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Coaches vote John Calipari the second most powerful person in college basketball

John Calipari has become the face of college basketball in the one-and-done era, but according to coaches in the sport, there’s still one person that’s more powerful. CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish asked over 100 college basketball coaches who they believe is the most powerful person in the sport, and 43.7% voted for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. Calipari came in second with 20.4% of the vote. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney was third at 8.7%.

What gives Coach K the edge over Cal? His role with USA Basketball, which, thankfully, is coming to an end.

“Coach K is the biggest deal in our sport,” one coach said anonymously. “And the USA Basketball thing is what took it to another level. He gets [expletive] done. Who else could get that Marvin Bagley deal done like him? And he’s bullet-proof too. Corey Maggette situation. Nothing comes of it. Lance Thomas situation. Nothing comes of it. Totally bullet-proof. Have to respect it.”

He’s got a point. Calipari would be banned from the sport for some of the things Coach K has pulled off, but somehow, Krzyzewski not only gets away with it, he’s been put on a pedestal. However, as one coach noted, it was Calipari that forced Krzyzewski to adapt.

“He’s changed how people do things,” a coach said of Cal. “He’s changed the mindset of parents and of players. He’s made everyone up their game in terms of facilities and doing everything first class and trying to be big time. He by far has the most power in college basketball. Even Coach K has changed what he does because of what Calipari’s doing.”

Unfortunately, Coach K and Duke seem to be beating Calipari at his own game as of late, but hopefully that changes soon. (Looking at you, R.J. Barrett) Read more of the coaches’ views on Coach K and Cal at the link below.

[CBS Sports]


Today on KSR, powered by DRAFT: Gameday Eve

Today on KSR, powered by DRAFT: Gameday Eve

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We’re only one day away from Kentucky vs. Southern Miss

It’s been a long, long offseason, but tomorrow, Kentucky football is finally back. Last night, Mark Stoops told reporters he thinks his team is ready for the season opener in Hattiesburg:

“It’s been a good, solid week of preparation. We really like the way things have gone. They had a good practice on Wednesday. They’re excited and ready to go. That first day of high-intensity work of game week, there’s a lot of information. But I feel good about it right now; I feel like our team is really focused. They’ve worked hard [and] we’re relatively healthy, outside of the two guys we lost early in camp. We’re excited and ready to go.”

Same. The team will travel to Hattiesburg today, but the equipment truck has already arrived at M.M. Roberts Stadium:

@UKequipment

Make sure you can actually see the game

The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network, and if you’re wondering whether or not you get that channel, Nick Roush put together a good rundown of your viewing options:

How to Watch Kentucky vs. Southern Miss

R.J. Barrett begins his official visit

The No. 1 player in the 2018 class arrives on Kentucky’s campus today for his official visit. I detailed the importance of the visit last night, but quite simply, it boils down to this: Duke and Kentucky are the favorite for Barrett right now, and the last thing the Cats and Calipari need is the Blue Devils landing another No. 1 prospect. It’s significant that Kentucky got Barrett’s first official visit, so let’s hope Calipari can set the bar way high this weekend.

In other recruiting news, Immanuel Quickley begins his official visit to Kansas today. Kentucky is still the overwhelming favorite for the 2018 point guard, who will visit Miami on September 9 and Lexington on September 16.

Hattiesburg Weather Update of the Day

The weather looks pretty perfect for tomorrow’s game, with a high of 85 and no rain in sight:

New podcasts dropping

Technical difficulties in Mississippi delayed the release of the Depth Chart podcast, but it went up late last night, and later today, a new episode of The OTT Podcast will also be released. Fake Barney joined me for this one, and while we’ve certainly had some ridiculous debates in the past, this one might take the cake. Refresh your KSR feed in just a bit to hear it for yourself.

High school football scores from last night

Several high schools across the state moved their games to last night to avoid heavy rain from Tropical Storm Harvey. I’m very happy to report that my Danville Admirals got the best of Boyle County in the title town showdown thanks to a last second 45-yard field goal by Nathan Hazlett, who showed up at halftime after playing in the soccer team’s game vs. Boyle across town:

Other scores from across the state:

