Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball Recruiting: Analyzing top 4 teams for 5-star wing prospect Will Riley

Illinois v Connecticut
Illinois v Connecticut / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Kentucky Wildcats


Even without John Calipari around, Kentucky will always remain a premier NCAA Basketball destination. Look at how well new coach Mark Pope did with rebuilding the entire roster this offseason after landing the job. They landed another key piece to the roster in Jaxson Robinson, a 6’8 guard from BYU who was the Big 12 6th Man of the Year.

Although there’s still one roster spot available, the addition of Robinson probably ends any chance that Riley would join them this season. They already have seven seniors on the roster that’s proven and will have their own roles, though Riley could actually be the best draft prospect on the roster if he were to join now.


There are a lot of reasons why waiting a year would make the most sense for Riley. For one, it’ll be good to see how Coach Pope looks at Kentucky in Year 1 and see if he trusts him as his first five-star commitment. Plus, wings Robinson and Koby Brea would be gone, allowing Riley the chance to be a clear starter out the gate for the 2025-26 campaign.

Unlike Alabama and Arizona, Kentucky doesn’t have a 5-star caliber small forward on board. Plus, Illinois does have a habit of landing quality transfers which could impact his minutes. While the Pope era at Kentucky itself is an early unknown, the potential of playing time does appear to be the highest a year from now.