On the eve of his college announcement, the recruitment of five-star point guard Quade Green has seemingly taken a turn in favor of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Coming into this month’s early signing period, the narrative surrounding Green’s recruitment was that Syracuse was the overwhelming favorite to land his commitment.
On Thursday evening, Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels disputed that notion, telling the Herald-Leader that he liked Kentucky’s chances to land Green and said he “probably wouldn’t trade positions” in the recruitment if he were the Wildcats.
On Friday morning, Daniels went ahead and made a prediction in favor of UK.
“I like Kentucky’s chances to pick up Quade on Saturday,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “My prediction is he ends up a Wildcat.”
Green — a 6-foot-1 prospect from Philadelphia — will announce his college decision Saturday night. He recently named a list of five finalists — Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, Temple and Villanova — but his high school coach told the Herald-Leader this week that his recruitment is really down to UK and Syracuse.
He’s expected to reveal his choice between 9:30 and 10 p.m., Saturday.
Daniels isn’t alone in his Green-to-UK prediction. His colleague at Scout.com, recruiting analyst Brian Snow, is also picking the Cats.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball, which allows recruiting observers to log picks telling readers where they think prospects are headed, had Syracuse as the overwhelming favorite for Green as of Thursday.
By Friday morning, UK was fast approaching front-runner status, with predictions in the Wildcats’ favor from 247Sports analysts Jerry Meyer and Andrew Slater, among others.
Green led the Nike circuit in assists and steals this past summer and is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 25 overall player in the class of 2017.
Syracuse has been recruiting him for more than two years, and UK didn’t extend a scholarship offer until this summer, after he had blossomed into a national star.
A commitment from Green would be a major boon for the Wildcats’ 2017 recruiting class, which likely will need several backcourt players to offset the expected loss of Isaiah Briscoe, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk to the NBA Draft.
Green, who has already signed with the school of his choice but is keeping it secret until Saturday’s public announcement, would give UK one of the most talented point guards in the country — and arguably the nation’s best facilitator — to go along with four-star combo guard Shai Alexander, and five-star frontcourt commitments Nick Richards and PJ Washington.
Washington, in particular, has mentioned Green as a player he’s been trying to recruit to UK since his own commitment to the Cats last week. Green’s high school coach, Carl Arrigale, implied that other 2017 recruits feel the same way.
“He’s a guy that other guys gravitate to,” Arrigale told the Herald-Leader. “I remember talking to (John Calipari) when he came for a meeting at the school. He said, ‘Guys want to play with him.’ And that didn’t surprise me. He’s got that type of way about him. You know he’s going to be a guy who’s out there fighting for you and trying to lead you the best he can.”