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No matter who Kentucky adds, Devin Askew is ready to roll with the 2020 recruiting class

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA officially announced it would be pushing the recruiting dead period from April 15 back to May 31, meaning schools will not be able to have face-to-face contact with recruits or transfers for at least another two months. No campus trips, no traveling to see recruits and their families for in-home visits, nothing.

Now, the remaining elite prospects in the class of 2020, along with the top available graduate transfers on the market are left with two options: wait until the dust settles on this recruiting stoppage or make decisions based on phone/video calls and prior knowledge of potential schools without taking new visits.

Factor in these uncertainties, along with several current players in the process of making their NBA Draft decisions, and things are certainly up in the air on how Kentucky plans on closing out the 2020-21 basketball roster.

Regardless of who stays, comes, or goes, future Kentucky point guard Devin Askew is ready to roll with whatever pieces he has to work with.

“I honestly don’t know who would be coming in or who would be leaving, but whoever stays and whoever comes in… If no one comes in, I feel confident in myself with the group that’s coming in,” Askew said. “Even though we’ll be young, we’ll grow as the year goes on. If someone else comes in, we’re just adding another piece. It only gets better. I’m confident either way it goes.”

Those pieces he already has at his disposal next season? Five-star guards Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston, five-star forwards Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware, and four-star forward Cam’Ron Fletcher, who, along with Askew, have all signed with Kentucky in the class of 2020.

So what do fans need to know about Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class? And more importantly, why is Askew so excited to play with each of them?

First and foremost, it’s a competitive group of like-minded players with a passion for winning.

“We’ve got a great group of people. Man, I can name them all.,” he told KSR. “Lance Ware, Cam Fletcher, BJ Boston, [Terrence] Clarke, Isaiah Jackson. It’s just, I’m excited. It’s all great players. If you don’t like playing with great players, then Kentucky is not the place for you. We all like playing with really good players. It’s going to be exciting. We all joke around in [a group text message], we talk about how we can’t wait to play with each other.”

Calipari’s future point guard gave a player-by-player scouting report his future teammates, with a common theme holding true for all five signees: aggressiveness and a “dog” mentality.

“Lance Ware is fundamental, big guy. He’s a dog,” Askew said. “Super aggressive, and he’ll bang down there in the post. His energy is crazy. … That kid is good. I’m telling you. Lance, in my eyes, he’s so underrated. He’s going to shock everyone. I’m telling you. He’s a dog.

“Cam Fletcher, he’s a wing that’s super athletic and versatile, plays hard defense,” Askew continued. “With him, he’s super aggressive, as well.

“BJ Boston, he can shoot the lights out of the ball. He’s tall, he can play the two through four.

“[Terrence] Clarke, his offensive game is crazy. He’s just hype. He’s a super emotional player out there, gets everyone hyped.

“And Isaiah Jackson? Man! Bounce, that’s all I’ve got to say,” the Kentucky signee concluded. “He has bounce, his athleticism is crazy.”

As for his own game, he values his knack for winning and ability to lead a team, which is exactly why John Calipari recruited him to Lexington.

“[Calipari told me to] just come in and be a leader, be our point guard. Lead the team,” Askew said of the Kentucky head coach. “One of the things he told me was, “You have a knack for winning and you fight.” I just really love leading a team.”

The 6-foot-4 guard out of Santa Ana, CA doesn’t have to score all the points or have the ball run through his hands at all times. In fact, he often prefers to put his teammates in position to thrive and feed the hot hand.

At the end of the day, that’s what leads to wins, his top priority every time he steps on the floor.

“Leading a team is not always just scoring the ball and everything,” Askew told KSR. “Leading a team can be recognizing one of my teammates is killing it that game, let’s make sure we all get him the ball. That’s the knack for winning that I have and I know I have. It’s not to be selfish in ways where I have to do it all, no. I see when other people are doing better in certain games, like, “We have to get him the ball because he’s hot. He’s doing better at this than he is right now, let’s focus on him right now.” And it changes every game.”

During the recruiting process, that mindset is what led Askew and Calipari to one another. When the Kentucky head coach recognized his win-at-all-costs mentality, the five-star guard prospect knew he wanted to play for him in Lexington.

In his mind, they understood each other.

“Just being a leader, being out there on the court and leading them, that’s what he liked about me,” he said of Calipari. “I know that about myself, so when he said that, I was like, “Oh, he understands me.”‘

And it’s not just the relationship between Calipari and his future point guard. Between the six signees, Askew feels they all thrive in the spotlight and crave high-pressure situations.

In short, they’re all built for the colossal stage that is Kentucky basketball.

