MILWAUKEE – Hours before No. 4 Kentucky basketball faced No. 3 Kansas in Chicago, four-star guard Tyler Herro announced he will sign to play for the Wildcats.
The No. 36 overall recruit in the class of 2018 chose Kentucky over Wisconsin, Kansas, Oregon and Villanova during a ceremony in the gym at Whitnall High School.
Herro averaged 23.2 points per game and hit 39 percent of his 3-pointers as a junior last season.
“It’s everything to do with his work ethic,” Whitnall High athletic and activities director David Pentek said. “He lives, breathes, eats basketball. The time in the gym and lifting, his dedication is phenomenal.”
The 6-foot-4 combo guard wasn’t on the Kentucky recruiting radar until he decommitted from Wisconsin, a verbal pledge he made in September of 2016, last month. Wildcats’ coach John Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne visited and offered Herro Oct. 31. Oregon’s Dana Altman and Villanova’s Jay Wright visited Herro last month, too.
“It’s exciting to have those high-profile names come in and it brings good publicity to the school and so forth,” Pentek said. “It puts your name out in the news and it brings attention. Sometimes attention is good and sometimes it’s bad. When you’re looking at major decisions from an 18-year-old kid., because let’s be honest he’s still a kid. Those kinds of decision can be very difficult, but he’s handled his recruitment very, very well to this point and I know he will continue to handle attention very well.”
Herro visited Lexington last weekend and watched the Wildcats defeat Utah Valley in the season opener.
Kentucky has three signees in the 2018 class: five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley (Bel Air, Maryland), five-star shooting guard Keldon Johnson (Oak Hill Academy, Virginia) and Herro.
Zion Williamson, the No. 2 overall 2018 player, is the Wildcats top remaining target. Adding the strong-dunking five-star small forward would boost Kentucky into the discussion for the top class in the country.
Duke currently has the best class with No. 1 overall recruit RJ Barrett and small forward Cameron Reddish (No. 4) and point guard Tre Jones (No. 6) choosing the Blue Devils.
North Carolina, Kansas, LSU and Notre Dame were the rest of the top five entering Tuesday.