Another major basketball recruit has made a decision, and it’s more bad news for UK.
Five-star prospect Vernon Carey — ranked No. 1 nationally by Rivals.com — isn’t ready to make a college announcement, but he did trim his recruiting list to three schools Wednesday night, and Kentucky is no longer in contention.
Carey — a 6-foot-10 power forward from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — is now considering Duke, Michigan State and North Carolina with a college decision expected sometime in the next few weeks. His previous list included both Kentucky and Miami, which were cut from consideration.
The update in Carey’s recruitment came one day after James Wiseman — the No. 1 player in the 247Sports composite rankings — committed to Memphis over UK.
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Wiseman and Carey have been battling over the top spot in the class of 2019 rankings for more than a year, and they were among UK’s earliest targets in that group. Both players took official visits to Lexington earlier this fall, but John Calipari won’t land a commitment from either one of them.
Calipari hasn’t signed the consensus No. 1 recruit in a class since Nerlens Noel in 2012, and Kentucky hasn’t landed a commitment from a consensus top-five national prospect since Skal Labissiere signed with the Wildcats four years ago.
A Herald-Leader survey of national recruiting analysts last week resulted in Duke and Michigan State being the consensus favorites in Carey’s recruitment. He has already completed all of his official visits.
Kentucky’s other post target — top-five national prospect Isaiah Stewart — is expected to be at Duke this weekend for the final official visit of his recruitment. Stewart is also considering UK, Michigan State, Washington and Syracuse, though the Wildcats aren’t being given much of a shot to land his commitment.
UK is also recruiting five-star shooting guard Anthony Edwards and five-star perimeter forwards Keion Brooks, Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels, and the Cats still have a realistic chance in each of those recruitments. None of those players have scheduled dates for their college commitments.