We may (or may not) be coming up on a decision for 2019 five-star forward Jaden McDaniels, so I’ve spent the day reaching out to as many people as possible to get a better feel on just what the heck we should expect if and when the news finally breaks this evening.
In Pilgrim’s Insider Notes last night, I wrote that as of late last week, the Kentucky coaching staff felt extremely confident in McDaniels joining the fold for 2019. There were various sets of rumors that Kentucky not only received a silent commitment from the five-star prospect, but that a National Letter of Intent was also signed. While the latter was proven to be false by McDaniels himself, there is still a bit of confusion in terms of the extent of what exactly happened to make everyone and their mothers jump to make a prediction in favor of Kentucky.
No matter what the specific phrasing was or whether it was a true “silent commitment,” the point remains that as of this weekend, UK was operating under the assumption that McDaniels was going to be a Wildcat.
While the Kentucky staff felt extremely confident in their position last week, sources tell KSR that those on Washington’s side of things also felt that UK was the overwhelming favorite. One individual told me today that the Huskies felt it was “either 90/10 or 100/0” in favor of the Wildcats going into the weekend.
As discussed in-depth last night in my notes, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports then backed off of his Kentucky Crystal Ball prediction and changed his status to “undecided,” causing an obvious frenzy throughout the recruiting world. While Daniels wouldn’t budge on the information that led him to have this change of heart on KSR, he did say that if the five-star forward were to announce today, he would likely lean Washington. He then added, however, that he truly didn’t have a great feel either way to make him confident in either finalist.
After diving a bit further into the overall momentum shift throughout the day, specifically from Washington’s side of things, I am told that while they genuinely feel that they chipped away at Kentucky’s overwhelming lead a bit, they don’t believe it’s a done deal that they took the lead by any means. In fact, at the time of this update, the Huskies still think it’s 50/50 between both finalists. They were happy that they weathered the first storm a bit when it comes to all of the Kentucky smoke, and they think it’s good news that staying home is still pulling on McDaniels’ heartstrings, but Kentucky is and always has been a serious player. They understand that.
Sources tell KSR that even after this weekend and going into Monday, the Washington staff was not told of any decision, UK or UW, nor do they expect to find out until McDaniels announces his decision to the public. I find this somewhat significant. In my eyes, if this was truly a shift in momentum from the Wildcats to the Huskies, wouldn’t Washington have heard news similar to what Kentucky heard last week? This could be by design for the 6-foot-10 forward and his inner circle, but it certainly strikes me as a bit odd.
The expectation is still that McDaniels will make his announcement tonight, but with him being three hours behind us out on the West coast, we don’t know how late this could go. Just be sure to keep your eye on one social media outlet in particular.
“Watch Instagram this evening,” one source said.
All of the drama will soon be over, BBN.