Even With Terry Wilson Out, Positivity is Surrounding Lexington

This weekend the Kentucky football team will take on the No. 9 Florida Gators at Kroger Field.

After last year’s victory over Florida in Gainesville and a 10-win season, Coach Stoops and company confirmed this is no longer the Kentucky Football of the past, and the Cats are ready to compete with Florida and Georgia in the SEC East.

Now without Terry Wilson, beating Florida and starting a streak of our own seems a little more daunting but it can be done and there is a buzz in Lexington and some big news

Xavier Peters Has Been CLEARED To Play

The NCAA has a heart and has made the right decision as they cleared linebacker, Xavier Peters.

Peters, a former high school All-American, transferred from Florida State in the Spring in an effort to be closer to his family and his one-year-old son in Cincinnati.

With so much depth at the linebacker position, Peters is unlikely to start until he is able to get his game feet under him. With that being said, Peters definitely has the talent and potential to make an impact this season.

Two More UK Basketball Commitments this Week?

The fall recruiting period just began on Monday and the Cats are poised to get two more commitments to add to next year’s class, which could be one of Cal’s best at UK.

Lance Ware, a four-star recruit, is described as a “finesse forward”. After being visited on Tuesday, Ware is set to make a decision this Thursday. All signs are pointing towards the Cats.

Terrence Clark, a top-five recruit in the 2021 class, is widely expected to reclassify to the 2020 class barring any academic hurdles. At 6-7, Clark is an elite athlete with elite scoring ability.

Clark is set to announce his college decision on Thursday, and his Crystal Ball is currently 100% Kentucky. If Clark does commit to Kentucky, he will the highest-ranked commit since Skal Labissiere in 2016.

As Lynn Bowden says, lets have a fun weekend and “come see about it”.

Does Wikipedia Know Something that Big Blue Nation Doesn’t?

Either Wikipedia or a joking fan (most likely) is trying to tell the Big Blue Nation something. That something, 2019 five-star, Jaden McDaniels, is a Kentucky Wildcat.

Wikipedia is well known for its ability to allow users to change information, which is most likely the case here. Nonetheless, Kentucky is widely considered the favorite to the land the 6-9, 185 pound, forward amongst recruiting insiders.

Recruiting guru, Evan Daniels, notably made his prediction for Kentucky as the Wildcats lead the Crystal Ball rankings at 85%.

Sources have reported that McDaniels hopes to decide within the next two weeks. Hopefully soon, Jaden McDaniels will accurately be a part of the Kentucky Wildcats and their Wikipedia page.

Are Jaden Mcdaniels and RJ Hampton Dropping Hints on Social Media?

Jaden McDaniels and RJ Hampton are the two highest ranked recruits of the 2019 class yet to make their college decision, and both have Kentucky as one of their finalists.

Social media has become an emerging tool for recruits to use to get exposure, recruit other recruits to team up, and speak to current and former players. Now, while it is important not to over analyze things, recruits often send subtle hints with their social media activity. Let’s take a closer look at McDaniels’ and Hampton’s activity.

Jaden McDaniels

Jaden McDaniels and his camp have been very quiet during the recruiting process. Many believed due to the quietness, McDanels preferred to stay close to home and would attend Washington. However, many believe that is now a two horse race between Kentucky and Washington, with the Wildcats now being the favorite.

Sources have reported that McDaniels hopes to make a decision in the next two weeks, and more Kentucky talk has emerged including the Wildcats taking over McDaniels 24/7 Crystal Ball prediction with 85%, including a pick from recruiting guru, Evan Daniels.

In the past week, McDaniels has followed other Kentucky commits Dontaie Allen and Khalil Whitney, and already follows Tyrese Maxey,

McDaniels also follows the official Kentucky men’s basketball account and notable Kentucky alumni John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Tyler Ulis, De’Aron Fox, Bam Adebayo, and Malik Monk amongst many others.

As for Washington, McDaniels follows very few Washington related accounts including alumnus Isaiah Thomas, transfer and former Wildcat Quade Green, and current players Nahziah Carter and Noah Neubauer.

RJ Hampton

RJ Hampton was originally a part of the 2020 recruiting class, but after reclassifying in late April, Hampton has become a top-5 recruit in this year’s upcoming class.

