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247Sports releases updated 2020 player rankings

(@ncalpremierball)

Immediately after ESPN published their updated player rankings for the class of 2020, 247Sports decided to release theirs.

And just like the ESPN 100, the new Top247 was loaded with Kentucky commitments and targets.

In terms of the commitments, B.J. Boston fell one spot to No. 15 overall, listed as the No. 2 shooting guard in the nation. As for Cam’Ron Fletcher, he saw an even bigger drop, falling eight spots to No. 44 overall. The Kentucky pledge is considered the No. 10 small forward in the nation.

As for UK’s top targets, Cade Cunningham came in at No. 2 overall, followed by Jalen Green at No. 3, Makur Maker at No. 4, Josh Christopher at No. 6, Scottie Barnes at No. 8, and Greg Brown at No. 9 to round out the top-ten.

Moving down the list, Isaiah Todd came in at No. 13 overall, followed by Sharife Cooper at No. 19, Dawson Garcia at No. 21, Lance Ware at No. 33, Mady Sissoko at No. 34, Cliff Omoruyi at No. 40, and JT Thor at No. 50.

Meanwhile, Bardstown’s own JJ Traynor went from unranked – and barely even having a recruiting profile, at that – to achieving four-star status and jumping up all the way to No. 77 overall.

To see the entire Top247, click right here. 

As for the updated ESPN 100, you can find that here.

 


2020 five-star guard Daishen Nix commits to UCLA

2020 five-star guard Daishen Nix commits to UCLA

Last night, 2020 five-star point guard Daishen Nix cut his list to five schools, with UCLA, Kentucky, Alabama, Maryland, and Kansas all being included.

Today, after telling reporters that he was planning on taking visits to all five schools on his list, including one already scheduled for late September to Alabama, Nix shocked the world by announcing his commitment to UCLA this afternoon.

“Most of my family is round the west coast, so if I leave to go to UCLA it’s not that hard for them to fly over and drive over to see me,” Nix explained to Evan Daniels of 247Sports. “I loved the weather out there, the visit I had over the weekend was just unbelievable. It just really caught my eye.”

Nix also said he felt UCLA prioritized him the most among all the schools on his list.

“[Mick Cronin] prioritized me from the start,” he added. “As soon as he got there, and it was only him recruiting me, none of the assistant coaches.”

Now, Kentucky will turn its attention to Josh Christopher and Jalen Green to join BJ Boston in the backcourt.

We will have more on the decision on the Sources Say Podcast, set to debut this afternoon. I will also have another post on the site breaking down what this means for Kentucky in a bit.


2020 five-star guard Daishen Nix cuts list to five, includes Kentucky

The No. 1 point guard in the class of 2020 has included Kentucky in his final five.

This evening, Daishen Nix cut his list to five schools, with the Wildcats joining UCLA, Kansas, Maryland, and Alabama.

“Picking my top five wasn’t easy,” Nix said in a Twitter post. “There are some good schools with great coaching staffs that are being left off this list, Washington, Marquette, and Arizona, just to name a few.”

While it’s certainly major news that the No. 1 point guard in the nation and top passer in all of high school basketball is seriously considering Kentucky, it’s an even bigger deal when you consider the fact that they were included without Nix even holding an offer.

On Friday evening, I reported on the site that the 6-foot-5 point guard out of Las Vegas, NV was hoping to take an official visit to Kentucky before making a decision, with one source close to Nix telling KSR that it would be a “point of emphasis” to get to Lexington in the very near future.

That being said, sources also tell KSR that there has been a bit of frustration within Nix’s camp about Kentucky’s lack of offer and that it wasn’t a done deal in the slightest that UK was going to be included on this list. While UCLA, Maryland, Alabama, and Kansas were near-locks, I was told around noon today that Kentucky was “fighting” for that final spot. If they didn’t get the feel from the staff that an offer was on the horizon, sources tell KSR that they would not have made the cut.

