As previously planned, top-10 national recruit Brandon Huntley-Hatfield was in the Rupp Arena crowd for Saturday’s rivalry game between Kentucky and Louisville, sitting directly behind the UK bench.
Huntley-Hatfield — a 6-foot-9, 224-pound power forward from Clarksville, Tenn. — currently plays for IMG Academy in Florida and is seen as one of the most promising frontcourt prospects in the country. He was the only major recruit to visit Lexington for Saturday’s game.
247Sports ranks him as the No. 6 overall player in the class of 2022, though he is a prime candidate for reclassification, and the Herald-Leader has been told that the college coaches recruiting him are expecting him to ultimately end up in the 2021 class.
“He’s got some pretty impressive physical tools,” 247Sports national analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “He’s already a strong kid with a developed frame. But he’s also a good athlete. He rim-runs. He’s versatile. This is a guy that I think could be a really good rebounder. He’s effective offensively — not only around the basket, but he also has the ability to step out on the floor and make catch-and-shoot jump shots.”
Huntley-Hatfield shot 41 percent from three-point range in Under Armour play this past summer.
Kentucky extended a scholarship offer to Huntley-Hatfield earlier this year, and 247Sports national analyst Jerry Meyer has already logged a Crystal Ball prediction in the Wildcats’ favor.
The five-star recruit told the Herald-Leader back in October that he was planning to be at Saturday’s game between the Cats and the Cardinals, and he also called UK his “dream school” growing up, noting that former Kentucky forward Alex Poythress is from his hometown and has been a mentor of sorts in the early stages of his recruitment.
“Being my dream school growing up … for them to have interest in me, I’m really blessed,” he said. “I feel like Kentucky has played a really big role in players’ development in the NBA. They’ve got a lot of guys to the league. And I know a lot of schools can do that, but I just feel like Kentucky is one of those powerhouses. And I feel like I want to be a part of that.
“Kentucky has always been my number one school growing up.”
Huntley-Hatfield has also taken recent visits to Memphis and Mississippi, and he has additional scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and several other programs.