John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff are still looking to close out the class of 2019 strong, but that’s not stopping them from making moves for the future.
Scottie Barnes, a consensus top-five prospect and the No. 1 forward in the class of 2020, has officially cut his list to eight schools, and Kentucky made the cut.
|Scottie Barnes (2020)
Forward | 6-8 | 210 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, FL | University School
AAU: Nike Team Florida
|ESPN||No. 4 | 2 PF||Top247||No. 3 | 1 SF|
|Rivals||No. 4 | 1 PF||247 Comp.||No. 3 | 1 SF|
The final schools in contention? Kentucky, Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Miami, Ohio State, Cal-Berkeley, and Oregon.
He announced the final cut on his Twitter account:
Top 8! pic.twitter.com/6kQg4FjyCq
— Scott Barnes (@ScottBarnes561) February 13, 2019
Barnes, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward out of Florida, is known as one of the most versatile players in the class of 2020 with the ability to score at all three levels, bring the ball up the court, and use his length to alter shots on the defensive end of the floor. With more room to grow and his skills developing at a rapid pace, it’s no surprise he is one of the most sought-after prospects in the class.
As far as his recruitment is concerned, Barnes has already officially visited Florida State and Oregon, along with a few unofficial visits to Miami over the past two years. Beyond his handful of visits over the course of his high school career, it seems as though the Fort Lauderdale native is in no rush to make a decision.
During every major media opportunity he has had over the last year or so, Barnes has nearly brushed off recruiting entirely, saying he’s only focused on playing basketball right now. In the few times he has opened up about specific schools, Kentucky always finds themselves in the discussion as one of his potential favorites.
He was the first player in the class of 2020 to receive an offer from John Calipari, after all.
“When they came to my school to talk to me they said they saw something special in me,” he said of Kentucky, via Prep Circuit. “They like how I can develop their program and be a major key to them. They love the way I play on defense and they know that I like to win. They know that I will bring that leadership to their team.”
Kentucky assistant coach Tony Barbee has been in to visit Barnes multiple times, while assistant coach Joel Justus has also maintained consistent contact with the star forward.
Beyond Kentucky, Florida is a school that has garnered quite a bit of buzz in Barnes’ recruitment, making it a bit of a surprise they didn’t make the cut. Oregon has also picked up steam, with Andrew Slater of 247 Sports submitting a Crystal Ball pick for the 6-foot-8 prospect on February 2.
Watch his summer highlight reel: