It seems pretty clear that the NBA is heading in the direction of removing their age requirement which has created the “one and done” era of college basketball. While it is unclear exactly when that will be put into place, it seems the earliest date could impact the 2022 recruiting class.
That has not stopped college coaches from scouting and recruiting players from that class, however. For example, John Calipari was in New Jersey last night watching five-star guard Zion Cruz in a very impressive outing.
Cruz put on a show in front of Coach Cal, earning MVP honors at the New Year's Jump Off event. Calipari has only issued one scholarship offer for 2022, and that was to power forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. But Cruz seems like the kind of guard that Kentucky’s coach would target early in the recruiting process.
Cruz is ranked No. 21 overall by the 247 Sports composite rankings, and most services place him right around that mark. He is the top player in New Jersey, and the No. 4 shooting guard in the class.
As seen in his highlights from the New Years Jumpoff, Cruz is a pretty completely player. He can hit outside shots, he loves to drive to the basket, and he is a very unselfish player with create court vision for finding the open man.
Cruz already holds offers from LSU, St. John’s, Syracuse, and UCLA. It would not be a huge surprise for Calipari to move on Cruz sooner rather than later if he likes what he sees.
While Coach Cal obviously wants the top guys in every class, he also targets players in the 15-45 range in the rankings early every year that he takes a liking to for one reason or another.
Check out Cruz’s highlights below and let us know what you think.