“We’re just a group of kids, I feel like, that loves to compete,” Askew, the No. 25 overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, said. “We all like to be in those close games, those competitive games that are made off of those last-minute decisions. We like to be in those situations and play in those situations.”

The chemistry between Kentucky’s six signees is already growing by the day, but with several Wildcats set to make difficult NBA Draft decisions in the coming weeks, how would other potential returnees fit into the equation?

While he understands the value in striking while the iron is hot on NBA opportunities, he would welcome any and all current players – namely Immanuel Quickley and EJ Montgomery – to return and help put together a special season in Lexington next season.

For Askew, the more the merrier.

“Hey, that’d be great,” Askew said of Wildcats from the current roster potentially returning to school. “If Immanuel Quickley comes back, that’s cool. That’s just an extra really, really good piece. If EJ [Montgomery] comes back? That’s even better. It’d be amazing. Honestly, it’d be cool if some players did that. But I know Coach Cal, he’s the kind of coach where, if you can get out, and it’s your time to go get your money? Go get your money. The NBA is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and if you get that chance, you’ve got to jump on it. You don’t want to miss out on that opportunity [if the timing is right].

“But if Quickley comes back, if EJ comes back, let’s get it.”

For KSR’s entire conversation with Devin Askew on the Sources Say Podcast, you can listen below:

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

22 Comments for No matter who Kentucky adds, Devin Askew is ready to roll with the 2020 recruiting class

  1. MississippiBlue
    5:05 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    I have a feeling this kid is going to be one of Cal’s all time favorite point guards! His game is similar to Quade’s, but he has enough size to compete in the SEC. So excited to see what next years squad can do!

    • magimae
      6:21 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

      Love his attitude, looking forward to seeing him play

    • Cletis75
      3:23 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Everything I have seen and heard about him makes me think of Tyler Ulis. If that’s the case, he’s going to be a lot of people’s favorite!

    • KaliforniaKat
      10:24 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      I hope his game isn’t similar to Quade!

  2. barstoolLexCat
    5:43 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    Pipe down Jack, nobody Askew what you thought.

  3. barstoolLexCat
    5:44 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    Sorry. I just wanted to get that out now, people are going to wear it out when the season starts until it’s unbearable.

    • Fitz
      9:00 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      You beat me to it Barstool.

  4. JT55
    7:45 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    They need some experience next year. Either transfers or returning players in order to have a chance.

    • IrishCat
      8:55 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      I agree, especially at point guard, and then at center. Getting Quick and EJ back would have been a dream scenario, but that doesn’t look hopeful anymore.

    • Fitz
      9:02 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Another year, another need for some experience to go along with incoming.

  5. UKFanSC
    8:12 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds the part.

  6. SuperTroy18
    8:51 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    This guy is the recruit I’m most excited about. Boston and Clarke will be beasts, and Jackson looks like a bigtime underrated guy too. But this kid could be special and he might stay for a while, (hopefully at least two years, if not three.)

  7. J. Did
    9:01 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

    I concur.

    Good attitude – supportive parents…on board.

    Kid can play. Repetan.

    All bodes well for the CATS!

  8. dave1964
    7:52 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Will need a good center to have a chance of #9.

  9. Irish son
    9:27 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

    A lot of you guys are going to be disappointed. This young guy won’t help us much at all next year. I think he will stay at least 3 years. Not real tall, not very athletic, seems smart, but not the typical type of PG Cal usually likes

    • CrystalBall
      11:14 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      6’4″ tall enough for a point guard.

    • IrishCat
      11:33 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      I agree w/ you, except about size b/c he definitely has the size. I think he will be a very good player here, but I expect a lot of struggles if he’s expected to run the show in his freshman season. Best scenario for him would be to come off the bench as backup pg and also get some minutes off the ball in year one. My opinion.

    • CrystalBall
      11:50 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Good point.

    • UKFanSC
      1:42 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      Not that I’m disagreeing with you, but do you have a basis for your gloomy prediction ? Have you some familiarity with his game that many of us don’t ?

  10. michaelb
    12:54 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Like this guys attitude , I hope somebody has the talent of tyrese Maxey again in the future .

  11. LouisvilleNative
    1:06 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

    What a wonderful picture of him palming/carrying the ball. Although, I think that is a violation in the game of basketball.

    • Bluehender
      1:48 pm April 5, 2020 Permalink

      How do you know he wasn’t standing there and someone just threw the ball to him? It did used to be a violation but everyone does it now. If you called it every time it happened, no one would ever score. My brother is a high school ref. He told me in his last game this year one of the coaches was complaining about the other team doing that. Finally after he’d had enough, he started calling it and called it on both teams six straight possessions. The crowd was booing, he looked at the the coach and said “you wanna keep doing this?” He said the coach never said another word.