By LARRY VAUGHT
California five-star point guard Devin Askew needed less than three months from the time he got a Kentucky scholarship offer to verbally commit to the Wildcats tonight on ESPN.
The 6-3 Askew is a top 10 player in the 2021 recruiting class and had Arizona, Louisville and Memphis as other schools he was considering.
Askew made an official visit to UK on Oct. 4 after getting in-home visits from coach John Calipari and assistant Joel Justus in September.
Many expect Askew to reclassify to the 2020 recruiting class and join potentially Calipari’s best ever recruiting haul at UK but as of now he’s remaining in the 2021 class.
Mater Dei High School coach Gary McKnight remembers Askew playing behind Spencer Freedman, who now plays at Harvard, as a freshman on a “very good” team when he had a chance to do “a lot of learning” that made him better.
“He is a fierce competitor and he really took off in travel ball and summer basketball,” McKnight said. “He’s a bundle of energy. His sophomore year he led us to the Southern California finals and at times he just wills us to win. He just won’t back down from competition.”
He plays for a coach who has won over 1,100 games, including a national championship in 2014 and 11 state titles. This year he will have three junior teammates all 6-8 or taller with Division I offers on the team along with two seniors that McKnight says are also very good players.
“But he is the one who makes us go. He gets us down the court. He’s a leader and he’s not afraid to tell other kids they are not working hard enough,” McKnight said. “He will get up in the morning and run on the beach and then work out and shoot at night.”
Askew averaged 11.6 points and 5.1 assists per game in Nike EYBL play and shot almost 42 percent from 3-point range in 20 games.