By LARRY VAUGHT
Rivals.com and Yahoo.com recruiting writer Krysten Peek believes guard BJ Boston is the best player in Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class even though he is not ranked quite as high as signee Terrence Clarke, another guard. Boston has made a significant climb in the recruiting rankings to where he is also a top 10 recruit now like Clarke.
“I have seen a lot of Boston this year. He has even grown a little from the summer,” she said. “He has a tight handle and his shot release is so high. He’s confident from shooting 2-3-4 steps behind the (3-point) arc. He also likes to get to the rim and has a swagger about him. Confidence is not an issue for this kid.”
Point guard Devin Askew — who had 43 points in a recent playoff game — is also part of the 2020 Kentucky recruiting class. Three of UK’s top players this year — freshman Tyrese Maxey, sophomore Immanuel Quickley and sophomore Ashton Hagans — are all guards. Maxey is listed as a lottery pick in NBA mock drafts but what if Hagans and Quickley both stay at UK. Could they co-exist with Boston, Clarke and Askew?
“Maybe they could. I’m not sure,” Peek said. “Ashton would stay at the one and Devin would fall in line behind him. With Immanuel and BJ, it would be a battle for playing time.”
Peek knows Quickley is playing as well as he has in his two years at UK and thinks he might opt for the draft. He had a career-high 26 points against Florida last week, including 22 in the second half, and had scored 20 or more points five times in nine games after the Florida win.
“If he waits a year, that next draft class is so talented and so good,” Peek said. “Players have to take that into consideration. I think Immanuel now is a second rounder and it might be time for him to make the move.”
Blue Ribbon College Basketball publisher Chris Dortch, who also writes for NBA.com, says a player believing he’s ready for the NBA and actually being ready are two different things as shown by over 80 underclassmen declaring for the draft last year when only 60 draft spots were available.
“Maxey is undoubtedly in the best position in terms of overall draft stock because he’s forecast as a high lottery pick by many,” Dortch said. “I wonder if Quickley and Hagans might be like (Nick) Richards and still think they have more to learn. But you just never know what might drive guys.”