  • Anderson Co. 21, Mercer Co. 19
  • Bardstown 42, Marion Co. 13
  • Bath Co. 32, Powell Co. 27
  • Bell Co. 47, Pike Co. Central 26
  • Bellevue 26, Bishop Brossart 17
  • Bracken Co. 39, Pendleton Co. 6
  • Bullitt Central 27, Lou. Southern 0
  • Bullitt East 56, Spencer Co. 8
  • Danville 10, Boyle Co. 7
  • Edmonson Co. 48, Grayson Co. 0
  • Fleming Co. 21, Greenup Co. 17
  • Gallatin Co. 24, Cin. Finneytown, Ohio 7
  • George Washington, W.Va. 14, Ashland Blazer 7
  • Hurricane, W.Va. 17, Paintsville 13
  • John Hardin 28, Daviess Co. 26
  • LaRue Co. 49, Thomas Nelson 14
  • Lou. Atherton 61, Lou. Shawnee 0
  • Lou. Ballard 34, Collins 28
  • Lou. Fairdale 47, Nelson Co. 18
  • Lou. Iroquois 6, Lou. Valley 2
  • Lou. Jeffersontown 40, North Bullitt 25
  • Lou. Ky. Country Day 52, Washington Co. 6
  • Lou. Moore 42, Lou. Seneca 6
  • Lou. Pleasure Ridge Park 21, Lou. Eastern 0
  • Lou. Waggener 65, North Oldham 13
  • Lynn Camp 39, Jackson Co. 14
  • Nicholas Co. 19, Fairview 6
  • Owen Co. 21, Newport 12
  • Phelps 18, Sheldon Clark 8
  • Raceland 35, West Carter 0
  • Ridgeview, Va. 34, Shelby Valley 6
  • Rockcastle Co. 43, Whitley Co. 35
  • S. Point, Ohio 20, Boyd Co. 12
  • Scott Co. 71, Highlands 20
  • Union Co. 49, Webster Co. 0

Freddie Maggard News of the Day

Yesterday, UK announced that Freddie will serve as a sideline reporter this season for the UK Sports Network, yet another role for our media darling. Freddie and Dick Gabriel will bring you the latest info from the sidelines during the game while Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro call the game from the booth. Freddie will also continue to serve as the analyst on the “Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff” alongside host Christi Thomas, which will air two hours prior to kickoff.

Freddie is everywhere, folks, which is an awesome thing.

Football is back video of the day

That’s better than coffee.

The KSR Crew is in Hattiesburg

If you’re in the area, come on out to Mugshots to enjoy the show, which will include plenty of stories about their trip to Scooba to watch East Mississippi Community College play last night.


R.J. Barrett is visiting Kentucky this weekend and it’s a very big deal

R.J. Barrett is visiting Kentucky this weekend and it’s a very big deal

This weekend, one of John Calipari’s most coveted recruits will be on campus, and if things go well, the visit could jumpstart Kentucky’s haul in the 2018 class.

R.J. Barrett, the newly minted No. 1 player in 2018, begins his visit to Lexington tomorrow, the first of five official visits across the country. A month ago, the five-star wing from Canada reclassified from 2019, and with a decision expected in the early signing period, it’s more crucial than ever for Kentucky to make a good impression. Most eyes will be on the gridiron this weekend in the Bluegrass, but here are some reasons why it’s very important that the 6-7, 185 lbs. small forward/shooting guard from Ontario enjoys his time in Lexington.

R.J. Barrett
Small Forward | 6-7 | 185 lbs.
Mississauga, Ont., CAN | Montverde
AAU: Team BBC
★★★★★
ESPN No. 1 | 1 SF Top247 No. 2 | 2 SF
Rivals No. 1 | 1 SF Scout No. 1 | 1 SF

Barrett dominated the FIBA World Cup

Calipari knows firsthand how talented Barrett is because Barrett led Team Canada to a shocking upset over Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. Barrett put up 38 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists vs. the Americans, looking far and away the best player on the floor despite being two years younger than some of his competition. Afterwards, Calipari accepted the blame for not finding a way to shut Barrett down.

“R.J. (Barrett) had it going. I told the team after the game, I needed to try some different things – go zone, trap pick and roll, trap him,” Calipari said. “I kind of rode it because I thought we would figure out something, and that is my mistake. That’s not these kids’ mistake.”

“But, the reality was, one kid really went crazy, and then the rest of their kids did what they did, so hats off to them.”

Barrett led the FIBA World Cup in scoring, averaging 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. Canada ended up winning the gold medal, and Barrett tournament MVP.

In a class full of superstar wings, he’s No. 1

How good is Barrett? In a loaded class at a loaded position, he’s considered the best by three of four recruiting services. Barrett is ranked higher than both Zion Williamson and Cameron Reddish, two superstars that most programs would build their teams around. ESPN’s Paul Biancardi said Barrett’s work ethic is what sets him apart.

