There’s very rarely any surrender in John Calipari on the recruiting trail, and he’s clearly not conceding No. 1 prospect Harry Giles to the Duke Blue Devils.
Calipari and UK assistant coach Kenny Payne were in Virginia on Tuesday night to watch Giles’ season opener, a little less than a week before he’s expected to announce a college decision that probably won’t go the Wildcats’ way.
Duke has been considered the favorite in Giles’ recruitment for months, and that consensus has only strengthened in the past few weeks leading up to his announcement.
Some UK fans have expressed hope that Calipari’s last-minute visit is a sign that the 6-foot-10 power forward from Winston-Salem, N.C., might still be on the fence.
The lessons of Recruiting 101 say it’s more likely something less.
“Honestly, I think it’s a routine visit,” Scout.com’s Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “The process is coming to a close here in the very near future. And I think Calipari probably just wanted to stay in his mind.
“While the school of thought is that Harry Giles is going to Duke, I don’t think Harry Giles has necessarily told the other schools recruiting him that that’s where he’s going. So why wouldn’t they continue to recruit him?”
Giles was tentatively scheduled to announce his college decision at a showcase in his hometown on Nov. 14. That is no longer the plan, and it appears more likely that the No. 1 recruit will reveal his choice during ESPN’s early signing period recruiting special, which will likely air on Nov. 11 or Nov. 12.
Regardless of the decision date, Daniels hasn’t changed his prediction on the ultimate destination.
“I think Duke is still the frontrunner as we head into the final days of his recruitment,” he said.