I hope everyone had a good weekend! Last week we were anxiously waiting to hear from P.J. Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt. Washington was the only one to return but there are still questions surrounding next season’s team, but we will turn most of our attention to the 2019 class.
Reid Travis: We reported over the weekend that Travis may have more of a connection to Villanova than we previously thought. Travis’ younger brother played at Harvard from 2013-2015 with a friend who is now a graduate-assistant at Villanova (Read that here). While that’s interesting and it doesn’t hurt Villanova’s chances, that shouldn’t change your optimism about Travis joining the team in Lexington.
Remember, the Travis rumors have been in circulation for months and Duke was always thought to be a major target. All we heard was that Travis was boys with Tyus Jones (both from Minnesota) and Travis would want to play with Jones’ little brother (Tre) at Duke.
That obviously won’t/didn’t happen.
I’d be shocked if Travis didn’t end up at UK. There were some reports that Travis would visit UK over the weekend, and while that didn’t happen it may not take long to get him on UK’s campus. It may be better because now UK’s players are on campus and classes start this week. Expect things to move quickly for Travis (a few weeks at the longest).
(UPDATE: Jon Rothstein is reporting Travis will visit both UK AND Villanova after Stanford’s graduation (6/17))
Reid Travis will visit both Kentucky and Villanova after Stanford's graduation on 6/17, per a source. No visit dates are set yet. Immediately eligible for next season. #BBN
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 4, 2018
I’ve been asked a few times how the starting lineup would look if Travis ends up at UK. Here’s my opinion:
I would be stunned if Travis came to UK and didn’t start. I would expect Richards/Montgomery to come off the bench and still receive plenty of playing time.
Maxey: Get on the hype train. I *very* rarely over hype a recruit and I *generally* try to have fans keep expectations in check, but let’s go wild with Tyrese Maxey.
Maxey will almost certainly make the USA U18 team coached by Bill Self and was considered one of the best players in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately I wasn’t there, but by all reports Maxey put on a show.
Tyrese Maxey is fast … pic.twitter.com/eFWtIJD0gL
— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) June 2, 2018
Another strong showing from Kentucky bound guard Tyrese Maxey with Calipari on hand today. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl again good. Bryce Wills has the makings of a super productive Stanford guard. Will Baker showed value as a deeply underrated frontline passer
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 2, 2018
Kentucky bound junior Tyrese Maxey having a nice bounce back tonight. Energy and confidence is there and so is the bounce in his step. Looking very good during the third session of the USA under-18 trials
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) June 2, 2018
And Maxey is turning heads while playing with/against Cole Anthony and Jalen Lecque, two of the best guards in the class of 2019.
If you like score-first point guards you will love Maxey. He has the talent to put up 30+ points in a game and the Cats really haven’t had a point guard like Maxey in years.
It’s rare that UK has a five-star player locked up so early, so UK fans should try to check out Maxey this summer and during his senior season if you have a chance. Watch him in Peach Jam in July or go to a game during his high school season if you live in Texas. Maybe he will get to play a high school game or two in Kentucky?
One complaint I hear from Kentucky fans is that they never get to the know the players, which I understand. We have/will continue to learn more about Maxey and the more you know about him and watch his game the bigger fan you will become.
Also, I had someone close to UK that said they think he can be one of John Calipari’s best point guards. I’ve posted that before, but it’s worth repeating.
Maxey committing early gives you a chance to get to know him better, but he’s also doing a good deal of recruiting for the Cats. He will be a big part of the 2019 recruiting efforts and what if he helps brings in James Wiseman? Or Cole Anthony? Then Maxey becomes a star in more ways than one. Get to know him because he should/will be a fan favorite.
Cole Anthony: Credit the Lexington Herald Leader’s Ben Roberts because he was able to get a piece of information from Anthony that few have been able to get. Anthony and his dad hardly talk about recruiting but Anthony said that the Cats will be in the mix and will be considered.
“That’s my boy,” Anthony told Roberts (here). “Me and Tyrese, we talk a lot, obviously. He keeps pushing Kentucky on me. Obviously, we’re going to consider Kentucky. But there are no frontrunners in this. I don’t even have a list. Tyrese, love his game. I could obviously see myself playing with him.”
Whoa. Huge news. UK has been incredibly quiet regarding Anthony, which is the way UK generally likes to operate. The quieter the better for Calipari, so I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that UK is possibly in a great position.
However, Duke seems to always be mentioned as the leader for Anthony, but maybe that shouldn’t be the case?
Although I’m a huge Maxey fan, Anthony is widely considered to be the better guard. If Calipari could land both it would lead to his best backcourt at UK.
Don’t sleep on UK’s chances with Anthony, although things will remain quiet.
Guards for 2019-2020: UK has landed Tyrese Maxey and possibly Cole Anthony could follow, but I’m curious how UK’s going to sell amazing guards like Anthony, Lecque, Scottie Lewis, Kira Lewis, and Bryan Antoine when the Cats could return almost all of their guards after this season.
I don’t expect Immanuel Quickley, Quade Green, Jemarl Baker or Tyler Herro to go to the NBA Draft after the 2019 season. Of course I didn’t expect Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to make the jump after this season, so there can always be a surprise.
I do expect Ashton Hagans and Keldon Johnson (wing) to leave, along with a couple frontcourt players.
So, if Maxey joins Quickley, Green, Baker and Herro, that doesn’t scream minutes for an Anthony or other guards. Anthony would likely be the best of the bunch, but I’m curious what you all would do if you were UK.
Do you push out a current player with hopes of landing a five-star player? Or let a five-star target go to a rival because you’re comfy with the players that weren’t good enough to go the NBA Draft?
Calipari’s strategy has always been to bring in the best talent possible and things will work itself out when the dust settles. I wouldn’t expect it that to change. Maybe Quickley or Green will take a major jump? Maybe Herro will have a Devin Booker like season? Regardless, it’s going to be a question that UK’s staff is asked.
I look at it as a win-win for the Cats. If UK could have those players return as sophomores/juniors that’s great. If some leave and you can bring it star recruits, that’s good, too.
Jalen Lecque: Reports from the weekend indicate that Lecque is going almost certainly going to stay in the class of 2019. That’s better news for UK’s chances because there was no way Lecque would end up at UK if he moved to the class of 2018.
I still think out of most of UK’s guards option Lecque seems like one of the least likely. He’s super athletic and bouncy, but I think other schools lead.
Visits: UK is set to host Dontaie Allen this weekend and the plan is for Kira Lewis to visit, too. These visits in the summer aren’t always as significant as they may be in the winter or fall, but I’ll be watching to see if the Cats throw out some scholarships.
As I mentioned, there may be a logjam in 2019 when it comes to guards, which wouldn’t really impact Allen, but it could make UK be careful with offers because the uncertainty of who stays and who goes.
My guess is Lewis gets an offer, but I hope the Pendleton County star receives an offer, too. Shockingly I’ve heard WKU is in a great spot for Allen. Pesky Rick Stansbury.
However, UK should land Allen if the Cats offer.
James Wiseman: I don’t really have anything new on Wiseman besides I still think UK leads. Things may be somewhat quiet over the next month with Wiseman (and other recruits) but don’t fret. The Cats are still in a great spot and the 2019 Super Class is still very much a possibility.
How about some highlights?
— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAM_HS) May 27, 2018