“Barrett grabs the spot — for now. It is a tribute to the time he has put into his game. And now he’s getting the results. His performances have ranged from good to dominating. His production level is now something you can count on in terms of scoring and rebounding. He has become a versatile scorer, showing potential on the perimeter and inside the arc. That is incredibly appealing to NBA scouts.”

Yesterday, Biancardi ranked Barrett the number one high school player, regardless of class, ahead of Williamson, Reddish, and Bol Bol.

Duke’s after him too

Duke’s had all the momentum in recruiting as of late, and the last thing Kentucky needs is the Blue Devils landing another superstar. Most experts believe Duke leads for Barrett right now, but I think it’s very telling that Kentucky got the first visit. After this trip to Lexington, Barrett will travel to Duke (Sept. 8-10), Arizona (Sept. 15-17), Oregon (Sept. 22-24), and Michigan (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). Calipari setting the bar high will go a long way towards Kentucky landing Barrett, who could be a cornerstone of the 2018 class alongside Immanuel Quickley and (hopefully) Zion Williamson should he sign in the fall as planned.

R.J. stands for “Rowan Jr.”

I looked that up because it’s been killing me. Barrett’s dad, the original Rowan, played basketball at St. John’s before playing professionally, mostly overseas. He represented Canada in the 2000 Olympic games and the 1998 and 2002 FIBA World Championships. Now, Rowan Sr. is the executive vice president and assistant general manger of Canada Basketball, which brings me to my next point…

His godfather is Steve Nash

Rowan Sr. and Nash go way back, and played together on the 2000 Olympic team. In 2012, Nash was named the general manager of Canada Basketball and brought Rowan in as his assistant GM. How appropriate is it that the most famous Canadian basketball player of all time is the godfather of one of the brightest stars in the sport?

He’s a fan of Jamal Murray

Barrett is considered the best Canadian prospect since Jamal Murray, a comparison that could work out in Kentucky’s favor.

“Jamal is one of my friends and to watch him play for Kentucky was something special,” Barrett told ZagsBlog back in April. “He said he loved it. It helped him get to the league, so he’s thankful.”

What other Canadian with Kentucky ties does Barrett admire?

Yours truly wit the man himself

A post shared by Rj Barrett (@rjbarrett) on

Drake. Good thing the rapper will be at Big Blue Madness in October. (Or so we’re hearing.) I’m sure Calipari would appreciate him giving Barrett and Zion Williamson a shoutout.

 

 


Louis King moving on without UK offer

Louis King moving on without UK offer

Louis King is done waiting for John Calipari to extend a scholarship offer. The 6’8″ small forward from New Jersey narrowed his list today, and Kentucky did not make the cut, per Pat Lawless. King, who played for Calipari on the FIBA World Cup team, will now choose between Kansas, UConn, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Oregon, NC State, Maryland, and Purdue.

Why didn’t King get an offer from Cal and the Cats? Simply put, Kentucky’s got too many targets at his position in the 2018 class. Cal is already going after Cam Reddish (King’s AAU teammate), RJ Barrett, and Zion Williamson, all five-star wings, and with several players expected to return from this year’s squad, there are only so many offers to dole out. Regardless, best of luck to a kid who it sounds like really wanted to come to Kentucky. I hope he doesn’t pick Kansas.

Kentucky’s 2018 offers so far:

Name Position
RJ Barrett SG/SF
Bol Bol C
Darius Garland PG
Quentin Grimes PG
Keldon Johnson SG
Romeo Langford SG
Immanuel Quickley PG
Cameron Reddish SF
Zion Williamson SF

John Wall calls Zion Williamson one of the most athletic players he’s ever seen

John Wall calls Zion Williamson one of the most athletic players he’s ever seen

John Wall produced one of the most impressive mixtapes in high school basketball history, so when he doles out praise for a recruit, I listen. On the latest episode of his Ball is Life’s “No Offseason” documentary, Wall was asked about YouTube dunking sensation Zion Williamson, one of Kentucky’s top recruits in the 2018 class.

He’s one of the top two, three most athletic players I’ve ever seen in high school basketball, period, or in life, period,” Wall said. “He just does all type of dunks like it’s nothing in games. The best in-game dunker I’ve seen is Vince Carter and [Zion] does some stuff that he does in the game without even trying.”

What advice would Wall give to Williamson, whose star will only rise in the coming years?

