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Reminder: With Matthew Hurt off the board, where does UK stand with Jaden McDaniels?

Photo via Endless Motor

Photo via Endless Motor

Tre Jones deciding to return to Duke for his sophomore season was the moment UK truly lost in the campaign for Matthew Hurt’s services. But Coach Cal is still looking to bolster his 2019-2020 front court and the question remains: do the Cats have any chance of landing one of the last gems of the upcoming recruiting class, Jaden McDaniels?

Short answer? Yes. Longer answer? Yes, but it doesn’t look great for UK.

McDaniels definitely has a positive opinion of the program, as evidenced by his comments about Coach Cal and a couple other future Wildcats:

As far as Kentucky, McDaniels took an official visit to Lexington on Nov. 9, and he received an in-home visit from coach John Calipari on Dec. 9.

McDaniels said Calipari and the Wildcats 2019 class are two of the biggest reasons that they are one of his five finalists.

“Cal [Calipari] is a real good dude, and he’s going to tell you straight up at all times,” McDaniels said. “It’s also fun being recruited by Kahlil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey because they are both great players.”

[247 Sports]

That being said, as of now, 247’s Crystal Ball predictions still have Washington as the solid favorite to land McDaniels, with San Diego State also favored over UK. The top-5 recruit hasn’t set a timetable for his commitment, so there could still be plenty of time for the Kentucky staff to press hard in an attempt to sway him, but it may be unwise to focus all of their efforts on a kid who seems to be leaning elsewhere when there are other options available.

Would I love to see Jaden suit up in Kentucky blue? Of course. But Coach Cal and company shouldn’t pass up on the likes of Kerry Blackshear, Jr. and Jordan Brown on the off chance they can change one recruit’s mind.


Article written by Jay Winkler

Avid fan of UK Athletics, WWE, and chicken wings. Preferably at the same time.

36 Comments for Reminder: With Matthew Hurt off the board, where does UK stand with Jaden McDaniels?

  1. j
    11:29 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    Frustrated by another recruit choosing dUKe over us, went back to look at every recruiting class Cal has had here.
    This may be obvious to some but I was blown away to discover (according to John Wall is the ONLY recruit to hold offers from both schools and choose UK.
    One recruit.

    • Bobbum Man
      11:30 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      I’ll bet you a bazillion dollars that isn’t true

    • Bobbum Man
      11:35 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      2 minutes of research showed duke heavily recruited and badly wanted Knox and wenyen Gabriel just to name two recent ones…. there’s also zero chance duke didn’t offer AD, MKG, towns etc

    • StuckinLville
      11:52 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      U forget EJ Montgomery. so that’s two in the ’17 class.

    • Bruce Dickinson
      11:57 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Not sure I would rely on espn for much.

    • nocode96
      1:11 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Your research was terrible. Gabriel, Knox, EJ Montgomery are easy ones. As others have stated, there’s probably a trillion more.

    • mashburnfan1
      1:27 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      That can’t be true. I know dUKe made offers to guys like Randle, KAT and even Lyles. I can remember those guys off the top of my head.Had to be more as most of the top programs offer all the top guys. Naturally we will lose recruits to them and they lose to us as we all go after the top guys.

    • RAGE
      2:07 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Kevin Knox

    • j
      8:27 am April 23, 2019 Permalink

      …and I stand corrected. Please forgive my ignorance.

  2. Ez21
    11:31 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    This article states the obvious so why write it?

  3. VirginiaCat
    11:49 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    We are far removed from the heady days when Cal had his pick of elite recruits. There are conspiracy theories aplenty, i.e., Duke is paying for recruits or they are being funneled to Duke by Nike, but that smacks of paranoia with no supporting evidence. I think it is more a case of the shine being off the program in general, and Cal in particular. Bad loses and underachieve in recent years has not helped. Cal’s Team USA loss is probably a bigger factor than most realize. I would be interested in other objective views on why we are swinging and missing on top ten players.

    • Han
      12:40 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      We made the title game and Final Four with our super class with the Twins, etc. Yes, not winning the title hurts, but Duke crapped the bed last season with Zion and still added Hurt, and they crapped the bed several other times and continue to get the Zions and Careys, so let’s not overstate some shine is off, bad losses thing.

    • KYcats11
      12:52 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Coach K has underachieved more than Cal

    • RAGE
      2:12 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah no one has done less with more than Coach K the last “3 SEASONS” overwhelming favorites to win the title and yet not even a Final Four to show from all that talent

    • henderblue
      3:24 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Safe to say K far more underachieved this year than Cal. Wouldn’t you say Virginiaboy?

    • syrin23
      7:02 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Cal isn’t losing in recruiting. Cal isn’t PAYING for recruits like Duke. We heard about Bagley being paid, and now Zion. Cal is at least doing it in a way that won’t forfeit elite eights like Duke is.

