Just two weeks ago, former 4-star Kentucky basketball commit Nolan Hickman announced the decision to reopen his recruitment. After waiving the Wildcats goodbye, it now seems the highly-touted recruit has narrowed his final list down to three schools.
Former Kentucky commit Nolan Hickman is down to Auburn, Gonzaga, and Kansas, per his father. An official announcement is expected in the next few weeks.
One of the top point guards in the 2021 class.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 13, 2021
With very little returning competition at the point guard position on next year’s Kentucky roster, Hickman’s decision to transfer likely boiled down to the historically-bad season suffered by John Calipari’s squad in 2020. After seeing the typically-dominant Blue Blood program go 9-16 and miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013, the talented young guard turned his attention elsewhere. Kentucky has since added a commitment from five-star point guard TyTy Washington.
Auburn is an attractive destination for Hickman because of its guard-focused offense. Through the 2020 season, backcourt scoring accounted for the top-three scoring slots on the roster. And with star Tigers guard Sharife Cooper heading to the NBA, a spot on that guard depth chart has just opened up.
Kansas also has some voided back court spots to catch Hickman’s eye. Losing double-digit scorers Ochai Agbaji and Marcus Garret to the draft and former 5-star freshman transfer Bryce Thompson to Oklahoma State earlier today, the Jayhawks have plenty of room for the No. 4 ranked PG on their roster.
If Hickman wants to win immediately, a move to Spokane is the way to go. Though the defending national championship runners-up are losing elite guards like Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi to the NBA this offseason, they’ll return plenty of roster talent elsewhere (ie. Drew Timme). If Hickman were to join this year’s stacked recruiting class, Gonzaga’s incoming freshmen would rival those of any school in the country. Already committed to the Bulldogs are No. 1 overall recruit Chet Holmgren, No. 2 combo guard Hunter Sallis and 4-star center Kaden Perry.
Hickman’s final decision should come any day now.