— Kentucky basketball coach John Calipsari is looking to attract top recruits, but he’s also looking to recruit in the state’s deep South.
In the weeks leading up to the March 3 national championship game, Caliparos interest in recruiting in Kentucky’s deep, deep South grew exponentially, as did his desire to see top-ranked recruits visit the Wildcats’ campus.
The Wildcats’ coaches are not only taking advantage of Kentucky’s unique geography and the proximity to the nation’s most important cities, but they’re also seeking top-rated players.
Calipares recruitment efforts began with a visit to Lexington last year.
The Kentucky assistant coach, who will join the Wildcats as the school’s athletic director in March, flew to Lexington with a few other coaches and got to know the state of Kentucky and its players.
The visit was the first of many to come, and Caliparis goal was to recruit some of the top prospects in the South.
Kentucky has already secured five commitments from the state and has made commitments to nine of the last 10 state players.
The Wildcats are one of only four schools to have committed to at least 10 players from the South in the last decade, according to ESPN.
Kentucky is one of the most popular programs in the country and has a strong tradition of recruiting from the country’s most diverse region.
The program was named the countrys top recruiting destination in 2017 by Scout and was ranked No. 3 nationally by ESPN the previous season.
The Crimson Tide also won two national championships in the past three years, earning the No. 1 spot in 2019.
The program also has had a very successful recruiting class from the East in the years prior to the national title game, including five players who were finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
In addition to the five recruits on Calipars list, Kentucky is also looking for a pair of seniors from the 2017 class.
The 6-foot-5 guard and the 6-7 forward were both selected in the top five of the 2017 recruiting class.
The Kentucky coaches believe recruiting from Kentucky’s Deep South is a key element of Calipara s recruiting strategy, and the state has been an easy destination for many of his top recruits.
The Blue Devils were one of Calipsaris top recruiting targets last year when they landed the top-scoring recruit in school history, Kentucky point guard Brandon Ingram, in the class of 2019.
Caliparas coaching staff was also the first to land a commitment from the Blue Devils’ 2018 class, which also includes guard/forward Josh Hart, the nations No. 8 player and top-100 prospect.
Kentucky also signed a pair in the 2017 draft class, including guard/center Brandon Jones and forward Malik Zaire.