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Meet Jaden McDaniels: A Top 10 Prospect Whose”Dream School” is Kentucky


As things stand right now, Kentucky could be headed for a historically great recruiting class in 2019. The Wildcats have already secured the services of the top two point guards in the class Ashton Hagans and . The Wildcats also are the perceived co-favorite for the nation’s No. 1 player James Wiseman, and are also heavily involved for a handful of other five-star prospects including No. 2 Vernon Carey, No. 5 Matthew Hurt, No. 10 Scottie Lewis and No. 11 Jalen Lecque. Oh, and then there’s four-star D.J. Jeffries who is also committed to the Cats.

So yeah, it’s good to be John Calipari right now, but it isn’t an exaggeration to say the rich could conceivably get richer this summer, thanks to the fastest-rising recruit in America.

Meet Jaden McDaniels, a wing from Seattle who has been the talk of the recruiting world this spring. Considered just a four-star prospect a few months ago, he is now a Top 10 prospect in America according to 247 Sports.

Not bad. But here’s the catch: According to Rivals.com recruiting expert Corey Evans, McDaniels has already heard from virtually every program in America, but he is still waiting for one. That’s Kentucky, which Evans described as McDaniels’ “dream school.”

Evans joined the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast this week and shared some details on him:

“Jaden McDaniels was at USA Basketball Under-18 this past week, didn’t make it. But he has been the face of spring 2018. His older brother is Jalen McDaniels, likely a two-and-done guy at San Diego State. He’s entering his sophomore year this coming year.

But [Jalen] is a 6’9 small forward that Kansas just offered, Oregon offered, UCLA offered, Arizona offered, Oklahoma and Texas are also the favorites there as well. He can be the No. 1 player in America… And his dream school is Kentucky. I really want to see if Kentucky will jump in and offer him. I know they have D.J. Jeffries coming but, this kid is different. He’s really different. His rate of progression is astronomical. His basketball ceiling for growth further is stupendous.

And he’s someone where, if Kentucky were to offer, that could change the ball-game.”

https://twitter.com/coreyevans_10/status/1005103678448119810

Those are some incredibly strong words on a player who has absolutely turned heads this summer, averaging 20 points and nine rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit. According to Evans he’s already measured at 6’9 without shoes with a 6’11 wingspan is a guy that both college coaches and NBA scouts are certainly intrigued by. Evans compared him to a more polished version of former Florida State star and lottery pick Jonathan Isaac.

The question of course, is what’s next. As Evans’ mentioned, the Wildcats already have a wing committed in the class of 2019 with D.J. Jeffries. Still, rarely has having one player committed ever stopped Calipari, and it will be interesting to see if he actively pursues McDaniels going forward.

One thing is for sure: The fast-rising senior will be waiting for his call.

To listen to the rest of the interview Evans, where the Rivals.com recruiting guru breaks down Team USA basketball camp, Tyrese Maxey and the future of Cole Anthony, download the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, by clicking here.

Article written by Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres is covering football and basketball for KSR this season after four years at Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or e-mail at [email protected] He is also the author of the only book written on the Calipari era, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”

13 responses to “Meet Jaden McDaniels: A Top 10 Prospect Whose”Dream School” is Kentucky”

  1. Luether

    I’ve seen his brother, Jalen, play several times. If he’s better than that, we should be very interested…

    1. KYcats11

      Good insight, as always…

  2. a21CATSfan

    This kid should already have an offer. He is 6’9” and still growing, with some ball skills and good defensive timing. This roster has so much fluctuation, the number of scholarships should never be worried about. If Travis AND Hagans commit, there will still be 3 open this season. If 5-7 guys leave again, Cal will have up to 10 scholarships for the Class of ‘19.

    1. a21CATSfan

      Tyrese Maxey
      Kira Lewis Jr
      KyKy Tandy
      DJ Jeffries
      Keion Brooks
      Dontaie Allen
      Jaden McDaniels
      Matthew Hurt
      Aidan Igiehon
      James Wiseman

    2. a21CATSfan

      That’ll work.

    3. Cokely53

      Talking to yourself again?

  3. Rowinguy1

    Be nice to again establish a presence on the West Coast, too

  4. mccullou

    I think you meant Tyrese Maxey, rather than Ashton Hagans, for 2019.

  5. bigb

    KyKy isn’t coming to UK, that bird has flew the coup

    1. Ez21

      I think Everyone knew that months ago considering we turned our attention
      To Allen.

  6. Han

    Forgive me if I don’t get all hot and bothered that a recruit lists UK as his dream school. We’ve heard that from other recruits who chose other schools over us.

    1. TonyMontana

      The problem is we didn’t get involved until very late or in some cases didn’t even offer. Bol Bol, Shareef O’Neal. Remember Moses Brown? 5 star center in 2018 class was begging for an offer and it never came. 5 star forwards Louis King and Emmitt Williams both let us know they were desperate for an offer. By mid August with no interest shown they both cut us from their list. King is at Oregon with Bol Bol and Williams went to LSU along with 5 star Nazron Reid who also wanted UK. We heard all about these guys but didn’t go after them (too little too late for Bol).

      Eventually we landed Keldon Johnson… maybe Cal knew he was coming all along? Maybe he was expecting Zion to come, after all he called Quickley his future teammate!

      At any rate, we have a very solid class now. Bol would have been a freaking nice addition though imo. And having Shaq chillin on the sidelines would have been cool.

      Sometimes Cal waits too long, so im glad to see him aggressive with 2019 and 2020. Get those offers out there. Build those relationships.

      Also… Keep an eye on those dudes this upcoming season. We could’ve had any of them.

      My reply became a blog post. Sorry ?

  7. KentuckyVSEveryone

    No, I am in NO WAY saying that this young man is Kevin Durant, BUT at his size and skill set reminds me of a young KD. At his height, being able to start a fast break after a rebound, his range, the ability to take his man off the dribble and finish with a nice pull-up, or going all the way to the rim is very rare to find. His defense instincts look very good as well. This would be a huge addition to the 2019-2020 class!