John Calipari’s plan for the 2020 recruiting class is starting to take shape, and one characteristic he’s been looking for in players has become evident: scoring.
The Kentucky Wildcats seem to be in prime position with a multitude of players in the 2020 class. While the same could be said of the 2019 class, where the Cats failed to land a host of top targets, this group feels different.
It could be a special class, and one of the best of the Calipari era.
The newest target for the Cats is the No. 1 ranked shooting guard (according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings) — Joshua Christopher.
The California native put on a show at Peach Jam last week, averaging 20.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over five games in front of Kentucky coaches John Calipari and Joel Justus.
Even more impressive was his performance against top-three recruit and fellow Kentucky target Jalen Green. The two California kids battled, and although Green’s squad came out on top, Christopher won the individual battle.
The No. 9 overall recruit finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Green tallied 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
The 6-4, 200-pound guard doesn’t currently have an offer from the Cats like Green does, but he did mention Kentucky among the school recruiting him the hardest right now.
“Michigan, Kentucky, ASU, of course my brother being there, Missouri with my [cousin] being a coach there, a lot of Pac-12 schools, UCLA, Oregon, USC, it’s a lot of schools right now,” Christopher told 247 Sports.
Christopher is an elite scorer and people are noticing after being named to the Second Team All-EYBL by D1 Circuit and one of the top performers of the July evaluation period by 247Sports, where he averaged 21.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
While Christopher might be new on Kentucky’s radar, the Cats aren’t new on his. In an interview with KSR earlier this summer, the five-star guard says he’s been following UK for his entire life.
“Kentucky has always been my dream school, honestly,” he said. “Since I was a child, I’ve always been a Kentucky fan, I’ve had the shorts, I’ve had gear when they won championships. As a little child, I’ve always loved Kentucky.”
While a lot of fans have construed players calling Kentucky their “dream school” as a bad thing of late, Christopher went even further when discussing his UK fandom as a kid.
“I’ve worn Kentucky hoodies and stuff like that since I was in elementary school, early middle school,” he told KSR’s Jack Pilgrim at the Peach Jam. “Of course, my recruitment, I have to calm down with the college clothing I put on. But I’m a fan of Kentucky, so we’ll see what happens when it comes to making my decision for college.”
That coveted Kentucky offer could be coming soon, as Christopher said he’s working to set up a visit to Lexington this summer, as well as in the fall. He won’t have to hide his UK gear when he gets down there, and when that time comes, that’ll probably be when Coach Cal pulls the trigger.
But while we wait, check out some of his highlights below.
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