In short, Nix loves John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program, and he has been comfortable in letting UK get involved at their own pace. He has openly admitted that the UK coaching staff wants to see more out of him both as a shooter and on defense, something he’s happy to prove he can do. He feels that despite Kentucky’s lack of offer, one is coming.

On the flip side, others close to Nix feel the talented passing guard has done more than enough already to earn a scholarship and believe he should be prioritized. While Kentucky was one of the five-star guard’s favorite schools growing up and his camp understands this, they also don’t feel it is fair to some of the other programs that are dying to bring him in as the centerpiece of their respective recruiting classes.

On Kentucky’s end, sources tell KSR that they have genuine interest in Nix, especially as a passer and leader of the offense, and they are open to bringing him in on an official visit sooner rather than later, but they still want to watch him play more before extending an offer. As mentioned before, there have been concerns about the five-star guard’s shooting abilities.

With Nix hoping to reach a decision in the near future, though, the opportunities will be extremely limited for the coaching staff to make that happen.

As things stand today, UCLA and Kansas are seen as the two favorites to land Nix, though an offer from Kentucky would shake things up in a major way for the talented guard. With an official visit to Lexington now on the itinerary – sources tell KSR this will happen in the coming weeks – we should know one way or the other soon.

Until then, check out some of his highlights below:


Daishen Nix hoping to take an official visit to Kentucky, decision coming soon

2020 five-star guard Daishen Nix is considered the top passer in all of high school basketball, and with summer slowly coming to a close, he’s hoping to announce where he is taking those talents in the very near future.

And during the home stretch of his recruitment, Kentucky remains right in the thick of things.

Back at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA in June, the 6-foot-5 prospect out of Las Vegas told KSR that despite the fact that he didn’t hold an offer from UK quite yet, the Wildcats were still a major priority of his during his recruitment.

In fact, the elite passing guard said that he was dying to meet Kentucky head coach John Calipari, a “legend” in his eyes, sooner rather than later.

“I really want to meet Coach Cal [in person],” Nix said. “Because growing up, watching all the top schools, they were my dream schools. It was pretty good that I got to finally talk to him. … It’ll be a shock [when I meet him] because he’s a great coach. He’s a legend to me.”

Back on May 2, UK assistant Joel Justus visited Nix at his high school, where he praised the five-star point guard for his elite passing abilities and said he could be an immediate impact player in Lexington.

When asked about the meeting, Nix said having a coach from Kentucky reach out stands out among some of the other visits he has had.

“It was a surprise because Kentucky walked in,” the five-star prospect said. “It was just like some of the other visits, but they were just higher than the other coaches that have come in so far.”

While conversations have remained consistent between Nix and the Kentucky coaching staff since the NBPA Top 100 Camp, an offer is still not on the table, and there are questions as to whether or not one will ever come.

As I’ve mentioned on the site before, while the Kentucky coaches are in love with Nix has a primary ball handler, passer, and leader, there are questions about his shooting and scoring potential at the next level. For better or for worse, Kentucky sees a ton of Isaiah Briscoe in his game, and they are wondering how that would fit in with some of the other pieces they are looking to bring in, most notably with Jalen Green and Josh Christopher.

I’m told that an offer could still absolutely come, but Kentucky would prefer to see him in action just a bit more over the next few months before officially extending one.

Sources close to Nix tell KSR, however, that the five-star guard is still extremely interested in visiting Lexington in the coming weeks in hopes of earning a scholarship offer in person.

In fact, if the Kentucky coaching staff will have him, Nix would like to schedule an official visit to the school sooner rather than later.

“[Visiting Kentucky] is a point of emphasis, most definitely,” a source close to Nix said. “Coach Cal will be the one to decide the order of things. That’s up to Cal.”

If that visit comes to fruition and an offer does come, sources tell KSR that Kentucky would likely climb up Nix’s leaderboard, potentially as high as No. 1 on his list.

