UK Recruiting

Brandon Boston was first to join UK’s 2020 class. Cats should get more good news soon.

Five-star guard Brandon Boston talks UK and recruiting

Five-star basketball prospect Brandon Boston has narrowed his recruitment to four schools: Kentucky, Duke, Auburn and Florida.
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Five-star basketball prospect Brandon Boston has narrowed his recruitment to four schools: Kentucky, Duke, Auburn and Florida.

The addition of five-star shooting guard Brandon “BJ” Boston on Saturday afternoon marked the first commitment for UK’s basketball recruiting class of 2020, and the Wildcats appear primed to add more talent to their future backcourt soon.

On the heels of Boston’s official visit to Kentucky — he committed while still in Lexington — the Cats will host four-star wing Cam’Ron Fletcher for an official visit later this week. Though not necessarily expected to give a commitment while on that trip, Fletcher has emerged in recent weeks as a major Kentucky lean and is expected to join the Cats’ 2020 class in the near future.

The 6-foot-6 prospect from St. Louis recently narrowed his list to UK, Alabama, Michigan State, Missouri and North Carolina, and he’s said in the past that he’d like to take all of his official visits and announce a college choice sometime in September.

Fletcher could stick to that plan, but UK is confident that he’ll end up committing to the Cats, and recruiting insiders have told the Herald-Leader in the past few days that this trip might be all he needs to put an end to the process.

UK clearly wants him as part of its 2020 class — the Cats extended a scholarship offer last month — and Fletcher hasn’t been shy about his love for the program.

Kentucky has also been picking up steam with five-star shooting guard Josh Christopher, who narrowed his recruiting list to UK, Arizona State, Michigan, Missouri and UCLA last week. In the spring, Christopher — a 6-4 prospect from the Los Angeles area — told Rivals.com that Kentucky was his dream school growing up, and the Cats extended an offer earlier this month.

There’s a growing sense of optimism on UK’s end that Christopher will also eventually join its 2020 class, and the fishbowl nature of the Wildcats’ program seems to be the perfect fit for the affable West Coast star.

“The kid’s always demanded the spotlight,” Rivals.com national analyst Corey Evans told the Herald-Leader over the weekend. “He wants the biggest platform possible, and, as we all know, Kentucky is the best at doing it.”

Evans noted that the other finalists on Christopher’s list are all still legitimate players, for various reasons. His cousin is the strength coach at Missouri, and his brother will be a freshman at Arizona State this season.

“So those two programs have to be watched,” Evans said.

UCLA represents a major West Coast brand and the hometown option, and Evans said not to discount Michigan’s new coaching staff. “No one has really recruited him harder since being hired than Juwan Howard at Michigan. But I do think Kentucky has a good shot there.”

In a roundtable post over the weekend, Evans and fellow Rivals analyst Dan McDonald both predicted that Christopher would end up at UK.

Rivals.com ranks Boston as the No. 10 overall recruit in the 2020 class, with Christopher right behind him in the No. 11 spot and Fletcher sitting at No. 37, though Rivals national analyst Eric Bossi recently wrote that the latter prospect has the upside to rise into five-star territory before this recruiting cycle is finished.

That would be a tremendous trio to get on board before the early signing period in November, and it’s possible — maybe even probable — that Kentucky will have commitments from all three players by then.

And other high-profile possibilities remain for the Wildcats’ future backcourt.

Shooting guard Jalen Green — the No. 3 overall player in the Rivals rankings — has been one of UK’s top targets in the 2020 class for months, and there’s been plenty of chatter this summer that the Wildcats might even be the team to beat at this stage in his recruitment.

A few hangups: Green has said multiple times that he’ll likely wait until the spring to make his college decision, Memphis is among those in the mix and appears to be UK’s top competition, and the California native has also not shut the door on the possibility of playing one year of pro ball between his final season of high school and his expected entry in the 2021 NBA Draft.

His friend, RJ Hampton, is going that route this season, and Green will surely be following Hampton’s preps-to-pros experiment.

Green will (and should) be one of the targets that UK pays the most attention to over the next few months, but there are still plenty of moving parts to his recruitment, and it’s not expected to come to an end anytime soon.

The point guard picture for the 2020 class is also murky. The only two point guards in that group with UK scholarship offers — Sharife Cooper and Cade Cunningham — are expected to commit to Auburn and Oklahoma State, respectively, but there are other options.

The Wildcats extended a scholarship offer to class of 2021 point guard Devin Askew over the weekend, and the five-star playmaker from California has acknowledged that he’s thinking about a move to the 2020 class.

Five-star point guard Daishen Nix told Rivals.com at USA Basketball training camp this past weekend that he remains in close contact with Kentucky and listed that school first when asked which campuses he wants to visit later this summer and fall.

UK hasn’t extended a scholarship offer yet, but that could change in the near future, and the Cats would likely vault up Nix’s list if they decide to jump all in on that recruitment.

The point guard situation should work itself out between now and next spring, but, for the time being, Kentucky appears to be in terrific shape elsewhere in the backcourt.

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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