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Recruiting analysts picking against UK for 2 frontcourt targets

It looks like Brandon Huntley-Hatfield will end up somewhere other than UK.

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


UK has reportedly cut ties with Brandon Huntley-Hatfield.

For the past year, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield has been viewed as one of the likeliest recruits to eventually commit to UK.

The five-star power forward from Pennsylvania is ranked fifth overall in the 2022 class by Rivals. He’s also viewed as one of the likeliest recruits in his class to reclassify into 2021 at some point. UK doesn’t have a frontcourt pledge yet in 2021, but they had received every prediction in the 247 Sports Crystal Ball and Rivals FutureCast for the 6-9, 220-pound big man.

Well, until today, that is.

247 Sports recruiting analyst Travis Branham just logged a prediction in favor of the Ole Miss Rebels of all schools. It’s the first non-UK pick at either recruiting site. Tennessee is also viewed as a major player for Huntley-Hatfield, who is a Clarksville (TN) native (since this story was posted, Rivals analyst travis Graf flipped his prediction from UK to Tennessee).

This does come a month after Huntley-Hatfield recently went out of his way to shoot down the UK rumors and make it clear his recruitment was far more open than many were led to believe.

“I want to say this too; I think the word on me is that I’m a lock for Kentucky, just because it’s known that they were my dream school growing up. I want to say here in my blog that I’m not set on any school. I don’t look at things the same way that I did when I was a kid; now I know the importance of picking the right fit and that’s what I’m really focusing on in this process.

“I’m not locked in on any one school. I think that’s the thing that’s holding some other schools back from recruiting me, so I just want to let it be known that I’m open to everyone equally at this point.”

If Huntley-Hatfield is trending elsewhere, one 2021 frontcourt target who could move up UK’s big board is Daimion Collins. The five-star center out of Texas is ranked 20th overall by Rivals, and he’s someone UK has been showing more interest in recently. Perhaps writing on the wall that UK doesn’t feel as confident with Huntley-Hatfield?

Texas assistant Jai Lucas, who’s expected to join UK’s staff, has been the Longhorns’ lead recruiter for Collins. So one could surmise getting Lucas would greatly improve the Wildcats’ chances in this recruitment.

However, 247 Sports scouting director Jerry Meyer just logged a prediction in favor of the Oklahoma Sooners for Collins. Oklahoma has been recruiting Collins heavily for a while now and was already viewed as a major player in his recruitment, regardless of which other schools jump into the mix (they have 4 predictions between 247 and Rivals, including one from recruiting guru Corey Evans).

Perhaps things can chance if UK offers Collins a scholarship. But for now, it looks like the Cats have some work to do if they want to become a major factor in this recruitment.

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