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Lance Ware recruiting update, roundtable & predictions

What you need to know about Lance Ware ahead of his decision.

Basketball - The Jordan Brand Classic 2017 Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Lance Ware wan’t a household name coming into the AAU circuit this year, but this summer, he really emerged as one of the top frontcourt prospects in the class of 2020.

In May, Ware was ranked 53rd overall at Rivals and 72nd at 247 Sports. Those are respectable spots, but after his big summer, he shot up to the 31st overall at Rivals and 33rd at 247 Sports.

If Ware remains on the same trajectory going into the fall and spring, he could end up being a special player in college and beyond. With a solid season, it is reasonable to think that he could contend for a McDonald’s All-American spot.

In addition, if Ware picks UK, it would bump them up to the No. 1 spot in the team recruiting rankings at 247 Sports.

Besides Kentucky, the New Jersey native is also considering the Michigan Wolverines, Providence Friars, Ohio State Buckeyes and Miami Hurricanes. He recently took official visits to Columbus and Ann Arbor.

Kentucky has clearly made him a priority for this class which was proven once again when John Calipari traveled to his home for a visit on Monday Sept 9th, the first day of the live recruiting period. That visit must have gone well, because the following day, Evan Daniels logged a crystal ball pick for UK.

Ware is skilled for his size and shows all the signs of being a player who could skyrocket their stock at a place like Kentucky. You can only assume that Coach Cal and his staff have made it clear that they think he would excel in Lexington.

Ware is currently planning to announce his decision at 4 pm EST on Thursday. For now, it looks like he’ll announce on Twitter.

As of Wednesday evening, Kentucky holds 100% of the predictions at 247 Sports and Rivals. That includes a recent prediction from Rivals recruiting expert Corey Evans, who gave an update on Ware’s recruitment to the Herald-Leader.

“I’d be pretty surprised if it’s not Kentucky,” Evans said. “Cal came in and did the in-home visit Monday. I don’t want to say it was an ultimatum, but I think it was a matter of, ‘Are you interested in us? Do you want us, or not?’

“And that might have been the shot of reality that Lance needed to see that, ‘This is where I want to be.’ I think he’s drawn by the whole Kentucky blue-blood pedigree and definitely the opportunity to get minutes in the frontcourt with all those guys leaving.”

Ware could be a great frontcourt addition to join Brandon Boston and Cam’Ron Fletcher. With some recent lulls in the recruitment of big men, it would be a good sign to see Kentucky sign a player like Ware, especially considering how much time and effort was spent on his recruitment.

So, we gathered our staff for a roundtable on what getting Ware would mean for UK and made predictions on where he’ll land.

Nick Wheatley

Lance Ware is a long, athletic forward. He’s been a Kentucky lean since the day Coach Cal offered and that’s always music to my ears. It just means more when you know a recruit wants to be in Lexington.

I think EJ Montgomery with better ball-handling skills is a good comparison. EJ’s ceiling was sky high coming in, which is why he was so highly touted coming out of high school. I believe Ware also has an extremely high ceiling, but his ranking just hasn’t caught up with it yet.

He’s more than likely a multi-year player, which Kentucky fans love to hear. However, that’s mainly due to the fact that he has quite a bit of development coming. He needs to gain a lot of strength and improve his outside shooting.

Right now, he’s a finesse big man without a great jump shot. He’s super bouncy, and he can dribble and pass very well, but a 6-9 big man that lacks a post presence and can’t shoot very well isn’t going to cut it.

With that being said, as I mentioned above, his ceiling is very high. And he wants to be at UK. I really like this kid and he’s really fun to watch. He just has a knack for the ball. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be rocking blue and white next fall. And I think the BBN is really going to enjoy him.

Prediction: Kentucky

Drew Brown

Lance Ware could very well be the hidden gem in the class of 2020, especially in terms of frontcourt players. It’s not that he’s being completely overlooked but more so that he has tremendous potential compared to his ranking.

Ware really fits the mold of a player who could excel in a system like Kentucky’s. Working with Kenny Payne would take his game to a completely new level, especially if he continues on the same path of growth that he displayed this summer.

Playing with elite guards would also benefit the four-star big man, and considering UK got involved early this summer, you have to assume that was a part of their pitch. Being that Coach Cal got involved in Ware’s recruitment at the time that he did, you have to like the Cats’ chances to land him.

Prediction: Kentucky

Ian Teasley

The timing for Lance Ware announcing his decision after just being visited by Cal and Kenny Payne certainly seems well for Kentucky.

Ware is a top-30 prospect with big-time potential and could make an immediate impact for Kentucky in the frontcourt next season, especially if the Wildcats lose a chunk of their frontcourt after this season.

With Ware announcing on Thursday, all the signs are pointing towards him landing in Lexington.

Prediction: Kentucky

Adam Haste

Lance Ware is the No. 32 overall prospect in the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports, and on Thursday we are going to find out where he will be playing his college ball.

Kentucky is viewed as a heavy favorite to land the 6-9 power forward and they could really use him. As of right now, the Cats are lacking in big men for the 2020 season, and getting Ware would be huge for the class.

Ware still needs to work on his strength, but he has a high motor and will come up with rebounds, blocks, and steals at a high rate. The lefty has a nice touch inside the arc but has the potential to extend his range.

He would be a great addition to the potentially stacked 2020 class for the Cats.

Prediction: Kentucky

Jamie Boggs

Lance Ware is a 4-star guy on the rise that Kentucky has been interested in for a while. At 6-9, he would be able to give Kentucky a frontcourt presence in the 2020 class that they currently lack.

Assuming either or both of Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery go to the NBA after this season, Kentucky will need to load up on big men going into next year. Ware could be an important piece of that puzzle.

Since Kentucky recently had some time with Ware, and honestly, the Wildcats have been the favorite for a while, all signs point to Ware announcing a commitment to Kentucky on Thursday.

Prediction: Kentucky

Sam Gillenwater

Lance Ware is set to make his commitment on Thursday, and it seems all Wildcats at this point. Ware is a player that has rapidly improved and flown up the rankings, and if he keeps up at this pace, there’s still no telling how good of a player one of these programs could be getting, because his ceiling is sky high.

What we know now, though, is that he is a 6-9 lefty with a solid mix of finesse moves and athleticism. As his body continues to fill out and prepare for the next level, he’s going to continue to project well going into college and, likely, into the pros.

Ever since I wrote my first piece on Ware, I feel like he’s been a player who would likely end up as a Kentucky Wildcat. Michigan seemed like a serious competitor, and Ware was on a visit to Ann Arbor last week.

But after John Calipari and Kenny Payne visited on Monday to open the fall recruiting period, Ware moved up his timetable, and Kentucky is seemingly in the driver’s seat now.

Evan Daniels made a prediction for UK, as has every other recruiting expert who’s made a prediction in this recruitment, and that seems to be as close to finishing touches as it can be.

This move would continue to build on Kentucky’s already strong 2020 class. With it all happening before the fall signing period, the Wildcats would be sitting pretty with three commitments already and likely a few more to come by the time it’s all said and done.

Prediction: Kentucky