UK target Bolden could decide ‘any moment’ – The Courier-Journal

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Top recruit Marques Bolden discusses Kentucky and an upcoming decision. March 28, 2016
Kyle Tucker/The C-J

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Marques Bolden had recruiting gurus and college basketball fans buzzing all weekend. Maybe he’d do it at Friday night’s Jordan Brand Classic. If not, surely on Sunday, because the top-ranked center in the Class of 2016 had vowed to pick a college by then, his 18th birthday.

But then he didn’t, and still hasn’t, so powerhouses Kentucky and Duke continue to wait for word on whether Bolden will head to Lexington, Ky., or Durham, N.C., next season – a decision that holds the power to crown either the Wildcats or Blue Devils as champions of this latest recruiting cycle.

When that announcement actually comes is anyone’s guess.

“I’ve spoken to Marques. I think it could be any day now,” said Evan Daniels, director of basketball recruiting at, on Monday. “But he doesn’t have a set time or a set date. I think he’s just kind of sorting through the last part of this deal. He could literally decide at any moment.”

As he has for months, Bolden praised both Duke and Kentucky at the Jordan Brand Classic, citing each’s reputation for winning, developing players and putting prospects into the pros. So what does this decision come down to for him?

“I need to know how important I am going to be to a university,” Bolden told USA Today during the all-star weekend. “A lot of guys do a lot of talking. It’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s not. For me, I have to trust that guy and know I will be an important factor at the university.”

Both the Cats and Devils consider him the missing piece – not that either program is missing much.

Kentucky has signed Scout’s No. 4, 6, 10, 15 and 30 overall prospects in the class: point guard De’Aaron Fox, shooting guard Malik Monk and power forwards Wenyen Gabriel, Edrice “Bam” Adebayo and Sacha Killeya-Jones. Duke has signed No. 1, 3, 17 and 40: power forward Harry Giles, small forward Jason Tatum, point guard Frank Jackson and power forward Javin DeLaurier.

“While for both classes he’s kind of like icing on the cake, he’s also an important recruit that could really help both of these teams in terms of making a deep run next year,” Daniels said. “These are already two of the better teams in the country next year – if not No. 1 and 2 – and if you add Bolden to one of those classes, maybe it puts them over the top.”

Daniels broke down more specifically what adding Bolden, Scout’s No. 12 overall prospect in the class, could do for both programs.

If he picks Kentucky: “It may be John Calipari’s best recruiting class ever. The addition of a guy like that to who they already have coming in – he’d be a different type of player that they don’t have. They have a lot of talent, but he would bring a dominant low-post scoring impact.”

If he picks Duke: “They don’t really have a huge post presence at the center spot, so for them he’s a key target. They need a post scorer, somebody with that legitimate size.”

OK, so what’s it going to be? The “Crystal Ball” at, which compiles recruitniks’ picks, still favors Duke (68 percent) to Kentucky (27 percent), but at this point everyone seems to just be guessing. Daniels isn’t about to do that.

He said he doesn’t have a clue “at all” where Bolden is headed.

“I honestly don’t,” he said. “I think Marques goes back and forth, so I wouldn’t even want to take a guess at it. I don’t know if he even knows right now.”

Kyle Tucker can be reached at (502) 582-4361. Email him at

UK target Bolden could decide ‘any moment’ – The Courier-Journal

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