After Rivals updated their 2020 recruiting rankings on Tuesday, they’ve now released their updated 2021 rankings.
Retaining the No. 1 overall ranking is small forward Jonathan Kuminga, who is widely expected to reclassify into the 2020 class sometime in the summer. UK remains in the hunt with the likes of Duke and Auburn among others. Being that Duke and UK are among his top suitors, it’s safe to think that NBA Draft decisions will play a role in his ultimate decision.
Remaining at No. 2 overall is power forward Paolo Banchero, who UK appears to be in good shape with. Assuming Kuminga moves into 2020, that means Banchero has a very real chance of being the top dog in 2021 when it’s all said done. There has been reclassification talk with him as well, but the expectation is he’ll stay in 2021.
Small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who has an offer from UK, remained at No. 3 overall. Earlier this month, Baldwin talked with Rivals about what stands out about UK and who John Calipari is trying to build a class with in 2021.
“I love coach (John) Calipari and I love the guys they’ve targeted,” Baldwin told Bossi. “I like talking with Paolo (Banchero), (Kennedy) Chandler and I like the guys they are trying to build with in that class. At the end of the day they will probably be in my end list even though I haven’t released it. I think Kentucky is really high up there with me right now.”
Shooting guard Jaden Hardy, who now looks like the likeliest 2021 recruit to pick UK, rose three spots up to No. 6. UK has been gaining a lot of traction with Hardy recently, including several predictions in his 247 Sports Crystal Ball, and he’s now in position to be a top-five player in 2021 if/when Kuminga moves into 2020.
Center Moussa Cisse, who has an offer from UK and is a reclassification candidate, fell one spot to No. 8. LSU and Memphis have gotten the most buzz recently, but UK is still in the hunt.
Point guard Kennedy Chandler, who was just offered by UK in late December, is now up to No. 10 overall. His recruitment has been a lot tougher to get a feel on now that the Memphis Tigers are no longer viewed as the favorite for the Memphis native.
With Immanuel Quickely, Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans all very likely in the pros by the 2021-22 season, UK’s position with Chandler could be determined by how well Devin Askew plays and if he’s a one-and-done player, which would pave the way for Chandler to take over the starting point guard duties from Day 1.
Center Franck Kepnang, who UK has been showing a lot of interest in recently, fell six spots to No. 29 overall. He too has been bantered about as a reclassification candidate, but whichever class he’s in, Kepnang appears to be a little further down on UK’s big board. Perhaps that will change if UK misses on its other big man targets in whichever class Kepnang is ultimately a part of.