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Terrence Clarke’s mother says Kentucky is ‘Will Smith’ while Duke is ‘Carlton Banks’

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Screenshot via NBC

2020 five-star guard and No. 4 overall prospect Terrence Clarke broke John Calipari’s five-year streak of missing out on top-five recruits when he announced his commitment to Kentucky in September.

And by the looks of things, the Wildcats got a darn good one both on and off the floor.

We all know what the 6-foot-7, 190-pound guard can do on the court. With elite scoring ability and athleticism, it’s no surprise that Clarke is seen as one of the best prospects in all of high school basketball.

In a “Day in the Life” documentary released by Slam Online on Thursday evening, though, we also learned that both Clarke and his family will almost certainly be fan-favorites when he gets to Lexington.

The documentary showcases Clarke’s tireless work ethic, fun-loving demeanor, and his passion for the game of basketball. But tucked in the very end of the video was an interaction between Clarke and his mother, Osmine Clarke, with the two talking about the five-star guard’s decision to commit to Kentucky.

At first, Clarke’s mother actually wanted her son to go to Duke before realizing the Boston, MA product just wasn’t “a Duke kid.”

“I really wanted him to go to Duke,” she said. “But then I thought about it and I was like, “Oh no, he’s not a Duke kid. He is more a Kentucky kid.”‘

She then compared the situation to two famous characters from the popular 90s NBC sitcom, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

“You know how, like, Carlton Banks is more like a “Duke,”‘ Osmine Clarke continued. “But you’re more rough around the edges, like a “Kentucky.” You’re like Will Smith. That’s how I figured [Kentucky] would be perfect for you.”

“Ooooh, she’s got some [good points], yeah,” Clarke responded.

The five-star Kentucky commit then went in-depth about his decision to attend the University of Kentucky and why he thought it was the best fit for him.

“Coach Cal said I could be one of the best players to come out of [Kentucky] if I put in the work,” Clarke said. “That’s one of the main things I want to do. I want to go out there and put in the work, earn what I want to get. Earn my respect basically, get to the next level.”

Check out the hilarious exchange below:

While you’re at it, check out the entire SLAM documentary on Clarke here:

Duke is now officially considered the “Carlton Banks” of college basketball. Always and forever.


The Sources Say Podcast Ep. 13: Cade Cunningham commits to Oklahoma State, Kentucky defeats top-ranked Michigan State

KSR’s Jack Pilgrim is joined by Travis Graf and David Sisk of Cats Illustrated for episode thirteen of the Sources Say Podcast.
This week, the trio of recruiting insiders opened the show by discussing Cade Cunningham’s abrupt commitment to Oklahoma State.
A few talking points:
  • Out of the blue, Cunningham announced his commitment to OK State. How’d that unfold?
  • The silence over the last few weeks made it tough to get updates
  • Did Cunningham troll Kentucky with his commitment video?
  • Why Devin Askew’s commitment to Kentucky allowed John Calipari to go all-in on Cunningham

Then, Pilgrim, Graf, and Sisk break down a few other recruitments…

Among the topics:
  • Isaiah Jackson has a decision date. Will it be Kentucky?
  • Would we push for a commitment from Jackson if it risked losing Greg Brown?
  • Jonathan Kuminga was at the Champions Classic to watch Kentucky play. What did he do afterward that is turning heads?
  • Kuminga sat by several familiar names at Madison Square Garden
  • On Wednesday, Kuminga cut his list to ten, but left LSU off completely. Why is this significant?
To close the show, the Sources Say crew discuss Kentucky basketball opening the regular season with a 69-62 victory over top-ranked Michigan State.
  • Who were the standout performers?
  • Is this one of Calipari’s best defensive teams?
  • Will the drop-off in talent on the schedule help or hurt the Wildcats moving forward?

You can subscribe to the official Sources Say Podcast feed to get the show sent directly to your phone weekly on iTunes right here. Not on iTunes listener? You can also subscribe to the show on Spotify.


Jonathan Kuminga hangs out with John Wall around Kentucky locker room, includes UK in list cut

Jonathan Kuminga hangs out with John Wall around Kentucky locker room, includes UK in list cut

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

2021 No. 1 prospect Jonathan Kuminga made a new friend at the Champions Classic on Tuesday evening.

As highlighted by A Sea Of Blue’s Big Blue Drew last night, former Kentucky superstar John Wall greeted Kuminga in the stands during the UK’s 69-62 victory over Michigan State.