“I would tell him just to work on different things. The game is so easy and boring at times for him, you can tell. Work on things you’re going to need for the next level. That’s kind of how I played in high school. When the game got serious, I played the way I knew how to play to get what I wanted to get done. But other than that, I was just trying stuff and trying to improve my game.”

Hopefully Williamson will follow in Wall’s footsteps and improve his game at Kentucky. Kansas has the momentum for the 6’7″ star as of late, but I’m still holding out hope that John Calipari can reel him in. Watch Wall’s comments about Williamson below, followed by Zion’s latest ridiculous dunks from Snapchat:


TMZ caught Cameron Reddish with LeBron James and his agent

TMZ caught Cameron Reddish with LeBron James and his agent

Last week TMZ tracked down LeBron James outside a Los Angeles coffee shop to ask him about his future in the NBA after free agency next summer. James would not comment.

But what’s more interesting in the video, at least to us, is the cameo by Cameron Reddish, who is seen leaving the coffee shop with James and Rich Paul, who is James’ agent and the founder of Klutch Sports Group.

It’s a very brief cameo and hard to make out, but Gary Parrish over at CBSSports.com confirmed it was indeed Reddish leaving a meeting with the NBA star and his agency at Coral Tree Coffee.

It’s safe to assume what’s happening here: Paul and his agency are already recruiting Reddish with the assistance of James. That is within NCAA rules, surprisingly, as long as it’s only a meeting and Reddish paid for his own coffee, per Parrish’s story:

There is no NCAA rule prohibiting prospects from meeting with agents. It’s allowed, as one NCAA source explained, “as long as the agent isn’t providing a benefit to the prospect — and the prospect hasn’t agreed to be represented by the agent.” So there is nothing necessarily improper happening in that TMZ video. But it does offer a glimpse into two things:

1: How James seems to play an active role with Klutch Sports Group.

2: How early elite basketball prospects are targeted by sports agents and agencies. [CBSSports.com]

Reddish recently trimmed his list of colleges to Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UConn and Villanova. He’s a projected top-five pick in the 2019 draft, so it should come as no surprise that NBA agents are already contacting him. What’s surprising to me is that it isn’t a violation.

Read lots more about agents contacting high school prospects and how LeBron lends a hand here.


Kentucky makes the cut for Romeo Langford

Photo via USA Today HSS

Last week, it seemed Kentucky’s interest in Romeo Langford was waning, but today, the top-ranked 2018 shooting guard included the Cats in his latest list of schools. Langford’s father told Scout’s Brian Snow that Kentucky is in his son’s top seven, along with Louisville, Indiana, UCLA, Kansas, Vanderbilt, and North Carolina. He also added that his son hopes to visit all seven schools, although he’s not expected to make any decisions until the spring.

On Tuesday, Kentucky offered five-star wing Keldon Johnson, the second ranked shooting guard in the 2018 class behind Langford, which I interpreted as the latest sign John Calipari and the Cats are moving on from the New Albany star. Even though Kentucky made the cut today, I doubt that’s changed.

Is Kentucky’s latest offer another sign they’re done with Romeo Langford?

 


Five-star center Moses Brown still considering Kentucky

Peach State Basketball

According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog, 2018 five-star big man Moses Brown just set two official visits, one to Louisville this weekend and the other to Maryland at the end of September.

The 7-foot-1 big man out of Queens, NY has yet to receive an official offer from Kentucky, but the coaching staff has remained in contact and has watched him play several times over the summer.

Maryland has been seen as the clear-cut favorite for quite some time, but he has said he remains open in his recruitment.

Nonetheless, the Cats are in the talented big’s top five and still possess 22% of entries on 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball.

Here are the quotes he gave to Rivals.com for each school on his final list:

Kentucky: “They just want me to become a pro and to set goals for myself to be the best Moses that I can possibly be.”

Maryland: “Same message that they have always been preaching to me, which is that they love me and that they think that I am the best big in my class; they have made me a priority.”

St. John’s: “They are the hometown team. They are making me a priority, seeing that I am from Queens, which is where St. John’s is. They got Sid Wilson and they want me to stay home.”

Duke: “I talked to Coach K once but I talk to Nolan Smith and Jeff Capel. They have been texting me a lot during the basketball season.

“They got a lot of pros, they win championships and they develop. That is definitely something that I am looking for in a program.”

Louisville: “They are making me a priority and they think that I am the No. 1 center in my class, which I do agree, but I am working hard.”

