INDIANAPOLIS – Duke will welcome the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the high school class of 2018 to campus this fall, but could Kentucky copy the feat in the 2019 class?
Five-star forward Vernon Carey, ranked No. 2 nationally by the 247Sports Composite, isn’t ruling the possibility out despite he and James Wiseman, the No. 1 player in the 247Sports Composite 2019 rankings, playing the same position.
Kentucky is recruiting both players.
“Me and James talk a lot,” Carey said Friday after his AAU team, Nike Team Florida, completed its first game of the Nike EYBL event in Indianapolis. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we went to school together or not. He’s probably going to do the best thing for him, and I’ll do the best thing for me.”
UK associate head coach Kenny Payne spent part of the first session Friday standing between the courts where Carey, who is ranked No. 1 in the class of 2019 by Rivals, and Wiseman were playing
While Kentucky is believed to be battling Memphis for Wiseman’s commitment, Carey’s recruitment is more wide open. He said UK coach John Calipari texts him almost every other day thought.
“I feel like (the relationship) is getting better,” Carey said. “… He just checks up on me, tells me to keep on getting better, checks up on the family.”
Like Wiseman, Carey has been the subject of online rumors about possibly moving up a year to enroll at a college in the fall. As Wiseman has, Carey shut down those rumors Friday.
“I’m not reclassifying,” he said, noting no college coaches have asked him to consider graduating early. “… Probably want to get the experience of playing another high school year and just developing my body a little bit more.”
It’s still early for UK fans to dream about Wiseman and Carey playing together in Lexington, but Carey acknowledged they could be interchangeable at the four and five if on the same roster.
Regardless of Wiseman’s decision, Calipari’s recent legacy of putting big men in the NBA like Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Bam Adebayo resonates with Carey. At 6-foot-10, 245 pounds, Carey would more closely resemble the more bruising post players like Cousins and Adebayo Kentucky has boasted in the Calipari era.
“It feels pretty special for me to get recognized and compared to them,” Carey said.