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Four-star Arizona commit Shareef O’Neal: “Don’t want to be involved with that”

IG: shareefoneal

IG: shareefoneal

Did another option for Kentucky’s 2018 recruiting class just open up?

Last night, ESPN released a bombshell report that Arizona head coach Sean Miller organized a $100,000 payment to ensure No. 1 prospect DeAndre Ayton ended up in a Wildcat uniform.

Before it all released to the public, four-star Arizona commit Shareef O’Neal tweeted that he “didn’t want to be involved with that.”

Back in late September when Arizona was originally included in the FBI investigation, there were rumors O’Neal would decommit from the school, and Kentucky was seen as the likely destination if that happened.

When O’Neal signed only financial paperwork with the school in the first week of October, rumors only spread further. In fact, 247 Sports’ Andrew Slater flipped his Crystal Ball from Arizona to Kentucky, saying O’Neal’s father, Shaquille, is a “big fan of coach Calipari.”

“There are rumors that [O’Neal] is likely to decommit from Arizona, given the events of last week. He’s likely to visit Kentucky on the 13th with his AAU teammate and friend Bol Bol. O’Neal’s father is reportedly a big fan of coach [John] Calipari.”

Five other Crystal Ball picks came for Kentucky after the events, and now, 100% of experts on the site list Lexington as the likely destination.

With Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett heading to Duke, Kentucky is left looking for a star forward to fill the frontcourt. Five-star forward EJ Montgomery is seen as the No. 1 target for Kentucky as of right now, and his recruitment will likely come down to the Cats, UNC, and Duke in the coming weeks.

If things go south with Montgomery, could Coach Cal give a call to O’Neal? Or if he expects another player in the Kentucky frontcourt to leave school early, could he make a hard push for both prospects? Maybe he goes after both players regardless of impending departures, hoping for another loaded roster next season?

If he does officially decommit from Arizona, I’d certainly expect there to be mutual interest between Kentucky and O’Neal.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

16 Comments for Four-star Arizona commit Shareef O’Neal: “Don’t want to be involved with that”

  1. runningunnin.454
    11:16 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Looks like all the top programs are involved. Only safe bet would be a school that doesn’t offer athletic scholarships….Harvard, Yale, LOL Brown.

    • Eazy
      11:19 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Yep. Check out the Gary Parrish article on this. Good read. But the NCAA has no common sense.

    • Or D3 Birmingham Southern, Mount Union, etc.

    • callitlikeiseeit
      2:31 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Not all are power conf teams are in it. People around Columbus are now saying that is why Thad could not win, he refused to cheat. Have not seen Michigan unless I missed it. Have not seen Virginia, FSU and many more.

  2. Eazy
    11:18 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Once again UK comes out on top. Arizona, Louisville, Auburn, USC, OSU all had coaches working to pay players. UK had nothing to do with it. If anything Miller advised Bam to go elsewhere. We will reap the benefits of this scandal. Unfortunately, this issue is laughable altogether…as Gary Parrish said the only way to fix it is to pay players. Why is it we don’t? Race of course.

    • Beavis
      12:01 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      I am sorry here Easy, explain to me how race has anything to do with paying college athletes.

    • Skeps
      1:05 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Race has nothing to do with it. Good lord. Paying players won’t do a damn thing. So everyone wants another NBA. Salary caps for schools. You think players are going to pass on $100k for monthly stipends? Sure thing.

  3. shelby
    11:20 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    He may not come here either because of bam’s situation being up in the air. Not saying we had coaches involved, but the possibility is certainly out there.

  4. DelrayCat
    11:25 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Who would be leaving? Tai seems obvious. But can’t imagine Washington or Richards getting drafted in 1st (PJ maybe goes early 2nd). Vanderbilt could be seen as a late 1st on potential.
    But this is what sucks about being a UK fan. Just when we see glimmers of improvement in these guys…suddenly they already have a foot out the door. Oh well, time to reload…and I guess it makes sense. Cal can’t afford to get caught short-handed and risk needing transfers to fill out a roster.

  5. Cals Hoverboard
    11:56 am February 24, 2018 Permalink

    Why is Shaq in the above picture with Rajon Rondo ?

    • runningunnin.454
      12:07 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      LOL, are we sure that’s Shaq’s son…where’s the beef?

    • ClutchCargo
      12:22 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah, I can’t decide if he looks more like Rondo or the child of Samuel L. Jackson. Definitely doesn’t resemble Shaq very much.

  6. trumpetguy
    3:06 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    If I’m reading/understanding this correctly, Ayton given money to attend Arizona with Coach Miller in on it. Josh Jackson’s mom paid 10K monthly for her son to attend Kansas. Bam given 36+K “loan” to be represented by sports agency, not as a payment to send him to UK…? Is that correct? BIG difference there it seems to me…..If Bam’s situation is like the other two, and I say “IF”, then probation coming for all three.

  7. Luether
    3:59 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    I’ve seen Shareef play in person twice. He’s come a long way but don’t see him as a 1 and done. He simply doesn’t have the great desire and competitive drive that others with his talent have. So maybe it would be good to sign a guy that’s going to be around for a few years. Having his dad, Shaq, around wouldn’t hurt either…

  8. BBNstrive49
    4:26 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    He’ll end up at Duke.

  9. GregoryEarl
    10:56 pm February 24, 2018 Permalink

    LOL…He’s not going to Duke.