On Tuesday, the nation’s top prospect in the Class of 2022 Shaedon Sharpe committed to Kentucky. This makes him the first No. 1 overall prospect to commit to the Wildcats since Nerlens Noel.
The five-star shooting guard joins Noel and Anthony Davis as the three No. 1 overall prospects to play for the Wildcats under John Calipari.
— Shaedon Sharpe (@ShaedonSharpe) September 7, 2021
“It was a tough decision, but I felt they had a clear plan for me as I work to play at the highest level,” Sharpe told ESPN. “Coach Cal took the time to understand who I was as a person and how to get the best out of me. Kentucky felt the most like home to me. I get the sense that I can grow to reach my potential on and off the court at Kentucky given the platform, atmosphere and legacy.”
The 6-foot-5 versatile guard had narrowed his list down to Oklahoma State, Arizona, Kansas and the G-League Ignite before choosing the blue blood.
A major reason for choosing the Wildcats came from the confidence Sharpe has in UK’s staff being able to get him to the next level like it has done with several others in the past. Under Calipari, the program had 43 players drafted throughout his 12-year coaching career, including 32 first-rounders and 21 lottery picks.
“Coach Cal’s track record of developing NBA players had a major impact on my decision,” Sharpe said. “I can see that he does a great job of working with athletes of my position and playing style and getting them to be the best versions of themselves. His experience is a large part of why I chose UK, but he believed in the vision and goals that I had for myself as well.”
With star point guard Skyy Clark already committed to the Wildcats, adding a versatile shooting guard in Sharpe to round out a truly dynamic duo could make them the most threatening backcourt in college basketball.
Throughout high school, the standout averaged 21.4 points, six rebounds and three assists as a junior at Dream City Christian in Glendale, Arizona. Sharpe has proven himself to be a quick, bouncy wing prospect with long arms and all the tools you want to see. He’s a slasher who’s got a quick first step and gets to the rim with ease and can really finish through contact.
During the Nike EYBL circuit in July, Sharpe dominated the scene while averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He led all players who appeared in more than two games in scoring. He shot 36.4% from 3-point range during the tournament.
Ranking Sharpe No. 1 is “not really a question in my mind because of the smooth way he creates and makes shooting opportunities,” Rivals.com analyst Jamie Shaw wrote. “Sharpe has a natural explosion with a handle that gets him to his spots, and the ability to pull up from 28 feet. … It is easy to see his game translate from level to level, and it showed against the nation’s best.”
I honestly couldn’t come up with a significant weakness in Shaedon Sharpe’s game after watching him multiple times at the Peach Jam. https://t.co/XTMU8WVWHs
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 7, 2021
Looking ahead to the 2022 class, things are off to a great start for Kentucky. Sharpe’s combination of skill and athleticism should make him a solid contributor and go-to scorer to the team. With the program coming off a disappointing 9-16 record during the 2020-21 season, the Wildcats will look to bounce back in the coming seasons.
“From Our Haus to Yours”