Kentucky remains in consistent contact with 2020 five-star center Makur Maker.
According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog, Kentucky, along with UCLA, Memphis, and Howard, have all been “consistently” in touch with the 6-foot-11 center.
“Makur Maker has graduated from Pacific Academy (CA) and is now weighing his next move,” Zagoria said of his recent conversation with Maker’s guardian Ed Smith. “Kentucky, UCLA and Howard have been “consistently” in touch, while Memphis has also reached out. Auburn and Oregon have also been linked to Maker.”
Maker, the No. 17 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, submitted his name in the 2020 NBA Draft, but left the door open for a potential move to the college ranks. At the time, Maker announced Auburn, Kentucky, Oregon, and UCLA as the schools he is considering should he pull his name at the draft. Not long after, college basketball insider Jon Rothstein doubled down on Maker’s interest in college, reporting that Kentucky and UCLA had emerged as the favorites, at least among schools.
In an interview with KSR, Ed Smith said that he has been transparent with the schools on Maker’s list, making it clear that while he’s still considering the NBA, he’d love to sign with one of his final schools if the opportunity presents itself.
“We have to be respectful that coaches still have to recruit,” Smith told KSR. “So let’s say UK still has to recruit their own guys. We don’t even know when the deadline is, we don’t know when workouts are going to be, or if there are going to be any workouts. It would be unfair to those college coaches, almost like we’re trying to string them along. … They have to move ahead, because what if he doesn’t pull out? You know? What if he doesn’t pull out of the draft and they say they’re holding a scholarship for him?
“What we’ve always been is truly transparent with them, we tell them to go on and do their job. We like you. We like these schools, [Kentucky, UCLA, Oregon, and Auburn] are the schools we like. If he pulls out, and there’s an opportunity there, then we’ll consider those schools.”
With Kentucky specifically, Smith told KSR that UK associate head coach Kenny Payne has been in regular contact with the five-star center and his camp, with UCLA being the other school in most consistent communication.
“[Kentucky associate head coach] Kenny Payne will call every once in a while and check in, ask how things are going. I’ll call him every once in a while and check in,” Smith said. “And then Mick Cronin at UCLA, he offered on May 5. He’s been [consistently talking with us too].”
Maker is expected to wait until the withdrawal deadline before making a final decision, meaning John Calipari and the UK coaching staff have some time to decide whether they want to go all-in on adding the five-star center to the roster.