John Calipari’s late scholarship offer for 2021 five-star guard Trevor Keels wasn’t enough to pull off the come-from-behind upset in his recruitment.
Offering a scholarship just seven weeks ago on Feb. 12 – Duke offered back on Dec. 11, 2019 – UK was never seen as a lead contender for Keels’ services, as the Blue Devils and Villanova Wildcats traded momentum back and forth in recent weeks before the consensus top-20 prospect settled on Duke.
Keels ultimately chose Duke over Kentucky, Villanova and Virginia.
“Our relationship, it stood out between all the four coaches (recruiting me),” Keels said on ESPN. “All four coaches are Hall of Famers in my eyes, but I think that relationship I had with Coach K was just different. We connected better.”
Keels, seen as one of the top shooters and scorers in the senior class, is ranked as high as No. 16 overall and No. 2 among shooting guards in the 247Sports player rankings. ESPN has him listed as the No. 19 overall prospect, while Rivals has him ranked No. 20 overall.
With Keels off the board, Kentucky will look to the transfer portal to close out the 2021-22 roster. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils move up to No. 3 in the team recruiting rankings, with the Wildcats sitting just two spots below at No. 5 overall.