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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Early Signing Period Preview

The early signing period begins tomorrow and, with only one commitment on the board in Immanuel Quickley and a handful of targets set to decide, this week could shape Kentucky’s 2018 class. Here’s a preview of what you can expect, along with our latest predictions.

Signing Thursday

Immanuel Quickley â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Point Guard 6-3 | 175 lbs Bel Air, MD John Carroll School/Team BBC
ESPN: 12 | 3 PG Top 247: 13 | 2 PG Rivals: 10 Scout: 8 | 3 PG

After committing to Kentucky back in September, Quickley will put ink to paper on Thursday to make his pledge official.

Announcing Friday

R.J. Barrett â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Small Forward 6-7 | 185 lbs. Mississauga, Ont., CAN Montverde/Nike UPlay Canada
ESPN: 1 | 1 SF Top 247: 2 | 2 SF Rivals: 1 Scout: 1 | 1 SF

Barrett is down to Kentucky, Duke, and Oregon, and although most believe the Blue Devils are the frontrunner, Barrett and his family have kept this recruitment close to the vest. He will announce his decision at 6 p.m. on Canadian sports channel TSN, ala Jamal Murray.


As mentioned, Barrett and his family have kept this recruitment quiet, but there are too many experts (including Evan Daniels) picking Duke to expect otherwise. The hope for Kentucky here is Barrett will surprise everyone, ala Kevin Knox, and that Calipari’s Canadian pipeline will be more influential than most anticipate. It’s worth noting that Barrett is friends with Jamal Murray and Shai Alexander; will that factor in?


Visiting Kentucky this weekend

 Tyler Herro ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shooting Guard 6-4 | 180 lbs. Greenfield, WI Whitnail/Playground Warriors
ESPN: 27 | 4 SG Top 247: 40 | 6 SG Rivals: 38 Scout: 38 | 5 SG

It’s been a fast and furious courtship with Herro, who decommitted from Wisconsin on October 17 and heard from Kenny Payne nine days later. Last week, Herro got an offer from John Calipari, and he will take his official visit to Kentucky this weekend.


Herro was reportedly the one to reach out to Kentucky, so if he likes what he sees this weekend (and how could he not?), I’d expect him to go ahead and make it official.


Likely to announce:

Keldon Johnson â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Small Forward 6-6 | 205 lbs. South Hill, VA Oak Hill Academy
ESPN: 7 | 3 SF Top 247: 11 | 2 SG Rivals: 18 Scout: 24 | 2 SG

There have been some conflicting reports on Johnson in recent days, with his father backtracking on an earlier report that Johnson would sign this week. Now, per his father, he may wait until next week or even the spring. Over the weekend, Johnson himself said he’s 95% sure he knows where he wants to go, so he’s probably just waiting to see what R.J. Barrett does on Friday night. (UPDATE: Johnson will announce next week.)


Kentucky, Maryland, and Texas are the three schools recruiting Johnson the hardest, but the Cats have had the momentum for a while. Texas may try to make a last-minute push by leaning on Johnson’s longstanding relationship with Shaka Smart, but I feel good about Kentucky’s chances, especially if R.J. Barrett picks Duke.


Bol Bol â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Center 7-2 | 220 lbs. Santa Ana, CA Mater Dei/Cal Supreme
ESPN: 4 | 1 C Top 247: 4 | 1 C Rivals: 3 Scout: 2 | 1 C

Bol is down to Kentucky and Oregon and has taken official visits to both. All indications are he will sign early.


Oregon has become the clear favorite in recent weeks. Kentucky’s recent involvement with Moses Brown is a good indicator they are moving on.


Quentin Grimes â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Shooting/Point Guard 6-4 | 185 lbs. The Woodlands, TX The Woodlands/Basketball University
ESPN: 13 | 3 SG Top 247: 17 | 5 PG Rivals: 11 Scout: 11 | 4 PG

Grimes is down to Kentucky, Kansas, Marquette, and Texas and has taken all of his official visits. He hasn’t set an announcement date, but is expected to sign in the fall.


Grimes has long been considered a Kansas lean, but Kentucky quietly stayed in the picture; however, considering the Cats already have a point guard commitment in Immanuel Quickley and the chances of Quade Green and/or Shai Alexander returning seem high, I expect Grimes to be a Jayhawk.


May wait until the Spring

 Moses Brown ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Center 7-1 | 241 lbs. Briarwood, NY Archbishop Molloy/New Heights
ESPN: 17 | 2 C Top 247: 27 | 3 C Rivals: 13 Scout: 13 | 2 C

Cal, Florida State, Kentucky, Maryland, and UCLA are the contenders for Brown, the second best center in the class behind Bol Bol. Kentucky jumped back in the race for his services on Sunday when John Calipari and Tony Barbee paid him a visit; however, they did not extend an offer. One will likely come when Brown takes his official visit to Kentucky, which has yet to be determined.

PREDICTION: Kentucky (but not until the spring)

Even though Maryland is considered the frontrunner, Brown’s father told the Herald-Leader that Kentucky is his son’s “dream school” and he’s been waiting for an offer from Calipari for some time. Yet, obligations to his high school team will keep him from taking his official visit to Kentucky this weekend to get that offer, so unless the family finds a way to get to Lexington before November 15, this one will go into the spring.


Zion Williamson â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸â­ï¸

Forward 6-7 | 230 lbs. Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg/SC Supreme
ESPN: 2 | 1 PF Top 247: 1 | 1 PF Rivals: 2 Scout: 3 | 2 SF

I saved the biggest mystery for last. Clemson, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina are the teams after Zion, and there are some recent reports that suggest he could take his final official visit to Clemson this weekend. Zion initially said he wanted to announce before his high school season began, but right now, it looks like this will carry through to the spring.

PREDICTION: Kentucky (but not until the spring)

I would love nothing more than for Zion to wrap this thing up and pick Kentucky in the next week, but I have a feeling this recruitment will drag out until the very end. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 responses to “Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Early Signing Period Preview”

  1. Catcasey1

    Maybe 3 out of the 5 would be ok

  2. Wildcat85


    1. ClutchCargo


    2. J-Dub421


    3. Graczyk

      Please go away

    4. Rembrandt

      Wildcat85, the robo-poster.

  3. ClutchCargo

    +1 for the Seinfeld gif’s!

  4. UKinIN

    Seems like Johnson could be waiting for Barrett to go public but if that’s the case I would think Herro would give Johnson the same concern.

    1. Rembrandt

      I doubt Keldon Johnson is concerned about Herro, especially in view of Devon Booker’s history as a sixth man at UK. Johnson is bigger and more versatile than Herro. But Johnson probably does want to see where Barrett commits, and I don’t blame him.

  5. Rauh Gauh

    Mrs. T!!!!

  6. ukwildcat2323

    Cals no longer the lead dog in recruiting. He’s 2nd now.

    1. AGSlater

      Very true. Its gonna be a hoot if we dont get Zion or Barret.

  7. ukwildcat2323

    still love em

  8. Double 00 Tony Delk

    The Seinfeld GIFs made what is normally a run of the mill recruiting summary into a really entertaining read. That’s why you’re such a good writer TT – you always bring something original to the table – plus you can put together a sentence without a bunch of typos or grammar mistakes (unlike some of your colleagues at KSR).

  9. dcmmcm07

    Fantastic Seinfeld responses!!