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Rivals: Cade Cunningham was “as close as you could get to committing” on Kentucky visit

Remember all of that Kentucky buzz that came during and immediately following Cade Cunningham’s official visit to Lexington back in October?

This weekend, Corey Evans of confirmed that the talk was legit.

In an interview with Cats Illustrated insider and Sources Say Podcast co-host David Siskand shared by Tipton Edits on Instagram – Evans said that Cunningham was set to commit to Kentucky during his official visit for Big Blue Madness.

Instead of making his commitment official, though, his family talked him into holding off on an abrupt decision.

Yes, he was as close as you could get to committing during the visit to Kentucky,” Evans told Sisk. “It took his mom and family pulling him off and kind of seeing the whole picture, and not just going off immediate reaction and committing.”

By the time we hit the home stretch of Cunningham’s recruitment, UK head coach John Calipari and his staff had publicly visited the nation’s No. 1 prospect and/or his family at his school or home, hosted him for a visit, or watched him at a major Nike EYBL event eight times since April. At the AAU events, you also have to factor in that the staff took the time to watch him play several times over the course of multiple days, not missing a single game.

In short, every single time Kentucky was legally allowed to contact Cunningham – both in person or on the phone – host him or watch him play, they did so.

Despite nearly sealing the deal on a commitment, Cunningham waited things out before ultimately deciding to play for his brother at Oklahoma State.

“I thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and those close to me for their love and support during this journey,” Cunningham said in his commitment video. “I loved all the schools I visited, and I appreciate each program for investing their time and energy into me. To be honest, I was this close to picking a different school, but blood is always thicker than water. Go Pokes.

Fast forward seven months, and instead of gearing up to make it to campus in Stillwater, Cunningham now has a decision to make.

Friday morning, the NCAA announced it would be handing down its first punishment to a school tied to the college hoops scandal, giving Oklahoma State a one-year postseason ban for the upcoming season and three years of probation, among numerous other fines and recruiting limitations.

Following the punishment, Cowboys head coach Mike Boynton said he would support Cunningham “100 percent” whether he wanted to open his recruitment back up or follow through with his commitment to Oklahoma State.

“I’ll tell you what I told him — I didn’t spend four years recruiting him and telling him how much I care about him to now abandon what’s important,” Boynton said on a conference call with reporters, according to 247 Sports. “We’re gonna have conversations over the next few days, probably weeks, and we’re gonna try to look at all the options, whatever they are. G-League, overseas, another university, stay at Oklahoma State. At the end of the day, whatever his family and he decide is best for his future, I’m gonna get right in tow with that and I’m going to support him 100 percent.”

While the professional option is expected to also be in play, CBS Sports‘ Gary Parrish believes every finalist previously on Cunningham’s list will be back for round two if the five-star guard decides to open things up, with Kentucky being “front and center.”

“His brother is on staff, that probably matters, some,” Parrish said, “but I promise you, every school that was in there before he signed with Oklahoma State, they’ll be back in there right now. Kentucky probably front and center.”

Will Cunningham go back to the school he was “this close” to picking the first time around last fall? Will he explore his professional options? Will he back out of his commitment at all?

As Mike Boynton told reporters on Friday, expect some type of movement either way in the coming weeks.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

23 Comments for Rivals: Cade Cunningham was “as close as you could get to committing” on Kentucky visit

  1. michaelb
    7:14 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    It’s quite a bore to listen to a young man come up with a lie as to why he went to Texas first . They paid u , we get it . Spare us bennys the lip service lololo

    • 4everUKBlue
      7:22 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Texas? I missed that part.

    • friendsofcoal
      7:52 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      He means “one of those schools west of us”.

    • Cletis75
      8:39 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Michaelb, why do you listen then? Are you one of those people that has to have something to complain about? Did someone force you to listen? I am Wildcat blue, through and through, but if it meant giving up 8 months of my life to help my brother get ahead, knowing my family made sacrifices to help me reach my dreams, I would probably give back a little to help my family. It shows the kind of loyalty he has for the people he cares about. Definitely shows a lot of character for a young man in a world where everyone is me first. I love the fact that he can put his family’s best interest before his own. Why do some of our fans always act like jilted, psycho bizzo’s when someone puts their family first?

  2. KYJelly
    7:52 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t know if payment was involved. They hired his family member, they wouldn’t have to do that if he was committing for money. Regardless, I’m not crazy about the kid. He’s very talented, but his personality and the way he carries himself doesn’t line up with the guys we usually have that gel quickly.

  3. tncatrn
    8:03 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I was SO over this recruitment before it was finally over….now its opened back up and i honestly dont know if this is a guy I want or not. I guess its one of those where if he comes great if he dont? Meh…

  4. T-Town Cat
    8:08 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    “Seeing the whole picture”. In other words, go play with your brother to protect his job. What other part of the picture would he not have seen after visiting UK?

  5. UKFanSC
    8:22 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I think it it puts Askew in a really weird spot. The kid has invested his summer building chemistry with Clarke and Boston. Anyway, I’d be surprised if he heads our way.

    Jack……any insight into Cal’s thoughts on the kid ?

    • Cletis75
      8:49 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      The best thing about Askew is his will to compete with the best. Playing against CC in practice everyday is going to make him much better than he would be otherwise. Askew definitely seems to be mentally and physically able to handle competition on any level. What happened to everyone that used to say “earn it” on here?

    • UKFanSC
      9:03 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      I’m with ya….he knew when he signed with Kentucky nothing at all would be given to him. And I fully agree that the day-to-day practice against CC would just make him better. But damn….if Cunningham comes to Lexington Cal will just have to figure it out. And no one juggles talent like Calipari. Just look at that 2015 team. Ulis and Booker, both off the bench !

  6. lexattorney
    8:22 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I said it yesterday and my position will not change, even IF he ends up here. Adding him now will mess with the chemistry developed by the current players and be seen as recruiting over some. I will stick with the players who were “Kentucky first” from the beginning.

  7. StuckinLville
    8:35 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I think if anything he will just go pro. Unlike Coach K, Coach Cal is loyal to his players. He knows Askew only reclassified because Cunningham went somewhere else. I dont see him even wasting time with Cunningham since he recruited him so hard after being told he was wide open to only hear blood is thicker than water.

  8. BobbyBlue
    9:37 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    I am much more interested in finding out if Emmert will screw Cal yet again over Sarr
    being eligible, but Cunningham is the best player in this class and Cal has to take another swing at him if he opts out from Okie State!

  9. BluemanGreen
    10:54 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    Dumbasses 2 months ago: we are weak, cal can’t recruit anymore!
    Dumbasses today: we don’t want he number 1 player in the country he will mess up chemistry! ??

    • Bluehender
      11:28 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

      Lol…much truth.

    • JoeMoney333
      7:51 am June 9, 2020 Permalink


  10. clarks
    11:06 pm June 8, 2020 Permalink

    Think askew tried to help recruit him to join even though he was reclassifying so dont see problem there but could cause chemistry issues possibly with others. Well see how it plays out I guess

  11. uknyc
    7:43 am June 9, 2020 Permalink
    Askew picked UK on 10/17. Cunningham was leaning toward UK but picked Oklahoma St on 11/5.

    • uknyc
      7:44 am June 9, 2020 Permalink

      “both Askew and his father shared Daniels’ assessment of the situation: the two point guards would play well together on the same team.”

  12. wildcats8
    5:25 pm June 9, 2020 Permalink

    Kuminga before this diva