UK Recruiting

National analysts now predicting top-five basketball recruit will pick UK

Isaiah Stewart has moved into the top five rankings nationally for the class of 2019.
Isaiah Stewart has moved into the top five rankings nationally for the class of 2019.

247Sports national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels is now predicting that five-star post player Isaiah Stewart will end up at Kentucky.

Stewart — a 6-foot-9, 250-pound center from Rochester, N.Y. — is in Lexington this weekend for his official visit to UK and was spotted Saturday night at the Kentucky-South Carolina football game with the current team. Stewart sat and talked with this season’s group of Wildcats in end zone seats below the student section during the game. The UK team was presented on the field during the first quarter.

Daniels has been correct on 45 of 47 predictions for class of 2019 recruits so far in this cycle.

Stewart narrowed his recruiting list to Duke, Indiana, Michigan State, Syracuse, Villanova and Washington late last month, but he hosted UK Coach John Calipari for a visit at his high school, La Lumiere (Ind.), earlier this month and immediately scheduled an official visit to UK.

“I think Isaiah Stewart’s recruitment is fascinating, because he’s a guy that we all had penciled in to Duke, and now it’s a real recruitment,” Daniels told the Herald-Leader before the visit. “And Kentucky has a real shot at him. Michigan State is right there and has a real shot at him. And the first school he visited was Washington. So, this is a recruitment.”

Stewart averaged 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game on the Nike circuit this spring, earning first-team all-league honors. He measured with a 7-5 wingspan and 35-inch vertical leap at his high school’s combine last week.

247Sports national analyst Brian Snow, who is listed as the “lead expert” on Stewart’s 247 recruiting page, had already switched his Crystal Ball pick to Kentucky. National analyst Jerry Meyer has also changed his prediction to Kentucky.

Stewart is the No. 5 overall prospect in the class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He took the first official visit of his recruitment to Washington last weekend, and he has not scheduled any other official visits. He’s expected to make a college decision this fall.

Kentucky already has commitments from three players in the 2019 class: five-star point guard Tyrese Maxey, five-star wing Kahlil Whitney, and four-star wing Dontaie Allen.

The Cats are also looking to add several frontcourt players in this recruiting cycle. Stewart is one of their top targets, along with James Wiseman, Vernon Carey, Matthew Hurt and Oscar Tshiebwe.

Tshiebwe arrived in Lexington on Saturday for his official visit.