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Looking at Kentucky’s 2020 class and who is next for John Calipari

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Cal has already loaded the Cats for 2020 and he’s still looking for more.

B/R Hoops

It was a banner weekend for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program in terms of recruiting.

Cal had already locked in Brandon Boston, Jr. and Cam’Ron Fletcher. With the addition of Terrence Clarke and Lance Ware, the 2020 class is already stacked and the number one class in the country. Calipari will likely add at least three more players into the fold as he will be expecting a mass exodus from his 2019/2020 team.

*Clarke is listed in the class of 2021 but the plan for him is to reclassify to 2020. Unless something unforeseen happens I am going to add him to the class of 2020.

Current Commits

Terrence Clarke - 5 Stars

  • Height- 6’7
  • Weight- 185
  • Position- Shooting guard
  • Position rank (2021)- #1
  • Overall rank (2021)- #3

Outlook: Terrence Clarke is a special player with a versatility that will allow him to play multiple positions. While he’s listed as a shooting guard, he will most likely play a small-forward/wing position in college which shouldn’t hinder Calipari going after other guards in the 2020 class.

Clarke will have a chance to be the #1 pick in the 2021 draft if he is able to reclassify. Scouts all over the country view him as one of the best high school players in the country. He can score at every level and can get to the rim at will. Clarke is the highest ranked player that Cal hasn’t gotten since Skal and he has a chance to be the best player since Karl-Anthony Towns.

Brandon Boston, Jr. - 5 Stars

  • Height- 6’6
  • Weight- 175
  • Position- Shooting guard
  • Position rank- #2
  • Overall rank- #12

Outlook: BJ Boston was the first recruit to commit to the 2020 class. He’s been in love with UK from the start but Cal did have to fight off the Duke Blue Devils a little to secure the commitment. He’s a little shorter and a little lighter than Clarke but he fits in perfectly as a true shooting guard.

Boston’s strength is scoring. While he may not be the driving threat that Clarke is, he’s a much better shooter and a better pure scorer. He can fill it up in a hurry and turn it on in a moment’s notice.

Boston is a first round talent but much of that will depend on how much stronger he can get in college.

Lance Ware - 4 Stars

  • Height- 6’9
  • Weight- 215
  • Position- Power Forward
  • Position rank- #5
  • Overall rank- #32

Outlook: Ware has the body and size of a true power forward. He reminds me of PJ Washington but a little more athletic and a little less polished as an offensive player. His strengths are rebounding, blocking shots, and running the floor.

As I mentioned above, he will need work on the offensive side of things. Ware is a long way from a project but Kentucky fans shouldn’t expect him to come in and start right away (of course that depends on which other bigs Cal gets). He has tremendous upside with his athleticism and nose for the ball.

He’s potentially an NBA draft pick but most likely a two year player at UK.

Cam’Ron Fletcher - 4 Stars

  • Height- 6-6
  • Weight- 180
  • Position- Small forward
  • Position rank- #12
  • Overall rank- #43

Outlook: Fletcher is a true ‘tweener as he as the size of a shooting guard but his lack of scoring ability puts him at more of a small forward position. His shooting needs work as does his offensive game overall. He’s looked at as a high motor guy that has the physical tools to be really good if everything clicks.

Definitely a player that is expected to be around for more than one season at UK.

Remaining Targets

Cade Cunningham- 5 Stars

  • Height- 6-6
  • Weight- 215
  • Position- Combo guard
  • Position rank- #1
  • Overall rank- #2

Outlook: Right now the favorite for Cunningham is Oklahoma State since they hired his brother on the staff. I expect him to play for the Cowboys but Kentucky is still in the mix.

Jalen Green- 5 Stars

  • Height- 6-5
  • Weight- 170
  • Position- Combo guard
  • Position rank- #2
  • Overall rank- #3

Outlook: It appears as if the Jalen Green ship has sailed. He is essentially down to Oregon and Memphis after the commitment of Terrence Clarke. Despite Green’s father stating that Clarke’s decision would not impact Green’s, he’s no longer a target for the Wildcats after the two sides mutually agreed to part ways.

