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Kentucky’s “steady presence” with Jaden Hardy could pay off big

Jaden Hardy (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Rivals.com national basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi believes that guard Jaden Hardy of Las Vegas has made it clear he’s the top backcourt player in the 2021 recruiting class and recently compared him to Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.

“Hardy has a beautiful looking jump shot, deep range, ability to create and cause damage from the mid range along with a solid frame and sneaky athleticism,” Bossi recently posted.

Hardy has a list of 12 schools on his final list that includes Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA, Michigan and Arizona — the five Bossi considers his top five.

Bossi, though, ranked Kentucky No. 1 among the contenders to sign Hardy, who watched UK play in December when the Cats were in Las Vegas.

Bossi said Kentucky coach John Calipari seldom recruits a player early as hard as he has Hardy, who could play point guard as well as off guard.

“The Wildcats have been have a steady presence with Hardy and word is that their history with one and done prospects has gotten through to Hardy,” Bossi posted on Rivals.com.

He noted that freshmen guards BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke are likely one-and-done players, so playing time would be available for Hardy as a freshman.

Bossi notes having his older brother now at Oregon could help the Ducks with Hardy along with his west coast roots. Those same ties could help UCLA which signed Las Vegas point guard Dashien Nix before he opted for the G-League. Arizona has made Hardy a priority and probably would make him the star player as a freshman.

But Kentucky continues to be the team most consider the one to beat to sign Hardy.

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