INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky fans want John Calipari to offer KyKy Tandy a scholarship. KyKy Tandy wants the Wildcats to offer him a scholarship. But the 4-star guard’s father, Keith Torian?
“If they come with the offer, they come with the offer,” Torian told SEC Country on Saturday after his son’s game on the Under Armour AAU circuit. “If he does get an offer, he’s not going to Kentucky with three or four point guards there. He’s not no bench player. And that’s what they think he is: He’ll just come in and play four years. No, no.”
To his point about a crowded backcourt, Kentucky could have four 5-star point guards on the roster this fall — although most (and maybe all) would already be gone by the 2019-20 season when Tandy enters college.
And to the point about his ability, Tandy led Hopkinsville’s University Heights Academy to the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena as a junior last season, averaging a whopping 30.5 points per game and shooting 47.6 percent from 3-point range. On Sunday in Indianapolis, he had 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for his AAU team in a win against a squad featuring UK targets and top-10 overall recruits Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine.
“I’ve been working my butt off” for an offer from the Wildcats, Tandy told SEC Country over the weekend. “Usually Kentucky kids don’t get that offer.”
Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa State and Cincinnati are on a growing list of schools that have offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-1 Tandy, who is ranked the 147th-best prospect in the Class of 2019 by the 247Sports composite. So what are the home-state Wildcats waiting for?
“I really don’t know,” Torian said. “No. 1 point guard in the state — as a junior. What else can he do? If you’ve seen him play, I don’t know. Maybe they want him to run a team better. I don’t know. I talk to them sometimes, but not much, and they say everything is good. I don’t know what good is.”
Kentucky hosted Tandy on an unofficial visit in February, and assistant coach Joel Justus attended one of his high school playoff games. Assistant Tony Barbee watched him Saturday at the Under Armour event in Indianapolis.
“I don’t know if he liked him or not,” Tandy’s father said. “We’ll just wait and see.”
Meantime, rival Louisville might jump into this race first. Chris Mack recruited Tandy while at Xavier and has stayed in touch since taking over at Louisville. However, Torian has his reservations about the Cardinals, too.
“They’re involved,” he said, “but I don’t know what they’re going to be able to do with all the [FBI investigation and potential NCAA sanctions] going on. I haven’t talked to them in a while.”
For Kentucky fans craving an influx of in-state talent to balance Calipari’s rosters full of far-flung McDonald’s All-Americans, this next part will be particularly upsetting — assuming no UK offer is forthcoming for Tandy, which seems increasingly likely. Or if an offer comes so late that it offends him and his family, which already appears to be the case.
“My whole family is Wildcats. We’re all Wildcats,” Torian said. “We don’t want him to leave the state. I would like to keep him at home. Wouldn’t you? But I look at it like this: If it doesn’t happen, he’s got some good options. Got some good schools looking at him.”