Hampton’s final list consists of Kentucky, Kansas, Memphis, and Texas Tech. Many believe that Kentucky had the best shot to land Hampton if he had stayed in the 2020 class due to Kentucky’s loaded frontcourt next season. However, Kentucky is still in the mix, and Hampton’s final decision will likely come down to Kentucky, Kansas, and Memphis.

Hampton notably replied to Barstool Kansas on Twitter this past weekend.

Also, Hampton has liked several comments from several incoming, current, and former players from Kentucky (Jarred Vanderbilt & Johnny Juzang), Kansas (Devon Dotson), and Memphis (James Wiseman & Lester Quinones).

Hampton’s brother Ry, only follows one player with any connections to RJ’s final list, Kentucky commit Tyrese Maxey.

Like I previously said, it is important not to put too much stock in things regarding social media, however, it does give us a closer insight and confirms what many already believe; that Kentucky is the favorite for Jaden McDaniels and it’s a three horse race for RJ Hampton.

Johnny “Bucket” Juzang Commits to Kentucky

After a hot and heavy month of Kentucky recruiting four-star scoring wing, Johnny Juzang, Juzang finally made the decision to become a Kentucky Wildcat via instagram.

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This is far from a surprise if you look at the timing of events, as he has received a visit from Coach Cal and Joel Justus, received an offer from Kentucky, reclassified to the 2019 class, and took an official visit all within a three week window.

Juzang is Kentucky’s fifth commitment thus far for the 2019 class joining Tyrese Maxey, Khalil Whitney, Keion Brooks Jr., and Dontaie Allen.

As a junior, Juzang averaged 22.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 43% FG and 35% from three. Juzang’s shooting and offensive production will be a welcome sight to next year’s Wildcat team, which currently lacks shooting.

Juzang’s commitment jumped Kentucky’s recruiting class ranking to No. 2, and could improve even more as two top-10 recruits, RJ Hampton and Jaden McDaniels, and graduate transfer, Kerry Blackshear Jr, are nearing their decisions.

Scouting Report: Just like Tyler Herro, Juzang is a natural born “bucket”. Juzang can score inside and out and everywhere in between using quick release jumpers, floaters, and scoop shots to score in the lane. Juzang also plays well off the ball and excels in catch and shoot situations. Juzang does lack athleticism and handling.

NBA Comparison: Dillon Brooks

KY Insider: Basketball Recruiting Update

The 2019 class is nearly complete, however, Kentucky’s recruiting class could look much different as soon as the end of May. Kentucky is on three of the highest ranked recruits remaining including top-10 recruits Jaden McDaniels and RJ Hampton, and four star scoring wing Johnny Juzang. Let’s take a look at the latest developments!

Jaden McDaniels

Jaden McDaniels has one of the highest upsides and is one of the most offensively talented players in the 2019 class. Ranked as the overall No.8 recruit in the 2019 class, McDaniels is one of two players in the top 10 not to make a decision.

Two weeks ago McDaniels was considered to be a near lock to stay out west and choose Washington or San Diego State, but things have changed quickly and rumors have it that Kentucky is now the favorite.

McDaniels and his camp have have been very quiet regarding his recruitment, and with more rumors and information coming out it appears that McDaniels is nearing his decision.

Recruiting guru, Evan Daniels, logged his prediction for the Wildcats on Wednesday and gives me more confidence that McDaniels will be a Wildcat next year.

Early in his recruitment, McDaniels called Kentucky his “dream school” and is chooses to come to Lexington he would be Kentucky’s highest ranked commit since De’Aron Fox.

Johnny Juzang

Kentucky’s recruitment of Johnny Juzang has been hot and heavy over the past month and is now set to make a decision.

On April 19th, Juzang received a scholarship offer following a visit from John Calipari and Joel Justus. On April 29th, Juzang took an official visit to Lexington and sources say it went “great”. Based off of the timing of events and a prediction from Evan Daniels, Kentucky seams to be the heavy favorite.

At 6-6, 200 pounds, Juzang is a four star wing that can straight up score and has previously been called a “bucket” (sounds pretty familiar). Juzang’s scoring and shooting ability would be a welcome sight as that appears to be a weakness of next years team.

RJ Hampton

After making the decision to reclassify to the 2019 class, RJ Hampton is the highest ranked recruit yet to decide and Kentucky is trending up for the 6-5 point guard as he plans to make a decision at the end of the month.

This allows Hampton to see who returns and who leaves as he makes his final decision.

