LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky basketball has the first official member of its 2018 recruiting class. Five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley signed his national letter of intent on Thursday morning at his high school, The John Carroll School, in Maryland.
The 6-foot-3 Quickley, who started for Wildcats coach John Calipari’s Team USA at the under-19 FIBA World Cup this summer, is ranked the No. 8 overall prospect nationally in the 247Sports Composite. Now he hopes to be joined by several other talented recruits, including close friend and No. 2 overall prospect Zion Williamson.
Signed, sealed and soon to be delivered to Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/x2OsjI1khH
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) November 9, 2017
Two other Kentucky targets — No. 1 overall recruit R.J. Barrett and 5-star shooting guard Keldon Johnson — plan to announce their decisions on Friday and Saturday, respectively, while top-40 shooting guard Tyler Herro is taking an official visit to Lexington this weekend.
Quickley and Johnson took their official visits to Kentucky together two months ago and, according to Quickley’s mentor and head of his AAU program, the two elite guards hit it off. They even worked out together.
The Wildcats are considered favorites to land Johnson — Maryland, N.C. State and Texas are his other finalists — as well as Herro, which would make for a formidable backcourt next season.
Quickley is a pass-first point guard who is also a very capable scorer — 23.7 points, 7.2 assists per game as a junior in high school — and he shot 43 percent rom 3-point range for Team USA this summer. Johnson was a star of the Nike AAU circuit, averaging 19.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while Herro averaged 14.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and shot 36 percent from three on the same circuit.
If Kentucky’s freshman point guard Quade Green or freshman combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — or both — came back for another season, Kentucky would have arguably the best backcourt in America in 2018-19.