UK Men's Basketball

Calipari’s new recruiting target not ‘just a shooter,’ and he has serious UK interest

Tyler Herro, who played on the Nike circuit this summer, worked out at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June.
Tyler Herro, who played on the Nike circuit this summer, worked out at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June. Under Armour

John Calipari will be in Milwaukee on Tuesday to see four-star recruit Tyler Herro, the latest sign that Kentucky is seriously pursuing the talented shooting guard who decommitted from Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago.

Herro — a 6-foot-5 prospect in the class of 2018 — had been pledged to the home-state Badgers for more than a year before backing out of that commitment and re-opening his recruitment.

Last week, he hosted coaches from Kansas, Oregon, Villanova and Butler.

UK assistant coach Kenny Payne gave him a call Thursday night, and Calipari is up next.

“Kentucky hasn’t offered him a scholarship yet, so I think it’s too early to know where they stand,” analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “I think it’s pretty evident that there’s interest on Tyler’s end. But I think it’s tough to say too much more than that.

“They got on the phone with him for the first time last week, and now Cal’s going to see him. And I’m sure he’s a kid that their staff has seen quite a bit of in the past, just from being out and about at the AAU tournaments and stuff.”

Herro averaged 23.9 points per game and shot 39 percent from three-point range as a high school junior. He played this past summer on the Nike circuit, averaging 14.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game against the nation’s top competition.

Daniels most recently scouted Herro at the USA Basketball training camp in Colorado Springs earlier this month.

“He’s a kid that can really score the basketball,” Daniels said. “He’s creative. He shoots the ball well from distance, and he’s a capable shot-maker from mid-range. He’s athletic enough to get to the rim and finish. He’s a versatile scorer, and he’s a guy who can really create space off the dribble. He’s a very good player.” ranks him as the No. 38 prospect nationally in the 2018 class.

Daniels said Herro also has “all the tools” to be a fine perimeter defender at the next level. Herro’s skill set goes beyond his three-point shooting, which is the trait he’s most known for in recruiting circles.

“I don’t want to call him just a shooter,” Daniels said. “This is a guy that can score the ball in a variety of ways.”

Kentucky’s only commitment for the class of 2018 so far is from point guard Immanuel Quickley, but the Cats would like to add at least two additional guards before next season. They’ve been very active in the recruitments of five-star combo guard Quentin Grimes and five-star shooting guard Keldon Johnson in recent months, and both of those players are expected to announce college decisions in the next couple of weeks.

Herro doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make another commitment so soon after backing off the pledge to Wisconsin.

“I’m just taking my time,” Herro told the Post-Crescent (Wis.) newspaper over the weekend. “I’m not rushing into anything. I’m getting to know the coaches. I’m getting the feel for everything. I’m not trying to make a decision quick like I did the last time. I’m just going to take it slow.”

Daniels isn’t expecting a commitment any time soon either.

“I think he’s trying to figure the recruitment out right now,” he said. “He’s kind of started back from scratch. He has the interest in playing at the highest-level, and I think the blue-blood-type schools really interest him.”