The #1 ranked prospect in the class of 2018 is headed to Lexington this weekend to take his first of five official visits. R.J Barrett will visit the Cats first, then going to Duke next weekend, followed by Arizona, Oregon, and lastly Michigan. Much of the talk has the decision down between U.K. and Duke, with Duke being the favorite on most sites, although that is true speculation with no concrete facts or evidence he is leaning towards the Blue Devils. Barrett announced he was reclassifying to the class of 2018 on July 31st, and then listed his top five via Instagram on August 16th. Things are moving pretty quickly for the Canadian superstar, so it could be a good sign that Kentucky is getting the first visit, because you always want either the first or last visit.
This is the highest rated recruit to visit Kentucky since Jahlil Okafor in September of 2013, despite all the talent U.K. has been able to pull in since that time. Calipari has missed on the recent top rated players, but you have to like his chances with Barrett. He has had connections in Canada, namely grabbing Jamal Murray out of there in 2015. Barrett and Calipari last saw each other in Egypt, as Barrett was dropping 38 points and 13 rebounds on his way to knocking off Team USA, and getting a gold medal along with tournament MVP in the FIBA U19 World Cup. Barrett is a major target for Kentucky, especially since they’ve lost the last couple recruiting battles with Duke, including Cameron Reddish. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in eight years, it’s that you can’t doubt the man when it comes to recruiting. Barrett would be a big step to reestablishing himself as the nation’s top recruiter.
So hopefully all goes well this weekend in his first visit, and Cal does what Cal does and gets the guy he wants.