Earlier today, we wrote about how it appeared Brandon Huntley-Hatfield ‘could’ be trending away from UK.
Now, it looks like that’s a done deal, as KSR’s Jack Pilgrim reports UK has cut ties with the Class of 2022 five-star forward.
Once seen as a near-lock to end up in Lexington, Kentucky has opted to back away from the table in the recruitment of 2022 five-star forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, sources tell KSR.
Sources tell KSR that Kentucky hasn’t spoken to Huntley-Hatfield since the 6-foot-10 forward transferred from prep powerhouse IMG Academy to Scotland Performance Institute in Scotland, PA back in July, opting to part ways at that point moving forward.
Even with UK seemingly out of the mix, it looks like there’s a decent chance Huntley-Hatfield still ends up in the SEC. Today, there was a 247 Sports Crystal Ball prediction logged in favor of the Ole Miss Rebels, while a Rivals FutureCast pick was put in for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Though it appears to be UK’s decision to move on, it’s still a big blow for the frontcourt recruiting in 2021, as Huntley-Hatfield is still expected to reclassify and be one of the top big men in said class. He’s currently ranked fifth overall by Rivals in 2022.
Now that this option is out the door, expect to hear about UK reaching out to new frontcourt targets in the coming days and weeks. One we already know of is 2021 center Daimion Collins, though Oklahoma is viewed as the current favorite in that recruitment. We may also start seeing other 2022 reclass targets emerge.
And of course, the NCAA is expected to adopt a one-time transfer rule for all college athletes next year, so UK could end up with a bevy of experienced frontcourt options for the 2021-22 season. Perhaps this is why UK is more willing to pass on a talented player like Huntley-Hatfield.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that UK’s 2021 class is going to look drastically different than what we though it could be just a month ago when guys like Huntley-Hatfield, Paolo Banchero (committed to Duke), Skyy Clark (may remain in 2022 class) and Jaden Hardy (buzz growing he could go G-League route) looked like UK leans.
But when you recruit the best of the best, that’s just how it goes sometimes, even for blue-bloods like UK.