2021 five-star forward and consensus top-five prospect Paolo Banchero trimmed his list down to nine this afternoon, and the Kentucky Wildcats made the cut.
The 6-foot-10, 235-pound big man announced that he would be moving on with Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Duke, Georgetown, Baylor, Memphis, Washington, and Gonzaga in his recruitment. Banchero cut the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, USC, Vandy, and Michigan, among others, from his list.
— Paolo (Paul-Oh) (@Pp_doesit) September 13, 2019
Kentucky has made the nation’s No. 3 prospect (ESPN and Rivals.com) their top priority in the frontcourt for the class of 2021, as they have yet to offer any other junior big man in the country.
Last week, Banchero joined the Sources Say Podcast for an exclusive interview, where he told KSR that he was “really high” on Kentucky.
“I am really high on Kentucky. They are a great school, great program,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to my visit [for Big Blue Madness on October 11-13]. Coach Cal talks to my mom all the time, they have a great relationship. He talks to me, actually just texted me not too long ago, a couple minutes ago. He wants to talk tonight. He’s keeping in close contact with me and my mom. Coach Barbee, he keeps in close contact, as well.
In fact the five-star forward said earning an offer from Kentucky was “surreal” and that he had been a fan of the program for quite some time.
“Just because I have been watching Kentucky for a while now, since John Wall playing, seeing Coach Cal on TV, on ESPN,” he told KSR. “Kentucky is always nationally televised, so I always see them a lot. Always in the news, headlines. It was just surreal because there was a time where I really didn’t feel I would ever be recruited by blueblood schools, and then finally hearing Coach Cal’s voice and him saying they had offered me was just kind of surreal. There was a point where I just didn’t think that would be a reality for me.”