Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is the top available graduate transfer on the market, and Kentucky is reportedly right in the thick of things in the home stretch of his recruitment.
Fresh off an official visit to Lexington, Corey Evans of Rivals.com told the Herald-Leader that the Wildcats are a frontrunner to land the 6-foot-11 big man and that a final decision could come in the next few days.
“I think Kentucky is in a great spot with him,” Evans told the Herald-Leader on Friday afternoon. “Right now, it’s Kentucky or Tennessee for him. I think a commitment is going to come within the next four or five days. That’s the vibe I’ve gotten.”
KSR reported on Thursday that Blackshear left Lexington without making a commitment, though the Kentucky coaching staff still felt very confident about their standing with the star forward.
When asked about Texas A&M, who has always been associated with Blackshear’s recruitment and was rumored to be the final visit coming off his trip to Kentucky, Evans wasn’t as optimistic about their chances. While they have never been seen as a serious favorite, it was always expected that the Virginia Tech transfer would at least listen to his former head coach’s pitch.
Now, Evans doesn’t believe that visit will be taking place and thinks the Aggies are out of the running.
“I don’t see A&M as a legitimate suitor anymore,” he said.
As far as who he does think is the leader between Kentucky and Tennessee, Evans said he wasn’t certain yet because Blackshear isn’t even certain.
“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “And that’s because the kid doesn’t know yet, I don’t think. I don’t think he knows what exactly he wants.”
Breaking down both schools in play, Evans says Tennessee is offering a premier role in the offense, while Kentucky is offering the spotlight and opportunity for improved draft status in his final year of eligibility.
“Tennessee can offer him the idea of playing more of a ‘4-5’ role and kind of expanding his game and having more of a chance to be ‘the guy,'” he said. “Compared to Kentucky, which offers, of course, the blue-blood platform and all that. They’re in the same conference, but they’re two separate opportunities. So, I think it’s whichever one that he really feels comfortable with and which one can put him in the best spot possible for the NBA.”
Sources told KSR earlier this week that even if Blackshear left campus without signing, a decision was expected before the start of next week, whether a visit to Texas A&M was on the table or not.
Now, the wait