As it turns out, Jalen Duren’s official visit with the Kentucky Wildcats will begin Monday, according to SI high school hoops reporter Jason Jordan.
Happy Saturday, BBN. It’s a big weekend in Lexington as John Calipari and staff welcome in 2022 center Jalen Duren to campus. Duren is the number one player in his class but there is scuttle that he is going to reclassify to 2021 and play college basketball this year.
Duren is fresh off of a visit to Memphis and all indications are that it went very well. But Memphis and Kentucky are in two different spots right now. Kentucky has a loaded roster that, with Duren, could be the most loaded team Calipari has had since 2014/2015. I’m not sure the talent level is comparable to that team, but the depth most certainly is.
Memphis, on the other hand, lost some players to the transfer portal and has a roster that is influx. Penny Hardaway made a splash when he was hired at Memphis but has been a flop for the most part.
There’s also NIL now to consider. If money is something that Duren is factoring into his decisions, as it most certainly is, then the best business decision for him would be Kentucky. Outside of Duke and maybe Kansas, there isn’t a basketball program in America with as much potential for a high profile basketball player to profit off of his name, image and likeness than Kentucky.
I like Kentucky’s chances with Duren, very much so. A decision won’t likely be made until after the Peach Jam in July. Until then we wait and see.
Tweet of the Day
Because of the NCAA recruiting dead period, which was lifted on June 1, Dereck Lively is the first recruit John Calipari has scouted in person since flying to Seattle to watch Paolo Banchero in February of 2020. Things heating up between Kentucky and the 5-star center.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) June 26, 2021
This feels like it’s Cal’s to lose,
Barnhart stresses importance of locker room harmony, e.g., one teammate not getting jealous of another for their NIL deal. Says UK will be focusing on that.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) June 25, 2021
Barnhart’s press conference was universally panned. You can tell he’s not in favor of NIL, but he has to go all in on it.
Keyonte George draws impressive crowd | Cats Pause- A plethora of elite college coaches went to watch George and Kentucky is included.
Mitch Barnhart asks for patience on NIL | WDRB- Louisville AD Vince Tyra and Mitch Barnhart gave polar opposite press conferences on Friday in regards to NIL. Tyra sounded like he’s embracing it while Barnhart sounded more like he’s accepting it.
Barnhart needs to understand what’s coming | Your Sports Edge- Student-athletes at Kentucky are going to want to profit as soon as they can. Barnhart needs to be ready for what’s coming and I’m not sure he is. Good thing John Calipari and Mark Stoops have a knack for this sort of thing.
Ranking the seven contenders for Dereck Lively | Fan Sided- Kentucky is two on this list and I’d beg to differ on that.
Vandy advances is CWS after NC State forced to forfeit | SDS- This is a tough blow for NC State as their team was hit by health and safety protocols. Vandy backed into the finals but they are good enough to win the entire thing.
Bucks destroy Hawks in game 2 | CBS- It was a 125-91 beatdown as Trae Young was held to just 16 points. It’s clear that without Trae Young doing amazing things the Hawks have zero chance of advancing to the Finals.
Blazers finalizing deal with Chauncey Billups | USA Today- The Detroit Pistons great will get his chance to make a splash in the NBA coaching ranks.
US has no explanation for UAP | BBC- The long awaited UAP report dropped yesterday evening and was met with mixed reviews. Here is what I gathered: the US definitively said the phenomenon is not domestic or foreign; many possible explanations were given and none of them were satisfying; they’re treating UAPs as a possible threat due to their proximity to US military bases/craft.