Coming off their big victory over Ole Miss on Tuesday night, the Kentucky coaching staff is hoping to use that momentum on the recruiting trail.
Tonight, UK head coach John Calipari and an assistant will be in tonight to see 2019 five-star power forward Matthew Hurt in action.
Power Forward | 6-9 | 200 lbs.
Rochester, MN | John Marshall
AAU: D1 Minnesota
|ESPN||No. 10 | 2 PF||Top247||No. 9 | 2 PF|
|Rivals||No. 7 | 2 PF||247 Comp.||No. 8 | 2 PF|
According to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com, Kentucky will be in attendance with Duke and Memphis representatives to watch his game this evening.
Five star senior Matthew Hurt is expecting visitors tomorrow night. Mike Krzyzewski and the entire Duke staff, Kentucky’s John Calipari and an assistant plus Memphis asst Mike Miller all planning to watch his Wednesday night game. https://t.co/rTDwPGRwNw
— Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops) March 5, 2019
In an update from Corey Evans of Rivals.com, the highly-respected recruiting analyst believes that while Duke is getting a lot of buzz as of late, he still believes Kansas is the leader.
“While there was a ton of smoke last week regarding Hurt and Duke, I am still not ready to buy it just yet that he is Durham-bound,” he said. “Sure, the Blue Devils have a lot to sell, as they always do, and the void remaining in the frontcourt adds more opportunity for Hurt, but my pick continues to be Kansas.”
Evans added that Bill Self’s relationship with Hurt makes him feel the Jayhawks are going to win out in the end, though he expects Duke, Kentucky, and UNC to also make strong pushes for the 6-foot-9 prospect.
“The Jayhawks have a major need at his specific position on the floor and no one has recruited Hurt longer and harder than Bill Self and his staff. Hurt has given a timetable for a college decision and waiting until the spring so that he could get a better feel for who leaves and who stays at each of his finalists makes the most sense. In the meantime, expect for Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and UNC to find ways to strengthen their pitches.”
In last week’s Pilgrim’s Insider Notes, I said that Kentucky is not currently in a great position with Hurt, with the five-star forward likely favoring both Kansas and Duke over the Cats. I also added that while Hurt loves the Jayhawks and has for quite some time, his camp may be a little spooked out with Kansas’ involvement in the college basketball/FBI scandal, and if anything serious comes out of that, he’ll likely explore his other options more seriously. In that case, Duke would likely be the early favorite to land the talented scorer out of Rochester, MN.
This would also open the door for other schools (Kentucky being the main one) to make a strong push. Again, we’re still well over a month until Hurt even thinks about making a decision, so there’s a lot of time for things to change and moving parts to shift in UK’s favor. We still have more 2019 prospects on the board, NBA Draft decisions, and potential reclassifications that could shake things up for multiple schools.
Nonetheless, Calipari making an appearance tonight certainly won’t hurt.
In the meantime, watch his highlights below: