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KSR’s Fall Signing Period Preview

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Tomorrow marks the start of the fall signing period, and with zero commitments so far in the 2017 class and a roster overhaul on the horizon, this is a huge week for Kentucky basketball. Seven Kentucky targets are either announcing or considering announcing their decisions over the next week, starting with PJ Washington, Nick Richards, and John Petty on Thursday. Shai Alexander and Quade Green are also likely to announce during the fall period, while Lonnie Walker and Trae Young are still mulling whether to pull the trigger now or wait until the spring.

To get you ready for a wild week, here’s a breakdown of each player and the chances they’ll become Wildcats.

— THURSDAY —

PJ Washington ★★★★★

Power Forward 6-7 | 225 lbs. Dallas, TX Findlay Prep
ESPN No. 16 | 2 PF Top247 No. 16 | 6 PF Rivals No. 17 | — PF Scout No. 14 | 1 PF

Contenders: Kentucky, North Carolina, UNLV

Washington will announce his decision on ESPNU’s Signing Day Special Thursday night at 6 p.m. ET. The 6’7″ forward attends Findlay Prep in Las Vegas (his father is the coach there), hence UNLV being in the running; however, all of the momentum is headed in Kentucky’s direction. Washington took an official visit to UK in September and liked it so much he came back for Big Blue Madness a month later.

Tyler’s prediction: KENTUCKY

I feel very confident about Kentucky’s chances with three recruits, and Washington is one of them. Kentucky has stayed in contact with him throughout the process and his father anticipated his son wanting to come back to Lexington for Big Blue Madness, so he started saving up for the visit during the summer (because it wasn’t an official, the family had to foot the bill).

 

Nick Richards â˜…★★★★

Center 6-11 | 235 lbs. Manhasset, NY St. Patrick’s
ESPN No. 12 | 5 C Top247 No. 15 | 2 C Rivals No. 19 Scout No. 17 | 7 C

Contenders: Kentucky, Syracuse, Arizona

Like Washington, Richards took his official to Kentucky in September (his only official visit) and returned for Big Blue Madness a month later. Richards attends St. Patrick’s, the alma mater of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dakari Johnson, and apparently MKG has played a role in the recruitment, working the phones to get another St. Patrick’s alum to Lexington.

Tyler’s prediction: KENTUCKY

Richards is another of the three recruits I feel most confident will choose Kentucky, and he may be even more of a lock than Washington. Richards didn’t even bother taking his official visits to Arizona or Syracuse, so I feel the writing is on the wall here.

 

John Petty â˜…★★★★

Shooting Guard 6-7 | 180 lbs. Huntsville, AL J.O. Johnson
ESPN No. 25 | 7 SG Top247 No. 28 | 7 SF Rivals No. 30 | – SG Scout No. 44 | 9 SG

Contenders: Kentucky, Alabama

Petty was the first member of the 2017 class to receive a scholarship offer from John Calipari, and for a while, it looked like he would be the first to commit…and then Avery Johnson went to work. Alabama made Petty a priority over the last several months, giving the Crimson Tide the momentum in this recruitment. Petty took his official visit to Tuscaloosa in late August and had planned on taking one to Lexington, but kept postponing it. He will announce his decision during halftime of his high school opener in Hunstville Thursday night.

Tyler’s prediction: ALABAMA

Six months ago when I profiled Petty for the site, it looked like he was a lock to Kentucky; however, in recent months, I’ve heard Alabama has “shown him more love” (interpret that as you will). Avery Johnson seems determined to succeed at Alabama, and landing a five-star recruit like Petty would make a big splash. I also don’t think it helps Kentucky’s chances that he’s announcing at his high school game…which is in Alabama.


— LIKELY TO ANNOUNCE —

Quade Green â˜…★★★★

Point Guard 6-1 | 172 lbs. Philadelphia, PA Neumann Goretti
ESPN No. 22 | 3 PG Top247 No. 31 | 7 PG Rivals No. 23 | — PG Scout No. 25 | 4 PG

Contenders: Kentucky, Syracuse

Green is one of two five-star point guards Kentucky is targeting along with Trae Young, and he also visited Kentucky for Big Blue Madness. He’s set to reveal his decision on November 19, which is after the signing period ends, but he could go ahead and sign the papers before the announcement. Syracuse has had the momentum most of the way, but there some rumblings Kentucky’s made a late push, despite Calipari’s fixation with Young. (Yes, the two could share Kentucky’s backcourt.)