Aside from the mid-game dap up with Wall, Kuminga – a standout at The Patrick School in New Jersey – was also sitting in the stands near Kahlil Whitney’s family, four-star UK commit Lance Ware, and four-star Kentucky target Cliff Omoruyi.

And the fun didn’t stop there.

After the game, Kuminga made his way back around the Kentucky locker room, where he was again seen near Wall.

The image below shows Wall taking a picture with an individual, with Kuminga facing the opposite direction.

Less than 24 hours later, Kuminga announced he was cutting his list to ten, including the Wildcats in the process.

The finalists? Kentucky, Duke, Memphis, Texas Tech, Auburn, Michigan, Florida State, Georgia, Washington, and Maryland.

And what’s significant about the list cut? Not only did it come right after a massive night for the Kentucky basketball program, the five-star forward also cut LSU from his list, as one of the perceived top contenders in his recruitment.

Back in October, recruiting expert Andrew Slater submitted a Crystal Ball pick in favor of the Tigers, with other strong rumblings that an individual within Kuminga’s camp was very close with LSU coach Will Wade and was pushing him to Baton Rouge.

Sources tell KSR that Kuminga – the top prospect in the class of 2021 – is expected to reclassify to 2020, with a decision likely coming in the late signing period.

With LSU out of the picture, Kentucky, Auburn, and Duke are now seen as the favorites in the five-star wing’s recruitment.

With 2021 five-star guard and UK commit Devin Askew very likely reclassifying to the class of 2020 to run the Wildcat offense next year, along with five-star guards Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston already on board, Kentucky is recruiting Kuminga to play the four in a four-out, one-in small-ball lineup. Kuminga, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward, is versatile enough to play all five positions on the floor, with those close to the five-star forward’s recruitment saying he is interested in showing off a well-rounded game at the college level to ensure he goes No. 1 in the NBA Draft.

With Kentucky missing out on Cade Cunningham, a commitment from Kuminga in the spring would be quite the response for John Calipari and the UK coaching staff.


BREAKING: Cade Cunningham commits to Oklahoma State

(Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports)

2020 five-star guard Cade Cunningham has committed to Oklahoma State.

This evening, the nation’s No. 2 prospect chose the Cowboys over offers from Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, and Washington.

The five-star prospect announced his commitment on his social media pages.

“It has been a long journey,” he said. “I remember dreaming about what school I would go to, being on the big stage with the lights on me, doing what I love to do. It was tough for me to believe I could live out those dreams, but I guess that just shows how God works. From being in the YMCA with a big head, trying my best to score without double dribbling. To playing against the top players in the country and around the world. This process was stressful for me. When my brother took a job at Oklahoma State, most people assumed my decision had been made for me. But my family encouraged me to explore my options and make my own decision based on what’s best for me.

“I thank God for blessing me with this opportunity and those close to me for their love and support during this journey,” Cunningham continued. “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.

Cunningham joins 2020 four-star guard and top-100 prospect Rondel Walker, his AAU teammate and close friend, as the lone commitments in Oklahoma State’s recruiting class.

Meanwhile, John Calipari will push for Kentucky commit Devin Askew – the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2021 – to reclassify to 2020 and lead the Wildcats alongside five-star guards Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston in the backcourt next season.

As for the frontcourt, that’s where things get interesting, as Cunningham’s commitment would have been massive for Kentucky’s chances with 2020 top-ten prospect Greg Brown, his AAU teammate. UK will still push for a commitment from the 6-foot-9 forward out of Austin, TX, with five-star forward Isaiah Jackson – who is set to commit on November 16 – and four-star center Cliff Omoruyi seen as the other likely options.

Clarke and Boston, along with four-star forwards Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher, make up Kentucky’s current 2020 recruiting class, which sits at No. 2 in the nation behind Duke.


Cade Cunningham news coming?

The wait for the Michigan State game just got a little more interesting. Five-star guard Cade Cunningham just teased some big news coming soon. Like five minutes from now:

I’m no Jack Pilgrim, but considering Cunningham was planning to take an unofficial visit to Oklahoma State this coming weekend, where his brother is on the staff, this doesn’t feel great. I hope I’m wrong.


