2021's top ranked point guard Kennedy Chandler discusses the latest
OVERLAND PARK, Kans. -- The plan for 2021's top ranked point guard Kennedy Chandler was pretty clear. Go out this spring and summer, win a bunch of games and then visit his five finalists before making a decision prior to the early signing period.
Headed to Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian, the five-star floor general's top five of Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina and Tennessee remains the same. But, due to Covid-19 and uncertainty of when he'll be able to take official visits there is a chance that Chandler could have to wait a while longer before taking visits.
Currently, the NCAA's dead period for recruiting runs through August 31st. However, coaches have speculated to Rivals.com that it could be until December or January before the NCAA allows them to host official visitors and that's potentially problematic for Chandler's timeline.
“I want to take my official visits, go to games and go to see the college coaches and speak to them in person," Chandler told Rivals.com. "I don’t want to do virtual visits over the computer. If I have to I will, but I would rather go to the school with my family. It would be tough for me without visits because I want to take my visits in the fall and go from there.”
Chandler is currently in Kansas City for his summer program MoKan Elite's minicamp and he's been making the most of an unexpected summer with an assist from the Memphis Grizzlies star rookie point guard Ja Morant.
“It’s been hard, but at least we’ve got this minicamp going on this week. We wanted to play, we wanted to win and we really wanted to win Peach Jam again. So I’ve just been working out and trying to get better every day," said Chandler.
“I have a good relationship with Ja. He’s like a big brother to me and calls me his little brother so I can call him anytime I need something and I go to his house all the time. I’m real cool with his dad and he gives me great advice too. Me learning from Ja is a great experience because he’s a rookie and he’s learned some stuff that he’s told me about.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Chandler has at least been able to see all of his finalists but North Carolina, he discussed each program.
Duke: “Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski, I have a good relationship with him. He called me a few days ago and we had a good talk about what he’s been doing and what I’ve been doing since quarantine. That’s a dream school for me but at the end of the day I have to pick the school that’s going to be the best fit for my family and me.”
Kentucky: “They do well with point guards like De’Aaron Fox and Tyler Ulis, I could go on and on with the point guards they’ve had. (John Calipari) puts his guards in the right place, he plays more than one point guard and that’s what he likes to to do. He says that he loves the way I play.”
North Carolina: “They call me a lot. They really want me and I have a good relationship with them and they really want me to go down there. I promised them that I would go there and I really want to go there but with all this stuff I don’t know if I want to wait until like January. It is no offense to North Carolina, I love them, but January is a long time for me to wait to go and visit all five schools and then try to commit. I don’t want to wait too late.”
Memphis: “Coach Penny (Hardaway) has been calling me a lot and texting me and stuff like that. Ever since Mike Miller left they are trying to find a new assistant coach and I’m looking forward to meeting their new coach.”
Tennessee: “I have a good relationship with them, Coach (Kim) English and Rick Barnes. Ever since they offered me they have really enjoyed recruiting me so I have a great relationship with them.”
Speaking with Chandler, a few things are pretty clear. He genuinely wants to keep his promise to his final five schools that he will visit each of them officially and that he doesn't want to have to wait any longer than he has to in order to make a decision.
In a perfect world, the NCAA's dead period gets lifted and Chandler can begin setting visits in September. However, the odds of that happening appear to be slim. Another month or two of a dead period may be something that Chandler could wait out, but he made it clear that if he can't start setting visits relatively soon then he would have to talk to his family about adjusting his plans.
Not taking visits wouldn't be perfect, but since Chandler has seen four of his five finalists he would still be able to make a pretty informed decision.
Currently, Tennessee is the favorite pick of those casting votes in the Rivals.com Futurecast and the Vols are certainly in good shape. However, Chandler himself would not tip his hand in regard to any leader.