Paolo Banchero is one of the best players in all of high school hoops, and he’s currently in a consensus top-four recruit in the Class of 2021.
All of the heavy-hitters in college hoops have pursued the 6-9 power forward out of Seattle (WA), but as of now, the schools getting the most buzz are the hometown Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats.
On Wednesday, head coach John Calipari took a trip out West to watch Banchero played, which brought about an interesting recruiting nugget from KSR’s Jack Pilgrim.
Apparently, Kentucky is still hoping to convince Banchero to reclassify into 2020 and be a part of what’s already the No. 1 overall recruiting class.
Kentucky is still pushing for a reclassification from 2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero. John Calipari’s top big man target, regardless of class. https://t.co/UcAAL9U8gI— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) February 13, 2020
If Banchero were to pick Kentucky and ultimately end up in the 2020 class, it would suddenly be a contender for the best class John Calipari has assembled in Lexington. He’d have three elite recruits in Banchero, Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston to go with two more five-star recruits in Devin Askew and Isaiah Jackson, while Lance Ware could earn his fifth star when the final rankings come out. Cam’Ron Fletcher is also a solid top-50 recruit that could make an immediate impact as a freshman.
But first things first. Kentucky has to secure a commitment from Rivals’ second-ranked player in 2021, and it’s unclear when he’ll make a decision. He’s completed his official visits, which included a visit to Lexington back in October for Big Blue Madness.
Kentucky has both predictions in the Rivals FutureCast for Banchero, but Washington has all eight predictions in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball. For what it’s worth, the most recent prediction is for Kentucky from Rivals’ Dan McDonald.
“Respectable size for post with decent length, wide shoulders and a very good frame. Strong for his age but has plenty of room to grow into frame. Best from high post where he can hit jumpers, take bigger defenders off dribble or use his outstanding vision to find cutters,” said Gershon. The next step for Banchero is becoming more of a stretch big option. Gershon even said that if he improves his efficiency from the perimeter, he would, “take game to next level and greatly impact his NBA upside.”