Why? Outside of the consensus top-25 prospect’s outspoken admiration of John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program, Nix also told KSR that he is extremely interested in playing with UK commitment BJ Boston in college after the two built incredible chemistry together back at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.

“We’ve got really good chemistry,” Nix told KSR. “He’s a really cool guy, he’s down to earth. He’s really funny too, that’s what a lot of people don’t know about him.”

Boston agreed.

“Our chemistry is developing really good, he’s a pass-first point guard,” Boston told KSR in Charlottesville. “I really like that when I’m playing. We connected from the time we first stepped on the court together.”

But the clock is ticking, however. Sources tell KSR that Nix is looking to make his decision in the coming weeks, with the latest likely being September, meaning this visit and offer would have to come together rather quickly.

If not, UCLA will likely be the favorite to land the top passing guard in all of America.

Until then, watch him work below:


Evan Daniels breaks down recruiting on The Leach Report

This morning, 247Sports Director of Recruiting Evan Daniels joined Tom Leach on The Leach Report to break down all things Kentucky basketball recruiting.

To get the show started, Leach asked Daniels to update the fanbase on 2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante and his reclassification decision.

While he isn’t certain on where he will be attending, Daniels is confident that we will be seeing news on the elite shot-blocker “very, very soon.”

“I’m not certain where that will be [between Oregon and Kentucky],” he said. “But I think a decision is coming very, very soon and I feel he will be playing college basketball this fall. He can be very impactful [at the college level], ridiculous length. I think he impacts the game with shot-blocking, rebounding, and finishes well around the basket. He was tremendous at Peach Jam with his MoKan Elite team.”

Last week, Daniels turned heads by singling out Bardstown’s JJ Traynor as one of the biggest sleepers in all of high school basketball.

When asked about those comments, the recruiting expert took his praise of the 6-foot-8 forward a step further.

“I think he’s the biggest sleeper of the spring and summer,” Daniels said. “I see a little Jaxson Hayes in him, not in terms of being the same player, but just how underrated he is. He’s a really good athlete, versatile skillset. 6-foot-8, 7-foot-2 wingspan. He’s definitely got some developing to do, [but the potential is there].”

In terms of schools involved, Daniels said that Kentucky is slowly creeping into the picture.

“Kenny Payne called one of his coaches,” he said. “Cincinnati is in on him, hosted for a visit. Western Kentucky, Louisvile is dabbling in there a bit. If we would have had three evaluation periods, he would have 15 high-major offers.”

Daniels also turned heads at Peach Jam by calling Emoni Bates, a 6-foot-9 rising freshman out of Ypsilanti, MI in the class of 2022, the next big thing in high school basketball.

Like he did with Traynor, he took that praise to the next level with Leach.

“Emoni Bates is the best prospect I’ve seen at that stage,” he said. “His physical makeup reminds you of Kevin Durant because he plays like a guard. Tremendous ball handling ability for a guy his size. Scoring package is elite, elite scorer. I think he’s the best scorer in high school basketball.”

Last week, 2020 five-star forward Greg Brown surprised the world when he included Kentucky in his final five, despite not including the Wildcats in his top-ten. At the time, it was unknown whether or not Kentucky had even offered the athletic big man a scholarship.

“I know he cut his list and I know he’s starting to map things out, but I really couldn’t pick a favorite for him right now,” Daniels said. “I know that Kentucky is heavily involved, but he would be a good pickup for any of the schools on his list.”

As for arguably Kentucky’s top target Jalen Green, a top-three prospect in the class of 2020, Daniels agrees that this is looking to be a three-horse race between Kentucky, Memphis, and playing overseas.

“I think that’s a fair assessment, Kentucky and Memphis are two schools that stand out,” he said. “Players are starting to dabble in the overseas route, and I could see him looking into that, as well. But at the college level, I like Kentucky and Memphis.”

