John Calipari, Jai Lucas and the Kentucky Wildcats have heated up on the recruiting trail of late, as they now have three prospects signed for 2021 and another in five-star Skyy Clark committed to their 2020 class.
With the early signing period early and four-star prospects Nolan Hickman, Bryce Hopkins and five-star Damion Collins signed on for 2020, the Wildcats are now focused on adding to their 2021 class.
Two names they’re in hot pursuit of are five-star prospects Jaden Hardy and Efton Reid. Hardy ranks fourth in 247 Sports composite rankings, while Reid ranks 22nd.
In a recent recruiting update, Ben Roberts of the Lexington-Herald Leader reports that Kentucky, who was once viewed as the “heavy favorite” for the 6-4 Hardy, has lost traction to G-League, which intensified recently to the point that Kentucky didn’t seem to be an option.
However, Roberts reports that, despite Hardy’s strong interest in the G-League, UK will “pursue him until he makes a final decision on his next basketball destination.” While it doesn’t look like the Cats will land him, it is good to know they haven’t given up hope on the five-star guard who’s now in contention for the No. 1 overall ranking in the 2021 class.
As for Reid, the 6-11 center is expected to play college basketball, with Ohio State and Pittsburgh the favorites for the IMG Academy senior. While the Buckeyes and Panthers have a leg-up, Roberts reports, “Kentucky remains a school to watch in Reid’s recruitment.”
Since Kentucky has already landed frontcourt targets Daimion Collins and Bryce Hopkins in the 2021 class, landing Reid isn’t nearly as important as it seemed just a few months ago. But Reid is very talented and may very well become an instant-impact player as a freshman for whichever college he picks.
And Kentucky may have to rebuild its entire frontcourt next season with Isaiah Jackson looking like a one-and-done player, while Olivier Sarr will also likely be in the pros this time next year.
For more on Hardy, Reid and other UK targets, read Roberts full report here.