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Monday Insider Notes: Cole Anthony, Reid Travis, predictions and more notes on UK targets

Photo via USA Today

USA Today

I hope all the dads out there had a great Father’s Day! I returned from Canada last week after watching USA Basketball play a couple games north of the border. Tyrese Maxey, Cole Anthony and Matthew Hurt had a UK coach at all of their games over the last week and all three had amazing moments as the USA cruised to a gold medal. We’ll talk about those three players, Keion Brooks Ashton Hagans, Kyky Tandy and Reid Travis.

Let’s get to the notes.

Cole Anthony: Anthony put on a show for team USA over the last week and my biggest takeaway is how well Anthony would fit with Maxey at UK. When Maxey committed to Kentucky I knew that rival schools would negatively recruit against UK by saying guards shouldn’t want to play with the ball-heavy Maxey, but Anthony and Maxey made it work perfectly for Bill Self last week. Anthony is a true point guard and as good as a distributor I’ve seen at his age. Maxey can easily play the point position, but he looked just as comfortable playing off the ball. That versatility will be great for John Calipari, but it showcases that any negativing recruiting against playing with Maxey can easily be picked apart by the tapes from last week.

And the good news is I think UK has a good chance at landing Anthony. I’m not sure if they’re the leader as Anthony rarely ever talks recruiting, but UK’s staff likes their position and Maxey is actually a plus. If UK isn’t the leader my guess is they’re top two. Those two kids are good friends and talk about playing together (although Maxey doesn’t pressure Anthony). If you missed it Anthony said he’d love to play with Maxey in college (click here). Anthony wants to have the ball in his hands in college and be able to compete for a title. If the Cats were to add James Wiseman, Maxey, Brooks and Anthony, that’s a super class good enough to compete for a title regardless of who would come back for UK. Take into consideration UK should have several returning players and they would likely be the title favorites.

USA Basketball

Matthew Hurt: I was really  impressed with Hurt’s game and while I would be surprised if he ended up at Kentucky he’s definitely worth the time UK has put in recruiting him. Kansas is the favorite but UK watched every one of his games in Canada and will continue to watch him over the summer. Hurt will announce his college decision in November, take his official visits in September and October, and he will be cutting his list in July.

Expect UK to make the cut in the next month and the Cats are expected to get an official visit, but somehow the Cats will need to somehow jump the Jayhawks. Self did a great job coaching him in Canada and those two are already tight. Maybe visits will change things but the Cats are a little behind in my opinion.

Tyrese Maxey: UK fans are going to absolutely love this kid and I can’t say it enough. He always plays with a smile on his face and supposedly he went out of his way to play in the gold medal game on Saturday after a nasty ankle sprain on Tuesday. Bill Self said after the injury he didn’t expect to see Maxey back, but the UK commit did whatever he could to tolerate the pain and get out on the floor against Canada. That championship game was the only game he didn’t play great in, but he has an excuse. But besides his fun nature on the floor and his toughness, he’s an awesome basketball player. He’s as good of a scorer as Calipari will have at the point guard position and like I mentioned his versatility will allow him to play the two and even the three if he had to (although I don’t expect that to happen).

Follow him this summer at Peach Jam if you can and if you’re in Texas try to watch him during his senior season. Maybe he’ll play a high school game or two in Kentucky. But for so many fans that complain about not getting to know the team, you have well over a year to get to know Maxey. He will be a fan favorite.

(Photo: Lopez/Nike)

Keion Brooks: Sometimes I’m repetitive and excuse me if I am here, but I expect Brooks to end up at Kentucky. I’ve heard nothing but great things about UK’s chances with Brooks, but sometimes you can read between the lines. The Cats haven’t offered another wing in the class of 2019 and it’s pretty clear that Keldon Johnson will be a one-and-done player. If the Cats aren’t panicking to bring in another three it tells us all we need to know about how they feel with Brooks.

