Five-star forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is expected to announce the final six schools in his recruitment later this week, but Kentucky will not be on that list.
UK has backed away from the recruitment of Huntley-Hatfield, a top-10 player in the 2022 class who has widely been expected to reclassify to 2021. Kentucky had been seen as an early favorite for Huntley-Hatfield, who visited Lexington for the UK-Louisville game last December and was the first 2022 recruit to land a scholarship offer from the Wildcats.
Instead, Kentucky will be going in a different direction. The Herald-Leader was told Tuesday night that UK is already involved with five-star power forward Daimion Collins — the No. 20 player in the 2021 class, according to Rivals.com — and that there are additional frontcourt options in the class of 2021 that could emerge in the near future. Oklahoma and Texas have been seen as the leaders for Collins, a highly athletic, 6-9 prospect from Atlanta, Texas.
Preseason projections also peg incoming power forwards Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware as multi-year college players. Neither UK freshman is in ESPN’s latest 2021 NBA mock draft. Frontcourt transfers could also be an option for Kentucky if there’s a need by the end of this recruiting cycle. UK has brought in a frontcourt transfer each of the past three years.