Kentucky has prioritized some of the other top bigs in America, but will likely re-engage with Brown when the class of 2018 starts shaping up and the staff has the opportunity to evaluate his game a little further.

It’s crazy to think a guy as incredible as Brown has yet to receive a scholarship offer, but as always, you’ve got to trust Coach Cal.

Go Cats.


Today on KSR: Blue Smith Decides, R.J. Barrett Deliberates

After a few days of collecting syllabuses (syllabi?), the “real” semester starts this week at UK, with students hitting the books hard enough to free up their weekends for football. And the football couldn’t come any sooner.

Countdown to Southern Miss

We’ve now officially entered prep week for Southern Miss this Saturday, and for those of you who’ve forgotten the unfortunate loss from last season, and I’m sure there aren’t many of you, here’s a bit of a recap:

The team can brush this weekend’s rematch off all they want as “just another game”, but I think most of us are out for a little revenge.

Blue Smith to Commit Today

Had Smith decided to commit two months ago, there is a better than average chance he would’ve wound up in Lexington. But Urban Meyer has seemingly more than closed the gap in the race for one of Ohio’s top 2018 stars. 247’s Crystal Ball gives OSU the nod with a 94% chance of landing Smith, with UK getting the remaining 6%.

“So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

It’s a long shot, but I’ll take that over no shot.

Smith plays at 1:30 today on ESPN.

R.J. Barrett Plans His Visits

The newly minted 2018 star forward has laid out his schedule for visiting five top schools. Among them are Duke, Arizona, Oregon, and Michigan.

But it’s Kentucky that gets first crack at Barrett, as he’ll be visiting UK next weekend, September 1-3.

Barrett followed in the footsteps of Marvin Bagley III, who reclassified to 2017 and promptly committed to Duke less than two weeks ago. Hopefully Barrett decides to go another route.

Needless to say, I think he’s worth rolling out the blue carpet for:

Floyd Mayweather defeated Conor McGregor via 10th Round TKO

So now we can all stop hearing about it. From what I gather, if you bought the PPV, you saw a good fight. If you didn’t, congrats on saving $100.

@JayWinkKSR


R.J. Barrett will Visit UK Next Weekend

R.J. Barrett will Visit UK Next Weekend

The top-ranked player in the 2018 recruiting class will be in Lexington next weekend.

In a USA Today blog post, R.J. Barrett announced he will take official visits to Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Oregon and Michigan. He’s starting in Lexington on September 1.

After reclassifying and moving up to the ’18 class, Barrett is wasting no time to make a decision.  He wants to decide by November and make it official during the Early Signing Period.

Duke currently has a 57 to 29 advantage over UK in the 247 Crystal Ball, but KSR sources like where the Cats currently stand. Here’s what’s at stake:

W


USA Today: RJ Barrett is the best athlete in any sport in the Class of 2018

@Cdn_Ballers

An name that Kentucky fans have become more and more familiar with over the past few months is RJ Barrett. The Canadian superstar is the number one player in the Class of 2018 and very well could be the best recruit coming out of high school since Anthony Davis. When watching Barrett’s game, it is hard not to notice his pure athleticism. The 6’7 wing obviously caught John Calipari’s eye when he dropped 38 points in the U-19 World Cup to eliminate Team USA from gold medal contention. After watching that performance, I immediately knew he’d look great in Lexington.

The USA Today put together a list of the top athletes in every sport in the class of 2018. Number one? None other than RJ Barrett. Barrett had this to say:

“Obviously, I was ranked No. 1 in the 2019 class and now that I’m moving up to 2018 my goal won’t change,” said Barrett, who recently released top five of Duke, Kentucky, Oregon, Michigan, and Arizona. “I still want to be the best player in the class and the only way to make that happen is through hard work. I’m just having fun, doing what I love to do.”

Check out the article in its’ entirety by clicking here. Then watch Barrett work against Team USA below:

 


Analyst predicts UK will get three commitments by November Signing Period

Photo by adidas

Kentucky’s 2018 recruiting has been quiet over the last few months, but according to one expert, it won’t stay that way for long. Rivals’ Corey Evans says he believes John Calipari will get three commitments by the early signing period in November: Immanuel Quickley, Zion Williamson, and either Keldon Johnson, Cam Reddish, or Quentin Grimes.

By now, you’ve heard all about Quickley and Williamson, but Johnson is a relatively new name on the scene. The second best shooting guard in the 2018 class got an offer from Kentucky earlier this week, and Evans reports that he left Lexington so impressed he may go ahead and commit.

