Basketball Recruiting - Fact or Fiction: Skyy Clark will be on Kentucky's roster next season
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Fact or Fiction: Skyy Clark will be on Kentucky's roster next season

Skyy Clark
Skyy Clark (https://rivals.com)

With the regular season now in its final month and recruiting news remaining relentless, Rivals national recruiting analysts Rob Cassidy and Dan McDonald tackle three of basketball’s most interesting topics and debate whether each statement is true or false. Below, they discuss a Kentucky commit’s arrival date, whether or not one of the top prospects in America will ever play college hoops and handicap the race for the Pac-12 title.

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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1. Skyy Clark will be on Kentucky's roster next season. 

Cassidy's take: FACT. Skyy Clark’s recent decision to shut things down in the middle of his junior season was probably driven by multiple factors. Were the risks that come with playing basketball in a pandemic part of that? Of course. But the decision to opt out of his high school season certainly did nothing to quell the reclassification rumors that continue to build around the five-star. Nothing has obviously been decided just yet, but reading between the lines has me wondering if a reclassification is more of a possibility than some around Clark are suggesting.

The Wildcats could certainly use the backcourt help, and Clark is the kind of prospect that could play big minutes from the moment he steps on campus … even if it’s a year earlier than expected.

McDonald's take: FICTION. I’ve heard and read the speculation about Clark moving up into the 2021 class to join Kentucky next season like everyone else. However, every time I’ve asked someone close to Clark about this possibility, it’s been shot down pretty quickly. The reason? People in his support system don’t like how the recent trend of prospects moving up a class has worked out for them. As of today, I believe he’ll stay in the 2022 class.

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2. Jaden Hardy will play a single minute of college basketball. 

Cassidy's take: FICTION. Jaden Hardy favoring the G League route is a bit of an open secret in the basketball world, but UCLA is holding out some sliver hope that the five-star guard will elect to play in college instead. Hardy landing in a Bruins uniform (or that of another college) isn’t totally impossible. Stranger things have happened, sure, but I’d bet a nice dinner that we never get a chance to see Hardy play at the college level.

McDonald's take: FICTION. Unfortunately, I’d be really surprised if we ever see Hardy play college basketball. I say that selfishly as a fan, but it’s an understandable move for a prospect with his talent level who can make good money right out of high school while spending all his time on his craft instead of worrying about going to class. I’ve heard most of the schools mentioned in his recruitment haven’t been spending a ton of time recruiting him because of the likelihood he bypasses college for the G League.

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3. UCLA will win the Pac-12 regular season. 

Mick Cronin
Mick Cronin (AP Images)

Cassidy's take: FACT. There’s currently a bit of a logjam at the top of the league, and Oregon and USC are legitimate options here. But while it’s hard to bet against a high-end lottery pick like Trojans star Evan Mobley, the hard-charging and incredibly balanced Bruins look mighty tough.

Mick Cronin’s team boasts the Pac-12’s second-best offensive efficiency rating and seems to have a knack for winning close games despite the fact that its only Pac-12 loss came on an overtime buzzer-beater against Stanford. An upcoming clash with crosstown rival USC over the weekend will tell everyone all they need to know about the Bruins and whether or not they’re capable of finishing this thing off without the services of Chris Smith, a senior who was lost to an ACL injury early last month. I think Cronin and his team's balanced scoring attack have what it takes to hold on, but I wouldn’t bet much more than dinner on it.

McDonald's take: FACT. It’s going to be tight down the stretch with crosstown rival USC, but I think the Bruins hang on for the conference championship this year. I love what Cronin has done since taking over. The Bruins have a very balanced office with five players averaging over 9 points per game this season. Losing Smith for the year was a significant blow, but they’ve been able to overcome it so far with others stepping up in his absence.

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