Looking for some positive Kentucky basketball recruiting news? Rivals recruiting expert Corey Evans has you covered.
In his weekly mailbag post published every Tuesday morning, Evans was asked about clear favorites in the 2021 class and singled out Kentucky’s chances with five-star guard Jaden Hardy.
“It is still a bit early to judge with the 2021 class, but there is one prospect that many assume is practically done for Kentucky and that is Jaden Hardy,” Evans said. “If Hardy were to select any program but Kentucky, it would be one of the bigger surprises in the 2021 cycle. Whenever the Wildcats offered last year, Hardy was put on commitment watch.”
The original question asked if the player seen as heavy lean one direction could ultimately sign elsewhere, which Evans entertained as a slight possibility for Hardy due to other factors in his recruitment, most notably the fact that he hasn’t committed yet.
“However, here we are in June and he remains uncommitted. While he has spoken openly about his affection for Kentucky, there are more than enough layers to his recruitment that could end up pushing him elsewhere,” Evans said. “A Detroit native that moved to Las Vegas a few years back, Hardy is down to a final 10. He has been a West Coast priority since he began high school. Mick Cronin has made the city of Las Vegas a priority since his hiring at UCLA, while Arizona consistently is involved for the best in its region.
“Don’t underestimate Oregon, either, which will enroll his brother, Amauri, as a graduate-transfer in the fall. Texas Tech is now a force on the recruiting trail and Michigan, the home-state program, could receive a visit from him in the fall, too. Add it up and there is enough competition for his services that could pull Hardy away from the Wildcats in the end.”
Regardless of the competition, Evans still believes Hardy winds up at Kentucky, but noted “the door is open” for another school to slide in and steal the highly-touted five-star prospect.
“I ultimately see the five-star siding with UK, but the door is open for another program to win out,” the Rivals expert said.
Hardy, a consensus top-ten prospect, is currently listed as the No. 6 player and No. 1 combo guard in the 2021 recruiting class.
At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Hardy is considered one of the most dominant scoring guards in the nation.
Come on down.