NEW OFFER: Cats offer Hayes

T.J. Walker, Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Cats Illustrated

John Calipari took a brief break from meeting with 2019 stars on Tuesday when he met with an offered his second 2018 big target.

In a surprising move to some, the Cats offered Cincinnati Moeller star Jaxson Hayes. Hayes visited Kentucky earlier this month, but as a three-star power forward, the offer came as a bit of a surprise.


Hayes has offers from Illinois, Purdue, Texas and Xavier, plus dozens more, but Kentucky becomes his first blueblood offer.

The 6-foot-9, 195-pound forward is wiry and experienced a growth spurt. He's not as polished as other bigs in the class of 2018 but has a high ceiling and that would explain Kentucky's interest. He's not in the mold of other Calipari one-and-done players, but could be on more of a Willie Cauley-Stein path who stayed at UK for three years before becoming an All-American.

Hayes offered UK's Calipari and is now just one of two bigs to have an offer from the Cats, joining longtime Kentucky target Bol Bol. It's unclear if Hayes will officially visit Kentucky, and Xavier was considered the favorite in his recruitment until the Cats became involved.

Kentucky is still looking for its first 2018 commitment.

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