With the self-imposed deadline for a college announcement from five-star center Marques Bolden rapidly approaching, it’s still not entirely clear which school, if any, has the upper hand in his recruitment.
Bolden — a 6-foot-10 basketball prospect from DeSoto, Texas — will pick either Kentucky or Duke, and he’s consistently said that he wants to do it before Sunday.
Two weeks ago at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago, Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader that — despite some heavy pro-Duke buzz at the time — he believed Bolden was still completely undecided and gave each program an equal shot at landing his commitment.
Fast forward to Thursday, and Daniels says there’s still no clear favorite.
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“At this point, it’s hard to say,” he told the Herald-Leader. “Obviously, Duke got the last shot by going in and meeting with him on the in-home visit. But he could pick Duke, he could pick Kentucky and neither would necessarily surprise me.”
Duke’s assistant coaches met with Bolden and his family in Texas last Sunday. UK Coach John Calipari did the same late last month and then spoke to Bolden on the phone Tuesday before the recruit headed to Brooklyn for this week’s Jordan Brand Classic.
Bolden said at Jordan Classic media day that it was possible he could announce a college decision this week while he’s in town for the game. He appeared on ESPNU’s Signing Day Special program Wednesday night — along with Duke signees Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, and Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel — and did not announce a decision on that show.
The Jordan Brand Classic is set for Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, and there has been some buzz out of Brooklyn that he could announce his college choice during the game broadcast.
Melvin Bolden, the player’s father, told the Herald-Leader on Tuesday that his son had not set a date for the college announcement. The elder Bolden did not respond Thursday when asked if the five-star recruit plans to announce his decision during the Jordan game.
It’s important to point out that, while Bolden has said he plans to announce his decision by April 17, he can wait as long as he wants to pick a school. Still, it seems in recent days as if he is getting closer to an announcement.
The only other high school senior that UK is still showing interest in is Jarrett Allen, a 6-9 post player from Austin, Texas.
The hometown Longhorns have emerged as the most popular prediction in his recruitment, with Houston also viewed as a possible landing spot. Allen told the Herald-Leader at the McDonald’s Game that he was also considering UK, Notre Dame, Kansas and North Carolina.
Allen has not set a date for his college announcement, and UK is still in contact with him.
“They’re recruiting him, but I think the local schools seem to be the ones that are getting the most attention, and by local schools I mean Texas and Houston,” Daniels said. “But Kentucky never stopped recruiting Jarrett Allen.”