Entering into the 2019-2020 season, the Kentucky Wildcats had one of the NCAA’s most promising rosters.
Destined to be a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats went on a run right before the kick off the SEC Tournament. The inevitable canceling of the NCAA Tournament killed their hopes for a pleasant end to the season.
Now, it’s time to take a look at what next season’s roster may look like.
With Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey on their way out, players like Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery all have question marks besides their name. With Johnny Juzang transferring, the spots on UK’s program, one of the best in the nation, are opening up.
Destined to be taken by some of the most high-profile recruits on the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, the Wildcats may be able to add a few more faces to the group. Reclassifying, like five-star combo guard Devin Askew did, could become easier than expected, according Corey Evans, a national recruiting reporter for Rivals who spoke with Ben Roberts of Kentucky.com.
“Evans said he’s hearing buzz in college coaching circles that the current landscape could lead to more reclassifications from 2021 to 2020. UK targets like Jonathan Kuminga, Moussa Cisse and Moussa Diabate were already being mentioned as reclassification candidates — though the Cats are not seen as the favorite in any of those recruitments — but perhaps even more instant-impact high school prospects could be added to the current recruiting pool.
“The rationale for that is that relaxed academic requirements for college admission — due to the disruption of high schools as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — could move more high school juniors that can meet the standards to make an early college jump,” Roberts wrote.
Paolo Banchero has been the hottest name when it comes to UK targets who could reclassify from 2021, but he’s continuously shot those rumors down.
Moussa Cisse and Jon Kuminga appear likely to eventually make the move into 2020, but UK isn’t viewed as the favorite for either of them.
Another top-10 recruit that Kentucky has their eye on and have a good shot with is Jaden Hardy, though he’s expected to remain in the 2021 class.
Perhaps another 2021 target will emerge as a reclass target later this summer, especially if the NCAA makes it easier for said athletes to complete the coursework needed to make the move.
At the end of the day, reclassification could help UK, but Calipari should also be looking to add some veteran help via the transfer market. Unless such help comes, Keion Brooks Jr. will effectively be the only player with college game experience on UK’s roster next season.