John Calipari doesn’t need much of a recruiting edge, but he could be getting a significant one as head coach of the FIBA U19 team.
While the majority of the team is made up of college players, including two of Calipari’s Wildcats, four high school players are included, all five-star recruits.
Guards Romeo Langford and Immanuel Quickley, and forwards Louis King and Cameron Reddish are all on the roster, all are being recruited by Kentucky, and Calipari has a very good chance of landing at least three of them.
Langford, who is from New Albany, Indiana, just outside of Louisville, is a particularly interesting target, since he’s also a focus of two of Kentucky’s biggest rivals: Louisville and Indiana.
From Sporting News:
Kentucky’s greatest potential advantage is Calipari’s status as Langford’s coach between now and July 9, when the medal games will be played. Calipari was permitted to say nice things publicly about Langford because he’s speaking in the capacity of the United States U19 head coach rather than the Kentucky Wildcats head coach.
“To call me special means a lot,” Langford said, flashing a glimpse of a pleasant grin and the work of his orthodontist.
Langford, the class of 2018’s No. 1 shooting guard and No. 4 overall player, dropped a top 10 last summer, featuring Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, NC State, North Carolina, Purdue, UCLA, and Vanderbilt. 247Sports‘ crystal ball has 10 votes in, with Louisville taking five, Duke three, and Indiana and Kentucky one a piece.
Quickley, the No. 10 player and No. 2 point guard, named a top four of Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Miami. He also has offers from Louisville, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech, and Washington. 82-percent of crystal ball voters have him going to Kentucky.
King, the No. 17 player and No. 4 small forward, also has most voters sending him to Kentucky, with Seton Hall and Arizona picking up votes. He is yet to pick up an offer from Calipari, but does have them from Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Miami, Oregon, and Syracuse.
Reddish is the only recruit of the four that is not favored to wind up in Lexington. He does have a Kentucky offer, but all 13 predictions have him ending up at Duke. He also has offers from Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Kansas, Miami, Penn State, Syracuse, UCLA, USC, and Villanova.
I don’t know how many of these guys Calipari will ultimately land, if any, but based on his recruiting during his Kentucky tenure, I wouldn’t bet against him.