With three weeks to go until Hunter Sallis reveals his college decision, it’s more bad news for Kentucky.
247Sports analyst Brandon Jenkins became the latest to log a Crystal Ball prediction for Gonzaga on Sallis’ recruiting page Friday night as momentum continues to go in the Bulldogs’ favor with the star point guard’s March 26 announcement date nearing.
Sallis — a 6-foot-5 playmaker from Omaha, Neb. — is the No. 6 overall player in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Kentucky emerged as a consensus favorite in his recruitment not long after extending a scholarship offer last summer, but Gonzaga has become the team to beat in recent months.
Jenkins joins 247Sports colleagues Eric Bossi, Travis Branham and Jerry Meyer as the website’s fourth analyst who covers recruiting at a national level to put in a Crystal Ball pick in favor of the Zags on Sallis’ page since late December. There have also been seven picks in favor of Gonzaga on Sallis’ Rivals.com FutureCast page since early January, including predictions from national analysts on that site.
At this point, it would be a major surprise if Sallis picks any program other than Gonzaga — the only school to host him for an official visit before the NCAA’s recruiting dead period went into effect last March — when he reveals his college choice later this month.
Kentucky is also recruiting two other five-star guards from the 2021 class — Jaden Hardy and Trevor Keels — but many recruiting analysts are expecting Hardy to jump straight to the pros, and UK was late to seriously pursue Keels, who is thought to have Duke and Villanova at the top of his list. There are no other uncommitted guards in the top 100 of the 247Sports composite rankings for the class of 2021.
With early UK point guard commitment Skyy Clark now likely to stay in the 2022 class, the Wildcats might have to look to the NCAA transfer portal to fill an expected void in the backcourt next season.
Kentucky has signed four-star point guard Nolan Hickman for its 2021 class, and he could be joined by current UK guards Dontaie Allen, Devin Askew and Davion Mintz — if they choose to return for another season — though freshman guards Brandon Boston Jr. and Terrence Clarke are expected to declare for this year’s NBA Draft.