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Nick Smith cuts list; A look at where UK recruits stand in first On3 rankings

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The Cats could land the No. 1 and 2 players in 2022.

John Calipari UK Athletics

John Calipari and his new staff are working hard on future recruiting classes as they continue to be in the mix for several top recruits.

On Thursday, Nick Smith Jr. announced his final eight options as he looks to make a final decision in late November.

His top eight includes the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Arkansas Razorbacks, Kansas Jayhawks, Overtime Elite, NBL, and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Smith is currently a 4-star recruit and is the No. 27 overall player in the 2022 class. However, after leading his team to the Peach Jam championship game, I would expect Smith to make a big jump in the updated rankings.

Following Peach Jam, Smith spoke to Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog when he had a lot of positives to say about the Cats.

“Coach Cal was calling me a lot, texting me a lot. He feels like I can be a great combo guard. Playing with Kentucky, you’re going to play with other great players. That’s just how it is at Kentucky. He feels like I can get to the league playing there and stuff and just going from there.”

The 6-foot-4 combo guard will be one of the most sought after guards in his class, and as of right now, Kentucky is viewed as the early leader, as they hold the only Crystal Ball and FutureCast predictions to land Smith.

Aside from Smith, Calipari and his staff are going after several of the top ranked players in the 2022 class.

On3 released their initial class of 2022 rankings on Thursday, and the Cats are currently the favorite to land the top two recruits on their list.

Here is where Kentucky’s recruits stand in the On3 rankings:

1. Shaedon Sharpe (100)

2. Dereck Lively II (99)

3. Jalen Duren (99)

4. Keyonte George (98)

5. Chris Livingston (98)

8. Carson Wallace (98)

14. Adem Bona (97)

17. Sadraque Nganga (96)

18. Brandon Miller (96)

19. Anthony Black (96)

21. Jaden Bradley (96)

22. Skyy Clark (96)

24. Vince Iwuchukwu (96)

32. Nick Smith Jr. (95)

As of right now, the Cats are viewed as the favorite to land Sharpe (1), Lively II (2), Wallace (8), and Bona (14), while Clark has already committed to Kentucky. It’s a little harder to project with Smith, as Kentucky also appears to be the favorite for him. However, with the potential to land Wallace and Sharpe to pair with Clark, there may not be enough room for Smith.

You can check out the full On3 rankings here.

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