With the Class of 2018 almost entirely wrapped, North Carolina and Duke have been putting a lot of their remaining focus on the recruiting trail into Georgia power forward E.J. Montgomery.
Since Zion Williamson committed, Montgomery has been one of the top uncommitted targets remaining in this recruiting cycle, and the two blue blood rivals have treated the No. 12 overall prospect in the nation as a top priority.
However, on Monday he decided to decline both teams’ advances and commit to the Kentucky Wildcats.
According to a report from Evan Daniels of 247Sports, Montgomery will play collegiately for John Calipari. Previously, he had been just one of four prospects ranked in the top 30 whose future was uncertain.
Ultimately, it was Kentucky’s track record of putting top players into the NBA that led him to Lexington.
“It’s a big factor because my parents just wanted me to go to a school that I can get develop the most,” Montgomery said. “Their track record with their players in the NBA shows that they’re pretty good at it.”
Montgomery is now the third 5-star commitment in a four-man recruiting class that ranks No. 2 nationally for Kentucky. At 6-foot-10 and 200 pounds, he is a long 4 who has been lauded for his ability to pass out of the high post, giving the Wildcats a potentially unconventional focal point within their offense.
Duke still has the top recruiting class in the country with the nation’s top three players committed, while North Carolina’s recruiting class ranks No. 8 nationally.
It’ll be interesting to see if either program gets involved late with any of the other remaining uncommitted prospects in the Class of 2018.