LEXINGTON, Ky. — There’s still plenty of time in the 2020 basketball recruiting cycle, but Kentucky’s prospects of landing a top point guard for next season are already getting interesting.
The first player at that position to earn a UK scholarship offer was Jeremy Roach, who committed to Duke several months ago.
By the time of Roach’s decision, the Cats had already moved on to other point guards that seemed more likely to end up at Kentucky, namely Sharife Cooper and Cade Cunningham.
Now, both of those players appear to be long shots, as well.
Cooper — the MaxPreps.com national player of the year as a junior last season — is widely expected to ultimately commit to Auburn, and no one from UK’s coaching staff has met with him so far during this fall recruiting period, which began last Monday.
Cunningham, whose brother was hired as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State during the summer, says his recruitment remains wide open despite that family tie, but recruiting analysts have told the Herald-Leader in recent days that North Carolina might be the more likely destination if Cunningham doesn’t end up in Stillwater.
John Calipari met with Cunningham at his high school in Florida and visited his family in Texas during two separate trips over the past week, so that would indicate the UK coach still thinks he has a shot — even if it’s a long one — to land the No. 2 overall player in the 2020 class.
Five-star point guard Devin Askew emerged in recent weeks as perhaps the most likely UK point guard addition for the 2020 class. Askew — a California native — is currently in the 2021 class, but he’ll turn 18 years old in July and has remained open to a reclassification to 2020, a move that recruiting insiders expect to happen.
Coming into this week, it looked like UK would have a great shot at Askew’s eventual commitment.
Rivals.com national analyst Corey Evans made a recent Future Cast prediction in favor of Kentucky, and Rivals colleague Dan McDonald did the same over the weekend.
“I do think Kentucky is one of the few that has a very, very good shot at Devin,” Evans told the Herald-Leader late last week.
247Sports national analyst Evan Daniels also wrote in his most recent mailbag that he was leaning toward Kentucky as the early favorite for Askew.
Those predictions were predicated on the thought that Askew wasn’t close to a college decision, and there would be plenty of time for more recruiting visits. That no longer seems to be the case.
Askew posted on social media Tuesday that both a decision date and actual commitment would be “coming soon,” including the logos of Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Memphis and Villanova on his latest post on the subject.
Evans recently told the Herald-Leader that he saw Louisville and Villanova as UK’s most likely competition for the point guard, and the Cardinals are receiving even more buzz this week.
Around the time that Askew revealed he was getting close to a commitment, national recruiting expert Andrew Slater logged a Crystal Ball prediction in favor of U of L, which hosted Askew for an official visit earlier this month. College basketball recruiting reporter Adam Zagoria also made a Louisville prediction via Twitter on Tuesday.
Askew was slated to visit Memphis and Villanova early next month, and he was planning a trip to Lexington for the fall. He has not yet visited UK. Calipari met with him in California last week, but so did U of L Coach Chris Mack.
If the Cardinals do indeed take the momentum from UK in Askew’s recruitment, the point guard recruiting situation gets even murkier for the Wildcats, who won’t have much else to choose from in the 2020 class.
“If it’s not Cade and it’s not Devin, who’s it going to be? There just aren’t many options,” Evans said last week. “It’s not like any other program where you just go and get a solid facilitator. You need a big-time ball player, because, as we know, Cal relies on that point guard to be the head of the snake. So, who can be the head of the snake? There just aren’t many guys available in this class like that.”
©2019 Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)
Visit the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.) at www.kentucky.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194):