Postseason struggles for the Kentucky men’s basketball program are well documented.
It’s been over 1250 days since the UK Last NCAA Championship win (Sweet 16’s 2019 victory over Houston in which Tyler Hero was the star.)
The past three seasons have seen John Calipari’s team unable to compete in the 2020 NCAA Championship due to the coronavirus pandemic, completely losing the 2021 edition and loses in the first round In 2022 to St. Peter.
It’s been a while since the UK had the kind of national success in March that the Wildcats program was famous for.
But how important is this to Kentucky basketball recruits?
during the Under Armor Next Elite 24 Presenting the event in August in Chicago, the Herald-Leader spoke to four of Kentucky’s top recruits in upcoming classes to ask them about the impact of recent results in the UK on their college choices.
Some responses, like those of the 2024 Shooting Guard class Ian Jackson (Recruit No. 2 in his class at 247Sports Composite), is centered around the winning mentality that comes with post-season success.
“I want to get into a winning atmosphere where everyone just has a winning mentality, so it plays a part in that,” Jackson said of the school’s recent NCAA Championship performances.
“I feel the teams that win really know what the pros are like. They understand what it takes to be pro and all the sacrifices and things like that, so I feel like it really goes hand in hand. You find a program that works, they definitely know how to produce pros.”
This feeling echoed Elliot Cadothe top-ranked goalkeeper of 2024 who has not yet received a Kentucky scholarship offer.
“I love winning and am proud to win, so I definitely want to go to a winning organization,” Cadeau said succinctly.
Others, such as talented point guard Bogey Fland (No. 13 in the 2024 class at 247Sports Composite), he said basketball’s future development takes priority over recent collective success.
“You take losses here and there, and you have to fail to succeed,” Fland said. “Even though you want to win, you still have to go to a place where you will be developed until you reach the next level. It is kind of a difficult balance.”
This balance is reflected in the current landscape of college basketball recruiting for the class of 2023 players.
subordinate Top 40 players In the 2023 class at 247Sports Composite, 23 have already committed to a college.
These 23 committed recruits represent 15 different schools (including Kentucky and its schools Three categories of 2023).
How did those 15 schools fare during the 2022 NCAA Championship?
▪ Three of them missed the NCAA tournament entirely: Oklahoma State (post-season ban), Oregon and Stanford;
▪ One lost in the top four: Rutgers;
▪ Two lost in the first round: Connecticut and Kentucky.
▪ Five lost in the second round: Auburn, Baylor, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee.
▪ One lost at Sweet 16: Iowa State;
▪ One lost in Elite Eight: Arkansas;
▪ One lost in the last four: Duke;
▪ One lost in a national championship game: North Carolina.
That means that six of those 15 schools failed to win an NCAA game this past March, and 11 of 15 schools won one game or less.
Of course, the prospect of a college basketball team’s success isn’t the most important or the only factor during player recruitment.
The current hub for the 2023 recruiting class in Kentucky – Young star striker Justin Edwards – He said Kentucky’s recent NCAA struggles were not a factor in his decision to come to Lexington.
“If that was the case, I might have never chosen Kentucky,” Edwards said. “At the end of the day it’s all about me. I love to win. I hate to lose.”
Another, somewhat immeasurable, aspect of every singles college basketball enlistment?
The player’s self-confidence in his ability to influence the victory.
“The people I’m trying to recruit[to come to Kentucky as well]they are my friends. So I’m like, ‘Yo, come join in. Let’s win. Let’s get them back to winning,’” Edwards said. “I’m big on winning, I love winning. So it’s like if we can get (the UK) to win, it’s going to make us look better, and coach Calipari look better, like, ‘Oh, he did this with a young group.’