In recruiting insider,Corey Evans’ weekly Q&A, he said that Kentucky has “picked up some ground.”

Kentucky has picked up some ground in recent weeks. I still believe that Kansas will be where Hampton plays his lone year of college, as the numbers in the backcourt hurt UK some, but the Wildcats’ recent pitch and the platform that they can provide has piqued Hampton’s interest. 

It’s hard to see Hampton joining Kentucky’s loaded backcourt next season, but maybe he enjoys the competition. In the end, I expect Hampton to choose Kansas or Memphis where he would undoubtedly be the star guard.

If the Cats are able to secure two of the three players, they would seal the No.1 recruiting class for the first time since 2015, and would most likely set themselves up to be the most dominant team in college basketball alongside Michigan State.

UK Football gets Four-Star Commitment and UK Basketball Makes Final Four for Johnny Juzang

All of Big Blue Nation should be flexing and doing the John Wall dance right now.

Kentucky football won’t have a lot of roster turnover following the 2019 season, meaning there will be less scholarships for recruits and Coach Stoops and company will have to be very selective about who they go after.

That plan is going well as UK football picked up a commit from Kentucky native and four-star offensive lineman, John Young.

Young, a 6-foot-6, 295-pound tackle, ranks as the No. 214 overall prospect and No. 24 offensive tackle in the nation according to Rivals and chose Kentucky over other finalists Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, and Louisville.

Thus far, Kentucky has only two commits for next season, but both are four-star recruits and rank as top five recruits in their respective states.

Young is a big get for the UK football program that could play a major role in bringing in more recruits for next season.

Not even 10 minutes later, Kentucky basketball received some big recruiting news regarding five-star Johnny Juzang who announced on Wednesday that he would be reclassifying to the 2019 class.

Before Kentucky’s involvement, Villanova was the heavy favorite to land Juzang and with them out of the picture, Kentucky seems to be the favorite by far.

Juzang is scheduled to visit Lexington on Monday and if we have learned anything from past commitments, don’t be surprised if Juzang commits to Kentucky during his visit.

Scouting Report: Just like Tyler Herro, Juzang is a natural born “bucket”. Juzang can score inside and out and everywhere in between using quick release jumpers, floaters, and scoop shots to score in the lane. Juzang also plays well off the ball and excels in catch and shoot situations. Juzang does lack athleticism and handling.

NBA Comparison: Dillon Brooks

2020 Five-Star Target Jalen Johnson calls Kentucky His “Dream School”

One of the top players in the 2020 class, Jalen Johnson, is in Atlanta this weekend for the Nike EYBL where he is joined by Coach John Calipari and the rest of the UK coaching staff.

As the No. 3 overall recruit in the 2020 class, Johnson is one of Kentucky’s highest priority targets for next year’s class. As Johnson hopes to commit before his senior season, he talked about Kentucky as his “dream school”.

Johnson also went on to discuss his “love” for Kentucky and the NBA factory Coach Cal has created in Lexington.

“I just love (Kentucky), I don’t really know why. They were just my dream school, them and Florida. I just loved watching those two schools play and seeing the success they had.”

“Just seeing how successful they are in the NBA, I think that’s a huge factor for recruits. … Calipari’s player development, it’s like no other. Seeing how he’s turned players into future Hall of Famers, it’s crazy.”

According to the 24/7 Sports Crystal Ball predictions, Duke has the best chances to land Johnson at 71% followed by Wisconsin at 29%.

At 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds, Johnson has great size and is one of the most talented players in next year’s class. With Kentucky being his “dream school”, you have to think there is a great chance of Johnson becoming a Wildcat.

Scouting Report: Standing at 6-8 with a 6-11 wingspan, Johnson has great overall speed and athleticism which allows him to run the floor and play above the rim with ease. Even with his size and length, Johnson has legit point guard skills and excels at initiating fast breaks. Johnson is a great two way player with great shooting form. Needs to improve his ball handling and develop a more consistent outside shot.

Comparison: Paul George/Stronger Shaun Livingston

Johhny “Bucket” Juzang could Reclassify to 2019 Class, Announcement Tomorrow

With five players definitely leaving (Reid Travis, PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, and Jemarl Baker) and potentially two more (Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery), there is a lot of unpredictability as we look ahead to next year’s Kentucky team.