    • RealCatsFan
      8:03 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Ok, I’ll go: Count K is a 400 year old vampire, and no recruit can resist being drawn in by him to have his soul sucked out of him one he gazes into the vampire’s glassy black eyes. Want proof? Look at him – he has not aged at all in 30 years! Have you ever actually seen his reflection? I didn’t think so! Now where’s my holy water?

  4. StuckinLville
    11:54 am April 21, 2019 Permalink

    This kid only leaves Seattle if he’s truly focused on winning a championship and developing the way WCS, Cousins, AD, and Towns did as bigs.

    • mashburnfan1
      1:32 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      or flaming out the way Lee, POY, Twins, Briscoe, SKJ, Wenyon, Matthews, Goodwin, Richards, Quade etc. did. You people need to stop with this only Cal develops players. NO COACH develops kids in the 6-8 months they have them. If they do please explain all the above High Draft Picks if they had gone pro after High School that were very low picks or not picked after “developing” under Cal for more than a year. And it is not just Cal, no coach can do it.

    • Cokely53
      2:58 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Mash…how is it living life in such an angry, dejected, negative way? If all of this upsets you so much, here’s a thought, maybe you should step away from it. I’m not saying join another fan base. I believe you like UK but dang dude you are the most negative person. Find something that actually makes you happy. This maybe isn’t for you.

  5. Bigblue7982
    12:19 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    He’s going to Washington.

  6. kybirdieman
    12:20 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    From what I saw of him in Jordan Brand bring on another grad transfer.

  7. Kat4Life
    12:25 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    The likelihood of getting this kid away from the West Coast and his family is essentially zero. That was it no the family openly admit that he has no desire to get too far from home

  8. Smyrna_Cat
    12:37 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    There is “a chance” for almost anything. This article is silly.

  9. michaelb
    1:06 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    Duke is just the popular pick as of now . As we all see , this changes rapidly . It’s okay cause here’s what’s in line for this happening – Duke will have a log jam due to this trend and it will flip back to uk being the desirable destination . This always happens – it’s not even the first time under cal this has occurred .

    • runningunnin.454
      1:19 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Agree. Duke had a log jam last year; too many alpha dogs, and obviously team chemistry was not good. I can think of no other reason that the Blew Devils regressed during the season. By tournament time, they were a shadow of the team that beat us in that first game; and were reeling against less talented teams.

    • mashburnfan1
      1:37 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Yea and we played so great in the tourney, blowing out mid major teams like Wofford and Houston…oh wait we actually barely won those games as well. At least we got knocked out by a veteran tourney known coach who had a team that most thought was a #1 seed….oh sorry that was not us. We lost to a team that lost one of its best players late in their previous game and had no time to adjust or prepare for that loss. And a team we beat by 20 plus points just 30 days prior….that my friend is the true definition of regressing. Love how our fans try to make fun of a team that beat us by 34 with a much less experienced team.

    • Cokely53
      3:00 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Seriously mash… find something you like. You’re gonna kill your self being so negative all the time. It’s not healthy

    • makeitstop
      6:06 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Mash, our two best players were out and did not play but one full game together in 5-6 weeks. Yea, we regressed and never got back to early February form. Probably part of Duke’s problem, too – never really the same even after Zion came back. If we had hit one more FT or one missed 3 rattled in not out, we’d hv a good shot at cutting down the nets, or a disciplined, veteran team line UVa might hv knocked us out next game. Never know. But it’s not a coaching issue to lose a player and not regain the chemistry… as any HoF coach will attest, including ur man, Pitino.

  10. nocode96
    1:16 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    I doubt this kid comes here. From what I’ve seen and read (in this very site) he’s still very raw. If he came to Kentucky, he may need time to develop, and for lots of guys like him, if they don’t develop as quickly as they thought, they become homesick, or want to go to a lesser school where they can stand out more. And that’s fine, there are other schools besides UK, it’s okay that we don’t land literally every recruit. Come to UK/do t come to UK, our team, and this kid, will both be okay, the sun will still come up for both parties.

    • runningunnin.454
      1:29 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      If he’s interested in the sun coming up, he should take SDSU; Washington weather sucks…guess he’s accustomed to it, though.

    • nocode96
      5:36 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

      Lol, seriously. I lived in Oregon for a while, it’s gloomy. You also have to take into consideration some of these kids are just, well, kids. Just because they’re big and skilled at basketball doesn’t automatically mean they eat, sleep, and breathe ball. Some of them may not even have a desire to be a pro at the game. If I’m a 5 star kid who doesn’t really care about making basketball my entire life for the next couple decades, for sure I’m gonna go to spend a couple years in San Diego for free versus a couple years in Lexington.

  11. Truman Claytor
    1:42 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    More fake news. McDaniels has 0% chance of playing to UK, just like hurt has 0% chance. Just posting garbage to create clicks

    4:24 pm April 21, 2019 Permalink

    @Truman Claytor…thats an idiot posts. You realize you are on a UK sports site, right? Jeez, what a dumb posts. Some of our fans are ridiculous.