Since reclassifying into the Class of 2019, five-star guard and fourth-overall recruit RJ Hampton has been trying to make a college decision sooner rather than later.
On Monday, Hampton took another step toward doing so, as he cut the Kentucky Wildcats from consideration and trimmed his list to three schools: The Kansas Jayhawks, Texas Tech Red Raiders and Memphis Tigers.
RJ Hampton is down to Memphis, Kansas, and Texas Tech, per his father on our show. Says Kentucky's backcourt is set.— John Martin (@JohnMartin929) May 20, 2019
Hampton recently released his final four of schools he’s interested in, listing Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis and Texas Tech.
But with Kentucky returning Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley to join 2019 additions Tyrese Maxey and Johnny Juzang, Hampton wants to go elsewhere and have more command of a backcourt.
The Hampton’s must have been impressed with the coaching of Chris Beard over recent years to include Texas Tech over Kentucky, who was once viewed as the favorite in this recruitment. While Beard’s program could certainly pull off a shocker and land Hampton, it’s most likely that the star recruit winds up with either Memphis or Kansas.
Kansas is absolutely a spectacular program, however they haven’t quite matched up to the success of Kentucky as far as preparing college athletes for the NBA and also don’t have the “swagger” Memphis has to offer.
Former NBA All-Star and Orlando Magic great Penny Hardaway is now coaching the Tigers and has made significant noise in regards to recruits of the 2019 class.
Starting with top-overall recruit James Wiseman and following that up with DJ Jeffries, Lester Quinones, Boogie Ellis and Precious Achiuwa, ending with Hampton would be a home run for Hardaway.
While it stings to miss on a recruit as good as Hampton, Kentucky has the comfort of knowing they’ll have a great backcourt next season with Hagans, Maxey, Juzang and Quickley leading the way.