UK Men's Basketball

Time running out for UK in recruitment of five-star prospect Kris Wilkes

Kris Wilkes talks recruiting from Team USA camp

Five-star basketball recruit Kris Wilkes talks about UK, Indiana, Michigan and more from Team USA training camp in Colorado Springs.
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Five-star basketball recruit Kris Wilkes talks about UK, Indiana, Michigan and more from Team USA training camp in Colorado Springs.

For the time being, five-star small forward Kris Wilkes is open to any college program that wants to get more involved with his recruitment.

That includes Kentucky, which still hasn’t extended Wilkes a scholarship offer, but the window is closing on the Wildcats if they’re serious about adding the 6-foot-7 prospect to their class of 2017.

Wilkes, the No. 16 overall player in the Scout.com rankings, has visited UK multiple times, including a trip to last year’s Big Blue Madness. The Wildcats’ coaches have also seen him play several times in both high school and AAU settings. Still, there’s been no UK offer for Wilkes, and it’s unclear if one will be coming any time soon.

“I haven’t talked to them recently,” he told the Herald-Leader this week. “I talked to them before, I visited down there. They just kept saying, ‘Get better.’ Maybe they will offer me before the end of the summer, maybe not.”

Wilkes, who made it through the first round of cuts for the Team USA U18 squad in Colorado on Thursday, said his recruitment will remain open through the end of the summer basketball schedule, and then he’ll start getting serious about trimming his list.

First, he’ll cut out all of the schools that haven’t extended scholarship offers. So, if UK wants him, the coaching staff would need to offer by the end of next month. If the Cats do extend an offer, Wilkes said they would “definitely” be on his list moving forward.

I haven’t talked to them recently. ... Maybe they will offer me before the end of the summer, maybe not.

Kris Wilkes, five-star basketball recruit

Several other major programs have made the Indianapolis native a priority in the 2017 class.

Home-state Indiana is in regular contact, and Wilkes spoke to Coach Tom Crean from Team USA camp Wednesday.

“They always say I’m the one wing guy that they want for sure,” Wilkes said. “It’s good to hear that. I talk to them a lot. I talked to (Crean) earlier. He was asking how it’s going down here and stuff like that. He’s a pretty good guy.”

Wilkes visited Michigan last weekend and left Ann Arbor with a scholarship offer from the Wolverines. “It felt good,” he said. “I’ve been waiting on that.” Washington extended an offer the next day.

He also has offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, UCLA, Maryland, Butler, Illinois, Notre Dame, Xavier and Purdue, among others.

Many of those schools are also recruiting Wilkes’ friend and AAU teammate Paul Scruggs, who recently cut his list to eight schools (including UK, which has not offered).

Wilkes and Scruggs — also from Indianapolis — have taken some college visits together and formed a bond as teammates on the Under Armour circuit. They’ve also discussed teaming up at the next level.

“It’s a possibility,” Wilkes said. “That would be great, because I do think we have a great chemistry together. I’m not saying that we are, but that would be a great possibility, and we have talked about it before.”

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats

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