John Calipari provided another group of visiting five-star recruits with another spectacle over at Rupp Arena for Friday night’s Big Blue Madness, which attracted what might have been the most talented bunch of high school prospects yet for the season-opening event.
This year’s visiting seniors — Mohamed Bamba, Quade Green, Kevin Knox, Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Trae Young — all remain uncommitted, but a few could be getting much closer to their college decisions.
Here’s a look at what each of those recruits has coming up next:
Bamba — a 7-footer from Harlem, N.Y., and the surprise visitor on UK’s Madness guest list — has not publicly confirmed any plans for upcoming visits. Duke is holding its midnight madness event Saturday, but there have been no indications he will attend. A visit to Texas for the weekend of Oct. 28 has also been mentioned, but Bamba has not said whether or not he will make that trip.
The trip to Big Blue Madness was an unofficial visit, and UK is expected to get Bamba back on campus for an official visit sometime during the season. He’s taken only one official visit — to Michigan, last month — so he has four of those remaining. Bamba still appears to be on track for a spring decision.
Green — a 6-1 point guard from Philadelphia — is expected to visit Syracuse for its midnight madness event Friday night and hometown Villanova the following week. It was previously reported that he would visit Duke on Saturday, but that seems unlikely with his planned trip to Syracuse the night before. He’s expected to make a college decision in time to sign early next month.
Knox — a 6-9 small forward from Tampa, Fla. — still has a long way to go in his recruitment. He was at UK for an unofficial visit Friday night and will take the first official visit of his recruitment to Duke on the weekend of Oct. 28.
Knox is scheduled to return to UK for an official visit in late January (when the Cats host Kansas), and he’s also taking official visits to Florida State (Jan. 7) and North Carolina (Feb. 4). Knox and his father have been adamant that no college decision will be made until after his senior season.
Richards — a 6-11 center from Queens, N.Y. — was visiting UK for the second time in less than a month last weekend. His AAU coach, Todd Quarles, told the Herald-Leader that Richards returned home from the most recent trip Sunday. Quarles accompanied Richards on his official visit to Lexington last month. “It was a great visit,” he said this week. “I think he saw how focused it was and why Cal gets pros to the league.”
Richards was supposed to take an official visit to Arizona earlier this month, but he wanted Quarles to go on that trip and the coach couldn’t make it. Quarles said Monday that they haven’t set a new date for that visit. Richards has also said that he plans to visit Syracuse before making a college decision, though that trip hasn’t been scheduled either. “Not sure. We’ll see how it goes,” Quarles said when asked if Richards would make the Arizona and/or Syracuse visits before deciding.
Quarles said he hopes Richards will take some more recruiting trips so he has something to compare the UK trips to before making a decision. It looks like UK is the favorite in his recruitment, and he might be ready to announce in time for the early signing period — whether he takes those visits or not.
Washington — a 6-8 forward from Findlay Prep (Nev.) — will take an official visit to Arizona this weekend. He’s already been on official visits to UK and North Carolina (the Madness trip was an unofficial visit and the second time he’s been on campus in the past few weeks), and it’s still possible that UNLV could get a recruiting visit in the near future, though UK, Zona and UNC are the clear top three.
There’s no specific timetable for Washington’s college decision, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make an announcement in time for the November signing period.
Young — a 6-2 point guard from Norman, Okla. — will be at Kansas this weekend for what could be the final official visit of his recruitment. He has already taken official visits to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kentucky, so he will have one more left even after his trip to Kansas. It was expected that either Oklahoma State or Washington — two other schools still on his list — would get Young’s fifth visit, but his father, Ray Young, told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday that there “may not be a need to” take any more official visits after this weekend.
That doesn’t mean Trae is ready to make a decision. His father made it clear Tuesday that their timetable hasn’t changed. They’ve said in several interviews over the past few weeks that an announcement was likely to come in December, which would be too late for Trae to sign with a school early. UK and Oklahoma still appear to be the co-favorites.