College basketball’s National Signing Day (which is really a week) has arrived, as top high school basketball recruits were allowed to sign Letters of Intent starting yesterday, with the period closing next Wednesday, November 21.
Kentucky already got its first signee, as Tyrese Maxey officially became a member of the 2019-2020 Wildcats on Wednesday, with Dontaie Allen expected to sign later this week. UK’s third commit Kahlil Whitney isn’t expected to sign this week, but as T.J. Walker reported on Tuesday, there is nothing to worry about for now.
Still, with the usual exodus of players expected following the season, Kentucky clearly isn’t done recruiting, and the question is obviously who will join the three guys above? 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels joined KSR’s “The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast” earlier this week to share his thoughts on some of the top players left in the class.
You can listen to the full interview by clicking here, but below is a rundown of what Evan is hearing about the 2019 class’s top players.
We start with 247’s No. 1 player James Wiseman, who has seemingly been stuck between Memphis and Kentucky since the day that Penny Hardaway signed on as Memphis’ head coach back in March. Things have changed a little bit since Daniels and Aaron recorded late last week, as Daniels is now reporting that he doesn’t expect Wiseman to make a decision before the end of the signing period (he said on Aaron’s’ show that he thought Wiseman might sign early).
That’s probably a good sign for Kentucky, as all the buzz lately has been on Memphis. And unlike others who say they believe Wiseman is a “done deal” to Memphis, Evan isn’t buying it.
“I don’t think there’s anything per se new to report,” Daniels said. “But he’s done with his visits. And obviously where he goes to school, the buzz and what everyone thinks is Kentucky and Memphis.
Where is he going to between those two? I think it’s difficult to determine. I think most people right now would say it’s Memphis. I’m not fully sold, but it wouldn’t shock me. I wouldn’t be shocked if he goes to Kentucky either. But as of now that’s all we really know. And I think we’ll probably see some sort of decision date set in the very near future.”
Again, considering how many others have reported that Memphis is a done deal, that is a good sign for Kentucky.
It’s not a good sign however for the No. 2 player in the class, Vernon Carey. At one point Kentucky was thought to be the leader for Carey, and KSR’s TJ Walker does still believe UK to be in the mix. But right now Evan says two other powers lead the way:
“My gut would say it’s between Duke and Michigan State,” Daniels said. “And Michigan State getting a second official visit factors in here. But heading into that visit I would probably give the edge to Duke. That’s just me handicapping it. That’s just me saying it. I don’t think that’s necessarily what he would say publicly.”
So, one good update and one bad for Kentucky fans.
Now, how about a total wild card that no one is quite sure on? That would be Seattle-area prospect Jaden McDaniels, who absolutely burst onto the scene last summer. Thanks to his strong player, McDaniels has gone from a fringe Top 100 prospect to now in the Top 5 by virtually every recruiting service.
Still, even after McDaniels rapid rise, his recruitment has remained relatively under wraps. He is from Washington and his brother plays at San Diego State. But as we’ve discussed before, his dream school is Kentucky, where he just visited last weekend.
“He’s got that official visit with Kentucky this past weekend,” Daniels said. “He’s got one more visit, he’s probably going to visit UCLA before he decides. Assuming he does do that then it’s going to be interesting, because I think there’s a possibility he decides early, but it wouldn’t shock me if he goes ahead and waits. So, he’s one of those guys who would have taken visits to all the schools he wants to see, but maybe he doesn’t have a decision yet. And that could change too. He may end up being ready.
His is an interesting scenario. Does he stay close to home (Washington)? Does he go where his brother went (which is San Diego State). Does he go to the blueblood school that is recruiting him (Kentucky)?
It’s an interesting scenario and it’s one to figure out. I couldn’t give you a leader for him at this time.”
Like all the recruitments, it appears as though it will be wait and see for McDaniels.
To listen to Evan Daniels full interview with Aaron Torres, there is no need to wait however. Evan and Aaron not only discuss recruiting, but also the shocking Champions Classic result and what it means for Kentucky going forward, as well as all the big topics in college basketball.
To get the full episode, subscribe to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.