@JJTraynor20

Bardstown prospect JJ Traynor commits to Louisville

@JJTraynor20

The top prospect in the state of Kentucky is a Louisville Cardinal.

This evening, 2020 four-star forward JJ Traynor announced his commitment to Louisville, choosing the Cardinals over offers from Cincinnati, Xavier, and WKU, among others.

He announced the news on his Twitter page:

The 6-foot-8, 180-pound forward out of Bardstown, KY is considered the No. 77 overall prospect in the 2020 247Sports player rankings.

Though he didn’t hold an offer from Kentucky, the Wildcats were certainly flirting with the idea of extending one.

During the fall recruiting period, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne drove out to Bardstown at 6:00 a.m. to watch Traynor in an individual workout on September 19.

During this workout, KSR was told that Payne called UK head coach John Calipari and said he needed to come watch the four-star prospect in person sooner rather than later.

After Payne’s trip, Traynor scheduled back-to-back unofficial visits to Kentucky on October 2 and on October 11 for Big Blue Madness.

With the consistent contact between both parties and scheduled visits, it certainly felt like a scholarship offer from UK was on the horizon. Though after both trips to Lexington, Traynor walked away empty-handed.

Sources told KSR that the Kentucky coaching staff had pushed Traynor to hold off on a decision until the spring so they could complete a full evaluation of his game during his senior season.

Seen as one of the fastest-rising prospects in the nation with a sky-high ceiling, the Bardstown program feels the four-star prospect is set to have a phenomenal senior season, where a major rating jump would soon follow.

Instead, Traynor will now suit up for Coach Mack and the Louisville Cardinals next season.


The Sources Say Podcast Ep. 12: Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Jackson, JJ Traynor, and UK exhibition play

KSR’s Jack Pilgrim is joined by Travis Graf and David Sisk of Cats Illustrated for episode twelve of the Sources Say Podcast.

This week, the trio of recruiting insiders discussed the latest with 2020 five-star guard Cade Cunningham and his upcoming decision.

A few talking points:

  • What should we make of the national recruiting analyst battle between Evan Daniels and Jerry Meyer vs. Corey Evans and Andrew Slater?
  • When is a decision coming for Cunningham? Should we expect anything in the next week?
  • Is it officially down to Kentucky and Oklahoma State?
  • David Sisk breaks down a recent conversation with a college coach and why he feels that OK State is NOT the likely landing spot…

Then, Pilgrim, Graf, and Sisk break down a few other recruitments…

Among the topics:

  • Is Isaiah Jackson set to become Kentucky’s next commitment in the class of 2020? What does Jackson’s father has to say about it?
  • When is a commitment coming for the five-star power forward?
  • 2020 four-star forward JJ Traynor is announcing his commitment tomorrow. Is it a done-deal for Louisville?
  • Why is Traynor’s commitment so big for Chris Mack and the Louisville program? Will Kentucky regret not offering the Bardstown native?

To close the show, the Sources Say crew discuss Kentucky basketball opening exhibition play and their thoughts on the team’s victory over Georgetown College.

You can subscribe to the official Sources Say Podcast feed to get the show sent directly to your phone weekly on iTunes right here. Not on iTunes listener? You can also subscribe to the show on Spotify.


Photo: Alyssa Trofort/Under Armour

Kentucky offers 2022 top-ten prospect Brandon Huntley-Hatfield

Photo: Alyssa Trofort/Under Armour

Kentucky has extended its first offer in the class of 2022.

This afternoon, 2022 five-star forward and No. 6 overall prospect Brandon Huntley-Hatfield announced on Twitter that the Kentucky coaching staff has officially offered him a scholarship.

Huntley-Hatfield, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound power forward out of Bradenton, FL, is considered the No. 6 overall prospect in the 2020 247Sports player rankings and No. 9 in the 247Sports Composite.

Rivals.com lists Huntley-Hatfield at No. 8 overall in their 2022 rankings, with ESPN putting him at No. 23 overall.

Kentucky is the sixth school to offer the top power forward prospect in the 2022 class, with the Wildcats joining Auburn, Ole Miss, Baylor, Seton Hall, and Wake Forest.

A native of Clarksville, TN, Huntley-Hatfield is actually a cousin of former UK forward Alex Poythress, with the five-star sophomore also adding in the past that Kentucky is his dream school.