Todd Burandt | adidas

Ashton Hagans: Hagans has arrived and that’s great news for UK. However, I was a little surprised of his rankings in the class of 2018. They’re slightly higher than I expected. I’m not sure if Hagans starts at the beginning of the season and I wouldn’t expect him to start in the Bahamas, but the only point I wanted to make is that if Hagans is truly a top 15 player in the class of 2018 then the Cats are going to be absolutely stacked, with or without Reid Travis. I’ve been told the expectation for Hagans is that he may struggle in November and December, but come January or February he will be one of the better guards in the SEC. UK can be fine if Hagans takes his time, but if in the Bahamas he’s clearly UK’s best guard then this could be an insanely fun year.

Kyky Tandy: It was reported this week that Tandy hasn’t heard from UK since his dad’s comments. While it was interesting to hear that from Tandy, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’ve never spoken with Tandy’s father, and I’ve heard he’s a good guy, but what did the family think would happen after those comments? Calipari doesn’t like to play recruiting games and he definitely doesn’t like to hear parents or players think they’re entitled to playing time. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Kyky Tandy, but it’s clear he’s not going to end up at UK. It will be fun to watch the Kentuckian wherever he ends up because he’s a phenomenal scorer.

© D. Ross Cameron | USATSI

Reid Travis: He will start his visit to UK on Tuesday and we still do not have a date set for Villanova. That’s significant. Is Travis unsure if he wants to visit Villanova? Does Travis plan on committing to UK and only setting a Villanova visit if things don’t go well in Lexington? I find it interesting we don’t have a Villanova date set and I do take it as a positive for Kentucky. UK is the leader and something drastic will have to change for Travis to end up elsewhere. If he does visit Philly I still wouldn’t panic. It would make things trickier to predict, but UK is still the team to beat. I expect by the time I do my Insider Notes next week Travis will be a Wildcat.

Oh, also: I haven’t heard much about Wiseman or Carey. If I do I will post it. I still think UK leads for Wiseman and is in the hunt for Carey.



Article written by TJ Walker

22 Comments for Monday Insider Notes: Cole Anthony, Reid Travis, predictions and more notes on UK targets

  1. The last sith lord
    12:31 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    We want tandy we want tandy …

    Lighten up cal hes a great kid and heck of a baller …
    Better than hawking n willis put together

    • Booby Petrino
      2:14 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      We don’t want his Lavar Ball type of dad complaining all the time and threatening to transfer… Pass. And also, it’s Hawkins, for crying out loud

    • 4everUKblue
      2:36 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      YES!!! ^^^^

    • Yev
      3:13 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      I dont know who the “we” you speak of is. I am a born and raised Kentuckian and have no interest in him joining UK’s team. There are dozens of players just as good or better than him, and I will take any of them over a player who trolls the BBN with a KSU tweet. In fact, I say let him be blessed with his KSU offer, accept it, and go there. Living in Kansas for 4 years is a good penance for serve for the joek you might have thought was funny.

    • runningunnin.454
      3:17 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t know; living in Kansass for 4 years might be a bit harsh.

    • ClutchCargo
      5:32 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      Not only does Cal not want the Lavar Ball types around, he doesn’t need to put up with that to have an insanely talented roster. I’m sure KyKy and his dad are fine people, but dad shouldn’t have stood up and announced that he isn’t a team player.

  2. friendsofcoal
    12:43 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    Tandy is done at UK….his Dad messed that up for him. You don’t make those comments when referring to Coach Cal. He’ll look good in Orange! Lol

  3. krautdog
    1:08 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    Thanks for an excellent, professional update TJ!

  4. Cokely53
    2:22 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    I feel like we keep getting contradicting recruiting info. For one, with Hagans we were originally told he was the best point guard in the class and would easily start and now he may not? How does an elite pg not start? Why is keldon Johnson ranked so low if all of KSR says he’s the best in the class and better than EJ who is ranked more than 10 spots ahead of him. I get rankings don’t mean much but they have proved to be pretty accurate when it comes to generalizing players. Ie players 1-5 typically end up 1 and done. 5-10 are 1 and done with a couple question marks. 10-20 is where you start seeing a bigger fall off more of the 15-20 is right when you see the 2 and done or higher but these are your high impact with less pro potential. Of course there’s exceptions to the rules such as duds at the top and studs later on but with all of the ranking systems placing KJ lower im just curious as to why KSR is so high on him.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      2:29 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      Because at that time KJ was our top ranked recruit, do the KSR hype train had to inflate him to get fans excited, then EJ and Hagan’s came around and they were the best of the best. If/when Reid gets here, he’ll be top dog. We’ve already pegged Maxey the next great PG guard, best since Wall, that is until Cole Anthony commits, then he’s the next great thing. It keeps people clicking, and Matt Jones can run for senate.

    • 4everUKblue
      2:46 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      More click bait…

    • TJ Walker
      3:03 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      I guess what I’d say is that there are several writers here and all with different opinions. I think Hagans by March could be amazing, but I think it will take him time. I know Matt thinks he will be really good from day one.

      But I’m VERY high on Keldon Johnson and think he will be one of UK’s best players. I know some aren’t as high. Just different opinions on the same site.

    • Cokely53
      3:33 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      I appreciate the clarification. Didn’t mean anything negative like the other 2 did but just confused by the differing info. Guess I’ll have to wait to form an opinion until the Bahamas trip.

  5. Yev
    3:09 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    TJ, I might have missed this, and perhaps it stricly has to do with age, but why werent WIseman and Carey on the Team USA?

    • TJ Walker
      6:36 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

      Yes, they’re both trying out for USA U17 team. While they were certainly good enough for U18 they’re playing U17.

  6. UKWildcatNation
    9:38 pm June 18, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with passing on Tandy, BUT we all know what’s going to happen…he’ll sign with an SEC team and scorch us EVERY, SINGLE, GAME! Not to the extent of a Chris Lofton or Allan Houston, but he will definitely bring it.
    I really wish his Pops would have never opened his mouth (hope he learned his lesson) because I truly believe that he could push players like Maxey, Cole Anthony (should he come) and any other recruits or returning players. The kid can play and is has a ton of heart, PLUS he WANTS to be here so he would give it his ALL every practice!

    • Rembrandt
      7:57 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

      No, we don’t all know that. I can’t predict the future like some of people here can. But multiple reports say Tandy has scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kansas State, and Tennessee, and likes Iowa State. But if he signs signs with Tennessee, that doesn’t mean he “scorches us every single game like Chris Lofton and Allen Houston”. Both of them were longer, better shooters than Tandy. Those were different times. Perimeter players seldom beat Cal in big games because of his defensive approach. And while I wish Tandy all the best, I sure wouldn’t trade him for Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Cole Anthony, or even Kira Lewis. If Cal don’t think Tandy fits here, that’s all I need to know.

  7. humboldt24
    2:37 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

    These are the types of posts that initially brought me to KSR. Back when these updates were about Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson. Kudos to the whole team for bringing TJ on board! TJ, you’ve been a terrific asset to the site already :). Keep up the good work

    • Bobbum Man
      8:04 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

      Speaking of which… any news on Jai Lucas? I’ve been on vacation

  8. Bullitt County UK fan
    7:04 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

    What about Jaden McDaniels? High rising wing player who appears to want to come to UK.

    • Rembrandt
      8:16 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

      Cal took Jeffries early, and it looks like Jeffries will rise a lot in the prospect rankings.

      Matt Hurt, Keion Brooks, and Scottie Lewis are the other forwards with UK scholarship offers. Brooks has been prioritized. I doubt Jaden McDaniels will be offered unless Cal misses on all three of them.

      You know Cal covets Wiseman, and believe Cal will eventually sign him. In the meantime, he is recruiting Carey so he doesn’t have all his chips on just one 5.

      Cal has Tyrese Maxey on board, and is prioritizing Cole Anthony. If he can’t get Anthony, then I expect him to pursue Kira Lewis.

    • Bullitt County UK fan
      8:52 am June 19, 2018 Permalink

      In Cal I trust. Should get some meaningful returning minutes in 2019-20 as well.