ESPN Predictions On Top Recruits

  • Here is a cut and paste from ESPN Insider regarding Adam Finkelstein’s predictions. Good news is that he thinks Jarrett Allen will be either KU or UK. He also thinks Marques Bolden goes to Kansas, and that makes Allen’s decision.

    After a period of time where the momentum seemed to be with Duke, it seems that Self is zeroing in on this recruiting season’s most important recruit (Bolden).

    When we get a cease and desist letter, we’ll have to remove this obvious violation of copyright laws. Read quickly.

    Twelve of the 28 five-star prospects in the country remain uncommitted but as they continue to take visits and cut their lists, more and more information on their collegiate choices has begun to emerge. Here’s a look at where the most recent intel suggests these prospects are leaning at present:

    No. 1 Harry Giles (PF, 6-9, 230, Oak Hill Academy (VA)/Winston-Salem NC) – Duke Blue Devils

    Duke has been the presumed leader for Giles since Day 1, and when Giles’ best friend and USA basketball teammate Jayson Tatum came on board in Durham the buzz only got stronger. Giles has taken visits to Wake Forest, Kansas and Kentucky and has only Duke left – which gives Coach K and staff the chance to make the final impression. The Blue Devils appear to still be firmly in the driver’s seat.

    Under Armour, Under Armour, USA Basketball

    No. 3 Josh Jackson (SF, 6-7, 195, Prolific Prep (CA)/Southfield, MI) – Arizona Wildcats

    The truth is that this one is still very much in flux. Yes, Arizona and Sean Miller have gone from a quiet contender to a perceived favorite while Michigan State and Maryland have emerged as the two most likely competitors. There’s no denying that Tom Izzo’s top-ranked national class has Jackson excited about the possibility of coming back home to play for the Spartans, while anyone discounting Maryland’s chances probably said the same thing about Diamond Stone at this time last year.

    No. 5 Malik Monk (SG, 6-3, 185, Bentonivlle/Bentonville, AR) – Kentucky Wildcats

    The Wildcats seem to be the favorite, although Arkansas and to a somewhat lesser extent Oregon appear to be in consideration as well. Arkansas has the hometown advantage, especially since Monk’s older brother Marcus starred on the football field there, but when Kentucky and John Calipari are locked in on a prospect for this long, they rarely miss.

    No. 6 Bam Adebayo (PF, 6-8, 235, High Point Christian/High Point, NC) – North Carolina State Wolfpack

    Adebayo seemed like a heavy NC State lean over the summer along with his AAU teammate, Dennis Smith Jr… With Smith having officially committed last month, most expected it would only be a matter of time before Adebayo followed suit. That hasn’t happened just yet though, as Auburn and even Kentucky have stayed involved. While Bruce Pearl remains locked in, Mark Gottfried is still the presumed favorite and has a chance to close later this month when Adebayo takes his visit.

    No. 7 De’Aaron Fox (PG, 6-3, 185, Cypress Lakes/Katy, TX) – Kentucky Wildcats

    Fox is done with his visits after seeing LSU, Louisville, Kansas and Kentucky and John Calipari certainly seems to be the favorite for the player who may be the closest thing we’ve seen to John Wall (albeit a left-handed version) since the Washington Wizards guard pushed the tempo in Lexington back in the 2009-2010 season. Fox has even gone as far as publicly discussing how well he and Monk could fit together in the backcourt.

    No. 13 T.J. Leaf (PF, 6-9, 220, Foothills Christian/El Cajon, CA) – UCLA Bruins

    UCLA, Oregon and San Diego State are the final three schools in contention for Leaf. Word is that UCLA is the most likely destination, but right now one of the biggest hold-ups is the fact that Leaf wants to know he’ll be in the starting lineup from Day 1 of his freshman season, and that isn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion at UCLA if Jonah Bolden decides not to pursue the NBA after this season. In other words, there’s a chance this one goes past the early signing period (which ends Nov. 18 ).

    No. 15 Rawle Alkins (SF, 6-4, 200, Word of God Christian Academy (NC)/Brooklyn, NY) – North Carolina State Wolfpack

    Alkins has been a top priority for Chris Mullin from the moment he arrived back in New York and while Kentucky was perceived as the most notable threat to St. John’s over the summer, right now it doesn’t appear as if the Wildcats are going to get too involved. North Carolina State has become a definite factor though, especially since Alkins transferred to nearby Word of God. North Carolina too is working to take advantage of Alkins’ new-found proximity.

