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Pilgrim’s Insider Notes: Anthony Edwards commits to Georgia, what’s next?

Mondays always suck, but they suck even worse when the No. 1 high school basketball recruit chooses Tom Crean and the Georgia Bulldogs over your beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

Unfortunately, that became reality yesterday morning when Anthony Edwards brought out his baby nephew and revealed him wearing a Georgia t-shirt and bib.

On this edition of Pilgrim’s Insider Notes, we’ll break down what happened with Edwards and what’s next for Kentucky on the recruiting circuit.

Let’s dive right in.

Anthony Edwards

As Edwards himself said yesterday morning, the decision to go to Georgia was made two weeks ago, and it’s a big reason why all of the major recruiting outlets went all-in on their predictions in favor of the Bulldogs. It really wasn’t a secret, especially following his official visit to Athens the weekend after his trip to Lexington.

To get this out of the way, some are jumping to the conclusion that money or extra benefits changed hands or something of the sort. With all of the shenanigans going on with the FBI and the NCAA lately, it’s certainly easy to just assume that there’s no way a potential No. 1 draft pick could actually go to a school like Georgia without receiving something on the side. But fans should absolutely believe it, because I truly don’t believe there was any shady business going on in this recruitment. It was relatively cut-and-dry, honestly.

Yes, Edwards actually wants to attend a school that is currently 10-13 on the year and 13th in the SEC. And he’s pretty darn excited about it.

In short, Edwards’ relationship with Georgia head coach Tom Crean and his assistants was strong and the trust between all parties was built not long after the coaching changes were made. As we’ve said here on KSR multiple times over the court of his recruitment, Crean sold Edwards on being the next Victor Oladipo or Dwyane Wade, and it worked.

I’m under the impression that Crean told Edwards he can come in and instantly get all of the minutes, touches, and shots he could possibly dream of, putting up ridiculous numbers each night en route to the No. 1 draft pick next summer. His family and friends can come watch him become college basketball’s next superstar as a strong representative of his home state. He has said he thinks he can lead Georgia to a national championship next year (not gonna happen), but it shows that he bought what Crean was selling. Even if the Bulldog head coach hasn’t been the biggest media darling as of late.

After Georgia’s 16-point loss to Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon, Crean threw his entire team under the bus and his comments ended up going viral.

“It’s all on me,” he said. “Because I’m the one who decided to keep these guys. It’s all on me. And I get it. Because the last thing I can do, with making decisions, on keeping guys in the program in the spring, is now get overly mad at them because I’m the one who made the decision. So I live with that every day. And it doesn’t mean that they’re not great kids,” he said. “But very few programs, when there’s a takeover, when you have guys who haven’t done it at any point really in their career, a lot of those guys, they move on.”

While many were baffled at his comments and assumed it would hurt his program’s chances with the top prospect in the nation, Edwards said it didn’t faze him at all.

“I know he’s not like that,” he said following his commitment. “He’s a great guy. He didn’t mean it like that.”

To take it a step further, I was told that the comments may have actually solidified his commitment even more. In his mind, he sees it as an opportunity to come in and immediately be the face of a new up-and-coming program under a new coaching staff. Think of it like when four-star football recruits originally committed to Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football program when he got started back in 2013.

On Kentucky’s end of things, I’m told they absolutely made up ground during his official visit to Lexington, jumping past Florida State on his final “list.” He loved Calipari’s pitch and watched Kentucky’s game against Mississippi State back in January very closely, watching every possession and envisioning himself in the system. But even after that, Georgia held the top spot, and they finally sealed the deal that weekend in Athens. Edwards wanted to make things interesting with Instagram posts and uniform pictures, but this thing was officially over the second he left Georgia’s campus.

And with that, we close the door on Anthony Edwards and look elsewhere to close out the class of 2019.

RJ Hampton

As one door closes, another opens.

Last week, five-star guard RJ Hampton cut his list to five schools, with Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Memphis, and TCU making the cut.

While the majority of buzz surrounding Hampton’s recruitment seems to be with Duke and Memphis, I’m told Kentucky is right in the thick of things and are absolutely one of the favorites in this recruitment. The family respects John Calipari and the Kentucky program and really feel the combo guard out of Little Elm, TX would thrive in the system.

