Many people were quite surprised to see that five-star guard R.J. Hampton cut Duke from his final list in favor of national runner-up Texas Tech. The Red Raiders join the list that already featured Kansas, Kentucky, and Memphis. But we now have a clearer idea of why that happened.
In an interview with The Courier Journal, R.J.’s father Rod Hampton explained that the return of freshman Tre Jones to the Blue Devils for his sophomore season was a factor in having Duke removed from the list. Rod also noted pointed out a specific reason that Kentucky got to stay while Duke got the ax.
Rod explained that John Calipari’s use of multiple guards in his rotations suits R.J.’s abilities, so Kentucky bringing back Ashton Hagans is not as much of a factor in his decision. He noted that R.J.’s ability to play multiple guard positions would give him versatility at Kentucky.
“Not that Duke doesn’t have the wow factor, but Cal has played with multiple guards,” Rod Hampton said. “I think the one good thing RJ has going for him is he can play multiple positions. At the next level, he’ll be a point guard, but he can switch and play, guard the two, sometimes guard the three. I think that’s good for him.”
R.J. Hampton is a five-star combo guard ranked No. 7 in the country by 247Sports. He is the No. 2 combo-guard in the country, and the No. 1 prospect from the state of Texas.
Hampton recently announced that he would be joining the Class of 2019 rather than the Class of 2020, instantly making him one of the top players still available.
247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions indicate that the Memphis Tigers are currently leading the race though. The metric gives the AAC giants a 50-percent chance to secure his commitment.
Can the Kentucky Wildcats land Hampton and get their fourth five-star commitment of 2019?