As we move forward with the 2014 UK Basketball recruiting class, things are certainly looking brighter for the Big Blue. While just a couple of months ago, there did not seem to be a certain UK commitment out of the top 15 players outside of Karl Towns, in the last few weeks the scene has looked brighter. Emmanual Mudiay continues to look like a likely UK commitment, as the Point Guard says all the right things but continues to favor the Cats. UK has strengthened its position with Stanley Johnson, has offered Justise Winslow and has even made some movement on #1 overall player Jahlil Okafor. However the best news came to me early this week, as after some conversations from folks close to the recruitment, I now believe Trey Lyles will end up at Kentucky.
As many of you know that read this site, I am very hesitant to ever make predictions on recruiting…when you do and you are right, few remember and when you are wrong, they remember forever. Thus I only say that I like UK’s position when I REALLY like it. Last year I said it for the Harrison Twins, James Young and Julius Randle, the last of which put me on a relative island (along with USA Today’s Jason Jordan) until the very end. In this case, Kentucky is the strong leader for Lyles and I feel confident as of now that they will end up with him. The common perception on the internet has been for some time, at least since Lyles decommitted from Indiana, that he was a Kentucky lean, but I don’t think this was the case. Worry about Lyles is what led UK to stoke up the recruitment of Angel Delgado and Abdul Malik Abu, but as of now they have offered neither player, and I think that is because of some growing confidence on their standing with Lyles. Trey is an explosive player and an amazing scorer. If UK gets him, Mudiay and Towns, it will three Top 10 players and a good start towards a potential sixth straight #1 recruiting class, with only Duke pulling off the Okafor/Jones/Winslow triple standing in their way.