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Top-5 recruit Ugonna Kingsley could reclass to 2022 (or not)

Kingsley has previously said “I’ve been wanting to go to Kentucky all my life.”

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: JUN 06 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE

Well...

It was fun while it lasted.


Well, well, well.

After it looked as though the Kentucky Wildcats basketball roster was finalized, a new option for next season has emerged.

In an interview with KSR’s Jack Pilgrim, 247 Sports recruiting guru Travis Branham revealed that class of 2023 center Ugonna Kingsley is considering a reclassification to 2022, and Kentucky is already in a good spot.

“I do (like Kentucky’s chances with Kingsley),” Branham told KSR. “The thing is with Ugonna, he is a player that could potentially reclassify. There is a chance we could see him commit to Kentucky but also enroll early for the 2022 class.”

The 6-foot-11, 215-pound center out of Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut — a previous home of former Wildcat of Hamidou Diallo — just climbed to the No. 5 overall spot in the new 2023 class rankings at On3. Among the schools who’ve offered Kingsley includes the Kansas Jayhawks, Clemson Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs and Ole Miss Rebels among others.

While nothing is final, this is a huge development for Kentucky, who frankly needs to find some way to add an 11th scholarship player for next season. The 10 guys John Calipari has right now make up a very promising group, but injuries and a lack of depth have plagued the program in recent years, so having an 11th legitimate scholarship player would be a wise move if it’s a good fit.

If Kingsley were to join Kentucky next season, he’d get a head start on his college development while being groomed to replace Oscar Tsheibwe, who will almost certainly be in the NBA Draft this time next year. Fellow frontcourt teammates Jacob Toppin and Daimion Collins will also likely be going pro as well, so having a guy like Kingsley waiting in the wings to replace that major loss of production would be a great move by Calipari.

Plus, Kingsley would be great insurance to have in the event Tshiebwe or Collins get injured at some point next season. Lance Ware is the only true post player currently on the roster.

It’s also no secret that Kingsley is very high on Kentucky. He previously told On3’s Jamie Shaw that “I have been wanting to go to Kentucky all my life, even before coming to the states.”

Kentucky has yet to officially offer Kingsley, but it’s clear there’s mutual interest from sides.

Be sure to read Pilgrim’s full story on Kingsley.