Five-star basketball recruit Marques Bolden is finally ready to announce his college decision.
After an initial tweet from Bolden’s high school Monday afternoon that the player’s much-anticipated announcement would come Tuesday morning, DeSoto (Texas) Athletics Director Larry Davis told the Herald-Leader that Bolden will actually reveal his college choice Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET during a ceremony at the high school gym.
Bolden — the No. 1 center in the senior class — is expected to choose either Kentucky or Duke, and whichever program lands his commitment will also end up with the No. 1 recruiting class for 2016.
The 6-foot-11 prospect originally set April 17 — his 18th birthday — as the deadline for his college announcement, but the date passed with no commitment, and Bolden has been largely quiet about his recruitment in the weeks since.
“He sees it as a very important step in his life, and he just wants to be very careful,” his high school coach, Chris Dyer, told the Herald-Leader last month. “He wants to make sure it’s the right decision. He’s very family oriented, and he wants to make sure that the college he goes to helps him grow as a young man, not just as an athlete but as a student also.”
Scout.com ranks Bolden as the No. 1 center and No. 8 overall prospect in the class of 2016, which has been billed as the best group of recruits in recent years. He played in the McDonald’s All-American Game, Nike Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic after leading DeSoto to a state title in March.
While UK currently has the No. 1 recruiting class for 2016, Bolden would give the Cats an offensively skilled, back-to-the-basket post player who could start immediately for a team with national title aspirations.
The Wildcats already have signed five five-star players for next season: point guard De’Aaron Fox, combo guard Malik Monk, small forward Wenyen Gabriel and post players Bam Adebayo and Sacha Killeya-Jones.
Technically, UK does not have any scholarships open for next season, though that could change soon. If both Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee withdraw their names from the NBA Draft, the Wildcats would be at the 13-scholarship limit. However, Lee’s comments from the NBA Combine last weekend indicated that he was leaning toward staying in the draft.
Briscoe and Lee have until May 25 to withdraw and retain their college eligibility.
Duke’s recruiting class already consists of five-star prospects Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson, along with four-star power forward Javin DeLaurier and three-star wing Jack White. The Blue Devils have one open scholarship.