G Ashton Hagans
G Immanuel Quickley
G Brad Calipari
G/F Zan Payne
C Nick Richards
C EJ Montgomery

G Tyrese Maxey
G/F Khalil Whitney
G/F Dontaie Allen
F Keion Brooks
F Nate Sestina

John Calipari is exploring all possibilities to fill next year’s roster and one of the hottest names in Kentucky basketball recruiting right now is 2020 five-star wing, Johnny Juzang.

This past Friday, the day Jemarl Baker announced he would transfer from UK, John Calipari and Joel Justus visited Juzang in California and offered him a scholarship.

At 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, Juzang has good size at the wing and is widely considered a top-25 recruit and an elite scorer in the 2020 class.

As a junior, Juzang averaged 22.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 43% FG and 35% from three.

Recruiting guru, Evan Daniels of 24/7 Sports, is now reporting that Juzang is “seriously” considering reclassification to the 2019 class and will take a visit to Lexington on April 29th.

If Juzang were to reclassify he would need to obtain credits away from his current school Harvard-Westlake, as they do not have an early graduation program.

As more news comes out the Cats seem to be picking up more momentum, which is certainly promising as Juzang tweeted that he’s got a “big announcement” coming tomorrow night.

Virginia, USC, and Kansas are among other schools going after Juzang but Kentucky’s recent momentum has most believing the Wildcats are the favorite and his offense will be certainly welcomed in Lexington.

Scouting Report: Just like Tyler Herro, Juzang is a natural born “bucket”. Juzang can score inside and out and everywhere in between using quick release jumpers, floaters, and scoop shots to score in the lane. Juzang also plays well off the ball and excels in catch and shoot situations. Juzang does lack athleticism and handling.

NBA Comparison: Dillon Brooks

Here is a video from October, with Juzang talking about Kentucky’s “winning” and “wanting to be a pro”.

John Calipari To Visit Top Grad Transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery have declared for the NBA Draft, and while they are both expected to make the wise decision to return to Kentucky, nothing is holding them back from officially leaving.

Even if Richards and Montgomery did return, the Cats are still in need of some frontcourt depth.

Last week, it was reported that there was some mutual interest between Kentucky and Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr., a 6-10 250-pound forward, ranked as the No. 1 graduate transfer by ESPN.

Corey Evans of Rivals.com, reported that Blackshear and his parents hosted John Calipari for an in-home visit today. However, that report turned out to be incorrect and they’re still “trying to figure that out right now as we speak.”

This past weekend, reports came out that SEC opponents Texas A&M and Florida were the early favorites to land Blackshear. Texas A&M just hired former Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams and Blackshear is from Orlando, Florida.

However, if John Calipari and Kentucky is in the mix they can never be counted out.

This past season, Blackshear averaged 14.9 PPG and 7.5 RPG on 50.8% shooting and 33.3% from three. In Virginia Tech’s Sweet Sixteen matchup against Duke, Blackshear finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Not to mention, in 2017’s performance against Kentucky at Rupp Arena, Blackshear recorded 18 points and 5 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action.

Blackshear was a Second Team All-ACC Selection, but with Calipari’s track record and recent success with PJ Washington, Blackshear could develop him into an First Team All-SEC selection.

Kentucky in talks with Grad Transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Could a second grad-transfer be joining the 2019-2020 UK Basketball roster?

Around 2 PM on Tuesday, Kerry Blackshear Jr., who previously played for Virginia Tech, entered the transfer portal. UK fans immediately jumped on it and said Cal needed to go get him and it sounds like Cal listened.

According to a source inside the Blackshear family, the grad-transfer has talked to Kentucky.

“Kentucky has made contact with the inner circle.” Said a source in the Blackshear camp.

It’s said that Blackshear’s plan is to go to the NBA Portsmouth combined, get feedback, and then go from there.

It would be a huge pickup for the Cats, who lack a big man in the 2019 class. He is the top-ranked grad-transfer and at 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds, Blackshear would add some well-needed depth.

This past season, Blackshear averaged 14.9 PPG and 7.5 RPG on 50.8% shooting and 33.3% from three. In Virginia Tech’s Elite Eight matchup against Duke, Blackshear finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Not to mention, in 2017’s performance against Kentucky at Rupp Arena, Blackshear recorded had 18 points and 5 rebounds in just 22 minutes.

There will be no shortage of bidders for Blackshear, but Blackshear could be the piece Kentucky needs to be THE dominant team next season.