Tyler’s prediction: KENTUCKY

Kentucky will be in dire need of guards next year, and, in my opinion, what happens with Young and Green will determine the success of the recruiting class. Calipari has long coveted Young, but would be just as happy to land Green, and honestly, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Young is now considering signing early after hearing that Green will too. I’m going to roll the dice and go with Kentucky on this pick, just because I think Calipari really wants to have a point guard to build his class around, even if it means not waiting for Young.

 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander â˜…★★★

Combo Guard 6-4 | 160 lbs. Chattanooga, TN Hamilton Heights
ESPN No. 44 | 10 PG Top247 No. 43 | 2 CG Rivals No. 53 | — Scout No. 46 | 12 PG

Contenders: Kentucky, Florida, Texas

What happens if Kentucky misses on both Green and Young? That’s where Shai Alexander comes into play. The former Florida commit pulled back on his pledge to the Gators on October 17, which is right around the time Kentucky got involved. Since then, it’s been a fast and furious courtship, with Calipari extending a scholarship offer in person last week and Alexander taking an official visit to UK this past weekend. Alexander isn’t considered to be as elite as Green or Young, but Kentucky needs guards, especially if they can stick around an extra year.

Tyler’s prediction: KENTUCKY

No brainer here. If Alexander doesn’t commit to Kentucky this week, I will be stunned. (He’s the final of the three recruits I feel most confident about.)


— MIGHT ANNOUNCE —

Lonnie Walker â˜…★★★★

Shooting Guard 6-5 | 195 lbs. Reading, PA Reading
ESPN No. 19 | 4 SG Top247 No. 23 | 4 SG Rivals No. 20 Scout No. 23 | 3 SG

Contenders: Kentucky, Arizona, Syracuse, Villanova

Defending national champs Villanova had the early buzz in Walker’s recruitment (he lives only an hour away), but Arizona has taken the lead and seems to still be in the driver’s seat. Walker visited UK this past weekend, and although the Absury game literally put him to sleep, he tweeted later that he had strep throat and a fever during the visit, so don’t read too much into that. With Petty likely to Alabama, getting an elite wing like Walker would be huge for this class.

Tyler’s prediction: ARIZONA

Kentucky’s made up some ground here, but I still think Walker will go to Arizona if he announces early; however, the longer the recruitment lasts, the more time Calipari has to make his case.

 

Trae Young â˜…★★★★

Point Guard 6-1 | 170 lbs. Norman, OK Norman North
ESPN No. 15 | 2 PG Top247 No. 22 | 3 PG Rivals No. 14 | 3 PG Scout No. 22 | 3 PG

Contenders: Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas

Young has long been the top recruit on John Calipari’s wish list and was the first point guard in the class to get an offer; however, hometown Oklahoma’s making a big push for the Norman native. There was buzz earlier this week that Young would announce early, but most think he’ll wait until December or January. Young has taken all of his official visits, including one to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness, after which Kentucky seemed to have it wrapped up; however, several pundits believe he’ll stick around Norman and play for Lon Kruger.

Tyler’s prediction: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I realize I’m copping out here, but there’s still so much unknown about Young’s recruitment, specifically when it will end. If he does end up announcing in the next week, I feel very confident it will be Kentucky, especially if it comes out before Green’s decision. If not, Oklahoma has more time to convince Young they can win, and if Green commits to Kentucky, Young will have more time to decide whether or not he wants to share the backcourt.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for KSR’s Fall Signing Period Preview



  1. BCO
    8:49 pm November 8, 2016 Permalink

    Why would anyone choose Arizona over UK if youre an elite prospect? Does anyone do less with more than Sean Miller? Not only do they under-perform as a team, they under-perform on draft night too.



  2. World Wide Wes
    8:59 pm November 8, 2016 Permalink

    Richards
    Washington
    Diallo
    Young
    Alexander
    Bamba
    Vanderbelt



  3. Catcasey1
    9:11 pm November 8, 2016 Permalink

    Young and or green is a must



  4. trumpet player
    8:31 am November 9, 2016 Permalink

    The future sure looks bright.



  5. Biglaw Dawgin'
    11:01 am November 9, 2016 Permalink

    Trae Young is Chef Curry like, that dude would be a perfect fit here. Greene is more of a mean-streets type of player, which has it’s own benefits. He’s kind of like a smaller D-Wade if Wade were a PG, so I think the two could play together. I think Young will eventually come to UK and him waiting until Jan is not necessarily a bad thing. Oklahoma is going to be mediocre this year at best. Once mid season rolls around, Cats will be in the top 10 and OU will be getting very little national play on TV without Buddy Hield. Cats will still have a spot for Young in Jan regardless if Greene picks early or not.