The Class of 2018 just got a lot stronger as the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2019, R.J. Barrett, announced his decision to graduate high school a year earlier on Monday.
In a blog post with USA Today, the 6-foot-7 wing announced that he’ll play college basketball a year sooner than expected after the Canadian put together a dominant spring and summer.
After leading the Nike EYBL in scoring this past spring at 28 points per game, Barrett helped lead the Canadian U19 team to a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup as he was named the MVP of the event. Helping to eliminate the United States and head coach John Calipari in the semifinals, Barrett dropped 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists on a team with current college stars and five-star high school prospects.
The shift into the Class of 2018 for Barrett has major ramifications on college basketball as he joins a weak crop of elite recruits near the top of his new class. When Barrett enters college for the 2018-19 season, he could be regarded as a preseason Player of the Year candidate if he continues his current trajectory.
On the recruiting front, Barrett said in his blog post with USA Today that the schools showing the most interest are Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA. Barrett also mentioned that Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, USC, UConn and UNLV have reached out, as he has yet to figure out a plan for official visits.