• Matt Upchurch

UK's Backcourt, Here We Go!

Updated: May 14

BBN, what up!?!? We’re all feeling pretty good today, TyTy Washington committed to UK last night and now UK FINALLY has a point guard on the roster! This roster is still far from set though, especially with whether or not Davion Mintz returns or if Keion Brooks returns. Of course, Coach Cal is still on the recruiting trail too, most noticeably with players like Sahvir Wheeler and Jaden Hardy. Of the 3 players prioritized on Cal’s recruiting board (counting TyTy), let’s take a look at which each of them bring to the table...



TyTy Washington:

If you’re part of BBN, you know this kid. Washington committed last night, and BBN got a HUGE sigh of relief! He’s a hooper, he’s a shooter, the kid is good. He previously committed to Creighton (same place we got Mintz!) but reopened his recruitment, which led to Cal pouncing on this opportunity. IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: The school that finished second to Creighton: University of Illinois - just a reminder, we now have the top 2 assistant coaches that ALMOST brought TyTy to the Illini - I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’...So let’s look for TyTy to pick up that UK hate on May 15th when he announces his decision.

My comparison: Think of a more athletic Tyler Herro, Immanuel Quickley




Sahvir Wheeler:

Sophomore lefty PG from Georgia, undersized but very talented, very competitive. He’s quick, he’s strong, he finishes pretty well at the rim, he can get to the FT-line, and he’s an assist-machine. The cons: he gets a little turnover-happy, he doesn’t shoot it well from the perimeter. Looks like Ulis, shoots like Hagans. If Cal builds rapport with Wheeler, gets him to buy-in to the system and the “servant leadership”, then this kid will have multiple 10+ assist games at Kentucky. If he’s surrounded on the perimeter by shooters like TyTy Washington, Kellyn Grady, CJ Frederick, Dontaie Allen: chances for some hot shooting nights. If he gets in the paint and dishes to Tschwiebe at the rim, Daimion Collins, and UK’s other bigs: again, some big nights in the assists-column for Wheeler. If he wants to be at UK, I think he ends up here.

My comparison: A mix of Ashton Hagans, Isaiah Briscoe, Tyler Ulis



Jaden Hardy:

Clearly the player most of BBN wants - because he’s a Top 5 combo guard draft pick - but clearly the least likely to end up in Lexington. Seems like he top 3 choices are G-League, UCLA and Kentucky. Most buzz as of late has Kentucky as the most likely destination IF he chooses to go to college. However, the G-League has money to spend on elite talent, and not many guys in this class have chosen the G-League - meaning Hardy could be paid well. Some things to keep in mind here: Former Calipari assistant Rod Strickland is running the G-League. It’s whispered he’s likely to give Cal a heads up on which players are heading to the G-League. With Cal recruiting Hardy down to the wire of his May 15th, seems like he has NOT accepted the G-League contract (yet) and UK has a legit chance. G-League player Jalen Green recently tweeted out, and I’m paraphrasing here, that the college route might have been better for his reputation, his brand, his popularity. Maybe Hardy takes note of that? Finally, the “name, image, likeness” rule MIGHT be passed this year, allowing college athletes to make money while playing for their university. Does Cal have any insight here, any way to sell Hardy on this possibility? This is an interesting commitment, lots of variables at play. HE. IS. A. STUD.

My comparison: Reminds me of the NBA version of Keldon Johnson



Jose Alverado:



Georgia Tech would-be transfer, currently in NBA Draft - his name has been rumored as of late because of his connection to Orlando Antigua. Alverado this season at GT averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals - great stat line for any PG. Biggest reason for excitement for BBN: He shot 39% from 3-pt land. If a lineup of Alverado, Washington, Grady/Frederick played together - that is A LOT of shooting threats on the floor - dangerous group. He’s a very passionate, high-energy player that’s a fan-favorite because he shows his positive emotion and loves to celebrate. He might stay in the Draft, he might stay at GT, he might look to go home to St. John’s. Again, lots of variables in play for Alverado. But if he heads to Lexington, he’ll be a BBN favorite.

My comparison: Probably Davion Mintz to be honest



Sooooo, will UK have its backcourt in place by Sunday morning, as some are predicting on social media? Most likely Sunday morning backcourt: TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler. BBN, what do y'all think?


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