worker. It seems he’s going to need to be ready to put in a lot of work to truly become elite. But just how good can he become? Just ask Rivals’ Eric Bossi.

“Whitney is an unfinished product, but if he ever truly figures it out, he could end looking like a guy that should have been ranked in the top five.”

There’s no one I trust more than Coach Cal to bring out the best in his players, especially if they’re willing to put in the work. Kahlil Whitney is already uber-talented. If he can figure it all out and put it all together, watch out.