It could be a big day for basketball recruiting as the stars are aligning for John Calipari to land at least two five-star targets from the Class of 2017.
Three of his top targets will announce their college decisions throughout the day, and we’ll kick off the morning by reminding you who they are and the itinerary for you to follow along on this exciting start to the early signing period and the Kentucky basketball season.
Up first: Nick Richards | 2:00 PM
|Center||6-11 | 235 lbs.||Manhasset, NY||St. Patrick’s|
|ESPN||No. 12 | 5 C||Top247||No. 15 | 2 C||Rivals||No. 19||Scout||No. 17 | 7 C|
Take an early lunch and be at your desk around 1:30 pm this afternoon for the first big announcement of the day, coming from Nick Richards, one of the top big men in the class. Richards is scheduled to announce his decision at 2 pm from his high school in New Jersey and we’ll have all the coverage leading up to, during, and after right here on Kentucky Sports Radio dot com.
If things go as expected and Richards picks Kentucky over Syracuse and Arizona, he will become the first to throw his name into John Calipari’s magical pot of young talent for next season. It would be a major upset and surprise if he did anything but that.
Bonus: Calipari Press Conference | 2:30 PM
Immediately after Nick Richards makes his decision from The Patrick School, a giddy John Calipari will hold a press conference in the Joe Craft Center to preview his team’s busy weekend ahead. That weekend begins with the season-opener tomorrow night and concludes with another game on extremely short rest on Sunday, before the team packs its bags and selfie sticks for the Big Apple.
Tune in to Kentucky Sports Radio dot com (or stick around after the Richards announcement) for a live stream of Calipari’s comments. A couple of players will also chime in to help recap Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices and preview the Stephen F. Austin and Canisius games.
ESPNU decision: P.J. Washington | 6:00 PM
|Power Forward||6-7 | 225 lbs.||Dallas, TX||Findlay Prep|
|ESPN||No. 16 | 2 PF||Top247||No. 16 | 6 PF||Rivals||No. 17 | – PF||Scout||No. 14 | 1 PF|
Put your dinner on hold until you hear the decision of one P.J. Washington, who is set to announce on ESPNU’s 6 pm Signing Day Special. The five-star power forward is ready to commit and sign after taking two visits to Kentucky in the span of a month earlier in the fall, as well as official visits to North Carolina and UNLV. His decision will come down to one of those three schools.
Like Richards, everyone in the know believes Washington is ready to join Calipari’s next great class and it will be quite a surprise if he were to pick the Rebels or Heels instead.
I’d say it’s pretty safe for you to go ahead and plan to celebrate two new Wildcats before you sit down with the family to watch your local evening news.
Nightcap: John Petty | 8:45(ish) PM
|Shooting Guard||6-7 | 180 lbs.||Huntsville, AL||J.O. Johnson|
|ESPN||No. 25 | 7 SG||Top247||No. 28 | 7 SF||Rivals||No. 30 | — SG||Scout||No. 44 | 9 SG|
Ending the busy day will be John Petty, the unlikeliest addition, who was the first in his class to receive a scholarship offer from Kentucky. Petty will pick between Alabama and the Cats during halftime of his high school’s 8:00 pm game down in Huntsville, so expect an announcement in the 8:30 to 9:00 pm range.
There was a time when Petty was almost certain to one day become a Wildcat, but it seems Avery Johnson did what needed to be done (translate that as you wish) to keep the star prospect at home to play for the Tide.
So there ya go. A busy day of basketball for Big Blue Nation, as well as plenty of Tennessee talk to go along with it. I’ve locked myself in the KSR bunker with a sixer of Red Bull and I plan to bring it all to you in a timely, and ridiculous, manner.