Here’s where the top basketball recruits are playing in college next season
A week after Kentucky landed its first basketball commitment for the 2020 class, the Wildcats have added another highly touted recruit.
Four-star wing Cam’Ron Fletcher committed to UK on Sunday following his official visit to Lexington, a trip that came just a few weeks after he picked up a Wildcats scholarship offer while in town for an unofficial visit.
Fletcher — a 6-foot-6 prospect from St. Louis — joins five-star shooting guard Brandon “BJ” Boston as Kentucky’s second commitment for the 2020 class. Boston gave his pledge to John Calipari and the UK coaching staff while in town for an official visit last weekend.
Rivals.com ranks Fletcher as the No. 37 overall prospect in the class of 2020, though national analyst Eric Bossi wrote earlier this summer that he has the potential to work his way into five-star territory.
“He’s a big-time athlete, and most of his game is predicated on that athleticism right now,” Bossi told the Herald-Leader. “He excels in kind of an up and down setting, and he’s one of those guys that — if he gets a couple of buckets early and is feeling good about himself — he can get it going in more of a halfcourt setting, too.
“If he misses a few shots early and the game’s not up and down, he can kind of lose his way a little bit. So he’s still pretty inconsistent. It’s a matter of turning all of these athletic tools into consistent production and then rounding out his ball handling and jump shooting. Consistency and skill are going to be the areas that are going to be getting drilled into his head for the next few years.”
Fletcher averaged 12.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on the Nike circuit this season, making 28.3 percent of his three-point attempts. UK assistant coach Kenny Payne was courtside for Fletcher’s first game of the only evaluation period to start the spring, and UK continued to keep tabs on him over the weeks that followed.
That interest led to the unofficial visit to Lexington in June, and it was on that trip that Fletcher landed the coveted scholarship offer from the Wildcats.
He recently trimmed his list to five schools — Alabama, Michigan State, Missouri and North Carolina were the others — but it became clear in recent weeks that Kentucky had emerged as the clear team to beat in his recruitment. This trip to Lexington marked Fletcher’s first official visit for the summer/fall recruiting season, and it was all he needed to make a college decision.
Fletcher joined Kentucky’s roster knowing full well that the internal competition could be intense by the time he gets to campus.
Boston — the No. 10 overall prospect in the Rivals.com rankings for 2020 — is already committed, and UK is thought to be in a good spot for California shooting guard Josh Christopher, the No. 11 player in those rankings. Another California shooting guard, Jalen Green, might be the Cats’ top target moving forward. He’s the nation’s No. 3 overall recruit, according to Rivals.com.
Kentucky could also return some talented backcourt players from this coming season’s team. Incoming freshmen Dontaie Allen, Keion Brooks, Johnny Juzang and Kahlil Whitney are all likely to play off the ball and on the perimeter, and most early draft projections peg Whitney as the only one in that group likely to be a one-and-done draft pick. Returning point guard Immanuel Quickley, who played more off the ball as last season progressed, is also not projected as an NBA pick following this season.
If some of those talented players are indeed back in Lexington a year from now, Fletcher will have a lot of competition for playing time in his freshman season. That should be a good thing.
“Different kids react to that in different ways. One would think that if you really want to be a great player, competition isn’t something that you would run from,” Bossi said. “Clearly, they’re looking pretty wing heavy in their early recruiting right now. So, I don’t know if that means they’re expecting a lot of defections after this year or what, but it’s potentially going to be a pretty crowded situation.”