Kentucky basketball makes the top five for 4-star Brandin Podziemski.
While the late stretch run that Kentucky basketball has been on may have bolstered confidence on the team the overall body of work has been problematic with so many inconsistencies.
One of those glaring ones has been effectively knocking down jumpers, especially long ones until these last few games.
That may be about to change with the welcome news that UK has made the cut for the final choices on Brandin Podziemski’s list.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard from St. John’s Northwestern Academies announced that joining Kentucky on that list is Wake Forrest, Illinois, Miami (Fl), and Vanderbilt.
While it’s clearly anyone guess which way he goes it’s safe to say you can’t base that off this season with each struggling mightily. The Illini (16-6) is the best of the lot sitting in second place in the Big 10 while the Wildcats (8-13) are No. 8 in the SEC while Vandy (6-13) resides in the cellar. Miami (7-14) and Wake Forrest (6-12) are second and third from the bottom of the ACC.
Kentucky needs a consistent shooter in the worst way as they rank 199th nationally in a three-point percentage (33.2%). Overall field goal shooting they rank 284th hitting just 491 of 1181 shots (41.5%).
The 2021 class is growing and solid but adding a shooter would help round things out.
They already have McDonald’s All-Americans Nolan Hickman and Daimion Collins signed along with four-star forward Bryce Hopkins. West Virginia transfer and big man Oscar Tshiebwe is already on campus and practicing with the current Wildcats but he can’t take the court in actual games.
Podziemski is a left-handed wing player with a very good shooting touch from deep and the ability to take defenders off the dribble something Kentucky could sure use, plus he is also a strong rebounder on both ends of the court.
As a junior for the Lancers, he averaged 27.6 points and 9.2 rebounds knocking down 74 of 223 attempts from the three-point range for 33 percent. He is also a two-time Player of the Year in the Midwest Classic Conference. Podziemski is also a pitcher for the baseball team.
This year he has zeroed in with 62 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent behind the arc while dropping in 83.3 percent from the foul line.
His AAU coach Antonio Curo has worked to polish Podziemski’s game increasing his shooting percentage and accuracy simply by fine-tuning his mechanics. Sounds like John Calipari just might be the person to help the young shooter take the next step at the college level.
When asked if he thought Podziemski’s game would be a fit for the Wildcats Curo didn’t hesitate to answer.
"“He would be outstanding there. It goes without saying shooting is something they are likely to focus on (in recruiting). If that would be the decision he makes, he would embrace the opportunity to wear Kentucky on his chest like he would any other school. He respects the game. Whatever school he goes to, he is going to wear that jersey with pride.”"
There is no immediate timeline for him to make his final selection and the spring signing date isn’t until April 14.