UK Recruiting

Recently deemed Kentucky-bound, 2016 forward Bridges now expected to pick Michigan State

Five-star recruit Miles Bridges (1), a 6-foot-6 small forward for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, took an official visit to Michigan State three weeks ago. He is expected to make his college choice Saturday.
Five-star recruit Miles Bridges (1), a 6-foot-6 small forward for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, took an official visit to Michigan State three weeks ago. He is expected to make his college choice Saturday. AP

Three weeks ago, it looked like five-star basketball recruit Miles Bridges was bound for the University of Kentucky.

Going into his college announcement Saturday afternoon, things have changed.

Bridges — a 6-foot-6 small forward for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep — will announce his decision during a ceremony in his hometown of Flint, Mich. The finalists are UK, Michigan State and Indiana, and a new favorite has emerged.

"My prediction with Miles is Michigan State," said Scout.com director of recruiting Evan Daniels. "I think they've been the frontrunner since his official visit there. I think it helps that he's from that area and his close friend and teammate is now committed there. And Tom Izzo did a great job recruiting him."

Bridges took an official visit to East Lansing three weeks ago. He was accompanied on that trip by friend and AAU teammate Cassius Winston, and the buzz around Bridges' recruitment shortly thereafter shifted from the Wildcats to the Spartans.

Winston — a highly touted point guard — committed to Michigan State less than a week after the trip. A few days before that, Bridges set his own commitment date and rescheduled his official visit to UK from Big Blue Madness to a nondescript weekend in September.

Then, Bridges announced that he would reveal his college choice in Flint, a city that has sent several talented players to Izzo during his tenure at Michigan State.

"I do think, for a long period of time, Kentucky was the favorite," Daniels said. "I don't know what happened. I think Miles will probably have to answer that one."

Bridges emerged over the summer as one of the nation's top high school basketball players, and Calipari made him one of UK's top priorities for the class of 2016.

The UK coach watched him play several times as the summer basketball schedule reached its end. On the first day of the fall recruiting period, Calipari traveled to Huntington to pay Bridges a visit.

Now it looks like he'll be a Spartan.

The timing of five-star forward Wenyen Gabriel's surprising commitment to Kentucky on Thursday will take away much of the sting if Bridges does indeed choose Michigan State.

Daniels cited Scout.com's player rankings to add a little perspective to the situation, while also noting that UK appears to be in fine shape for some other highly touted players in the class of 2016.

"I've got Wenyen Gabriel at No. 10 and Miles Bridges at No. 11," he said. "You get one of those guys, you're more than thrilled. So I don't think they're super concerned."

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