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For Kentucky, it’s not Kahlil Whitney OR Dontaie Allen. It’s both.

Many Kentucky fans feel John Calipari has a dilemma on his hands for the class of 2019.

Kahlil Whitney is considered a consensus top-25 five-star small forward, and his stock is only going up. After Calipari watched him play three separate times last week, the 6-foot-6, 190-pound prospect out of Roselle, New Jersey picked up a scholarship offer from Kentucky. He also holds offers from Kansas, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Oregon, Georgetown, Syracuse, and Connecticut, among others.

According to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, who spoke to Whitney’s father last week, Kentucky’s latest recruit will be in Lexington on Friday, August 3 and will stay through Sunday, August 5.

So for those keeping track at home, Coach Cal watched him play three times, extended an offer, and set up a visit all in the span of a week and a half. Sometimes the Kentucky head coach takes the slow approach when recruiting elite prospects. In others, he goes in for the kill, hoping to snag a commitment sooner rather than later. The latter seems like the likely situation here.

Several recruiting analysts are predicting Whitney’s recruitment could be coming to a close soon, with Kentucky sitting pretty in the driver’s seat.

And he didn’t do much to shut down those rumors, either, tweeting “The end is near!!” on Tuesday.

Then comes prized in-state recruit Dontaie Allen.

Falmouth, KY’s Dontaie Allen is one of the fastest-rising prospects in all of college basketball, making it obvious why countless major schools in the nation are flocking to join his recruitment. The 6-foot-7 small forward averaged 31.8 points (nearly 40-percent from three) and 11.4 rebounds per contest at Pendleton County last season, and he only got better this summer. Florida, Oklahoma, Louisville, West Virginia, Auburn, and Virginia Tech, among others, have extended scholarship offers. He earned nine offers over the last three weeks alone.

Over the course of the AAU circuit this summer, he has gone from unranked to No. 46 in the Rivals’ player rankings. 247 Sports lists him as the No. 83 prospect in the nation and the second-best player in Kentucky behind only Trinity’s David Johnson. Former UK target Kyky Tandy is sitting behind Johnson and Allen at No. 3.

Kentucky has already moved on from Tandy, but it seems like there is significant mutual interest between the Cats and Allen. Though the Wildcat head coach wasn’t there, he already visited the school back in June. Coach Cal then watched Allen play a few weeks ago at the Under Armour Challenge and followed it up with a phone call to set up another visit to Lexington. Cal showed once again he’s serious by heading to Louisville on Friday night to watch him play in the Louisville Jam Fest, the final recruiting event of the July evaluation period. When Allen visits Lexington again this week, a scholarship offer is expected to follow.

If you ask Tandy, it’s only a matter of time before he lands in Lexington for good.

If Allen continues to dominate, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Pendleton County star shoot up to the top-25 of the recruiting rankings by the end of his senior year. UK hasn’t locked up an in-state prospect since 2013, and the Kentucky Mr. Basketball candidate is certainly a player worthy and capable of breaking that streak.

That being said, if Calipari secures a commitment from Whitney in the next week or so, would it scare off Allen? No, not likely. And it shouldn’t.

As we saw with Tandy and countless other recruits over the years, some players want to be the center of attention and get a certain number of shots per game. And that’s okay. We saw how ball-dominant players like Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons can still raise their draft stock on lesser college teams, sacrificing winning in the process.

Allen isn’t that guy. His focus is learning how to be an elite basketball player at the next level, and he knows he can do that at Kentucky

“They sold me on coming there and working hard,” Allen told the Herald-Leader following his unofficial visit to Lexington back in June. “They said they tell everyone that wants to go to school there that they’re going to work and I like how serious basketball is to them. It’s strictly basketball and I could use their system to get great things out of it.”

In another Herald-Leader article, Ben Roberts interviewed basketball analyst Evan Daniels about his thoughts on the Pendleton County star.

“It starts with his good size and length for a perimeter player,” Daniels told Roberts. “And then it’s his shooting ability — I think that’s probably what stuck out to me the most. He has an easy, clean stroke, and he made a bunch of them this weekend. I know at UA he was 15-of-37 from three. I think it’s pretty clear he’s a confident shot-maker from distance. Probably a little bit better ball handler than I gave him credit for, although he’s still a little bit of a straight-line driver. But he can make one- and two-dribble pull-ups. I saw him go to the post and score. Plus, I think he’s got a very good feel for the game, especially as a scorer. I was very impressed.”

