Basketball phenom and Kentucky and Indiana recruiting target Thon Maker, a top player in the Class of 2016, appears set to make official what has seemed inevitable, tweeting Wednesday that he is on track to graduate this year. It positions him to move to the 2015 class and play college basketball next season.
After the tweet, Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels moved Maker to his 2015 rankings, slotting him at No. 6. He had been No. 4 in 2016.
It’s a move that has been expected for months since Maker, a 7-foot power forward and arguably the most well-known prospect in all of high school basketball, began loading up his academic course schedule at his high school in Canada to meet NCAA freshman eligibility requirements for next season and prepare for an early graduation.
The first semester at Orangeville District Secondary School ended in late January, and Smith and Maker had been planning to meet with administrators and teachers from the school to map out a way for him to graduate early, and the only question that remained was whether he would have enough time to meet all the requirements specific that school.
Maker’s Wednesday morning tweet indicates that it’s determined that he will.
An announcement about Maker staying or leaving the 2016 class was expected last week but was postponed because bad weather caused travel delays for Maker’s team, Orangeville Prep.
Smith has said that Maker has little else to prove on the high school level and is ready for the challenge of college ball. He shapes up as an almost surefire one-and-done collegian.
It’s also been speculated that Maker might never attend college and instead play somewhere professionally for a year before declaring for the NBA draft, although Smith has said Maker is definitely on a college track at this point.
Kentucky, Kansas and Indiana are three teams that have consistently recruited Maker and figure to be among the top contenders to sign him.
Kentucky coach John Calipari’s experience coaching elite players of Maker’s level and reputation for helping them reach the NBA as underclassmen are key reasons the Wildcats are under consideration. Maker visited UK for its early-season game against Providence.