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R.J. Hampton Cuts Duke, will Reclassify to 2019



The top-ranked point guard in the 2020 class will play college basketball this fall. R.J. Hampton tells ESPN he will soon graduate and enroll in a college this fall.

“I’ve decided to reclassify to the 2019 class,” Hampton told ESPN. “I am doing this because I feel that from a development standpoint, this is the right move for me at this time in order to play against the highest level of competition possible. I am eager to test myself against older and more physically developed players in order to help improve my weaknesses and prepare me for reaching the ultimate goal of playing in the NBA.”

Reclassification rumors have swirled around Hampton for quite some time, so much so that he had an announcement last fall declaring he would stay in the 2020 class. That all changed this weekend at the opening round of the Nike EYBL. Hampton and his father all but said to KSR he will be making the jump into the 2019 class.

Hampton is considering Kentucky, Texas Tech, Kansas and Memphis. He recently removed Duke from the list in favor of Texas Tech, a school closer to home that has generated a ton of buzz following their National Championship game appearance. Chris Beard recently signed a contract extension and has a point guard vacancy to fill.

Official visits are the next step for the five-star point guard. Hampton tells ESPN he’ll be visiting Lexington, Lubbock and Memphis in the coming weeks.

Jack Pilgrim will have more details on the developments in Hampton’s recruitment in this week’s insider notes.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

47 Comments for R.J. Hampton Cuts Duke, will Reclassify to 2019

  1. bigbluenationmbb
    12:23 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    If cal promises him a staring spot maybe just because he will get to play with maxey as long as he doesn’t go to Memphis I’m ok

    • Cmart0907
      12:40 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Cal won’t promise anybody a starting spot. He is all about earning things.

    • StillBP
      12:55 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      yeah, earned not given, duh!

    • notFromhere
      4:03 am May 1, 2019 Permalink

      Cal wont promise him anything except that he’ll get to compete against the best in practice every day and on the court more than most schools do in a season.

      Texas tech and Memphis are trendy options. Neither has what Hampton is looking for, if he’s wanting to get ready for the NBA by playing against top competition. Kansas cant even offer what UK can in that respect right now.

      -There’s plenty of playing time available for another point guard that can score and/or assist well. H
      -He will have to develop defensively to earn time, like everyone else on the team.
      -He may actually be better off here than the other PGs, because he’s not getting that extra year of HSBB and the habits kids develop that they have to unlearn.

      I think he’s making the smartest decision if he comes to UK. If he wants to make a trendy decision and have an little more spotlight on him, TT and Memphis, BUT he won’t get the most out of his development there.

  2. Cokely53
    12:35 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Hard to imagine this kid coming here, especially if juzang commits this week. That being sad, it’ll be hard seeing him winning a championship with those other schools. Especially Memphis, who has the potential to be the most overrated team next year.

    • Cletis75
      2:53 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Not really, I could see us playing a style like Villanova in their Championship years.

    • Cokely53
      3:06 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      There’s not enough PT to go around. Not just at guard but all over.

    • Cokely53
      3:11 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      I also believe that Cal going hard after Juzang means he doesn’t feel confident in his chances with Hampton. Cal is a minimalist when it comes to building his roster.

  3. tgenardi55
    12:42 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    We need a new staring spot for sure

  4. rosquirto
    12:43 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Love to have him but I’m excited to have hagans coming back. I expect a significant jump for him next year

  5. Smyrna_Cat
    12:44 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    My thoughts exactly. Would love to have him, but I am not sure I see this as a good sign.

  6. Bluebloodtoo
    12:49 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Sounds like the tea leaves point towards Texas tech

  7. Duuuuuude
    12:50 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Cutting Duke is a win for me. I don’t care where he goes now.

  8. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    12:58 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    If Cal somehow gets RJ this would be a huge silent win the same way Jamal Murray was.

