Kentucky added to its wealth of recruiting riches on Wednesday afternoon as five-star guard Tyrese Maxey pledged to the Wildcats.
The 6-foot-4 Maxey is considered the No. 14 overall prospect in the national Class of 2019, according to Rivals, as the Texas native is one of the most potent perimeter scorers in the class. More importantly for Kentucky, the commitment from Maxey gives head coach John Calipari a ton of momentum, and potential roster flexibility, heading into the next two seasons.
While Maxey is currently enlisted in the Class of 2019, he told NBCSports.com during the April Live Evaluation Period that he would seriously consider joining the Class of 2018. Maxey still has to finish up a couple of classes through the month of June in order to make the leap.
It seems that Maxey will likely end up staying in the Class of 2019. But the option might still be there if Kentucky, and Maxey, decide to play college hoops next season.
Since Kentucky is already returning Quade Green, while also adding five-star freshman point guard Immanuel Quickley, they have two former McDonald’s All-Americans currently at lead guard for next season. And that doesn’t even include a commitment from Ashton Hagans, another talented Class of 2019 five-star guard who could opt into the Class of 2018 just like Maxey.
It means that Calipari has, potentially, four different five-star point guards he could have on the roster for next season if everything were to line up properly. Kentucky now has the luxury of being able to tell a player like Hagans or Maxey to wait until 2019 when they might be used in a different role.
Either way, this is a unique (and good) problem for the Wildcats to have. While the rest of the country is doing everything they can to secure elite talent, Kentucky has elite guards lining up to play in Lexington from all over the country.
Maxey’s commitment also means that Kentucky has things rolling in the Class of 2019. Five-star forward D.J. Jefferies has been committed since mid-March, while Hagans and Maxey could also join that group if they opt not to move up a year.
There have been a lot of questions about Kentucky remaining the elite recruiting force in college basketball after Duke’s recent stretch of dominance. But after securing three five-star 2019 commitments in three months, the Wildcats have left little doubt that they’re the major team to contend with on the recruiting trail for the current moment.