It won’t be long until we learn where Kerry Blackshear will play college basketball next season, but it remains a mystery as to where that will be.
Blackshear has visited the Florida Gators and Arkansas Razorbacks while planning to visit the Kentucky Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers at some point this week. There have been several other updates on the recruitment this week that may give us an idea of where he’s currently leaning toward.
On Tuesday, Corey Evans of Rivals reported that Blackshear is hoping to end his recruitment soon and is already tired of the process.
Blackshear told Rivals.com over the weekend that he is getting a bit worn out by the process and wants to get to his decision. However, he will take an official visit to Tennessee on June 14, and two others could be in the works for Kentucky and Texas A&M. I am not confident that he will get to College Station, but I do like the chances that he will visit Lexington shortly after his trip to Knoxville.
Expect for a possible commitment the week after his visit to Tennessee and while much of the talk has centered around Florida and Kentucky, do not underestimate Arkansas or Tennessee’s chances with the best available grad-transfer.
The Kentucky vs. Florida angle is nothing new, as those have been viewed as the biggest contenders for him since announcing he was withdrawing from the NBA Draft. Seeing as how he’s visited Florida and is tired of the process before he visits Kentucky isn’t a great sign, though.
Then earlier today, Tennessee reporter Gene Henley reporter posted an update that would seem to bode well for Kentucky.
Note on Kerry Blackshear:— Gene Henley (@genehenley3) June 12, 2019
From what I've heard, individual exposure (i.e., "being the man") will have little to do with his college choice. He wants to go to the place where he has the best chance to make a deep postseason run before going to the league.
Henley added that Blackshear’s visit to Arkansas was due to a family tie and that the Razorbacks don’t appear to be a serious threat.
There’s really no question that, of the schools Blackshear has visited or plans to visit, Kentucky and Florida have the best chances to make a Final Four, though the Wildcats have the talent to make it there even without the highly-touted grad transfer.
Later today, Cats Pause published an interview with Virginia Tech reporter Chris Arvin about the schools in the best shape for Blackshear. Arvin actually believes Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, and a return to Virginia Tech are the likeliest options for Blackshear, but he singled out two schools that he believes stand out the most.
“I’m torn between Virginia Tech and Florida,” Arvin said. “Florida being close to home, especially being a top 20 team next season, I think they have a pretty good shot. Arkansas kind of came out of nowhere so not sure how to feel about that one but I’m not sold they’re really in it as much as some think.”
Seeing all of these updates together makes it seem Florida is in the best shape for Blackshear. I just can’t see him back with the Virginia Tech Hokies, who lost a lot this offseason and are working under a new coach. Even with Blackshear, they may struggle just to make the NCAA Tournament, so for now, Florida feels like the safest pick.
But that could change in a big way once John Calipari gets Blackshear on campus, whenever that may be.