Highly touted forward has high level of interest in Kentucky
Earlier this week, we took a look at where things stand with every class of 2020 basketball recruit with a top-10 ranking from either 247Sports or Rivals.com.
Most of those players are on UK’s recruiting radar and will be major targets for the Wildcats moving forward, but there are a few other prospects a little further down the 2020 rankings that also have the attention of John Calipari and his coaching staff.
With a busy month of recruiting events ahead, here’s the status of five more players from the 2020 class that Kentucky fans should be paying attention to:
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Fletcher, a 6-foot-6 wing from St. Louis with elite athleticism and a list of scholarship offers that’s growing by the day. One of those new offers is from Kentucky, which hosted him for an unofficial visit last month.
Fletcher told the Herald-Leader this spring that Kenny Payne has been in regular contact and had been trying to get him on UK’s campus. The recent visit and resulting offer show a serious mutual interest, but the Cats will have a major battle on their hands. In the last month, Fletcher has received offers from Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, West Virginia, Arkansas and Vanderbilt, to go along with previous offers from such schools as Michigan State (where he took an official visit in March) and Missouri (the home-state option).
Look for his future ranking to reflect his interest from college recruiters. Fletcher is ranked No. 37 overall by Rivals.com and 247Sports, but Rivals national analyst Eric Bossi singled him out as a 2020 recruit who could achieve five-star status — i.e. a top-25 national ranking — by the end of the summer.
Like Fletcher, it has been a busy few weeks of recruiting developments for Garcia, a versatile 6-10 forward from Minnesota whose stellar play on the Adidas and camp circuits have resulted in several new scholarship offers. North Carolina, Kansas, Texas Tech, Arkansas and Vanderbilt all extended offers after his showing at last month’s NBPA Top 100 Camp, while Arizona, Maryland and Indiana were among the schools that offered during the spring recruiting period.
There has been no confirmation of a UK scholarship offer yet, but the 2020 class is short on instant-impact big men and Garcia has the versatile skill set, toughness and motor that Calipari likes in his forwards. He also has a good understanding of everything surrounding the Wildcats’ program. “When you go to Kentucky, you gotta love basketball or it could be a living hell for you,” he said last month.
Garcia has jumped to the No. 23 spot in the 247Sports rankings, and it might just be a matter of time before he announces a Kentucky scholarship offer has come his way.
This is a new name on UK’s recruiting radar — and it remains to be seen how serious the Wildcats will be in their pursuit — but Mane certainly has caught Kentucky’s attention for the time being. Following a breakout spring on the Under Armour circuit, the 6-5 combo guard from Montreal has been impressive at the FIBA U19 World Cup currently being played in Greece. Through Canada’s first three games in the event, Mane is averaging 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game (leading the team in scoring, passing and overall player efficiency).
Joel Justus has been in Greece scouting the event — which also includes top-10 UK targets Jalen Green and Scottie Barnes — and the Herald-Leader was told that Kentucky reached out to one of Mane’s coaches this week. Mane, who turned 19 in May, told 247Sports’ Evan Daniels this week that Maryland, Texas, Xavier and Kansas have been among the schools prioritizing him. His list of scholarship offers is expected to grow during the summer.
247Sports recently bumped Mane all the way to the No. 30 spot in its 2020 rankings.
The Nigerian-born center attends the same New Jersey high school that produced Isaiah Briscoe and incoming UK freshman Kahlil Whitney and has been the subject of 2019 reclassification buzz, though he says he’s staying in the 2020 class. Calipari extended a scholarship offer after meeting with Omoruyi — a 6-11 prospect — this spring, and Louisville, Maryland and Arizona are among his newest offers. Local choice Rutgers has also been seen as a legitimate landing spot, but his recruitment appears pretty wide open heading into July.
Omoruyi is still a bit of a raw prospect, but he has great potential as a rebounder and rim-protector and should be among the nation’s top prospects at the “5” spot in this class. If five-star recruit N’Faly Dante reclassifies to 2019 — which is still expected — it would leave Omoruyi as the only center in 2020 with a UK scholarship offer. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 46 overall player in the class.
A few months ago, it looked like Todd — a 6-10 power forward — might reclassify to 2019 and join Kentucky for this season. That’s not going to happen. He’s staying put in 2020, and though UK is still a big name on his recruiting list, the Cats don’t possess nearly as much buzz entering the summer as they did at the end of the high school season.
The well-traveled Baltimore native has played the past two seasons for high schools in North Carolina and Virginia and is currently competing for a Nike EYBL program based in Florida, averaging 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game heading into next week’s Peach Jam finals. North Carolina was once seen as UK’s biggest competition, but Todd might have hit the reset button on his recruitment and seems pretty open to the process with no set timetable for a college decision. Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 13 overall player in the 2020 class.