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Paolo Banchero talks recruitment, potential reclassification

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UK, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas are all pursuing the top-five recruit.

High School Basketball: JUN 02 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Paolo Banchero is a top-five prospect in the class of 2021 who’s firmly on Kentucky’s radar.

247 Sports ranks the Washington native as the top power forward in the county and the fourth-best recruit overall. He’s someone that everyone major program wants, but his recruitment is really just getting started.

In a recent essay posted for USA Today, Banchero wrote about his recruitment and also confirmed rumors that he is considering a jump into the class of 2021.

“By now most of you have probably heard that I’m considering reclassifying from 2021 to 2020. I just feel like I’m getting better and better and in a year I’m confident that I’ll be ready for college.” Banchero wrote.

His potential reclassification into the class of 2020 is big news, considering Kentucky is starting to form their class with recent commitments from Brandon Boston Jr and Cam’ron Fletcher. Adding a talent like Banchero could begin to pave the way for a top rated class.

Banchero emerged this summer as an elite prospect after winning MVP honors at the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp. Shortly after, he was one of he first players in the class of 2021 to receive a scholarship offer from Coach Calipari.

At 6-9, Banchero has exceptional skill for his size and would remain a highly rated prospect even with reclassification. His recruitment would get interesting and really speed up should he decide to move up a class. He also holds offers from the Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, Memphis Tigers, Kansas Jayhawks, Arizona Wildcats and Washington Huskies.

Currently, Washington has all seven predictions on 247 Sports’ crystal ball. The Cats haven’t had much luck recently steering recruits away from the Huskies. Jaden McDaniels was the latest player to choose to stay in the northwest rather than come to Lexington.

The essay also provided some insight into Banchero’s recruitment, specifically his initial interactions with coaches.

“I won’t lie the first time Coach K text me, I sent a screenshot to my mom and dad. I wasn’t expecting him to text me. I was like that with Coach Calipari too. They’re all like celebrities, but now I’m past the starstruck stage and I’m just enjoying getting to know them.”

The entertaining essay also contained a comical story about Banchero’s interaction with Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. Make sure you check out the full blog here.

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