Five-star guard Cason Wallace has earned a scholarship offer from Kentucky after a breakout performance on the Nike EYBL circuit over the past two weeks.
Wallace — a 6-foot-4 combo guard from Richardson, Texas — was already a highly touted prospect coming into the event. He’s the No. 18 overall player in the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, but his play against elite competition in the Nike league has turned heads.
ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony tweeted last weekend that Wallace was “making a strong case for consideration as the best point guard in the class” with his play on the Nike circuit. Givony added that Wallace might leave the event in North Augusta, S.C., as one of the top five players in his 2022 class.
Wallace and his Pro Skills team out of Texas started the competition last week with a victory over Team Final, the squad that features top Kentucky targets Jalen Duren and Dereck Lively. Pro Skills started off Nike play 12-0 before Team Final turned the tables with a victory in the Peach Jam quarterfinals Saturday morning, eliminating Wallace’s squad from the competition.
He averaged 14.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game on the Nike circuit this month, earning league MVP honors at the conclusion of last week’s regular season. He also made 18 of 45 threes (40 percent) and shot 82.6 percent on free throws.
This month was the first chance that UK Coach John Calipari had to see Wallace in person, and he obviously walked away impressed. Calipari extended a scholarship offer Saturday afternoon, just after Pro Skills’ Nike season ended.
Recruiting analysts have long seen Wallace as a premier perimeter defender in the 2022 class, and he’s also well equipped to change a game offensively. It seems as though his skill set on that side of the floor is only getting better with time.
“His calling card is definitely on the defensive end, just because of the way he locks up, his active hands — even off the ball, he always has his head on a swivel and can play the passing lanes,” 247Sports analyst Brandon Jenkins told the Herald-Leader during the high school season. “He’s just a very versatile defender who can guard all three perimeter positions.”
Tennessee hosted Wallace for an official visit last month, and the Volunteers have been seen as a favorite coming into the July evaluation windows, though there’s also been talk in recruiting circles that Kentucky could move ahead with a scholarship offer.
Now that Calipari has watched Wallace in person — and extended that UK offer — it will be interesting to see where his recruitment goes next.
UK already has a commitment from five-star point guard Skyy Clark, and the Cats are seen as major favorites for five-star shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe. Kentucky has also offered five-star point guard Jaden Bradley, whose recruitment still appears to be open, and No. 1-ranked shooting guard Keyonte George, who is expected to commit to Texas before the end of the year. Nick Smith Jr., whose team made it to the Peach Jam quarterfinals, is another 2022 guard on Kentucky’s radar for a possible offer.
The Wildcats are also expecting to return multiple guards from this coming season’s roster.