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Where Kentucky targets stand in the new ESPN 2021 rankings

Plus a few notes on several targets UK is in a good spot for.

High School Basketball: JUN 02 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ESPN has released a new set of their top-100 rankings following the reclassification of former 2021 No. 1 overall prospect Jon Kuminga.

There is a new No. 1, obviously, and the Kentucky Wildcats have a good shot with a few top-11 prospects.

  1. Chet Holmgren - Kentucky is not currently pursuing Holmgren
  2. Patrick Baldwin - Scholarship offer
  3. Paolo Banchero - Kentucky seen as the favorite
  4. Jaden Hardy - Kentucky seen as the favorite
  5. Jabari Smith
  6. Michael Foster
  7. Moussa Diabate
  8. Nate Bittle
  9. AJ Griffin - Duke commit
  10. Aminu Mohammed
  11. Kennedy Chandler - Kentucky in major play

Other notable recruits and Kentucky targets in the top-100: Efton Reid (No. 17), Zion Harmon (No. 19, WKU commit), Franck Kepnang (No. 21).

So far from the 2021 class, Kentucky has only prioritized a trio of Jaden Hardy, Paolo Banchero, and Kennedy Chandler, as the three have previously talked about teaming up together in college.

Kentucky has also offered Patrick Baldwin, but there are little, to no rumblings surrounding Baldwin to Lexington.

Hardy watched Kentucky practice in person last December when the Wildcats made the trip out to Las Vegas, and it reportedly went very well for both Hardy and Kentucky.

Jeff Borzello released his predictions for some of the top prospects in 2021, and he seems to like Kentucky’s chances with Paolo Banchero and Jaden Hardy, and he touched more on Banchero:

Banchero’s recruitment has seen plenty of twists and turns, with nearly every school on his list looking like the perceived favorite at one point or another. Another wrinkle is Banchero’s relationship with five-star guard Kennedy Chandler; the two have discussed playing together in college. The three schools in common for Banchero and Chandler are Tennessee, Kentucky and Duke.

It’s hard to find a true favorite, but Kentucky is in a strong position, while Gonzaga and Tennessee likely make up the next tier. I wouldn’t count out any of the six, though.

I would expect more offers to more 2021 recruits, but as of now, Kentucky is sitting in pretty good shape for a monster 2021 class.