Dan McDonald of actually said in a recent staff roundtable discussion that he believes Kentucky will end up being the landing spot for Hampton.

“Memphis seems to be one of the schools that has done a lot of work with him early on and I think a lot of what Penny Hardaway is selling was validated by landing James Wiseman in the 2019 class,” he said. “But beating Duke, Kansas and Kentucky is this one will be a tall task because he doesn’t have the same advantage he did with having coached Wiseman. I’ll take a wild guess on this one and roll with John Calipari adding to his collection of really good guards to have played for him.”

There have also been reclassification rumors with Hampton for several months now, and the family isn’t necessarily going out of their way to deny them. In an interview with KSR’s Aaron Torres, Hampton’s father, Rod, said that while the plan is to remain in the class of 2020, his son has put himself in position academically to reclassify and will leave the option open in case his mind changes down the road.

Turning 18 last week, Hampton is ready both physically and mentally to play at the college level. He’s already putting up ridiculous numbers as a junior, and by making the jump now, he’d be back with other players his age and be on track to enter the draft at 19 years old.

To put the icing on the cake, Hampton is one of the most competitive players in the class of 2020, so playing with Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney in the Kentucky backcourt would not scare him away. In fact, Hampton is actually close with Maxey, a fellow Texan, and sources tell KSR they have discussed the idea of playing together at Kentucky together next season.

I would not be surprised in the slightest if he takes the Marvin Bagley III route and says he’s staying in the class of 2020 all the way through the AAU circuit before deciding to make the jump. If Hampton announced his intention to reclassify now, he would be ruled ineligible to spend one final summer trying to earn a championship playing AAU, one of the goals he has set for himself before heading to college.

(As a side note, there is also a rumor out that Hampton, a current prospect on the Under Armour circuit, may be making the move to the Nike EYBL circuit with hopes of competing for a title at Peach Jam this summer.)

We’ll monitor this situation closely.

Isaiah Todd

Last week, we told you about Trinity Academy (NC) five-star forward Isaiah Todd and his decision to either stay in 2020 or make the jump to 2019.

In an interview with KSR, Trinity head coach Bryan Burrell said should his star forward reclassify, he’d be ready to make an instant impact next year in college.

“I think one of his best qualities is that he’s able to pick things up quickly,” he said. “If he was able to get there and immerse himself with his teammates and the coaching staff, and the coaching staff explained to him from day one what they were looking for specifically with production, I think he’d be able to help out a program immediately.

Burrell said that Todd will dive into the recruiting process harder and make a decision on his reclassification once his season ended, which as of today, only has a maximum of four games remaining. The state tournament starts on Thursday and (if Trinity makes it to the title game) ends next Saturday, so we’ll hear more about it from there.

After digging a little deeper on Todd and his circle, I was actually told that those around him actually wouldn’t mind seeing Todd head off to college a year early. He was born in Maryland, found his way to Virginia for school, and then moved to North Carolina to close out his high school career, so it’s not like he has strong ties holding him down in any certain location. Sources tell KSR that if he can get his academics in order, and that’s looking likely as of now, he will be making the jump to 2019.

As far as specific schools he is interested in, I can say with certainty that Kentucky wants him and they would like to have him next season. And as far as I know (again, we’ll learn more about specifics when his season ends), the interest is mutual.

Outside of Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, and Oklahoma State are seen as the other main contenders in this thing.

If I were a betting man, I’d say both Todd and Hampton find themselves in the class of 2019 before it’s all said and done, with Kentucky right in the thick of things with both.

Kahlil Whitney

On Saturday night, video leaked out of a scuffle between Kahlil Whitney’s Roselle Catholic Lions and the Montverde Eagles, sparking a bit of controversy on social media.

To break it down, a Montverde player got tangled up with a player on Roselle Catholic and appeared to shove him into the bench. In response, Whitney and numerous other Lions came to their teammate’s defense, sparking a bench-clearing brawl.

From there, we saw pushing and shoving from both sides until security came out to break things up. After things cooled down, Roselle Catholic inbounded the ball and dribbled the clock out. Game over, no big deal.

On social media afterward, however, Whitney (being a high-profile, top-10 prospect) was quickly made out to be the bad guy, as people began calling out his maturity and temper, among other things.

Sources tell KSR the folks at UK weren’t happy with the negative comments Whitney and his team have been receiving and felt it was ridiculous people felt a minor incident like that had any bearing on a teenager’s character.

In short, Kentucky is standing by their guy and they are ecstatic for him to sign on the dotted line on May 3. Case closed.

We’ll be back next week with more on the remaining 2019 guys, reclassification rumors, and whatever else is almost certain to pop up between now and Monday.

Until then…




Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

36 Comments for Pilgrim’s Insider Notes: Anthony Edwards commits to Georgia, what’s next?

  1. HashtagNoseWhistle
    11:03 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    He has a baby??

    • Kentuckybbnfan01
      11:25 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

      It was his brothers I believe

    • StillBP
      12:14 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      yeah, from a UGA blog: Edwards’ prop of choice as he made his announcement at a commitment ceremony at Holy Spirit Prep was his little, bitty nephew, Jace, son of his sister Antoinette. When it came time for the big announcement, Edwards simply unzipped the 4-month-old’s tiny hoodie to reveal a Georgia Bulldogs’ T-shirt underneath.

  2. Kentuckybbnfan01
    11:06 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    We need another guard to come in unless Hagans stays or herro or even a grad we need to go get a couple of big guys it would be nice to get Todd but we should focus on McDaniel’s and hurt for right now let’s move on from Anthony Edwards anyone who wants to play for Georgia is a waste of our time

    • Skooms
      2:04 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Whew, I passed out twice trying to read your comment. Commas and periods work wonders buddy.

  3. Bigblue7982
    11:10 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Seems like we’ll never get another top 5 recruit.

    • StillBP
      11:28 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

      yeah never ever in the history of ever. smh

  4. Duuuuuude
    11:25 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t think Cal recruited him hard. He does not seem like a Calipari type of kid.

  5. ClutchCargo
    11:42 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    If Edwards took in all of that, listened to UGA, watched UK closely, etc. and still came to that conclusion… I don’t get it, but whatever.

  6. Headhurts
    11:48 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Who ever Cal gets I trust no matter what their ranking is, look at some of the guys we did’nt get but ended up with better fit, no matter what a players ranking is if he does‘ nt buy in to the system it won’t work, In Cal I trust.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:14 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Yep, it turns out that some of the kids we missed on were really blessings in disguise. Now don’t get me wrong, Zion would have been a huge get for the program, but a lot of the other “misses” just gave us the opportunity to get a player who was a better fit.

  7. Booher
    11:53 am February 12, 2019 Permalink

    That was his kid why would he want to leave his son in Georgia and come to Kentucky

    • StillBP
      12:13 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      That is his sister’s kid. From a UGA site: Edwards’ prop of choice as he made his announcement at a commitment ceremony at Holy Spirit Prep was his little, bitty nephew, Jace, son of his sister Antoinette. When it came time for the big announcement, Edwards simply unzipped the 4-month-old’s tiny hoodie to reveal a Georgia Bulldogs’ T-shirt underneath.

    • Skooms
      2:08 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Yet another person whom DIDN’T read the entire article.

  8. Alex90
    12:35 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    I really don’t see a need for complete rundowns on players until they commit. I like knowing who UK is offering but it seems like we learn so much about these kids now that we get disappointed when they commit elsewhere. KSR was writing months ago that UK had no shot with Edwards, and I know he visited and he “considered” UK but KSR hyped it up like UK was the favorite when that was never the case.

    • MontyCats
      3:00 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      I agree, it feels like were getting smashed on the recruiting trail. It makes me wonder if somethings wrong or theres just an increased coverage of players we never really had a shot at in the first place?

  9. UK Fan In Nashville
    12:37 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    What’s next? A 20-10 season, an 11-seed, and a first round loss in the tourney. Have fun with that Edwards.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:12 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      He will get doubleteamed and shut down at UGA. No supporting cast to draw attention away from him.

    • beskag2
      3:43 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      That’s a really good point RealCatsFan, I hadn’t thought about that…but you’re absolutely right.

