UK Recruiting

Final basketball recruiting rankings are out. Did Duke hold off UK?

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky's John Calipari have dominated the national recruiting scene in recent years.
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky's John Calipari have dominated the national recruiting scene in recent years.

The composite rankings for the basketball recruiting class of 2018 have been finalized — taking into account late reclassifiers like Ashton Hagans — and Duke remained in front of Kentucky at the top of the list.

The Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) was updated this week with the final tallies. UK was bolstered by the new rankings for Hagans, a five-star point guard who recently decided to jump from 2019 to 2018, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Blue Devils’ 2018 haul.

Duke has three of the top four prospects in the rankings — RJ Barrett at No. 1, Cameron Reddish at No. 2, and Zion Williamson at No. 4 — in addition to Tre Jones at No. 13 and Joey Baker, another late reclassifier from 2019, at No. 37 overall.

Kentucky, too, has five signees among the top 50 prospects in the country, though the Cats’ class doesn’t possess the same star power at the very top of the rankings.

EJ Montgomery is UK’s top-rated player on the final RSCI list at No. 10 overall, and he’s followed by Keldon Johnson at No. 12, Hagans at No. 14, Immanuel Quickley at No. 23 and Tyler Herro at No. 35.

The RSCI is a composite score of rankings from four nationally recognized recruiting services: Rivals.com, 247Sports, ESPN and longtime analyst Van Coleman. 247Sports and Coleman each had Hagans at No. 12 overall, Rivals.com placed him at No. 13, and ESPN ranked him 20th.

Western Kentucky signee Charles Bassey also reclassified from 2019 to 2018 late in the process and is a more recent addition to the final RSCI rankings, coming in at No. 9 nationally. The Hilltoppers landed the No. 8 player in the RSCI rankings last year, Mitchell Robinson, though he never played for WKU (or any other college) before turning pro.

Jeff Crume, who has managed the RSCI for the past 20 years, told the Herald-Leader that UK would’ve ended up in the No. 1 spot if transfers were included in the class rankings. The Cats landed graduate transfer Reid Travis — a first-team, all-conference player at Stanford last season — in June, and he will be eligible to play for Kentucky right away this season.

Travis’ addition didn’t help UK in the recruiting rankings, but it definitely will make a difference where it actually matters, on the basketball court. UK starts the season against Duke in Indianapolis on Nov. 6, a matchup pitting the nation’s top two recruiting classes against each other.

Following Duke and Kentucky in the final RSCI team rankings are Oregon, Louisiana State and Kansas, with Vanderbilt coming in at No. 6 overall.

Either UK or Duke has ended up with the No. 1 RSCI ranking in each of John Calipari’s nine recruiting classes with the Cats, with Kentucky finishing on top in six of those cycles. The Cats have finished no worse than third in Calipari’s nine years as head coach, and they’re the only team to finish in the top five with all nine classes.

RSCI rankings since Calipari arrived at UK



1st2nd3rd4th5th
2018DukeKentuckyOregonLSUKansas
2017KentuckyDukeArizonaUCLATexas
2016KentuckyDukeMichigan StateArizonaUCLA
2015DukeArizonaKentuckyLSUKansas
2014DukeKentuckyNorth CarolinaUNLVKansas
2013KentuckyKansasMemphisDuke Indiana
2012KentuckyArizonaUCLANorth CarolinaNC State
2011KentuckyDukeSt. John’sOhio StateLouisville
2010KentuckyMemphisNorth CarolinaOhio StateNC State



After losing out on the recruitment of Zion Williamson, who picked Duke, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari was asked about UK’s recruiting on Monday.

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