Aside from preparing for the beginning of college football season, basketball recruiting is the biggest thing going in college athletics at this time of the year.
Not only are teams trying to nail down recruits for 2020, but they are also shifting a lot of energy to the 2021 class.
The Kentucky Wildcats have landed two commitments for 2020 (BJ Boston and Cam’Ron Fletcher), but they have their sights set on some huge targets that could commit this fall. The Wildcats are also in on all of the big names for 2021.
This post should get you caught up on all of the recent recruiting buzz.
Jalen Green - With Cade Cunningham likely headed to Ohio State, Green is Kentucky’s highest ranked remaining target on the board. Although there are rumors Green would consider playing overseas, there is even more momentum in the idea of him committing to Memphis.
Green has teased a Christmas day announcement. Assuming that is true, John Calipari still has several months to make up some ground in getting Green to Lexington.
Joshua Christopher - Christopher is the No. 1 shooting guard in the 2020 class, and all of the buzz around his recruitment points toward him becoming a Wildcat. That certainly is no guarantee, but most of the experts you ask agree that he seems to be a Kentucky lean. He is expected to visit Lexington soon, and it is likely that John Calipari will make a push to get a commitment while he is on campus.
There has been some buzz that Green and Christopher could visit Kentucky together. While you may think it’s hard to see both of them on the same team with BJ Boston — which makes for a crowded backcourt — Kentucky has been recruiting Christopher to potentially play point guard if they can land him and Green.
N’Faly Dante - Unless something changes, Dante will likely be playing college basketball in 2019. At this point, Kentucky is in the running with both Oregon and LSU. Given Kentucky’s need for another post presence and the immediate playing time that could be available in Lexington, seeing Dante in Lexington in the next few weeks taking classes would not be a surprise.
However, the recent buzz has favored Oregon, including a recent prediction for the Ducks from Rivals recruiting expert Corey Evans.
Isaiah Todd - Todd recently announced his top five of Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, and Michigan. While playing professionally overseas is on the radar, he is expected to play college basketball.
Being from North Carolina, the Tar Heels are obviously a threat. However, Kentucky seems to have the momentum right now. There is currently no timetable for a decision from the skilled big man.
Interestingly enough, Todd recently transferred to play his final season of high school hoops at Word of God Christian Academy. While it is in North Carolina, it’s also the same school where John Wall played.
Greg Brown - The No. 1 power forward in the 2020 class just released his final five, which includes Kentucky, Memphis, Auburn, North Carolina, and Texas. Before this announcement, Kentucky was not in the picture for Brown as far as many were concerned. It was later revealed that he received an offer from John Calipari back in July, but it has been kept quiet.
Seeing as how the Wildcats have come seemingly out of nowhere in Brown’s recruitment, it is hard to count them out, although Texas has all of his crystal ball predictions on 247 Sports. Not only is Brown from Austin, but both of his parents are Longhorn alumni. It’s hard to see Kentucky pulling Brown away from the Lone Star State, but John Calipari has won some big recruiting battles in Texas over the years.
Lance Ware - Ware also recently announced his top five, and Kentucky is thought to be the favorite. He is currently scheduling all of his visits, and a decision is expected this fall. He has yet to schedule a visit to Kentucky, which could come at some point this month. If that happens, there’s a chance he cancels his remaining visits and commits to the Wildcats, ala BJ Boston and Cam’Ron Fletcher.
JT Thor - In early August, Thor officially reclassified to join the 2020 class. He is considering Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon, and Memphis. Thor has been to Kentucky multiple times for Big Blue Madness and most recently for an SEC game in January of this year.
He initially planned to announce his official commitment in late August, but now it sounds like he’ll just be releasing a top five this month and setting up visits later this fall.
And while there are no official predictions on his 247 Sports crystal ball, you would have to think Kentucky is in a good spot to have Thor suit up in Rupp Arena. He’s already taken two unofficial visits to Lexington.
Cliff Omoruyi - This guy has only been playing basketball for around three years, so he is still very raw and has a high ceiling. Once a reclassification candidate, Omoruyi seems to be staying in the 2020 class. Kentucky is still in the mix, but his recruitment has been relatively quiet as of late.
However, when the Wildcats offered him a scholarship, all of the buzz was that they were the team to beat if they really want Omoruyi.
Sharife Cooper - Cooper seems like a lost cause at this point, and all of the chatter suggests that Kentucky has backed off on Cooper. It looks like he will ultimately end up at Auburn, though the ongoing NCAA investigation could complicate matters. He recently took an unofficial visit to Georgia.
Scottie Barnes - Kentucky also seems to have cooled on Barnes or the other way around. Once one of their top targets in the class, his commitment to the Wildcats does not seem likely at this point. Oregon has gotten the most buzz, but don’t count out Florida for the Montverde Academy product.
Jonathan Kuminga - Kuminga is far and away the top player in the 2021 class, and rumors of reclassification are definitely out there. He speaks highly of Kentucky, although there has been talk that Kentucky has backed off a bit. It is still early, so there is always a chance Kentucky could land him to get their first top five player in what seems like forever.
However, Kuminga’s brother recently transferred to Texas Tech, so they may be in the best shape right now.
Paolo Banchero - Kentucky seems to be spending most of their 2021 recruiting efforts on Banchero, who also seems the most likely to reclassify of all of their targets for that year. Banchero is a talented big man that would make an immediate impact if he joins the 2020 class, and Kentucky seems to be in a good place with his recruitment.
But Banchero is a Seattle native, and Washington is seen as the favorite right now. After failing to pull Jaden McDaniels from the homestate Huskies in 2019, can Calipari get some revenge by landing Banchero?
Devin Askew - Askew is one of the most complete guards in the 2021 class, and he only picked up an offer from the Wildcats in late July. It is very early in his recruitment from Kentucky’s standpoint, but they seem to be in hot pursuit of Askew.
Askew was expected to reclassify into 2020, but he has since announced he’s sticking to the 2021 class. However, that same scenario happened with RJ Hampton last year, only to see him reclassify this summer before ultimately heading overseas.
Unless Kentucky finds a new point guard target for next year, Askew will be worth keeping tabs on leading into the summer of 2020.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. - He is the No. 2 player in the class behind Kuminga, and he only received an offer from Calipari in early August. Baldwin looks like he is going to be a superstar, and he just keeps getting better. Being a Wisconsin native, maybe Tyler Herro can represent the Cats in Baldwin’s recruitment?
Terrence Clarke - Kentucky has been heavily recruiting Clarke for some time, and were considered the early favorite. They picked up even more buzz when Clarke announced the possibility of reclassification and his desire to potentially team up with Kentucky commit BJ Boston. Among all of the top recruits in 2021, Calipari seems to be in the best position with Clarke at this point.
There are certainly more players that Kentucky is in the mix with, but these are the main names to follow at this point. Stay tuned to A Sea of Blue for the most up to date recruiting news for all Kentucky sports.