Hopkinsville’s KyKy Tandy is earning offers from several college basketball programs as he enters the summer before his senior season at University Heights Academy. His latest came from Gregg Marshall and Wichita State, which brings his list to 10 schools that have extended an offer. That list also includes SEC schools Tennessee, Ole Miss and Florida, as well as Cincinnati, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, New Mexico State and nearby Western Kentucky.
But one school is noticeably absent from his offer sheet: the University of Kentucky. So why is that?
For starters, I think Tandy — though very, very good — isn’t quite the level of guard John Calipari can typically hand-pick from the high school ranks. He is currently ranked as the 28th best shooting guard in the 247 Sports Composite (although that ranking will likely improve soon) and there are several other guards who are already on Kentucky’s big board as major targets. Many UK fans see him as a Dominique Hawkins-type addition to the roster, but Tandy is too good (especially in his own mind) to take the Hawkins path of coming off the bench for four years. He wants to shine right away. His father said so.
Calipari could eventually offer Tandy, and maybe he will, but at this stage in the process it doesn’t seem he is in a rush to throw an offer out to someone who isn’t part of his Plan A for the Class of 2019. And that Plan A is already off to a great start with the commitments of DJ Jeffries and Tyrese Maxey, and being in a great position with James Wiseman, Jalen Lecque and Keion Brooks.
Then there is Tandy’s father, who made headlines with his comments to Kyle Tucker. His exact words were: “If he does get an offer, he’s not going to Kentucky with three or four point guards there. He’s not no bench player. And that’s what they think he is: He’ll just come in and play four years. No, no.” [SEC Country]
While I admire his father’s confidence and wanting the best for his son, that attitude is exactly what Calipari stays far, far away from. If you’ve followed Cal closely over the years, you know he has very little tolerance for parents who give ultimatums and can’t let go of control. All the kids he has gotten and succeeded with in the past, they had parents who stepped away and let Calipari work his magic. He wants to be trusted; not told how things will work out. So Tandy’s father might’ve cost his son the opportunity to be a Wildcat by rubbing Cal the wrong way with his comments. Again, there is nothing wrong with what Tandy’s father said and how he sees his son’s value to a team; it just isn’t going to get him a Kentucky uniform as long as Cal is in charge.
Now for a third reason behind Kentucky’s hesitance to extend an offer to Tandy, and it’s only a theory of mine: This tweet did not sit well.
— Dekeyvan Tandy (@TandyDekeyvan) March 23, 2018
Tandy tweeted his Kansas State offer less than 24 hours after Kansas State beat Kentucky in the NCAA tournament. Was it a troll job? Or did Bruce Weber really call Tandy on the day between the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight, one game shy of the Final Four, to extend a scholarship offer? It sure seems like Tandy waited to tweet the offer. Whatever the case, though, I’ve heard whispers that it did not go unnoticed by the UK staff and the timing did not help his chances.
So there you go. Three reasons why I believe KyKy Tandy still does not have an offer from the University of Kentucky. Personally, I want nothing but the best for Tandy because he and I are from the same dirt (shout-out Region 2/shout-out El Bracero/shout-out Ferrell’s) and we have a few mutual acquaintances, but I’m afraid he has some factors working against him at this point in his recruitment.
As it stands today, right now at this very moment, I think Cal would lean toward the other in-state prospect, Dontaie Allen, over Tandy.
But Tandy still has a whole summer on the Under Armour circuit and his senior season of high school to change Cal’s mind.