  10. UK Fan In Nashville
    12:38 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder if he knows he is not committing to play football there…

    • runningunnin.454
      1:08 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Big man on campus, right after the QB, couple of RB’s, and a FG kicker.

  11. No more excuses cal
    12:53 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    What’s next .cal need to win it all this year or resign mitch Can hire any coach that can loose kids to Georgia. Get beat by k state seton hall. For half the money he is paying cal and his staff

    • runningunnin.454
      1:09 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Ha ha ha, you’re a comical fool.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:11 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Who should we hire, Einstein? Did you get beamed down from the moronosphere?

    • StillBP
      1:20 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      this account isn’t funny anymore. You keep saying the same stuff. At first it was funny to think you’re this stupid, but now it’s obvious you’re just writing the dumbest crap you can and repeating it over and over. Come up with a new shtick.

    • Realme
      1:33 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Agree with BP. It used to be fun to entertain the idea that a real person was this stupid, but it’s just repetitive now, like a weird bot that can’t be turned off. Come up with a new gimmick besides dumbest fan in the state.

    • henderblue
      2:17 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Dude has “loosed” his mind…

    • bigbluebanana
      3:24 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      “So me think, why waste time say lot word, when few word do trick”

    • No more excuses cal
      2:36 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      Players first

  12. bigblue2284
    2:55 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Another day another swing and miss.Cal will miss on all the elite talent and bring us some more want to be one and done outside of the top ten talent. I guess technically Whitley is number 9 but he isn’t elite. In fact Cal hasn’t gotten a top ten guy except Montgomery and Whitley the past two years. This incoming class will be a record bad class.

    • ukbradstith
      3:03 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      A record bad class? We could easily have the number one class when it’s all said and done.

    • bigblue2284
      3:07 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      A record bad for Cal. Here is a list of his classes and tell me what you notice:

      Cal is trending downward in recruiting, he hasn’t had a stud player since Fox and Monk. Next year will be the third straight year void of an elite player on the court. The fact is he has struggled with elite talent since the platoon season. UK is no longer the it school Duke is.

    • bigbluebanana
      5:05 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      So other bigblue, you’re bitching because Cal set such a high bar all by himself and he’s not keeping up with his own standards? Number 1 or 2 class every single year he’s been here, I’ll take that all day, every day. My only advice to you and your line is to get used to this horrible time in UK’s history, because Cal will be here until he decides to leave. Most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. Edwards is just another in a long line of kids who want to be the focal point, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But go ask the schools where Fultz, Simmons, Young and the like played at how many banners they’ve hung.

    • RealCatsFan
      4:21 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

      I think when you factor in that Duke is now playing the one-and-done game, and other programs are starting to go after these type players, Cal is still doing a pretty decent job with recruiting. Yeah, last year it was disappointing to lose to Kansas St, but the year before they were literally a last second 3-pointer from going to another FF. I want another championship as much as anyone, but we sure as hell are not going to get one by firing Cal and then hoping that we can lure another top coach on the heels of what he has done. You guys want to throw a couple names out there of really good coaches who are up to the task of winning a championship at UK? Oh, and it would be a little like following Rupp or Pitino after epic runs in UK history. Or would you all prefer to just bitch and complain and wallow in your misery?

  13. truetotheblue
    3:37 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Man alive what the heck! Cal is one of the best 3 coaches in country if not the best at getting kids to develops in to really doesn’t matter of a kid is consider the 3rd best player or 17th best player coming out of high school it’s all about the fire in them and are they coachable and want to get better and if they have that attitude cal can take them places.look at Tennessee how may give stars are on that great team.I think there highest tank kid was in mid 30’s coming out of high school the rest was in 50’s.but they are coachable kids willing to give it all and the most important part play together for the can have the 5 best kids out of high school and if they all want to be the man and do there on thing they not going very far.just my thought!

  14. shelby
    5:38 pm February 12, 2019 Permalink

    Edwards is a punk for posting a pic of himself in a UK uni when he knew he was going to UGA. If Todd reclassifies and signs with UK, AND EJ and Nick return—next year gonna be another good one.