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  • VAUGHT: Blood thicker than water in Cunningham recruitment

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    Maybe Cade Cunningham, one of the top three players in the 2020 recruiting class, seriously did consider Kentucky but as many had projected he gave his verbal commitment to Oklahoma State — where his brother is an assistant coach — on Tuesday night in a social media post.

    “To be honest, I was this close to picking a different school, but blood is always thicker than water. Go Pokes," Cunningham said in his announcement.

    While some recruiting analysts felt some recruiting momentum had shifted to UK in recent weeks, Rivals.com recruiting writer Krysten Peek never wavered in her belief that the 6-7 point guard from Texas would pick Oklahoma State.

    In fact, she didn’t budge off that belief when I hosted the Leach Report Tuesday morning and she was one of the guests.

    “Unless coach Cal hires Cade’s brother, I am not seeing it,” Peek said about Cunningham possibly committing to UK.

    She noted that four-star shooting guard Rondel Walker had recently committed to Oklahoma State.

    “He is Cade’s best friend,” Peek said about 10 hours before Cunningham’s announcement.

    She also said it’s unlikely he would have a change of heart.

    “From what I know Cade, once he makes up his mind, that is it,” Peek said.

    Cunningham took official visits to North Carolina, Florida and Washington along with Kentucky and Oklahoma State.

    "When my brother took a job at Oklahoma State, most people assumed my decision had been made for me," Cunningham said in his announcement video. "But my family encouraged me to explore my options and make my own decision, based on what I feel is best for me."

    He is already being projected as the top pick in the 2021 NBA draft.