    No. 18 Kobi Simmons (PG, 6-5, 170, St. Francis/Alpharetta, GA) – Ohio State Buckeyes

    Ohio State, Kentucky and UNLV are the three schools that made Simmons’ final list and with Kentucky presumably intent to wait on Fox and UNLV taking another ESPN 100 point guard in Jaylen Fisher, all signs seem to be pointing toward Thad Matta right now. If that weren’t enough, Jeff Borzello reported Monday that Ohio State canceled last weekend’s visit with another point guard, Tyson Carter, perhaps signaling a potential pledge from Simmons on the horizon.

    No. 19 Jarrett Allen (C, 6-10, 235, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal/Austin, TX) – Kentucky Wildcats

    Allen cut his list to eight and is coming off a recent visit to Notre Dame which reportedly went well. Nonetheless though, it’s starting to look more and more like Allen could be headed to either Kansas or Kentucky, schools he’ll will visit in back-to-back weekends to end the month of October. Ultimately, it might come down to the domino effect, given that both schools are in the mix for Marques Bolden. If one guy ends up at Kentucky, the other could be sealed for Kansas.

    No. 20 Marques Bolden (C, 6-10, 240, DeSoto/Dallas, TX) – Kansas Jayhawks

    Coming off what was described by all reports as a great visit to Kansas, Bolden canceled planned trips to both Kentucky and Duke last weekend, fueling speculation that Bill Self had taken over the driver’s seat in Bolden’s recruitment. While Alabama is also looking to make a push, the expectation that Bolden now ends up at Kansas is what ultimately could push Allen to Kentucky.

    No. 21 Dewan Huell (PF, 6-9, 230, Miami Norland/Miami, FL) – Florida State Seminoles

    Huell’s visits appear to be done now as he’s seen Miami (FL), Florida State and South Carolina in recent weeks. The Seminoles are the perceived favorites and apparently made an impression after hosting him along with several of their other top targets, yet reportedly pushed hard for the pledge but weren’t able to get it just yet. Miami is the hometown favorite and a very real contender while South Carolina got the chance to make the final impression on their visit this weekend.

    No. 22 Udoka Azubuike (C, 6-10, 280, Potters House Christian/Jacksonville, FL) – Florida State Seminoles

    Azubuike and Huell were on Florida State’s campus earlier this month along with Jonathan Isaac, who is already pledged to Leonard Hamilton, and so it’s clear the Seminoles have visions of pairing Azubuike and Huell together up front. He’s also visited NC State and will reportedly trip to North Carolina this weekend. Nevertheless, Florida State still sounds like the team to beat.

  • Foxes all Kentucky

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Self is happy to get one or two that seem to signal a trend of good bigs moving back our way.

    Dump trucks rolling into Lexington AGAIN.

    Oooooh make me wanna holler!

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Saw this and nothing was out of the ordinary, they basically just reported the popular opinions out there.

    I think they know nothing about what Bolden is thinking. Bolden not going to those visits definitely helps us but his parents didn’t want to pay for the plane tickets & he’s already visited both officially.

    They have no idea with Allen , that’s a guess out of their you know what. Don’t see why Allen would want to be the 5th or 6th wheel at Kentucky…

  • @blackmild33

    yeah we know crystal ball jr

    wasn’t this you 3 days ago???

    “Lightfoot will be AZ”

  • @jaybate-1.0 That Lexington bound line of dump trucks makes me wanna holler, too. With a bloody deep belch and a beller.

  • I don’t have time to analyze all these dudes, but is Bolden considered a OAD or multi year player? Being ranked 20 makes me think we might have him for a while which is better obviously.

    From experience in recent years I think our best case recruiting classes are guys ranked 20-70 or so and if Bolden coming can add some of them then we’re sitting pretty nice.

  • @BeddieKU23 said:


    yeah we know crystal ball jr

    wasn’t this you 3 days ago???


  • Interesting to consider all these kids. We’ll see what shakes out. Despite all the Kentucky paint all over everything, some of that royal blue is KU’s also, as Self can point to Wiggins, and recent NBA players as well, and can blame NCAA re:Cliff (eventhough it was Cliff’s own doing), and also point to 4 McDs on the roster: Diallo, Bragg, Ellis, Selden…

    He’s not without ammunition. He can also plug his system, since just being 5 McD’s on the floor doesn’t guarantee the W, as Wisc proved over KY. “You gotta come to play, scouts will see that…”

  • I wonder how much the Jarrett Allen/Marques Bolden split is a matter of opinion vs real knowledge. The only chatter I’ve heard of Bolden seriously considering UK has come from UK homers. Everything else has been Duke or KU. I also have no idea where he’s getting KU as in 2nd place for Allen other than reputation, and the fact that he’s visiting this weekend, but that could just be my ignorance.