“Being my dream school growing up … for them to have interest in me, I’m really blessed,” he said in a recent interview with Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “I feel like Kentucky has played a really big role in players’ development in the NBA. They’ve got a lot of guys to the league. And I know a lot of schools can do that, but I just feel like Kentucky is one of those powerhouses. And I feel like I want to be a part of that.

“Kentucky has always been my number one school growing up.”

Check out some of his most recent highlights below:


Bardstown’s own JJ Traynor will announce his college decision this week

Bardstown’s own JJ Traynor will announce his college decision this week

247Sports

2020 four-star forward and in-state prospect JJ Traynor is set to make his college decision.

Late last night, the 6-foot-8, 180-pound forward out of Bardstown, KY posted on his Instagram story that he is committing “this week.”

Traynor, the No. 77 overall prospect in the 2020 247Sports player rankings, currently holds offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, and WKU, among others.

So why is this news significant to Kentucky fans?

Because it likely means UK will not be the choice.

During the fall recruiting period, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne drove out to Bardstown at 6:00 a.m. to watch Traynor in an individual workout on September 19.

During this workout, KSR was told that Payne called UK head coach John Calipari and said he needed to come watch the four-star prospect in person sooner rather than later.

After Payne’s trip, Traynor scheduled back-to-back unofficial visits to Kentucky on October 2 and on October 11 for Big Blue Madness.

With the consistent contact between both parties and scheduled visits, it certainly felt like a scholarship offer from UK was on the horizon. Though after both trips to Lexington, Traynor walked away empty-handed.

Sources tell KSR that the Kentucky coaching staff has been pushing Traynor to hold off on a decision until the spring so they could complete a full evaluation of his game during his senior season. To take it a step further, another source told KSR that those close to the Bardstown product were also hoping he would sign in the spring, giving some of the other blueblood programs an opportunity to come in and make their respective pitches over the next several months. Seen as one of the fastest-rising prospects in the nation with a sky-high ceiling, the Bardstown program feels an impressive senior season would bring in big-name coaches from all across the country.

With a decision coming this week, the expectation is that the four-star forward will commit to Louisville, giving the Cardinals their third pledge of the 2020 class. Four-star small forward D’Andre Davis and No. 1 JUCO prospect Jay Scrubb committed to UofL in recent months.


Evan Daniels Goes In-Depth on Cade Cunningham’s Recruitment

College basketball is almost here, but just as important, college basketball’s Early Signing Period begins in a few weeks as well. It opens on November 13th, marking the first day BJ Boston, Terrence Clarke, Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher can put pen to paper, and officially become members of the 2020-2021 Kentucky Wildcats.

However, even as John Calipari locks up another elite recruiting class, there is still (at least) one big fish that they’d like to add for next season. That player is of course Cade Cunningham, the No. 2 prospect in America. Cunningham has long been rumored to be headed to Oklahoma State (where his older brother coaches), but recent buzz has some saying that Cunningham will end up in Lexington.

That buzz went into overdrive a few weeks ago, when 247 Sports recruiting guru Evan Daniels put in a “crystal ball” pick for Cunningham to head to Kentucky. Daniels has been correct in 52 out of 52 crystal ball predictions in the 2020 recruiting cycle alone, so that prediction carried quite a bit of weight in the recruiting world.

So what has Daniels convinced that Cunningham will end up Lexington? He joined KSR’s “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast” to discuss Cunningham, his crystal ball pick, the timeline for Cunningham’s decision and much, much more.

Here is part of what Daniels said on the subject:

“Obviously because his brother is an assistant coach at Oklahoma State, my crystal ball pick [for Kentucky] made some waves. I think people were a little surprised by it. I still stand by my information. I think Kentucky heading down the stretch is the leader for Cade Cunningham.

Does that mean he 100 percent ends up there? No. There’s obviously a draw to Oklahoma State. Cade hasn’t told other schools no. But it’s certainly an intriguing recruitment. I think Kentucky is the leader, which is why I put in a crystal ball for Kentucky and Cade Cunningham.”

From there, Torres and Daniels turned their attention to how the relationship between Cunningham and Kentucky has evolved in recent months.

It’s something that our own Jack Pilgrim has written about, but is worth repeating here. John Calipari has made Cunningham a priority.

And Cunningham has reciprocated his interest with Kentucky as well.

