It should go without saying that timing is a major factor in successful basketball recruiting. At Kentucky, the mid-October Big Blue Madness event has been where John Calipari has sealed the deal with tons of recruits.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, a scheduling change could make it a lot harder for them to bring in the top recruits next month.
According to Kentucky SB Nation blog A Sea Of Blue, the annual USA Basketball Camp in Colorado Springs is being moved to the same weekend as Big Blue Madness. USA Basketball Camp is an major opportunity for recruits across the country. Several of the Wilcats’ eventual recruits attended the event last year.
Kentucky’s event takes place on October 11, which is the same day as the first day of USA Basketball Camp. As a result, players who had already planned on going to Big Blue Madness will now have to choose between the two.
A Sea Of Blue also noted that while the schedule change negatively affects Kentucky, their arch-rivals in recruiting such as Duke and UNC have no such conflict with their “Midnight Madness” events.
Some of the players who have confirmed their attendance at Big Blue Madness include Joshua Christopher, Cade Cunningham and Paola Banchero. But all of them are likely to get USA Basketball Camp invites too.
This year, UK already has confirmations that Joshua Christopher, Cade Cunningham and Paola Banchero will all be at Big Blue Madness. But each player is very likely to get a Camp USA invite, and thus will have a difficult decision to make. Jalen Green was also rumored to be eying this weekend for a visit, but he’s since scheduled his official visit for the weekend of Oct. 16.
The likely scenario going forward is that most players will elect to participate in USA Camp as opposed to attend Big Blue Madness. The camp offers great exposure and a chance to compete against the other elite players. There is also plenty of other options to visit Kentucky than just for Big Blue Madness.
Could this scheduling conflict cost Kentucky some of their top recruiting targets?