The Kentucky Wildcats are still in the running for Darius Garland.
The five-star point guard and top-10 recruit in 2018 named his top six schools on Friday, which is a who’s who of college basketball’s elite programs (and Vanderbilt):
You won’t find many lists of elite schools like this one, not to mention Garland actually has an offer from them all. Garland is the kind of player who every college would love to have, but he didn’t score an offer from UK until this week.
That’s probably why UK made the cut on his new list, though it remains to be seen how involved John Calipari will continue to be in this recruitment.
Did Calipari offer Garland because he really wants him, or was it more of a token offer to let Garland know he could come to UK if he wants, as unlikely as it seems right now?
It also may have just been Calipari offering another elite point guard to help ‘encourage’ Immanuel Quickley to make his decision soon. Calipari has shown many times in the past that he strongly prefers to have a point guard signed in the fall. He’s also shown he’ll offer other point guards to make his top target at the position make a decision faster.
All said, Garland could end up being the best point guard in this class, so there’s no reason for him to not have an offer from UK. He’s more than earned it.
Still, I think Uk has too much ground to make up in order to pass Duke for his services. Even home-state Vanderbilt is pretty far ahead of UK, but if this recruitment were to drag on into the spring, perhaps Calipari makes up enough ground that UK becomes a viable contender for him, even if they get Quickley.
After all, Duke is the current favorite, but fellow 2018 point guard and top-10 prospect Tre Jones is likely to pick the Blue Devils, so Garland must be serious about his willingness to play with another elite point guard prospect in college.
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