LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky target R.J. Barrett, formally the No. 1 prospect in the 2019 class, announced Monday that he’s reclassifying to the 2018 class.
It’s a move that will likely have ripple effects on the rest of the class. The 6-foot-6 small forward who’s from Canada but preps at Florida’s Montverde Academy has the nations’ top programs after him. Barrett, who keeps a blog on USA Today Sports, said Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA are showing him the most interest.
Kentucky coach John Calipari had a first-person look at Barrett’s game at the U-19 FIBA World Cup this summer in Egypt. Team Canada surged to a 99-87 semifinals win over Team USA thanks to a monster stat line from Barrett: 38 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. He went 12 of 24 from the field.
— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) July 31, 2017
Calipari has landed three players from Canada in the last three years with Jamal Murray, Mychal Mulder and freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Calipari was back in Canada over the weekend to watch 2018 5-star forward Simi Shittu.
Kentucky is still looking to lock down its first 2018 commit, and the Wildcats will be one of a number of schools to have laser focus on Barrett.