Kentucky already maintains the No. 1 recruiting class in the 2020 team rankings, and they’re not finished yet.
2020 five-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Devin Askew, five-star forward Isaiah Jackson, and four-star forwards Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher make up Kentucky’s consensus top-ranked recruiting class, but John Calipari and his coaching staff are still on the prowl for a few more key pieces in the frontcourt.
Askew, a 6-foot-4 point guard out of Santa Ana, CA, participated in the Tarkanian Classic with his Mater Dei High School squad last week from Dec. 17-21, where he led his team to the event semifinals and topped the 14-point mark in three of his team’s four games.
After his team’s 72-39 opening victory over Putnam City West (OK) on Wednesday afternoon, KSR caught up with Askew about his 9-point, 7-rebound, 7-assist near triple-double, what he brings to the table as a player, how excited he is about getting to Lexington, and who he hopes to bring with him.
“We came out slow, individually I came out slow, but toward the end we picked it up,” Askew said of Mater Dei’s blowout victory to open the event. “We’re all sick right now, we’ve all got [something], but we picked it up toward the end and we all fought. It was cool, slow game though.”
On any given day, illness or not, the Kentucky signee pointed out two attributes he brings to the table that he feels separates his game from the rest of the nation.
“Energy,” he said. “Energy and winning.”
Those attributes are exactly what he hopes to bring to the table in Lexington next season, adding that he’s planning on doing whatever is asked of him by Calipari and the UK coaching staff to win games. At the end of the day, he knows their guidance will lead to success on the floor, which will ultimately lead to him being selected in the NBA Draft.
“I’m hoping to bring whatever Coach Cal asks me to bring,” Askew told KSR. “Whatever that is, I’m bringing it. … [Calipari’s] pitch was to come in and be a leader, be a point guard that leads a team. Kentucky was a place that I knew would help me get to a place where I want to be in the future, [the NBA].”
In terms of who he’s set to play with in Lexington, Askew feels Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class will “make his job easier” as the program’s lead guard during the 2020-21 season.
“Those are my guys, shoot. I’m excited about being a true point guard to them,” the five-star prospect told KSR. “Having them around me makes my job easier, way easier. Having BJ [Boston], [Terrence] Clarke, Lance [Ware], Cam [Fletcher], and Isaiah Jackson? Shoot. It makes my job real easy.”
While Kentucky holds a firm lead in the 2020 team recruiting rankings, Askew hinted that they weren’t done yet.
Who he was recruiting to join him in Lexington, though, isn’t for the public to know quite yet.
“Shoot… I’d rather not talk about it unless Coach Cal [talks about it],” Askew said with a laugh. “I don’t want to give any names out or anything. I’d rather not answer.”
One player he has been outspoken about playing with in Lexington? 2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi, who Askew says is a player he is doing “whatever [he] can do to get him [to Kentucky].”
“Cliff is my guy, yeah, that’s my guy,” Askew told KSR. “First time we ever played together and I met Cliff was at the Elite 100 Sophomore Camp in St. Louis. We were on a team together, and I loved playing with him. He’s a big that makes the game easier for you, he’s big. Shoot, whatever I can do to get him [to Kentucky], man, let’s do it.”
On Omoruyi’s end of things, the four-star center has said in the past that Askew is a player he would also love playing with at the next level.
What does it mean for Askew to have high-level prospects wanting to play alongside him in college?
“It means a lot, honestly, that they trust me in leading the team that they’re on,” he said. “They come to me to be the leader, so it means a lot.”
Regardless of who else joins Kentucky’s elite recruiting class for 2020, the five-star guard hopes fans are ready to see a show on a nightly basis in Lexington next season.
“Bring it, everyone bring it,” he said. “Bring the fans, everyone show up [at Rupp Arena when I get there]. We’re gonna have a good time, it’s gonna be a good show.”