“They hosted Keldon Johnson, another five-star prospect, this past week for an unofficial visit, where their offer impressed him greatly. He will visit Texas and Florida State next month, with Maryland and NC State also being in the hunt, but UK is now sitting as one of the favorites.”

Duke’s had all the momentum in recruiting lately, but if Kentucky lands Quickley, Williamson, AND Johnson, Reddish, or Grimes? It’s a whole new ballgame.

[Rivals]

 


Immanuel Quickley cuts Maryland from list, leaves only Kentucky, Miami, and Kansas

adidas

And then there were three.

In an interview with CSN’s SportsTalk Live tonight, five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley cut Maryland from his list, leaving only Kentucky, Miami, and Kansas.

Hear why the star guard cut his hometown school, along with some information on his relationship with Coach Cal:

Talking to some guys within Quickley’s AAU program at the adidas Uprising Gauntlet this summer, some of his friends and family pushed the Terrapins, but the speculation even then was that there was little chance the Maryland native would stay home.

We have our final three, but I think we’re all pretty confident in UK’s chances.


Yahoo!: Mitchell Robinson not expected to play college basketball

Yahoo!: Mitchell Robinson not expected to play college basketball

Mitchell Robinson is not expected to play college basketball this upcoming season, according to a report from Pat Forde over at Yahoo! Sports.

The one-time Western Kentucky Hilltopper, if only for a moment, will instead focus his efforts on preparing for the 2018 NBA draft, per Forde’s sources.

Robinson had been considering Kansas and the University of New Orleans as potential options for college, but the sources say Robinson, a five-star center in the 2017 class, hasn’t maintained contact with the two schools and he will not play college basketball this fall. He would likely have to sit out the 2017-18 season due to transfer rules anyway.

Robinson was the No. 9 overall player and top-ranked center in last year’s high school class. He enrolled at WKU early in the summer, only to leave campus shortly after.

His recruitment and the couple of months since he signed with Western have been very bizarre, to say the least.


Photo via USA Today HSS

Is Kentucky’s latest offer another sign they’re done with Romeo Langford?

Photo via USA Today HSS

For a long time, Romeo Langford was the only shooting guard in the 2018 class with an offer from Kentucky. That changed this afternoon. Today, John Calipari extended an offer to five-star wing Keldon Johnson, the latest sign the Cats are pulling out of the race for one of the best prospects in the area. What gives? Let’s examine the tea leaves.

A Louisville fan from the start

Langford is from New Albany, Indiana, right across the river from Louisville and the Yum Center. As a result, he grew up cheering for the Cards, which has every Louisville fan in existence convinced he’ll play for Rick Pitino next season. Langford still calls UofL his “hometown team” and insists their NCAA sanctions won’t be a factor in his recruitment; however, there’s another coach that may want him even more than Pitino.

An Indiana savior?

Langford may have grown up cheering for the Cards, but if Archie Miller has his way, he won’t be leaving the state of Indiana. The new head coach of the Hoosiers has made it his mission to land the New Albany native, selling him on being a home state hero. Langford may have been a Louisville fan growing up, but Miller has made it clear that he is his number one priority in the 2018 class. Meanwhile, Calipari has his eyes on bigger fish, such as Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett.

An Egyptian revelation

When Langford made Calipari’s U19 squad for the FIBA World Cup in Egypt, most thought it was a prime opportunity for Cal to make up some ground with the five-star scorer; however, that didn’t exactly happen. Langford battled back spasms throughout the trip and didn’t play much, which he expressed a lot of frustration about on his USA Today High School Sports blog. Whether or not that was directed at Calipari, who knows, but let’s just say the two didn’t exactly bond on the trip like Calipari did with other recruits.

Rising stars > Plateaus

Jack Pilgrim spent last month on the recruiting trail and sources told him that Kentucky’s interest in Langford has been waning for a while.

“While some of the other prospects are still blossoming, Langford has hit a plateau,” a source said. “The coaching staff really doesn’t feel like he’s improved all that much in the last year. He hasn’t separated himself from the competition the way they expected him to.”

On the flip side, Keldon Johnson was one of the rising stars on the summer circuit, averaging 20.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. He also turned heads at the Nike Basketball Academy last week.

 

After not clicking with Langford in Egypt, it’s clear Calipari is ready to move on to other options, as evidenced by today’s offer. I stand by my hot take from a few weeks back. Kentucky and Indiana will play in 2018, with Romeo Langford starting at shooting guard for the Hoosiers. Will it be Johnson matched up against him?