Simi Shittu, a 5-star power forward in the 2018 class, included Kentucky in his narrowed list of 10 schools on Sunday.
Shittu is the eighth-ranked prospect in the class and the third-ranked power forward, according to 247Sports.
The 6-foot-8 forward told Scout.com’s Evan Daniels his 10 finalists: Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Oregon, Connecticut, Arizona State, New Mexico and South Carolina.
— Simi Shittu (@LanX_Sims) August 14, 2017
“I’m going to wait a couple of weeks and narrow it down to five in the next month or two,” Shittu told Daniels.
Kentucky made the top 10, but Shittu is still waiting on an offer from coach John Calipari. Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans wrote last week that Oregon is the school to beat for Shittu.
But Calipari and the Cats have been ramping up their efforts in pursuit of Shittu, a native of Canada who preps in Vermont. Calipari recently visited Shittu in Canada. SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker caught up with Alex Popp, Shittu’s coach at Vermont Academy, to assess Kentucky’s chances.
“Any time you’re a top talent, you’re just curious about when are they going to call,” Popp said of Kentucky. “When they do call, it’s like a notch in a kid’s belt. It’s like, ‘I’ve arrived.’”
Shittu wouldn’t be the first Canadian to make the trek to Lexington. He would join Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray, Mychal Mulder and Kentucky freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Now, the wait is on to see if Calipari offers.
“I went to all three sneaker-company [AAU] circuits this year and understand what’s out there, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Simi is a top-3 player in this class,” Popp said. “I’m convinced. He wouldn’t just be another guy — he’d be a major-impact guy — for Kentucky, for Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Arizona, whoever gets him.”