    I will say, between the two of them, I actually feel better about Allen simply because Norm has taken over his recruitment and Norm has been closing the past couple of years (Diallo, Bragg, Oubre, Embiid, Selden, Greene, Mason, and I believe Graham too were all Norm Roberts projects).

  • @konkeyDong

    With Allen from what I’ve seen posted and read, we definitely have a chance but our best bet is signing him in the fall, not spring.

    We got involved by watching his workout. Now he’s coming for a visit although its not Late Night so the wow factor won’t be as glamorous. Maybe the new dorms will sell him.

    He visited Notre Dame, which took a commitment recently from a guard, but they expect to lose Jackson to the pro’s next year so there’s a spot if he waits until spring which very well could happen. He has to be considering them seems how Auguste is a Sr. You only get 5 visits, so they are in his top 5.

    Kentucky is the other “big” school on his list. Other than an offer from them I haven’t seen anything linking them to him. Why would they, at the minimum they will have 2 returning & 2 freshman bigs next year. I don’t see how Lee transforms into a draft pick but I think if he does even remotely okay he’ll leave. If Allen wants to be the 5th wheel please be my guess. I do think if he holds out to spring Kentucky will get involved and all the media will say he’s going there.

    Texas is still the home school, and if Smart has a splashy first year I think the pressure to stay home like Turner did will weigh on him. That’s why I think he waits until spring if KU or UK doesn’t “wow” him. If he waits until spring it gives Smart too much time to fix the relationship I’ve heard rumblings wasn’t the best when he first came here. Apparently Allen was high on the previous regime. They just recently signed a 4 star Center, but Texas has a glaring need for bigs and just lost on Braxton Key who was one of their big targets.

    Your right about Bolden, it’s been Duke, KU, & Alabama for a while. But recent news has said Bama isn’t a threat anymore. Bolden’s coach or handler (I forget which) has connections to UK through Julius Randle who had the same coach or handler situation. Plus he visited so that’s usually enough for half the internet world to go nuts about predicting him going there. Everyone has said Duke was the team to beat because his parents like Duke & the fact that he visited their multiple times. The KU visit definitely has helped our cause but can it win out against Duke. I’m inclined to say no based on previous battles against them. We’ve also recruited Texas like it was the plague, or Texas kids grow up thinking KU is the plague. Our track record is terrible besides Arthur. We need Bolden to be a November signee with KU his lasting impression and understanding that he can start here next year…

  • @BeddieKU23 @konkeyDong – Bolden is visiting Oklahoma this weekend, per Paul Biancardi.

  • @BeddieKU23 Bolden’s handler is also the one who influenced Terrance Ferguson to Alabama I believe. If it’s the same guy, he’s really tight with Avery Johnson so Alabama is going to be a player for D/FW recruits while Johnson is at Bama.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I’ve seen Jerry World (Meyer) report that its not set in stone he will visit as reported. Oklahoma has been been one of those silent teams just sticking around.

  • @HighEliteMajor Cool. Bolden would be a nice get for KU. I know zero about him other than he is ranked 20 and is sposed to be good, very good.

    Question with a lead up. We are losing, Hunter, Traylor, Perry, and Manning. We have to assume that if KU has a stellar season this year that Selden and possibly even Svi could bail early. Thats 5 guys out!! Bolden cant replace all of them on his own. Who else would possibly come to KU as a guard or wing prospect? We are going to need it.

  • @Lulufulu Manning doesn’t matter because he’s not scholarship and doesn’t play outside of garbage time. Reality is that KU isn’t likely going to lose both because Svi likely won’t play the minutes come out this year. Should Selden leave though, Lagerald Vick is the one likely move into the rotation and compete with Greene for minutes. There’s also a good enough chance of KU returning their entire back court next year that KU’s not going to land a wing until the slring if they even land one at all this year.

    A wing that can play immediately isn’t a dire need based on current projections for next year. Look for KU to target a decommit from a coaching change, a reclassified players, or a transfer in tge spring time.


  • that’s good there was rumors he might go to bama with Ferg for a visit. If he doesn’t take anymore visits safe to say he’s down to 3 schools.


Log in to reply