Heading into 2020, John Calipari and the UK basketball coaching staff had extended just five scholarships in the class of 2021, with Paolo Banchero (June 18), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Aug. 2), Jaden Hardy (Sept. 20), AJ Griffin (Oct. 10), and Kennedy Chandler (Dec. 26) all receiving offers in a six-month span.
Following Chandler’s offer to close out 2019, Kentucky went seven months before extending another in July, and it wasn’t even a member of the 2021 class. Instead, 2022 five-star guard Skyy Clark earned a scholarship from the UK staff on July 2.
Kentucky’s first official 2021 offer since Chandler’s back in December came on Aug. 21 to four-star forward Bryce Hopkins, followed by five-star point guard Hunter Sallis on the same night. Just a day later on Aug. 22, four-star guard Nolan Hickman made a surprise commitment to Kentucky, followed by five-star forward Daimion Collins receiving a Kentucky offer on Aug. 26. To round things out, three-star guard Brandin Podziemski also added a UK offer on Oct. 14, pushing the total to 11 offers combined and seven among uncommitted prospects.
Within the last month, UK has added commitments from both Hopkins and Collins in 2021, with Clark also announcing his commitment for 2022, as well.
With Kentucky boasting significant recruiting momentum and new prospects being added to the list of commitments and targets by the week, it only makes sense to create a one-stop shop for fans to bookmark for the future regarding the who, what, when, where, and why of UK’s top recruits.
Let’s jump right in.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
- 6-foot-9, 205 pounds
- Rivals: No. 1 power forward, No. 1 overall
- 247Sports: No. 1 small forward, No. 2 overall
- ESPN: No. 2 power forward, No. 2 overall
- Duke and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are seen as current favorites, with Kentucky also one of the remaining finalists. Baldwin is currently down to ten schools: Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Northwestern, UCLA, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Decision timeline
- After putting his recruitment on hold over the summer, Baldwin is now expected to cut his list again in the near future. No official decision date has been announced.
- 6-foot-4, 190 pounds
- Rivals: No. 1 shooting guard, No. 5 overall
- 247Sports: No. 1 combo guard, No. 4 overall
- ESPN: No. 1 shooting guard, No. 4 overall
- Seen as a heavy Kentucky lean early in the recruiting process, momentum has shifted heavily in favor of the G League in recent months, with UCLA also emerging as a strong option.
- Decision timeline
- Expected to decide in the spring.
- 6-foot-6, 175 pounds
- Rivals: No. 1 point guard, No. 6 overall
- 247Sports: No. 2 combo guard, No. 6 overall
- ESPN: No. 3 point guard, No. 19 overall
- Cut list to 12 in August, but Kentucky has emerged as the strong favorite in recent weeks. North Carolina, Kansas, Creighton, and Iowa State are also top options among the remaining finalists.
- Decision timeline
- No official timeline or date has been set, but Sallis tells KSR that he is hoping to decide in the spring after on-campus visits return. The five-star guard is planning to trim his list in the coming weeks, with Kentucky expected to make the cut.
Daimion Collins (Committed)
- 6-foot-10, 205 pounds
- Rivals: No. 5 power forward, No. 10 overall
- 247Sports: No. 4 power forward, No. 19 overall
- ESPN: No. 6 power forward, No. 24 overall
- Despite Texas and Oklahoma seen as the heavy favorites for the majority of his recruitment, Kentucky’s offer on Aug. 26 shifted things heavily in the blue blood’s favor, ultimately landing his commitment on Oct. 31. The five-star forward chose UK over Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and Kansas, among other offers.
- Collins is Kentucky’s highest-rated commitment in the class
— BALL DAWGS (@balldawgs) November 9, 2020
Bryce Hopkins (Committed)
- 6-foot-7, 220 pounds
- Rivals: No. 8 small forward, No. 30 overall
- 247Sports: No. 10 power forward, No. 39 overall
- ESPN: No. 5 small forward, No. 32 overall
- After decommitting from Louisville back in August, Kentucky quickly emerged as the favorite in Hopkins’ recruitment. He took a trip to Lexington with his family back in September, his first trip after backing out of his pledge to UofL. He ultimately committed to UK on Oct. 26, choosing the Wildcats over California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Oregon, Providence and Texas.
Nolan Hickman (Committed)
- 6-foot-2, 185 pounds
- Rivals: No. 13 point guard, No. 52 overall
- 247Sports: No. 3 point guard, No. 30 overall
- ESPN: No. 10 point guard, No. 61 overall
- Hickman announced his commitment to Kentucky on Aug. 22, choosing the Wildcats over offers from Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington, among others. He was the first addition to UK’s 2021 recruiting class.
- 6-foot-6, 193 pounds
- Rivals: Unranked
- 247Sports: No. 60 shooting guard, No. 273 overall (Composite)
- ESPN: Unranked
- Kentucky and Kansas are the two biggest schools on Podiemski’s scholarship list and have picked up the most steam as the potential favorites. He also holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, DePaul, Kansas State, Loyola (Chi), Marquette, Rice and Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- The three-star guard plays on Tyler Herro’s Phenom U/Team Herro Nike EYBL squad, regularly communicating with the former Wildcat
- Decision timeline
- Podziemski has said that he is in no rush to make a decision and will likely commit in the spring
Skyy Clark (Committed)
- 6-foot-3, 200 pounds
- Rivals: No. 4 point guard, No. 16 overall
- 247Sports: No. 2 combo guard, No. 13 overall
- ESPN: No. 4 point guard, No. 19 overall
- Long seen as a heavy Kentucky lean, Clark made it official by committing to the Wildcats back on Oct. 22. The five-star guard chose UK over North Carolina, Memphis and UCLA
- Clark has told KSR he is taking the coursework necessary to reclassify this school year, with a final decision expected next summer. The UK commit has gone back and forth on the matter, though recent buzz indicates he may ultimately stay in 2022
- 6-foot-9, 220 pounds
- Rivals: No. 2 center, No. 2 overall
- 247Sports: No. 1 center, No. 2 overall
- ESPN: No. 1 center, No. 2 overall
- Received an offer from Kentucky on Oct. 18
- No rumored early favorites among schools, though the professional route is expected to be on the table
- 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
- Rivals: No. 2 point guard, No. 6 overall
- 247Sports: No. 3 point guard, No. 16 overall
- ESPN: No. 1 point guard, No. 6 overall
- Bradley has not yet received an offer from Kentucky, though one is expected at some point in the near future. North Carolina is also seen as a strong option for the five-star guard
AJ Griffin (Duke)
- Committed Nov. 4, 2019
Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)
- Committed Aug. 14, 2020
Paolo Banchero (Duke)
- Committed Aug. 20, 2020
Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- Committed Nov. 9, 2020