The new Rivals.com rankings for the basketball recruiting class of 2021 were released Wednesday, and the top five players on the list remained unchanged.
Five-star forward Jonathan Kuminga is the still the No. 1 player in the class, followed by power forward Paolo Banchero at No. 2, small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. at No. 3, 7-footer Chet Holmgren at No. 4, and versatile forward Jabari Smith at No. 5.
Kuminga is one of Kentucky’s top recruiting targets, and the Herald-Leader has been told recently that UK is one of four most likely landing spots for the Congo native, along with Auburn, Duke and Louisiana State (even though LSU was not on his most current list of schools). Kuminga is also widely expected to reclassify to 2020 later this summer.
Kentucky has also extended scholarship offers to Banchero and Baldwin, and the Wildcats appear to have an especially good shot at landing Banchero, a Seattle native who visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness in October.
UK has been linked to Smith, the son of a former LSU player, but the Cats have not been recruiting Holmgren, a highly versatile player who enjoys playing on the perimeter.
Five-star shooting guard Jaden Hardy was the first recruit to make a move in the new Rivals.com rankings, jumping from No. 9 to No. 6 overall. Hardy is a major Kentucky target, and the Cats have emerged this season as the perceived leader in his recruitment.
Others with early UK scholarship offers include center Moussa Cisse, who moved down one spot to No. 8, and point guard Kennedy Chandler, who moved up one spot to No. 10 — making Chandler the top player at his position in the 2021 class.
Marshall County guard Zion Harmon is the only Kentucky high school player in the Rivals 150 rankings. He dropped 22 spots to No. 52 overall. UK is not recruiting him.