Following four-star point guard Nolan Hickman’s surprise commitment to Kentucky last weekend, could we see another quick run of additions for John Calipari in the class of 2021?
In a recent update from Rivals’ Corey Evans, two major Kentucky targets were included as top players who could be on the verge of committing.
The first? Four-star forward Bryce Hopkins, who received an offer from UK last Friday and is seen as strong Kentucky lean.
“Just a week ago, Kentucky handed out an offer to Bryce Hopkins,” Evans wrote. “The consensus then was that he would not wait around too long before ultimately taking John Calipari up on the offer. Seven days have now passed and Hopkins has shown little willingness to end his recruitment, though that shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Kentucky isn’t the team to beat for the top 35 forward. There are questions about his fit in Lexington with the potential returns of Dontaie Allen and Cam’Ron Fletcher after the season, but with the need for multi-positional wings, UK is still the group ahead of all others.
“That hasn’t stopped DePaul, Michigan, Oregon and Providence from making a push with the four-star, but it also would come as a mild surprise if Hopkins is not off the board by the end of September.”
That timeline falls in line with the one Hopkins’ father, Clyde Hopkins, gave KSR earlier this month.
“Me personally, I think Bryce will probably take it all in and make a decision in about a month or a month and a half,” Hopkins told KSR on August 12.
Beyond Hopkins, Evans also included Kentucky’s most recent offer – 2021 five-star forward Daimion Collins – as another name to watch among sooner-rather-than-later commitments.
“The hiring of Texas assistant coach Jai Lucas has not been made official just yet by the folks at Kentucky, but Lucas’ hiring seems to be a lock,” said Evans. “That hiring could be what the Wildcats need in order to make the leap in the recruitment of Daimion Collins. For months, Oklahoma and Texas were the clubhouse favorites for the Atlanta, Tex., native. Staying in his region and being around comfortable confines was a major selling point, something that UK cannot offer, even with the hiring of Lucas.
“However, the current UT assistant has developed a tremendous relationship with Collins and his family. Oklahoma is still the team to beat and have continued to make the top 20 forward a must-get throughout the quarantine. Kentucky offered on Wednesday, but even with the potential hiring of Lucas and the blueblood nature of the program, OU still may have the upper hand.”
In an interview with Sources Say Podcast co-host and Cats Illustrated insider David Sisk, Collins said he will cut his list prior to making a commitment, though he is uncertain on a timeline for a decision.
“I will cut my list again before I make my announcement. But as of when I’m going to do that, I don’t know right now, but I am going to do that,” Collins told Sisk. “Right now due to the COVID situation, I really don’t know [when I’ll decide]. COVID messed it up a little bit. So right now I don’t know any final dates yet.”
Can Kentucky seal the deal with Hopkins and pull off the upset for Collins? If you ask Evans, we could find out in the not-so-distant future on both.