Kentucky’s official recruiting staff includes John Calipari, Orlando Antigua, Chin Coleman and Jai Lucas, but you can add signees Bryce Hopkins and Daimion Collins to that group in unofficial capacities.
With UK in desperate need of point guard help next season, 2021 five-star standout TyTy Washington has emerged as Kentucky’s top priority at the position, with the Wildcats hoping for a quick-and-easy swap following Nolan Hickman Jr.’s decommitment on April 30. And to help make that happen leading up to Washington’s commitment on May 15, both Hopkins and Collins are in the UK target’s ear about joining them in Lexington later this year.
Participating in the 2021 Iverson Classic together this weekend in Memphis, the duo of Kentucky signees used their time together with Washington pushing to make it a trio.
“TyTy, I’ve been talking with him a lot. He’s a good guy and he’s got a great game. Hopefully he can come over there for us,” Hopkins told KSR on Friday. “I’ve been telling him to come join BBN. I’ve just been on him every time I see him. At least two or three times a day, I tell him, “Come join us, come rock with us.”’
“Been talking with Daimion, trying to get TyTy to come with,” Hopkins said again on Saturday. “I’m trying to convince him, telling him to come join BBN, talking about how great the coaches are and how great the opportunity is. You can’t really beat playing for Kentucky, so that’s really been my pitch for that.”
“Me and TyTy, we’re really cool. We talk every once in a while,” Collins told KSR. “I’m trying to put in the good word.”
Washington, who is rated as high as No. 12 in the nation and No. 2 at his position by ESPN, said he’s appreciated the full-court press put on by Hopkins and Collins this weekend.
With Hopkins specifically – the lead recruiter of the two – he stayed in the room next to Washington in the hotel and regularly popped over to tell the standout guard that they could be “really special together” in Lexington.
“That’s been good. The very first day I came out here, Bryce was on the same shuttle bus as me, and that was the first thing he said to me,” Washington told KSR. “Every time I see Bryce – he’s actually in the room right next door to me – he’s always popping in my room saying it. When I pop in his room, he’s saying it. He’s just always in my ear, talking about how me and him could be really special together (at Kentucky).”
As for Collins, he’s pushing for Washington – the event’s 3-point contest champion – to bring his shooting touch with him to Lexington.
“He got in my ear (Friday) night when we got back to the hotel after the 3-point contest,” Washington added. “He was like, “You know you can shoot that thing down in Lexington with me, right? You know that right?” I was like, “Yeah,” and he just started laughing.”
Will Kentucky’s full-court press in Washington’s recruitment pay off with a commitment? We’ll find out on May 15.