When you see a team dominate a recruiting year the way Kentucky has for the 2018-19 season you might think they would relax a bit, not our coach.
Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari has been relentless on the recruiting trail for both this year and the next. This week Calipari and members of his staff have been watching players closely at the Peach Jam and the Under Armor Challenge.
Two players the staff has kept a close eye on are five-star guards RJ Hampton and Bryan Antoine. Both players play physical ball and have caught the attention of the top schools in the nation.
Hampton started to show why he’s in the running for the top guard in the 2020 class. He may not be as complete as some other guards in his class, but you can see he has the raw talent to add any skill set to his game that he wants to.
He’s known for his highlight-reel scoring abilities, but he’s also a relentless player, even when his team is down big in an AAU game. This is a trait you can’t teach a player and really makes you want him around your team.
According to Corey Evans of Rivals.com, head coaches from Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas and UCLA came to see him up close this week at the Under Armour event. Although Coach Cal himself didn’t make it out to the game, some of his assistants did, as well as some staff from Duke.
Evans adds that a possible to reclassification into the 2019 class remains on the table, which could really make things interesting for Kentucky and Duke since they both are already competing for guards Cole Anthony and Bryan Antoine in this class.
Speaking of, Antoine was also in the Under Armor Challenge playing for Team Rio. Antoine is a 6’4” shooting guard already in the 2019 class with ESPN ranking him 9th overall in their top 100. He is one of the best shooters in high school basketball. He also has versatility at the guard position, length, and the athleticism to play multiple positions on defense. His skillset will be a huge addition to any program and they all want him.
“Coach Cal is a great coach. He also texted me before I got here. He keeps comparing me to De’Aaron Fox and John Wall like those fast point guards or combo guards, and for a coach to compare you to guys who had good years in the NBA and in college, it’s pretty good.”
Still, most experts still believe that he will be committing to Duke.
The young guard plans on setting up his official visits for late fall so there’s still a chance the coaching staff could sway him toward becoming a Wildcat.