To close things out, Leach asked Daniels who can be the biggest impact player on the 2019-20 Kentucky roster.

His answer? Three freshmen standouts.

“That’s a tremendous question, really tough,” he said. “I think Tyrese Maxey has a chance to lead the team in scoring, while Keion Brooks Jr. can be a high-impact guy as a perimeter scorer. Johnny Juzang is going to really surprise some people, as well. He’s a shot maker and a scorer. He has the potential to have a Tyler Herro, Devin Booker, Doron Lamb-type role on this team.”


N’Faly Dante reportedly ‘very close’ to a decision

N’Faly Dante reportedly ‘very close’ to a decision

Photo: Courtside Films

After months of speculation, we are reportedly right on the cusp of a decision for 2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante.

According to Tipton Edits, a popular graphic-making outlet with strong connections with recruits, the 6-foot-11 big man is planning on making a college decision “very soon.”

He recently posted the news on his Instagram story:

As I have discussed on Pilgrim’s Insider Notes the last few weeks, the expectation is that Dante will reclassify to the class of 2019 and arrive on a college campus later this month. Sources have told KSR that the elite center has been finishing up his academic requirements for high school graduation, with Dante himself telling me that if he could get things cleared up in time, he would make the jump to 2019. He specified that he has had some online coursework to complete, though there had been other rumblings that he has been waiting on a specific test score to graduate.

In terms of specific schools in contention, Dante told KSR at Peach Jam that he was deciding between Kentucky, Oregon, LSU, Tennessee, and Iowa State, though the Wildcats and Ducks are seen as the strongest contenders.

Oregon currently leads on Dante’s Crystal Ball over at 247Sports with 60% of all predictions, including picks from recruiting experts Andrew Slater and Jerry Meyer.

On Rivals.com, recruiting insider Eric Bossi, who lives in Kansas and is very connected to Dante’s MoKan Elite and Sunrise Christian programs, has a FutureCast pick in favor of Kentucky. Meanwhile, Corey Evans put in a prediction for Oregon back on Friday.


Photo: McDonald’s

Kahlil Whitney turning heads at Nike Skills Academy

The Kentucky basketball players are technically “home” from the summer, but the grind doesn’t stop.

To close out the month of July, UK guards Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey traveled to Winston-Salem, NC to compete against some of the best college players in the nation at the Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp.

And according to early reports, Maxey separated himself from the pack on day one of competition.

“Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey has separated himself early at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp with his ability to make shots,” Jamie Shaw of Phenom Hoops said in a tweet. “Strong frame, quick first step, but the jump shot is falling at a high clip.

Hagans also represented his home state of Georgia and the Kentucky basketball program well.

This weekend, Kentucky freshman Kahlil Whitney traveled to California to participate in the Nike Skills Academy against some of the nation’s top college players, along with several elite high school prospects.

Out of 56 total participants, Whitney separated himself from the competition.

“Thought the two best incoming freshmen in attendance during yesterday’s scrimmage portion were Cole Anthony and Kahlil Whitney,” Sam Vecenie of The Athletic said in a tweet.

The official Twitter account of Mac Irvin Fire, Whitney’s old AAU program, also tweeted out high praise for the 6-foot-7 forward.

“Kentucky’s Kahlil Whitney has been balling at the Nike Camp against the college players and pros,” they wrote. “He’s scoring whenever he wants. His pull-up game has been unstoppable.”

Outside of Whitney at the college level, 2020 Kentucky commitment BJ Boston is also in attendance, along with several other major UK recruiting targets.

Some of them? Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, Isaiah Todd, N’Faly Dante, Paolo Banchero, Terrence Clarke, Jonathan Kuminga, and Devin Askew, among others.

Sounds to me like an opportunity for Whitney to recruit Dante to reclassify and play with him this upcoming season, while Boston is almost certainly recruiting some of the other big-name prospects, namely Green and Christopher, to join him in Lexington next season.