  9. bigblue2284
    1:04 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    This doesn’t mean anything for UK other than he is likely staying close to home. My guess is if he was willing to relocate far from home Duke would have been the choice. I think a wildcard could be Memphis though because on paper they have a stacked team coming in and could use him.

  10. UKLugo
    1:05 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    I’m surprised we made the cut after seeing him cut Duke. Seems to me that our backcourt is fuller than theirs.

  11. Ben27
    1:06 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    R J Hampton wants to play with Maxey and win a championship! Not afraid of competition! Will be the best player on our team next year. National championship and number one draft pick. The best of all worlds.

    • UKinIN
      1:31 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Hampton’s dad has already said that RJ is best with the ball in his hands. Reminded me of Trae Young. Selfish guys don’t end up at UK.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      1:38 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Would love to see this play out, but not holding my breath.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:11 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Yes, dad has said he is best with the ball in his hands, but RJ himself just said that he wants to improve on his weaknesses and prepare for the NBA. He is saying all the right things as a potential future Cat. It may not work out that way, but I’m not writing him off just yet.

    • Nickerbocker05
      5:46 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Clutch knows what’s up

  12. VirginiaCat
    1:23 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    This isn’t hard to figure out. The addition of Texas Tech tells me that is where he is going. They are fresh off an impressive NCAA tournament run and their coach is a hot property who has recently signed an extension to stay put. Plus, they need someone at his position.

    • UKLugo
      1:34 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Definitely tells you a lot about his feelings about going to Memphis or KU. Not sold yet. Hampton is Penny’s most important recruit. People kinda expected Wiseman to follow Penny to Memphis. Getting Hampton would make them a true threat on the national level next season, as well as send a message on the recruiting trail; even if they are his second choice behind UK. I’m thinking Tx Tech may sneak in there for this kid.

    • south georgia cat
      1:52 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Memphis with freshmen , an unproven coach, I can’t see them as a NC threat

    • StillBP
      2:16 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Coaching freshmen isn’t easy, takes a couple of months or so for an experienced coach to get them going. We’ll see how much of a threat they are.

    • UKLugo
      2:41 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah, I didn’t mean a national title threat. I just meant relevant outside of their conference; on the national scene.

    • Cokely53
      3:09 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Virginia, you don’t know squat. You said last week he was a Memphis lock. The week before that you said duke. You pick kids everywhere except UK.

  13. JT919
    2:44 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Ittl be Tech if he wants to play true hero ball. I don’t think playing time is a concern as far as not choosing us; he’s confident that he’ll be good enough to get his minutes even in the crowded backcourt.

    • gherald7
      5:41 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. This kid is a baller.

  14. maximumscott
    2:44 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Cutting Duke. Means he doesnt want to share the PG spot. UK will be cut next. Its either Tech or Memphis. Tech had recent success and holes to fill.

    • UKBigBlueForever
      7:09 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      doesn’t mean that at all. He’s stated he wants to play with another top PG several times correct?

  15. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:57 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    According to addyjaxoff and his drunk mom, I’m sorry source, this is a sign he’s definitely going to Duke and only cut them as a courtesy to other teams.

  16. shelby
    3:00 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    We will have a lot of locker room problems if he comes to UK. Too many guards!!

  17. addyjaxlarkin
    3:13 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

    Per my source Halloween will be another 50 Cent corndog day at sonic here in 2019. Treat it like a jump shot and Bank it.

    • StillBP
      4:44 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Great, so that means no 50 cent corndogs

    • addyjaxlarkin
      6:19 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      My source is never wrong.

    • nocode96
      10:49 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Do people really not get addy’s shtick?

    • StillBP
      8:08 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      Except for the times it’s always wrong.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      8:44 pm April 30, 2019 Permalink

      50 cent is what addyjaxoff charges for a “corndog” in the backdoor in the sonic parking lot…according to his source.

  18. CATandMONKEY
    12:51 am May 1, 2019 Permalink

    Somewhere, Mash is drowning in his extra-salty tears.