The Kentucky Wildcats are bringing in the #1 recruiting class for 2020 and are set up very well to potentially do it again in 2021.
The center piece to that class will be 6-9 power forward Paolo Banchero who is currently ranked as the #2 overall player in the class.
The #1 overall player in the class is Jonathan Kuminga who many still believe will make the move to 2020 which would leave Banchero to take over the top spot.
In this week’s Rivals Roundtable, Eric Bossi, Corey Evans, and Dan McDonald discussed the most intriguing recruitments.
For Evans, it was the recruitment of Banchero.
“There is intrigue throughout the elite tier of the 2021 class but Paolo Bachero’s recruitment has caught my eye. He could pick Duke, Kentucky or North Carolina and immediately become any of the blueblood’s most important piece in the class. He could also go a different path and pick Michigan or Tennessee to potentially team up with Kennedy Chandler, someone that Banchero has discussed playing with in college. Staying home at Washington, the program right down the street and a place that his father and mother both played varsity sports for, is also in play. There is a load of storylines with Banchero thanks to his talent and pedigree which makes him that much more intriguing to follow.”
Last August, which wasn’t long after coach Cal officially offered Banchero a scholarship, Evans switched his Future Cast prediction from Washington to Kentucky.
Ben Roberts of Kentucky.com talked to Evans about that pick and how he felt about it now.
“I still feel pretty good about that. I don’t think much has changed,” he said, with a caveat. “I also don’t think Paolo is anywhere near making a decision whatsoever. I wouldn’t be surprised if he holds off from committing until this time next year, especially with the pandemic going on. I know he visited all those schools last year, but it’s a little different mindset. That might have just been for fun and to get a general sense of things. But whenever you’re getting down to it — getting close to committing — it’s more of a business approach.”
Banchero was on Kentucky’s campus for Big Blue Madness while he was visiting several other schools on his trip. He also had an online video meeting with the Kentucky coaches on Wednesday.
Reclassifying rumors have been circling around for months around Banchero but every time it gains traction, he immediately shoots it down.
Evans told Roberts, “I would be surprised if he did that” when he was asked if Banchero would make the move to 2020 and fill the frontcourt needs of the Cats for the upcoming season.
While Evans did note that he believes this recruitment could go in a number of different ways, we should expect that a move to 2020 will not be one of them and we will most likely have to wait a long time before we get a final decision on where he will be playing his college ball.
For what it’s worth, KSR’s Jack Pilgrim still feels Kentucky is the leader for Banchero and predicted the top-five recruit to be part of the Wildcats’ 2021 class. He also added this interesting nugget on how Kentucky is on Banchero:
“He would’ve started here this past year,” one source within the Kentucky basketball program told KSR.