John Calipari is back on the recruiting trail. According to Jake Weingarten, Cal is in New Jersey today to see five-star forward Jonathan Kuminga, the No. 1 player in the 2021 class who is considering reclassifying to 2020.
Calipari and his staff have visited the 6’8″ 205 lbs. St. Patrick star several times over the past few months. Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg, and LSU’s Will Wade have also prioritized Kuminga this fall, while Duke has shown interest. Many see the Blue Devils as the favorite, but our own Jack Pilgrim said earlier this month that is not the case.
Two weeks ago on the Sources Say Podcast, I reported that the Duke talk surrounding 2021 No. 1 prospect Jonathan Kuminga was incredibly overstated and that the 6-foot-8 forward was not leaning toward the Blue Devils. Since this, that talk has grown even louder, and if I were to make a prediction today, I’d say Kuminga will not wind up at Duke if he reclassifies to the class of 2020, as expected.
In terms of Kentucky’s chances, the coaching staff continues to visit the five-star forward during the fall recruiting period, indicating they feel at least somewhat confident in their chances. One source familiar with Kuminga’s recruitment told KSR on Sunday that the rumblings of Duke’s chances diminishing are also going hand-in-hand with the buzz surrounding Kentucky going up. The five-star forward told KSR at Peach Jam that he had discussed a “dream class” scenario with Kentucky commit Terrence Clarke, with the two openly talking about playing at the same school in college. When you factor in Kuminga being AAU teammates with Lance Ware, along with him being a current student-athlete at The Patrick School – former home of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Dakari Johnson, and Nick Richards – and a star out of New Jersey – Karl-Anthony Towns, Isaiah Briscoe, Kahlil Whitney, Ware all signed with Kentucky out of the state- the connections are certainly there.
Kuminga’s not expected to make a decision — on a school or reclassification — anytime soon, but today’s visit is further proof of Calipari’s new energy in his “second tour” at Kentucky.