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Cade Cunningham discusses interest in Kentucky, says Calipari can make him the No. 1 pick

(Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports)

(Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

26 Comments for Cade Cunningham discusses interest in Kentucky, says Calipari can make him the No. 1 pick



  1. tncatrn
    12:07 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Ok….remind me again, how many max contract players have come out of Oklahoma St…



    • MacAssassin123
      12:58 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      I agree plus I think the momentum is starting to swing UK’s way. This could be the main reason that Cal ended ties with both Christopher,and Green which at the time it occurred served as a massive signal that Cal’s position in Cunningham’s recruitment was strengthening. We will see where it goes from here I guess.



    • bigbluebreeze
      2:22 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Remember all the hype around Lebryan Nash? Even though I’m not a OSU fan, I was rooting for him to make it bc he had such a great name for the league



  2. UKLugo
    12:40 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    I imagine Caleb Love’s commitment to UNC helps our chances just a little.



    • RoarFor22
      4:00 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      While that logic does make sense. Cade is much better than Love and would get as many minutes as he wants at UNCheat. Wherever he goes he’ll be the best player on the team so I don’t think it plays as big a role in his recruitment as others may think



    • MacAssassin123
      12:28 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      I agree



  3. blueblood80
    12:47 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Hope he doesn’t come here. Don’t want players looking for solely “max contract”. Be a “Team Player” lead in assists, rebounds, and shoot 45% from the floor. Geeeeez…..



    • 4everUKblue
      12:50 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Is that you Kyle Macy or Ralph Hacker?



    • Carcrook
      1:04 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Huh, Blue isn’t that the type of players that get “Max” money?



    • Cletis75
      2:54 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Every player should have the goal of being one of the top players in the league. That’s how you get a Max contract, by working your tail off to be the best. I want that hunger from all of our recruits, no fear and no excuses. He has shown his ability to improve all parts of his game, and that’s why he is number 2 overall, and possibly the number 1 recruit in the land!



    • Tom Bombadil
      8:42 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Your an idiot! Goof! He has got extreme motivation I don’t know why you can’t see that. He’s a point guard… looks to me like he can pass pretty damn well!



  4. Kojohnson
    1:12 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    If he comes and with UNC having multiple bigs. I can see Todd and Jackson coming. I want to say Brown but not sure if he ok with being a fifth option we can run the offense thru Todd and Cunningham so Jackson or Cliff fits right in as a guy that focuses on rebounds and defending



    • Han
      2:05 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Fortunately, I think Cal has an anecdote he can use about an overall #1 draft pick from UK who was a big man who took the 4th or 5th most shots on a championship team. Not sure but I wanna say Cal maybe mentioned it once or twice.



    • Ez21
      4:23 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      The kid plays pg what does having multiple bigs have anything to do w it?



  5. Han
    2:08 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    If he’s serious about draft and long-term success and contracts, not much of a choice. Still, between family and another blue blood*, we do have real competition overall.



  6. mashman 93
    2:16 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    Ok Caleb Love commits to North Carolina but what if Devin Askew commits to Kentucky later this month. No way Cade goes to either place. Right? Oklahoma State is loving this. Who would we rather have Cade or Devin?



    • Cletis75
      2:58 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Cade and Devin could play like Wall and Bledsoe, with Clarke and Boston and whoever the big man ends up being. With that lineup we look a lot like Villanova in their championship years!



    • BlueSteel
      3:10 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Of course Askew is officially 2021.



    • mashman 93
      5:36 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      If Askew stays in 2021 then all is good but none of the recruiting gurus believe he will stay in 2021.



    • StuckinLville
      5:52 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Cade is not scared of Devin. He knows he’s the better player.



    • MacAssassin123
      12:32 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Devin is probably staying in the 2021 class if he commits to UK it will probably be for 2021 i.would be shocked if he reclassified to 2020.



  7. BlueSteel
    3:34 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

    He reminds me of a little more developed SGA!!



    • BobbyBlue
      9:45 pm October 2, 2019 Permalink

      Cal said he didn’t want to be just a “Hat” on the table and wanted only kids that really wanted to be at Ky.
      Now he is chasing Cade against all odds. I mean he has to overcome blood and then the tricks of Ole Roy who learned, about academic fraud,and perks,at the feet of Clean Dean Smith.
      I hope to be wrong but it looks like another hat trick to me. Course Cal is best,the master recruiter,and possibly the Gurus are wrong.
      Anyway, despite all of the bravado about Hats and guys that really want, UK,he hasn’t given up, on Cade and it makes me wonder—- is it because Devin Askew is really going to stay in 2021, or is Askew leaning elsewhere ?
      Just thinking out loud.



    • MacAssassin123
      12:36 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      Well it will come down to UK and UofL for Askew most recruiting gurus have him leaning UK at the moment.



    • MacAssassin123
      12:38 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

      I think he is more of a way better shooting Eric Bledsoe.



  8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    10:34 am October 3, 2019 Permalink

    Test.