“I think it’s clear that Kentucky has targeted him,” Daniels said. “He’s spent a lot of time with him, he’s been down to see him down at Montverde a number of times, including the first day when college coaches could see recruits.

And I think that’s where things started changing back then when Calipari went down and met with him. It’s certainly been an interesting recruitment… Like I said, I don’t think we’re not too far away from seeing him make his choice.”

Daniels and Torres went on to discuss more about Cunningham, the type of player he is and how he could fit on a college campus.

So, what is the next step for Cunningham? As Daniels noted, Cunningham is expected to make a college decision soon. His official visits are done, and the plan has always been for him to sign in the early signing period, which begins on November 13th, so expect a choice in the not too distant future.

Now, will it be Kentucky? We will find out soon.

To listen to Torres and Daniels discuss more on Cade Cunningham, and other recruiting topics, such as whether Kentucky will end up with the No. 1 class in the country, please download the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast here.

And for more Kentucky recruiting talk, download the “Sources Say” Podcast with Jack Pilgrim.


Wenyen Gabriel addresses private message to Jaden McDaniels

Wenyen Gabriel addresses private message to Jaden McDaniels

Early this summer, a direct message between former Kentucky forward Wenyen Gabriel and former UK basketball target Jaden McDaniels leaked within recruiting circles.

Over the last few days, that private message was released to the public, causing quite a stir on social media.

In short, Gabriel told the former five-star target that unless he was ready to be a star right away at Kentucky, UK head coach John Calipari would “stop [him] from dribbling” and “tell [him] to just catch and shoot.”

“Ayo today I [saw] that Kentucky [was] recruiting you,” Gabriel wrote in the now-public message. “I did a predraft workout [with] your brother [Jalen McDaniels] last year. I [mess with] him so I feel like I should tell you about how I feel about Kentucky. In all honesty, the best part of Kentucky was the brothers that I have for life now.

“I can’t say I wish I didn’t go there because it still all worked out for me, but that [stuff] was [freaking] hard bro and I made a lotta mistakes,” Gabriel continued. “My first conversation with [Coach Cal] he said I was a 6’10 shooting guard… Don’t fall in love with his words let me tell you the real! You look like you could be the next [Kevin Durant] [for real]. But if you not ready to do it like right NOW. Like if you not ready to be one of the [STARS] and make all the plays… then [you’re going to] end up being just a skinny big man there. And trust me, that [stuff] is HARD. First thing’s first, if your handle is shaky, he’s [going to] stop you from dribbling. (That [stuff is going to mess you] up because [you’re going] to feel handicapped). Then he [is going to] tell you to just catch and shoot , or go set a slip screen and try to get open from there. But if there are no bigs, [you’re going to] be guarding all bigs…”

This afternoon, the official Kentucky men’s basketball social media accounts shared a video featuring a compilation of former Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson discussing how difficult, yet rewarding it is to play at Kentucky.

“Being at Kentucky, it’s one of a kind,” the video began. “It’s not for everybody. … When you’re at Kentucky, you’re going to hit adversity, you’re going to hit a wall. … The expectations are always high. … Your will to break through, keep fighting, don’t let it get you down. … It’s the accountability. … Cal’s going to push you, he’s going to  take it to the next level as a player, as a person. … Trust in your work, trust in the process. … You’ve got to be mentally strong and physically ready for that. This is a school for the big dogs, and if you’re not ready for it, then this school is probably not the place for you.”

Coincidence with the Gabriel message going viral in recent days? Maybe, but the former Kentucky forward certainly didn’t think so.

In response to the Kentucky basketball team’s post on Instagram, Gabriel finally cleared the air about his private message to McDaniels.

“This is literally what I was tryna say…” Gabriel wrote. “I apologized to [Calipari] like 3 months ago. The way it was worded definitely seems negative. But everyone who knows me knows what I stand for.”

 

On Monday, Gabriel earned a spot on the Sacramento Kings, with the organization converting the former Wildcat’s two-way contract into an actual roster spot.

During Sacramento’s four preseason games this year, Gabriel averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game.

At Kentucky, Gabriel averaged a combined 5.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and nearly one block per contest over the course of two seasons.

As for McDaniels, the former five-star forward out of Federal Way, WA signed with Washington in the spring and is now a freshman at UW.