It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. Kentucky has space for both.

Keldon Johnson will almost certainly be a one-and-done, joined by frontcourt players PJ Washington, Reid Travis, and EJ Montgomery. Ashton Hagans will likely join them, as well.

DJ Jeffries, another four-star small forward in the class of 2019, is already committed to Kentucky, but he plays more of a bully style of basketball as a small-ball four. Whitney is the athletic guard-type that thrives in transition with a solid shooting touch from outside. Very similar build to Hamidou Diallo (less athleticism, better shooter). Allen has more of an old-man game: great length, excellent shot, slow-paced, and methodical.

The Cats will likely see some key returners next season and more additions to the recruiting class (one point guard and a few big men, most likely), but there is space for all three. All three have different styles of play and bring something different to the table. Their styles mesh well together.

Check out Whitney’s junior-year highlights:

Here’s Allen’s performance on Friday with Calipari in attendance, where the four-star small forward knocked down his first four attempts from three:

There’s a very good chance both Whitney and Allen end up at Kentucky next fall, leaving just a few key pieces of what could be a monster recruiting class in 2019.

Bring ’em on home, Calipari.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

35 Comments for For Kentucky, it’s not Kahlil Whitney OR Dontaie Allen. It’s both.

  1. UKLugo
    6:55 pm July 29, 2018 Permalink

    Whitney is a 1 and done player. Allen is a 4yr guy.

    • TouchYoSocks
      8:30 pm July 29, 2018 Permalink

      How do you know this? Pretty sure S.G.A. wasn’t a 1 and done at the beginning on last season

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      9:38 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Would be this excited about Allen if he weren’t from KY?

  2. stevemotley
    10:11 pm July 29, 2018 Permalink

    I agree, Allen is definitely a 4 year guy. Doesn’t have the athleticism to be an elite prospect

    • henderblue
      6:59 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Neither did Larry Bird. You don’t have to be able to jump out of the gym to be a great basketball player. A good stroke and a good brain can out play athleticism

    • JoeMoney333
      7:20 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Larry Bird, nice up-to-date reference there.

    • henderblue
      7:29 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      I wasn’t born yesterday Joe. The point is you don’t have to be an elite athlete to be a good basketball player

    • henderblue
      7:34 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      If you want an up to date reference, maybe Karl Anthony-Towns would work

    • Alex90
      8:18 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Karl Towns is very athletic for a 7 footer..Trey Lyles would be a better example

    • runningunnin.454
      8:28 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Or Kevin Love, nephew of the Beach Boys’ Mike Love.
      Mike’s not very athletic, either.

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      9:39 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Aaaaruba, Jamaica…..

    • runningunnin.454
      9:48 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Kokomo….not Indiana.

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      9:50 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Key Largo, Montego…

    • runningunnin.454
      10:00 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      Just like Bogie and Bacall,
      Sailing away to Key Largo.

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      10:04 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

      How did we go from Mike Love and the Beach Boys to Bertie Higgins?

    • runningunnin.454
      10:08 am July 30, 2018 Permalink


  3. Iamheasyouarehe
    10:11 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Jesus Christ, Fanny Brice,
    Wolfie Mozart and Humphrey Bogart and
    Genghis Khan and
    On to H. G. Wells.

  4. Iamheasyouarehe
    10:25 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

    Va va voom.

  5. bigblue2284
    11:58 am July 30, 2018 Permalink

    I’m sorry but Allen isn’t impressive. I think his size is what scouts like but he lacks a consistent jumper and seems low energy. I watched the video in this article and had to pay close attention to notice him on the floor at all. Does not pass the eye test at all, I still wish we could land Tady who I think does actually have a chance at being a good player.

    • Iamheasyouarehe
      12:03 pm July 30, 2018 Permalink

      I agree and if he weren’t from KY we wouldn’t be seeing all these posts on KSR.

  6. kevin3120
    2:33 am July 31, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t think it means Penny is establishing himself as a great recruiter. It’s obvious that we are about to get two players that play the same position as DJ and he saw the writing on the wall !

  7. kevin3120
    2:36 am July 31, 2018 Permalink

    PS leaving a comment on this board and setting up an account and password Is a monumentous task. Y must u make it so difficult? Even now, i have to click an “x” to hide a bammer add thats in rhe way of the “post comment” button just so that i can post a comment. Geez!

  8. kevin3120
    2:38 am July 31, 2018 Permalink