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Five-star basketball recruit from France among players on Kentucky's radar for next season

Ben Roberts, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Basketball

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Less than a month removed from college basketball's early signing period, Kentucky's 2020 recruiting board has already gone through quite a transformation.

Coming out of that early period -- when UK signed six top-50 players for next season -- it appeared that five-star power forward Greg Brown and four-star center Cliff Omoruyi were the only serious targets on the Wildcats' recruiting list to close the 2020 cycle.

A handful of 2021 prospects that had often been mentioned as reclassification candidates -- including No. 1-ranked junior Jonathan Kuminga -- were still on the radar. The possibility of another graduate transfer following this season has also been seen as an option.

But Brown and Omoruyi were the only uncommitted 2020 recruits with UK scholarship offers entering the winter. The target list is growing. The ultimate outcome seems inevitable.

"Kentucky is going to add another guy," Rivals.com's Corey Evans told the Herald-Leader on Thursday. "It's a matter of, 'How many?' and, 'Who is it going to be?' "

In the past few weeks alone, four-star forward JT Thor has re-emerged as a possible Kentucky target, Philippines basketball star Kai Sotto has popped up in Lexington for a visit, and, most recently, top-10 recruit Moussa Diabate has confirmed that he's seriously thinking about a move from the 2021 class to 2020, which would allow him to play college ball next season.

 

Kentucky is obviously still planning for a scenario in which EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards and Nate Sestina all depart the program after this season, leaving incoming recruits Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware -- both 6-foot-9 power forwards -- as the only frontcourt players on the UK roster.

Here's the latest on the Wildcats' options to fill those positions.

MOUSSA DIABATE

A 6-foot-10 post player from France -- and now living in Florida -- Diabate said this week that a move to the 2020 class is still possible. Rivals.com ranks Diabate as the No. 10 overall player in the 2021 class, and he turns 18 years old next month -- making him an intriguing reclassification candidate for any major program looking to fill a frontcourt hole.

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