In case you’re just waking up, four-star combo guard Shai Alexander committed to Kentucky this morning, becoming the third top 50 player to pledge to the Cats in the last five days. Even though few UK fans knew who Alexander was a few months ago, the move was expected; after decommitting from Florida on October 17, Alexander became one of John Calipari’s primary targets for the 2017 backcourt, which he will likely share with Quade Green or Trae Young.
Several national outlets released interviews with Alexander when his commitment broke this morning, and in each of them, the 6’5″ Canadian praised the professional atmosphere at Kentucky, as well as Calipari’s record of putting players in the pros.
“I recently visited Kentucky and it has everything for me,” Alexander told ESPN.com. “Practice was intense and the competition was great. (UK head) Coach (John) Calipari is a great coach and can help me achieve my goals as being one of the best point guards in the game and making it to the NBA. He looks to develop his players both as people and basketball players. He has a good sense of humor. Made me feel comfortable in a short amount time that I have known him.”
Alexander joins PJ Washington and Nick Richards in Kentucky’s 2017 class, and told Rivals’ Eric Bossi he can’t wait to see what other players Calipari reels in.
“The guys that they have already are great players,” said Alexander. “I can’t wait to see who else they have and play with them. I’m excited to get there and will do what I can to help out with recruiting.”
At 6’5″ (and apparently still growing), Alexander fits the mold of a typical Calipari point guard, which is why several scouts are comparing him to Andrew Harrison, including Paul Biancardi.
“He reminds us of a combination of two former Wildcats in Brandon Knight and Andrew Harrison,” Biancardi writes. “Knight was more of a scorer and shooter but Gilgeous-Alexander can fill it up from distance when needed as he shot 39% in the Nike EYBL. Similar to Harrison he owns terrific positional size and can see the floor with his passing as well as finding a piece of the paint with his dribble drive game.”
Sounds good to me. Here are some more highlights: