Shai Alexander Visiting Kentucky, Planning Early Decision (UPDATED) | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / September 30.
  • Shai Alexander Visiting Kentucky, Planning Early Decision (UPDATED)

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    Class of 2017 point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is visiting Kentucky this weekend and is poised to make a decision sometime next week as the early signing period is set to open.

    The Kentucky visit was first reported by Evan Daniels of and confirmed to ZAGSBLOG by a source .

    A 6-foot-5 1/2 point guard from Chattanooga (TN) Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, Alexander averaged a team-high 15.8 points and 4.8 assists for Wings Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit this year.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari and assistant Joel Justus visited Alexander on Monday and made him a scholarship offer. After he decommitted from Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, N.C. State, Oklahoma and Texas have all been in or are expected in soon to see him at Hamilton Heights.

    “Kentucky obviously came in Monday and that’s something that he seems very excited about,” Hamilton Heights coach Zach Ferrell said Wednesday by phone. “They see what he can be and what he could be just with his size and length and then his natural point guard sense in leading the team and that kind of stuff. So I think there’s definitely an excitement on both sides for them. That’s where it is with Kentucky.”

    Kentucky could lose guards De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe to the NBA Draft and is in the market for guards for 2017. Fox and Monk are projected first-round picks in 2017 by, while Briscoe is listed as a second-rounder in 2018.

    Kentucky also remains in the mix for Class of 2017 point guards Quade Green, who is also considering Syracuse, Duke, Villanova and Temple and will announce Nov. 19, and Trae Young, who is considering Oklahoma and Kansas, among others. It remains unclear what would happen with Green or Young if Alexander were to commit to Kentucky.

    Alexander recently cut his list to Kentucky, Kansas, Syracuse, Florida, N.C. State, UNLV, Oklahoma and Texas.

    N.C. State head coach Mark Gottfried and assistant Butch Pierre and Kansas assistant Norm Roberts have all been in. Oklahoma assistant Carlin Hartmann saw him Wednesday and Texas head coach Shaka Smart came Thursday.

    “This weekend he will take at least one possibly two visits, those haven’t been finalized yet,” Ferrell said, adding it was possible Alexander could visit Kentucky this weekend. “He will take one or two visits this weekend and he still plans to make a decision next week some time.”

    As for his upside, Ferrell said of Alexander: “He’s 6-5 with a 6-10 1/2 wingspan and point guard is his natural position, that’s where he feels comfortable. Guys love playing with him because he’s a kid that has the ability to be a real scoring threat, but really prefers getting everyone involved, getting them their touches and just really being a floor leader.

    “He’s not someone who just shoots 25 shots a game, but is somebody that can really dominate the game from a point guard position in the way that he controls it offensively and defensively. He’s got great size and a great understanding of the game and it really makes everyone that’s around him better.”

    A decision is expected next week.

    “That’s still the plan that I’ve been told,” Ferrell said.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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