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Pilgrim’s late evening Kentucky basketball recruiting notes

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

Photo: Jon Lopez/Nike

Good evening, BBN. I hope you’ve enjoyed your Kentucky Football Eve festivities in preparation for UK’s big matchup with Toledo tomorrow afternoon.

While this won’t be a traditional Pilgrim’s Insider Notes post, I did talk to several people throughout the day and picked up some interesting and important information that I felt needed to go up tonight.

Let’s jump right in.

Terrence Clarke

This afternoon, 2021 five-star guard Terrence Clarke cut his list down to six schools – Kentucky, Memphis, Duke, Boston College, Texas Tech, and UCLA – along with setting an announcement date for September 14.

Not long afterward, he also announced on Twitter that he would be evaluating his academic performance throughout the year, along with waiting to see what happens with his ACT and SAT test scores, before ultimately deciding whether or not he would be reclassifying to the class of 2020.

I have written here on the website and talked about it in-depth on the Sources Say Podcast several times now, but the idea of making the jump has been on his mind for several months now, and more specifically, he has been telling those close to him over the last few weeks that this was his preferred option. While those close to his school continue to feel it will be a tight squeeze, sources tell KSR that Clarke now feels he has an academic path in mind that would make a reclassification possible. It won’t be easy, but I feel he will end up in the class of 2020 before it’s all said and done.

In terms of where he will be going to school, I continue to hear that the recent Kentucky buzz is absolutely legitimate and I would be fairly shocked at this point if he ended up anywhere other than Lexington. I can’t dive into it too much, but there are rumblings that Clarke may have privately decided behind the scenes well over a week ago on the Cats. I can’t confirm that as of now, but the speculation is definitely there.

He definitely trolls Duke writers like a silent Kentucky commit…

A consensus top-four prospect and ranked as high as No. 2 overall, Clarke would likely slide right into the top-three or four in 2020 if a reclassification comes to fruition. Kentucky’s streak of missing out on elite top-five prospects will likely come to a close in two weeks.

Jalen Green/Josh Christopher

I got several questions this afternoon about how Clarke’s situation fits in with Jalen Green and Josh Christopher, specifically on whether or not a commitment on September 14 would scare off Green.

In short, no it wouldn’t, but it definitely makes things more complicated.

On the optimistic side of things, I’m told that Kentucky is not scared of the idea of recruiting all three guards to pair with BJ Boston in the UK backcourt. John Calipari is hoping to implement the dribble-drive offense featuring a four-out, one-in lineup moving forward, and the combination of Christopher, Green, Clarke, and Boston, along with an elite big such as Isaiah Todd would be the dream scenario. Sources tell KSR that Kentucky has discussed this with all four of the guards at various points, and they are all receptive to the idea. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Boston is a very popular player among elite prospects, and he could be the key to this crazy idea coming together.

On the flip side, there is now a bit of buzz surrounding Green and Christopher teaming up with Daishen Nix and Shareef O’Neal at UCLA next year. My Sources Say Podcast co-host Travis Graf told me tonight that he heard similar news, though he says those on the West coast don’t believe these rumblings are as strong. Mostly just an idea that came about recently following Nix’s commit to the Bruins. Even considering this recent development, I still see Kentucky as the strong leader for Christopher as of today, with UCLA making a push for the No. 2 spot with Arizona State, at most.

I heard from another individual today that still believes Memphis is the leader for Green, even despite the recent Kentucky and slight UCLA buzz. The Tiger coaching staff continues to tell those behind the scenes that they feel they have had the top-three prospect locked up for several months now.

On another note, another source close to West coast told me today that they don’t believe Memphis is anywhere near the top spot for Green right now, with the Tigers possibly running as low as fourth on his list of schools behind the likes of UK, UCLA, and Oregon. While I personally still believe Memphis remains as a strong contender and don’t buy as much of the Oregon hype, this information follows more closely to what I’ve heard over the last few weeks (Kentucky holding a slight lead with the Memphis buzz mostly stemming from old information).