Makur Maker - 5 Stars

  • Height- 6’11
  • Weight- 235
  • Position- Center
  • Position rank- #2 center
  • Overall rank- #6

Outlook: It’s unclear whether or not Maker will ever play college basketball as his eligibility is very much in question. His cousin, Thon Maker, was able to bypass the NCAA and go right to the pros.

Kentucky is still recruiting the talented big man but I won’t be surprised if he never plays college basketball.

Greg Brown - 5 Stars

  • Height- 6’9
  • Weight- 195
  • Position- Power forward
  • Position rank- #1
  • Overall rank-#1

Outlook: Right now all of the love is going to Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns for the Austin native but that’s not stopping John Calipari for going all in on Brown. The talented power forward has kept his recruitment close to the vest and we just recently found out he had an offer from UK.

Brown is a great player and would be a huge asset to whichever team lands him. Even though Calipari already has Lance Ware locked in, he will need more big men after the mass exodus we are expecting. Brown is more polished than Ware and would be ready for the big stage on day one.

Scottie Barnes - 5 Stars

  • Height- 6-8
  • Weight- 210
  • Position- Small forward
  • Position rank- #3
  • Overall rank- #8

Outlook: All the mojo is with the Oregon Ducks. It’s unclear if Barnes is still even being recruited by UK, as there’s been little-to-no mention of there being interest from either side in recent months.

Josh Christopher - 5 stars

  • Height- 6’5
  • Weight- 215
  • Position- Shooting guard
  • Position rank- #1
  • Overall rank- #10

Outlook: If you asked most Kentucky fans, Josh Christopher is the one player that’s the most coveted because of his highlight dunk reel. UK used to get 100% of the love from the famous/infamous 247 Crystal Ball, but Mick Cronin and UCLA are making a push to land him, and Arizona State is also a threat since they have his brother, Caleb Christopher.

It boggles the mind why anyone would want to play for Cronin and his brand of murder ball, but maybe the prospect of living in LA is appealing. UK is still the hunt, but I think Calipari will have to make up some ground to convince Christopher after landing both Boston and Clarke.

Isaiah Todd - 5 stars

  • Height- 6’10
  • Weight- 195
  • Position- Power forward
  • Position rank- #2
  • Overall rank- #11

Outlook: Todd is the player in the 2020 class that John Calipari covets the most. He and his staff even go to watch Todd play in pickup games. The dream scenario for Cal would be to land Brown as a power forward and Todd as a center. Give me those two in the front court and UK will be ready to roll.

The main contender for Todd isn’t another college: it’s playing professionally overseas. There’s legit talks going on to get Todd to one of the pro teams in New Zealand. If he does decide to stay and play in college then I think he’s Kentucky’s to lose.

Isaiah Jackson - 5 stars

  • Height- 6’9
  • Weight- 190
  • Position- Power forward
  • Position rank- #3
  • Overall rank- #24

Outlook: Jackson is fresh off an official visit to UK and he scored an offer while he was there. He and his family were very impressed with what they saw. Calipari would rather have either Todd or Brown, but Jackson isn’t a bad consolation prize.

That being said, with Ware already in the fold Calipari is going to have to play this carefully and he knows it. Michigan State was the favorite early on, but Alabama has gotten a lot of buzz recently, including a prediction from 247 Sports recruiting expert Andre Slater.

Still, expect Calipari to go full tilt at Jackson if he doesn’t get Brown or Todd. It could be an Emmanuel Mudiay/Tyler Ulis situation.

Recap

These are the major targets for Kentucky at the moment. Jaemyn Brakefield, JT Thor, and Cliff Omoruyi are four-star bigs that Cal may have to look towards if he whiffs on all of his main targets.

There’s also a chance that 2021 recruits Jon Kuminga, Paolo Banchero and/or Devin Askew could reclassify into 2020, but for now, we’re looking at the guy already part of this recruiting cycle.

Things are looking good right now on many of these players, but we all know how fickle recruiting is based on the whims of 17-19 year old kids. It could be the No. 1 class in the country, and it has the potential to be one of the best classes Calipari has ever put together at UK.