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UK dropping out of Sharife Cooper race?

A report suggests UK is ready to look elsewhere for a potential 2020 point guard.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JAN 21 Spalding Hoophall Classic Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kentucky’s recruiting mojo for the 2020 class is sky-high right now.

After landing Brandon Boston last weekend, the Wildcats look poised to add more commitments soon in the form of Cam’Ron Fletcher, who takes an official visit to Lexington this weekend, as well as Lance Ware, who UK is trending heavily for.

Then you’ve got the fact that UK has seemingly moved into the lead for Josh Christopher, a top-10 recruit who admitted UK was his dream school growing up.

Oh, and UK is making a very strong push for top-five recruit Jalen Green, who may actually end up visiting Lexington alongside Christopher in the near future.

So yeah, John Calipari is off to a very nice start in 2020, but that doesn’t mean UK is in good shape with all of its targets.

For a while now, Sharife Cooper has been Calipari’s top point guard target for 2020, though the Auburn Tigers have long been viewed as the favorite. But because Boston and Cooper are AAU teammates, there was some thought that Boston’s commitment to the Wildcats would help their cause with Cooper.

As it turns out, UK may be turning its attention away from Cooper, according to a report by KSR’s Jack Pilgrim.

Sources told KSR this weekend that communication between Kentucky and Cooper has been nearly non-existent as of late and the 5-foot-11, 160-pound point guard will not end up in Lexington.

“It’s just not happening,” one source close to the situation told KSR. “Any Kentucky buzz is just a smokescreen.”

Barring a major change of events, Cooper will end up signing with Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers. And even if something did happen to the Tigers that forces him to look elsewhere – like the NCAA coming down on the program following the recent FBI investigation into college basketball – I’m told that Kentucky is still seen as a highly unlikely destination.

The fact that UK may not be in the running even if Cooper doesn’t end up at Auburn is very interesting, but regardless, no one has been expecting the top-15 recruit to land in Lexington. The Tigers have gotten all of the buzz recently, and Cooper has even been actively recruiting other players to potentially join him at Auburn.

It will be interesting to see how UK handles the point guard situation going forward if Cooper is indeed off the table. Daishen Nix is still out there, but UK has yet to offer, and it’s unclear how high they really are on him.