This was a recruiting week for the ages at Kentucky – and as we learned on Wednesday afternoon it might not be over just yet.
That’s because after Kentucky received a surprise commitment from five-star forward E.J. Montgomery on Monday and then followed it up with a commitment from 2019 point guard Ashton Hagans on Tuesday, news began to leak Wednesday that John Calipari is still on the hunt for another five-star prospect. That player would be Tyrese Maxey, a guard from Texas in the class of 2019.
Still, the story with Maxey isn’t necessarily that Calipari is interested in bringing him to Lexington, but instead, when he might arrive. That’s because like Hagans, there’s real talk that Maxey – again a 2019 prospect – could reclassify to 2018 and join next year’s Kentucky roster.
Since the Maxey news broke Wednesday it seems like just about everyone has an opinion on it – including two members of the 2018 Kentucky recruiting class.
That would be Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro. Both are in Portland, Oregon for the Nike Hoops Summit, and each shared their thoughts on Maxey and what he could potentially bring to the Wildcats.
“I know Tyrese Maxey pretty well,” Johnson said. “He’s from Texas. I talk to him a lot.”
“He’s a dynamic player, really good. We’d love to have him whether it’s this year or next year. I think it’d be a really good fit for him.”
Then there was Herro. He spoke to WLAN’s Curtis Burch on Thursday and admitted that he didn’t know much about Maxey, other than a few games on the Nike EYBL circuit last summer. Still, Herro admitted that he would welcome the challenge if Maxey decided to commit, even if he isn’t totally sure on how all the puzzle pieces would fit.
“Yeah I would [welcome the competition],” Herro said. “But if Ashton [Hagans] reclassified I think we have a lot of guards already, especially if Quade [Green] stays around. If everybody stays around, we have a lot of guards already. That’s between him and Coach Cal.”
In theory, were Maxey to reclassify, Herro is right, it would make for a loaded backcourt in Lexington next season. As of right now Green is expected back as a sophomore, and Jemarl Baker will return after missing all of the 2017-2018 season with an injury. Then there are Herro and Immanuel Quickley coming in with the freshman class, and the very real possibility that Hagans will come with them. Herro said he expects Hagans to know if he’ll be eligible to play in 2018-2019 no later than August.
Adding Maxey would make for six potentially big-time All-American guards in next year’s lineup, a loaded backcourt (and first world problem) if ever there was one.
Still, as fun as the idea of adding Maxey into next year’s backcourt may be for Wildcats, the reality is that it’s a long ways away.
While Maxey has remained optimistic about the possibility, his guardian told SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker that he’s “99 percent sure” Maxey will stay in the class of 2019.