Kentucky has, in fact, been in contact with the No. 1 overall prospect in the rising junior class, Dajuan Wagner Jr.
Wagner, a 6-foot-3 point guard out of Camden, NJ, is widely seen as the top prospect in the class of 2023 and the early favorite to come of the board first in the 2024 NBA Draft. And fortunately for John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program, the five-star junior is the son of former Memphis star Dajuan Wagner, an individual with extremely deep ties with the UK head coach.
On June 15, recruiting restrictions were lifted on 2023 prospects, with college coaches now allowed to reach out to rising juniors directly as opposed to going through parents and coaches. And while over 20 high-profile prospects confirmed contact with Kentucky on the first day of the contact period, things were completely silent on Wagner’s recruitment on all fronts. Nothing from UK, nothing from other blue bloods, nothing from the local schools, just silence.
With the dust now settled on the madness of day one and basketball events resuming this weekend – the NCAA’s first evaluation period of the year began on Friday – we now know which schools have been putting the full-court press on Wagner. And yes, Kentucky is one of them.
According to Adam Zagoria, Villanova and Temple have extended official offers, while Kentucky, Duke and Arkansas are showing “significant interest.”
“Kentucky’s a great school and I love Kentucky,” he told Zagoria. “Really I just love watching college basketball and I just love college basketball.”
While many have penciled in Kentucky as the early favorite in Wagner’s recruitment – some have considered the five-star guard to be a lock to UK since he emerged as a high-profile prospect – the son of the former Memphis standout says his recruitment is wide open.
“I am open to every school and really enjoying the process,” Wagner added. “I’m not focused on committing right now. I’m focused on high school right now.”
As a sophomore, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 22.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game en route to 2020-21 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year honors.
Wagner is listed as the consensus No. 1 overall prospect and No. 1 point guard in the class of 2023, with 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN all placing the major UK target at the top of their respective recruiting rankings.
Check out Wagner’s sophomore highlights below: