By now you’ve all heard the recent buzz about high school basketball recruits skipping college and playing overseas before making the jump to the NBA. We’ve seen RJ Hampton, LaMelo Ball, and Terry Armstrong all announce their intentions to skip college ball and head to the professional ranks immediately.
It’s not necessarily a trend yet, but it could become one if top players are ready to start making money and can continue to be successful while doing so. The three names mentioned above are just the beginning and could provide an alternate route for elite recruits to take.
Will it work out for them? That remains to be seen, but it has caught the attention of other recruits going through the same process. One in particular: Jalen Green.
Green is ranked as the No. 3 overall player in the class of 2020 by the 247Sports Composite Rankings. And if you’ve been keeping up, he’s one of John Calipari’s top targets in class.
The momentum has begun to swing in Kentucky’s favor for the 6-5 combo guard. Despite the fact that Memphis currently holds 80% of his Crystal Ball predictions, Rivals’ Corey Evans and KSR’s Jack Pilgrim have both recently mentioned that they believe Kentucky is the leader for the top-five prospect; the first top-five prospect Coach Cal would have landed since Skal Labissiere.
While Green is currently seeking his third Gold Medal with USA Basketball in Greece, he sat down with Evan Daniels to discuss his play and his recruitment. He mentioned Kentucky, among others, as one of the schools really prioritizing him right now. Along with California and Alabama assistants, Joel Justus is in Greece watching Green play.
However, Green made one comment, in particular, that was very interesting. Daniels asked Green his thoughts about the recent rise in high school prospects considering turning pro, rather than going to college. Green did say he intends to go to college but will re-examine it when he gets further into the process. And he isn’t ruling it out.
“It all depends, really,” Green said. “I think I want to go to college to be honest with you. They’re starting their own little trend going overseas, and if it’s the right move I’ll make it, but right now I’m focused on going to college.”
There’s a very good chance Green will end up on a college campus in the fall of 2020, but as we saw with RJ Hampton just a couple of months ago, things can change in a hurry. And if they do, a lot of schools are going to be left empty-handed.