UK Recruiting

Will Georgia beat UK for nation’s No. 1-ranked basketball recruit?

Justus: Goal is to identify players who see Kentucky as ultimate destination

Kentucky basketball assistant Joel Justus describes Wildcats' recruiting strategy and the landscape of basketball recruiting.
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Kentucky basketball assistant Joel Justus describes Wildcats' recruiting strategy and the landscape of basketball recruiting.

On the eve of top-ranked basketball recruit Anthony Edwards’ college announcement, all signs still pointed to Georgia as his destination.

Edwards — a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from the Atlanta area — will reveal his college choice at 9 a.m. Monday on the CBS Sports HQ website, and his finalists are Kentucky, Georgia and Florida State.

The McDonald’s All-American’s most recent recruiting actions would suggest that UK and Georgia are the true finalists in his recruitment, and national experts are saying the Bulldogs hold a major advantage going into Monday’s announcement.

Edwards canceled a planned official visit to Florida State this past weekend, and called off official visits to two previous finalists — Kansas and North Carolina — shortly before that. That means Kentucky and Georgia are the only two schools he has seen on official visits, and he’s ready to call an end to his recruitment.

UK hosted Edwards for an official visit Jan. 21, but he returned to Athens for an unofficial visit the following weekend and named a commitment date shortly after that.

The consensus in recruiting circles is that Edwards will pick Georgia.’s primary recruiting analysts — Eric Bossi, Corey Evans and Dan McDonald — are all predicting the Bulldogs on Edwards’ FutureCast page, with McDonald first logging a pick in favor of Georgia in late December.

The last few days have seen a flurry of activity on Edwards’ 247Sports Crystal Ball page. The past dozen picks on that page have been in favor of the Bulldogs, including predictions from national recruiting experts Evan Daniels, Jerry Meyer, Andrew Slater and Brian Snow.

Daniels, who broke the news of Edwards’ decision date last week, has been correct on 87 of 90 predictions in the 2019 recruiting cycle.

247Sports ranks Edwards as the No. 1 overall player in the 2019 class, and ESPN projects him as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s averaging 26.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals so far this season.

Ben Roberts covers UK basketball, football and other sports for the Lexington Herald-Leader and has specialized in UK basketball recruiting for the past several years. He also maintains the Next Cats recruiting blog, which features the latest news on the Wildcats’ recruiting efforts.
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