Kentucky is still in the running for 2020 top-ten forward Scottie Barnes.
In an interview with Corey Evans of Rivals.com, Barnes said that he is focused on four schools moving forward: Oregon, Ohio State, Miami (FL), and Kentucky.
“Miami and Kentucky, along with [Oregon and Florida State). Those are my primary four,” he said. “I am probably going to do Kentucky and Miami visits pretty soon.”
In terms of his interest in Kentucky, Barnes said that they are a school that helps elite prospects get to the NBA, a top priority for him.
“Everyone knows about Kentucky and what they do there with their players,” he said. “They really help people to be one-and-done, which is what I really want to do.”
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward out of West Palm Beach, FL also added that he will be making his decision in the coming weeks, possibly as early as late October.
“I am probably going to commit sometime in November, or even late October,” he said.
Barnes, considered the No. 9 prospect in the class of 2020 according to 247Sports, has been seen as a strong Oregon lean for several months, with the Ducks currently holding 89% of picks on the five-star forward’s Crystal Ball.
While Oregon, Miami (FL), and Florida State aren’t major surprises, Barnes’ inclusion of Kentucky most certainly is. After cutting his list down to Miami, Oregon, Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, California, and Florida State back in February, he later told reporters at Peach Jam that Oregon, Kansas, Ohio State, Miami and Florida State were the five schools he was most strongly involved with.
Sources told KSR throughout the AAU season that mutual interest between Kentucky and Barnes was lukewarm, at best, with one individual close to the five-star forward’s recruitment telling me that he just didn’t see a scenario where he would end up in Lexington. While Barnes has aways been outspoken about his appreciation of the Kentucky program and coaching staff, I am told that he has rarely discussed the Wildcats as a legitimate option behind the scenes from early spring through the summer.
Is Kentucky’s newfound confidence in Cade Cunningham, a fellow Montverde Academy product, giving the coaching staff reason to push harder for his new high school teammate? With pessimism surrounding the top frontcourt options, are they scrambling to find a small ball four?
Anything can happen when John Calipari gets a recruit on campus, but it would still be a major upset for the Wildcats to come out on top this late in the game.
Until then, check out some of Barnes’ most recent highlights below: