The No. 2 prospect in the class of 2020 has Kentucky listed in his final five schools, and if you believe his own words, the Wildcats will be in serious contention when it comes time for a decision.
In an interview with Corey Evans of Rivals.com at Montverde Academy, Cade Cunningham opened up about the five schools on his list – Kentucky, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Washington, and Florida – along with a timeline for his decision.
In terms of the Wildcats, Cunningham recently announced that he would have to reschedule his official visit to Lexington from Big Blue Madness on the weekend of October 11 to early November due to a scheduling conflict with the USA Basketball Training Camp in Colorado Springs.
But what is it that he likes about the Kentucky basketball program?
“Coach Cal his main thing is, I have just been very transparent with all of the coaches recruiting me and I don’t want to just make it to the league but rather, I want to be an all-star and a max contract guy,” he said. “I feel if you just shoot to make it in the league, that is how you sell yourself short, so just telling him that I want to be a max contract guy, that is a good goal to set. He has had so many of those guys and guys like me and all others at other positions that have been No. 1 picks, so that has been his main pitch to me.”
Oddly enough, Calipari addressed his school’s abundance of max contract players in the NBA yesterday during UK Basketball Media Day, saying Kentucky was like “fantasy land.”
“There’s been 22 max contracts in the NBA the last 10 years. 22. Our guys have had seven of them,” Calipari said. “And that’s before some of the guys coming up with the De’Aaron Fox and, like what are you talking about? Please just understand, this is like fantasy land, this stuff that’s happening right now.”
He also called out Kentucky’s four current commitments by name, saying he feels he can play with Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston on the floor, along with being close with Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher, as well.
“Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston are both my guys, those are guys that I know that I would be able to fit with, even if no one else thinks so. I talk to them a lot,” he said. “Lance Ware is one of my really good friends, and even Cam Fletcher I am really good with, so I am really cool with all of those guys and talking to De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese (Maxey) and guys like that, they have all said that it is a place that I can really develop and work on my game. It is also on this humongous stage, so he has had a really good pitch so far. So, I really want to go and see it.”
So when will a decision come?
Cunningham has regularly said he will be getting his recruitment over with by the early signing period, and while his decision is proving to be much more difficult than he originally anticipated, he still hopes to make his commitment sooner rather than later.
“I put a time frame on it early because I just wanted to be done with it so bad – and I still just want it to be done with so bad – but is such a tough decision,” he said. “I just want to make sure I make the best decision for me. Nobody else will go to these schools but me, so I am really not worried about what anybody else says but I am just trying to make sure that I do it the right way and choose the school that fits me and can help me achieve all of my goals. The first signing period, that would be the perfect situation and ideal for me, but if it goes past that, it goes past that. I don’t know if I will sign in the first signing period but I definitely want to be committed as soon as possible.”
While we wait for his decision, check out his Nike EYBL highlights below:
To read what Cunningham has to say about the other schools on his final list, check out Evans’ article on Rivals.com here.