Varsity Preps

Kentucky’s Halloween Treats

Kentucky fans are in for more of a treat this year than overly sugared candy and popcorn balls. Late word came out Tuesday night that a pair of 5 star basketball recruits would be committing on the 31st. Devin Booker a 6-5 shooting guard from Moss Point, Missouri and James Blackmon Jr. a 6-2 shooting guard from Marion, Indiana are both set make their official announcements.

Devin Booker 6-5 SG Moss Point, Missouri   devin-booker1

Devin Booker who’s father was a long time player at the University of Missouri is ranked as the number 18 player in the country by ESPN. Booker’s finalist are Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, and Kentucky. Kentucky and Missouri have long been viewed as the favorites for his services but after official visits to all four schools, Booker said all doors where open. Booker visited Kentucky for their annual alumni game in September that featured the 2010 Final Four team with John Wall, Demarcus Cousins (Who did not play due to contract negotiations), Eric Bledsoe, and Patrick Patterson playing the 2012 National Champion team with Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Terrance Jones. These star studded teams reportedly made a big impact on Booker. Devin was most recently on the campus of Missouri this past week to view a ceremony honoring of his father’s 1993-1994 Big Eight Championship team. (This ceremony was prearranged prior to Devin Booker being heavily recruited by Mizzou and was not a ploy to bring him on campus one last time) Booker had a previous official visit to Missouri earlier in October to take a look at their Midnight Madness festivities. As for the other two schools on his list, both official visits went well but ultimately Michigan and Michigan St. are widely viewed to be on the outside looking in. His announcement time will be at 4:00pm ET during a press conference at Moss Point High School.

FINAL TAKE- Devin Booker 6-5 SG Moss Point, Missouri

  • Michigan and Michigan St. are not major players anymore and are on the outside looking in.
  • Missouri fans reported Booker looking “Bored” at the exhibition game last week.
  • Had a great time at the UK Alumni game, wide consensus is Kentucky is the leader.

My Prediction- KENTUCKY

James Blackmon Jr. 6-2 SG Marion, Indiana     James-Blackmonmug-194x300

James Blackmon who’s father played for the University of Kentucky is ranked as the number 19 player in the country by ESPN. Blackmon’s finalist are Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky, and Indiana. (Booker was a long time Indiana commit before decommitting earlier this Summer) Kentucky and Indiana have been considered the favorites since he decommitted with Michigan gaining some ground after his official visit. Blackmon visited Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness earlier this October with fellow 2014 recruits Stanley Johnson and Trey Lyles as-well as current UK commits Tyler Ulis and Karl Towns Jr. Blackmon reportable had a great time and fell in love with Kentucky after it’s madness festivities. After Blackmon’s Michigan official visit, many speculated they moved up his board and into his top three but in recent weeks, the hype has died and they are moving out of the picture. After deommitting from Indiana, Blackmon received hateful messages from Indiana’s fanbase and hurt his chances of returning to the Hoosiers. Late last week, Tom Crean made a late push to get Blackmon on campus one last time to make his final pitch. The last straw came out during his final visit to Indiana, when his day visit was abruptly cut short after he had to leave for “family issues”. Many believe his visit started deteriorating as soon as he hit campus and let to his early departure. With Kansas and Michigan St. not playing a major role in his commitment, the rising consensus was that Kentucky is the heavy leader coming into Thursday. His announcement will be made during the halftime show of the Louisiana-Monroe @ Troy football game on ESPNU. Expect the announcement time to be around 8:45- 9:15

FINAL TAKE- James Blackmon Jr. 6-2 SG Marion, Indiana

  • Kansas and Michigan State are widely viewed as being minor roles in his recruitment.
  • Michigan is the dark horse coming into Thursday.
  • Indiana is less and less likely to land Blackmon as the weeks go by.
  • Kentucky is widely viewed as the favorite coming into Thursday.

My Prediction- KENTUCKY

     Last Call- Halloween is a time for trick or treats, will Kentucky fans be hit with a surprise trick and lose out on both of these five star recruits? Will Kentucky get a taste of both losing one and getting one? Or will Kentucky get hit with the ultimate treat of the holiday season by landing both of these star studded recruits? Any way it turns out, Kentucky fans will surely be looking forward to Halloween night for more than one reason. -KentuckyBeat

Follow me on Twitter @KentuckyBeatVP






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