247Sports Composite No. 1 prospect DJ Wagner ready to make the call

As reported by 247Sports national recruiting analyst, Travis Branham, last week, 247Sports Composite No. 1 overall prospect DJ Wagner is ready to make the call.

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According to Branham, Wagner will announce his college decision at 3 PM ET on Monday. He will choose between Kentucky and Louisville.

The Wildcats represent five of the six predictions on Wagner’s 247Sports Crystal Ball. Branham elevated his confidence level on his Kentucky pick to a 10 last week.

The addition of Wagner to John Calipari‘s 2023 class would give Kentucky the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class, where he would join fellow 5 stars Justin Edwards (No. 2 overall), Aaron Bradshaw (No. 6), and Robert Dillingham (No. 9) in addition to 4-star Reed Shepherd (No. 29). All have already signed with the Wildcats except for Bradshaw, who is expected to do so on the final day of the early signing period Wednesday.

Calipari appeared to hint at a commitment from Wagner last month during an appearance at Churchill downs for the annual Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club Basketball Tipoff Luncheon.

“That’s what the problem is: I coached his dad. I may get another kid where I coached his dad,” Calipari told Kent Taylor of WAVE-3 News when asked about freshman guard Adou Thiero. “Now all of a sudden, you’re like, ‘I’m coaching kids’ [dads].”

Wagner’s ties to both Calipari and the UK program run deep.

He is the son of Dajuan Wagner, who was Calipari’s first-ever one-and-done at Memphis. He is the brother of Kentucky walk-on guard Karem Watkins and a former high school teammate of UK forward Lance Wareand he is both the high school and travel teammate Bradshaw, who committed to the Wildcats in October.

And after appearing in an ad campaign for music megastar Drake’s NOCTA Basketball line over the summer, Wagner signed with Nike last month. Not only is UK a Nike school, but Drake has aligned himself with the Wildcats because of his relationship with Calipari, who he credits with inspiring him to finish school. And like Wagner, the multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artist has twice attended Big Blue Madness.

Wagner, who took an official visit to Big Blue Madness last season, returned for an unofficial visit along with his Camden teammates this season.

Playing for the USA Junior National Team at the FIBA ​​U17 World Cup in Málaga, Spain, Wagner averaged 9.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.9 steals in 19.8 minutes per game in helping lead the Americans to a perfect 7-0 mark, winning his games by an average of nearly 40 points per game en route to the gold medal.

He was also named Second Team All-Peach Jam by The Circuit after averaging 15.7 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game for the NJ Scholars of the Nike EYBL last travel season.

247Sports Scouting Report: Wagner is a proven and versatile scorer, with numerous weapons at his disposal. He’s also an elite competitor who plays hard, has a way of raising the level of those around him, and doesn’t get enough credit for bringing a similar mindset to the defensive end of the floor. He plays in constant attack mode, accelerates right at his defender while mixing in some shake and shiftiness, scores around the rim with both hands, and is a legitimate threat to create his own shot at all three levels. He’s not a true point guard, and yet has needed the ball in his hands to be effective at this point in his career, as he’s been the focal point of almost every environment he’s been in to date. He lacks great positional size and is a good, albeit not great, overall athlete. He also tends to be stuck in first ear and needs to learn when to slow down and pick his spots. Most of all, there’s no denying that he’s going to have to shoot the ball from long-range at a higher rate than he did this summer, and yet also no glaring mechanical deficiency that should prevent him from doing so. – Adam Finkelstein

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