Kentucky had the No. 1 basketball recruiting class in 2020, but so far the classes in 2021 and 2022 seem like a cause for concern in Lexington. However, perhaps the biggest recruit landed by John Calipari this year was former Texas assistant Jai Lucas.
Lucas is a great recruiter and he already had a strong relationship with five star forward Daimion Collins. Collins was once seen as a probable Texas commit, but with Lucas’ move and a scholarship from Kentucky, that all seems to have changed.
“It’s the greatest pitch ever: ‘You come here, and we’ll give you the chance to play in the NBA,”‘ Collins’ high school coach Jarrod Boston told KSR of Kentucky’s message to the top 20 big man. “He knows. … He wants to get a shot. I said, ‘Well, you realize if you go to Kentucky, you will get a shot. You’ll at least get looked at and have the resources to get looked at.’ It’s all up to how hard he’s willing to work, what he’s willing to do. That’s Kentucky’s allure.”
Collins is ranked No. 19 overall in the 2021 class and is listed as the No. 5 power forward and No. 2 player out of Texas, according to the 247 Sports Composite. The 6-9 versatile player has made quite a name for himself, and recently announced his final five of Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Texas Tech. Many view Oklahoma and Kentucky as the favorites, but Boston insists there is no current leader.
So when will we have a final decision from Collins?
“I really don’t know,” Boston said to KSR. “I know if it were up to his dad, he’s tired of seeing him tired all the time and think about it all the time. His dad wants him to go ahead and commit. His mom wants him to think about it just a little bit longer. He said way back when that he was going to wait till after basketball season so he can concentrate on just basketball, but I honestly don’t know if he’ll do that anymore.”
Collins would be a great piece to add in 2021 for any program. With Nolan Hickman being Kentucky’s only commit for 2021, it would be great to add some size to continue to build another top class at Kentucky.