College basketball tips off in less than one month, and several top prospects could be making their decisions before the season begins. Five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley is Kentucky’s lone commit, but the Wildcats are making inroads elsewhere.
Here’s the latest in this week’s Kentucky basketball recruiting notebook.
Keldon Johnson is the 14th-ranked player in the 2018 class and the No. 2 shooting guard behind Romeo Langford, according to 247Sports composite rankings.
Johnson didn’t pick up a scholarship offer from John Calipari & Co. until late August, but Kentucky appears to be in a two-team battle with Texas to land the 6-foot-6, 216-pound shooting guard. The 247Sports Crystal Ball gives Kentucky a 54 percent chance to secure his commitment, followed by Texas at 31 percent and Maryland at 15 percent.
Quickley has helped Kentucky’s recruiting efforts for Johnson.
“I’ve been talking to Keldon a lot,” Quickley told SEC Country earlier this week. “He says he likes Kentucky a lot, too, so hopefully I can get him to come with me. I think Kentucky is definitely his leader.”
SEC Country is also hearing UK is in great position with Johnson. That’s big news for the Wildcats, as Quickley and Johnson could form quite the backcourt duo next season.
Quickley isn’t just talking to Johnson — he’s also recruiting dunk machine and do-it-all forward Zion Williamson. There’s a history between Quickley and Williamson. Talk ramped up over the summer about the two potentially being a package deal. Maybe that’s no longer the case, but Kentucky has to feel good about its standing with Williamson — the No. 2 prospect in the 2018 class, according to the 247Sports composite.
Williamson was in Lexington last weekend for Big Blue Madness.
“He said it was even better in person. He liked it a lot,” Quickley told SEC Country. “I think in the end it’ll work. I think Kentucky fits him and I know he liked the visit, so I think it’ll work.”
To add to Kentucky fans’ fervor, Quickley tweeted out a photoshopped image of him and Williamson in Kentucky uniforms.
Blue bloods Kentucky, Duke and Kansas are among the favorites to land Williamson. The crystal ball predictions are split, but Kentucky leads the race with a 40 percent chance to get a commitment from the 6-foot-6 forward.
It’s still anyone’s guess where Williamson ends up.
— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) October 14, 2017
There’s still plenty to sort out with the 2018 recruiting class, but Kentucky is not-so-surprisingly in the mix for several top 2019 targets. Among them is Vernon Carey, a 6-9 power forward and the No. 1 prospect in the 2019 class.
Carey trimmed his list of schools to eight earlier this week, and Kentucky made the cut. The Wildcats joined Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan State, Florida and Miami as the finalists.
Duke, Miami and Michigan State are the top three early contenders, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Kentucky is the early favorite for the No. 2 prospect in the 2019 class: power forward James Wiseman. The Memphis native visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness last weekend and his mother told CatsPause.com that it was “marvelous.”
FINAL 8… pic.twitter.com/zMJkhA1N2m
— Vernon Carey Jr. (@vernoncarey22) October 17, 2017
More Kentucky basketball recruiting news
- Kentucky now the favorite to land 5-star big man Bol Bol
- Duke pulling away as the likely landing place for No. 1 prospect R.J. Barrett
- With early signing period nearing, how close is UK to landing more commitments?
- James Wiseman highlights from USA Basketball training camp
- Zion Williamson highlights from USA Basketball training camp
- Cameron Reddish trying to recruit Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett to Duke
- Five-star 2019 prospect D.J. Jeffries discusses Big Blue Madness visit