John Calipari and his staff have been tearing up the recruiting trail as they try to land the top class in the country for the Class of 2022. With the class already filling up in the backcourt a couple of former Kentucky Wildcats basketball recruits have decided to commit to a conference foes.
First off the board this week was 5-star guard Nick Smith Jr. as on Wednesday, he broke the new that he would be committing to Eric Musselman and the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard out of North Little Rock (AR) chose the hometown school over a final four of Alabama, Auburn, and Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
There was a time when it seemed that Smith was a strong lean toward Kentucky once an offer came, but an after an injury that sidelined him for a few months, that offer took longer to get than expected.
During that time the staff backed off a bit, and the momentum went with it. Smith received his offer during Peach Jam, and after the buzz started to pick up again. For Kentucky though, it ultimately came down to taking Cason Wallace or Smith, and by all accounts, it seems as though the staff felt the best fit for next year's team was Wallace.
Unfortunately for the Cats they will now have to face a terrific scoring guard next year Razorbacks, as Musselman continues to build a solid program in Fayetteville.
Smith is currently ranked No. 9 overall by the 247 Sports Composite rankings, and is considered the No. 3 combo guard in the country.
Following Smith’s announcement, another 5-star guard came off the board on Thursday as Jaden Bradley has decided Tuscaloosa is the place for him as he picked the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Bradley choose the Tide over finalists Arizona, Florida State, and Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-3 point guard was once seen as a heavy Kentucky lean until other options emerged in the Class of 2022.
Nate Oats and his staff are getting a great player for their style of play, as Bradley is widely thought of as one of the fastest players in the class. He can also shoot it fairly consistently and loves to play in transition.
Bradley is considered the No. 18 player in the class by the 247 Sports Composite rankings. He’s ranked as high as No. 8 overall by ESPN.
For Kentucky, the class is taking shape especially with most of the backcourt pieces set. Coach Cal and his staff will look to land Cason Wallace to round out the guards in this class, and they’re currently trying to land a commitment from Adem Bona who is taking his official visit this weekend.