Either way, information is all over the place with Green, but the school regularly brought up as a top contender in all the rumors is Kentucky. In fact, the Wildcats have yet to fall below No. 2 for the 6-foot-6 guard out of Fresno, CA in anything I have seen, heard, or read in recent days.

While the staff feels there is a chance they can secure commitments from all three, I believe they will ultimately wind up getting one of Green and Christopher, along with Clarke. That being said, I think the chances are higher that Kentucky lands all three than they are of losing both California kids to UCLA, if that makes sense.

Isaiah Jackson

2020 five-star forward Isaiah Jackson is in Lexington right now on his official visit, with the Kentucky coaching staff spending the evening wining and dining him and his family.

I continue to hear an offer is likely in the works for the athletic big man, if not already extended.

As I wrote earlier on the site, a commitment is not imminent, though it is looking like the Cats will jump to the top of his list once the visit comes to a close. “If they really want him, I think they’ll get him,” one source told KSR tonight.

Nonetheless, things are about to get very interesting in the coming weeks.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

17 Comments for Pilgrim’s late evening Kentucky basketball recruiting notes

  1. UKinIN
    10:31 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    I hate to be that guy, but I hope the coaches aren’t really “wining” and dining a 17 year old.

  2. CrystalBall
    10:42 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t understand how Jackson can be a 5 Star. Offensive game is very lacking.

  3. Cokely53
    11:16 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    It had seemed that Christopher was a heavy lean for UK but from this post it seems like maybe he has backed off of that a little? And is that due to Clarke? Seems like he could be an odd man out depending on who returns from this years team/who else signs.

  4. MontyCats
    11:19 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    I know this is gonna sound crazy given all of Cal’s success in the past but I got to see this coaching staff, as presently constructed, can land a player of Jalen Greene’s status before I believe it.

  5. UKFanSC
    11:43 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    We can only accommodate so many wings, and if you get a chance to ink a legit top 5 talent you have to do it…..even if it puts your chances with the other top 5 guys. Bird in the hand.

    • IrishCat
      9:21 am August 31, 2019 Permalink


    11:56 pm August 30, 2019 Permalink

    You take all 4 guards and Todd, run the DD and get the best recruiting class ever on paper! Cal will figure it out!

  7. b2h3slin
    6:34 am August 31, 2019 Permalink

    Wish josh Christopher would’ve committed already but I find it very hard to believe he and Green play for Cronin. Makes zero sense

    • Jack Pilgrim
      7:44 am August 31, 2019 Permalink

      More to do with location and roster layout than Cronin. I don’t think it’s the likely destination, but it’s one they have explored.

  8. StuckinLville
    8:58 am August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I dont see a stud like Jalen Green worried about other players. He knows he will be playing wherever he goes. And the fact that Clarke is a true junior with a lot of work to do isnt going to deter him. He could end up not being able to reclassify. Also if Cal has a game plan with all of them, I’m sure they are listening. It’s like what Coach K did with last year’s class except players see now who actually develops their players, and it’s not him.

  9. mashman 93
    11:41 am August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I hope we don’t lose Christopher. Kids got game. GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  10. UKLugo
    2:09 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I think adding all three of Clarke, Green, and Christopher may get Quickley thinking about a transfer. IQ would still the best POINT GUARD option of that whole bunch and I’d want him around. Gimme Clarke and Christopher, then set our sights on bigs. That would be my preference. And that would make for a damn good start to the 20-21 season.

    • IrishCat
      8:06 am September 1, 2019 Permalink

      I’m w/ you UKLugo. I’m definitely behind a junior IQ running the show next season. Christopher backing him up, either off the bench or sliding over from the 2 when Quick needs a break, which wouldn’t be often. We NEED 4 bigs.

  11. ColoradoCatFan88
    2:15 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

    I just don’t see us landing all four of Boston, Christopher, Green, & Clarke with Quickley, Juzang, Allen, & possibly Whitney returning.

    • Cletis75
      3:42 pm August 31, 2019 Permalink

      From what I’ve seen of Whitney so far, I don’t see him as a 2 year player. He reminds me of MKG a lot. Let’s see him play D at the college level first, but his size and driving ability is very similar.