From the senior class of 2023, DJ Wagner, the top prospect, has selected a choice. For the 2023–24 season, Wagner has committed to play basketball for the University of Kentucky. The son of a former NBA player and a high school standout, Dajuan Wagner, had reduced his lengthy list of full scholarships to Kentucky and Louisville. The entire country was anxiously anticipating his choice. It was widely speculated where Wagner would play his freshman year in 2023–2024 because of his numerous connections to both rival universities. For what reason did he choose Kentucky over Louisville?
First off, according to 24/7 Sports, Kentucky now has the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class thanks to Wagner’s commitment to the Big Blue State. Wagner will be a part of Kentucky’s elite 2023 recruiting class, which already includes five-star players like Robert Dillingham, Aaron Bradshaw, Camden High School teammates, and small forward Justin Edwards, now ranked number two. The top class of incoming freshmen in the country for 2023–2024 will be completed by the Wildcats with the addition of four-star prospect Reed Sheppard (No. 29). Kentucky has a more robust current roster of players who might return for the following season as well as a stronger freshman class.
Since Dajuan Wagner’s father played for Calipari at Memphis during his lone collegiate season in 2001–2002, the families of the two men have a close bond. But after Louisville’s new head coach, Kenny Payne, hired his grandfather, Milt, to be the team’s director of player development and alumni relations, there was some talk that Wagner would be moving there. At Louisville in the early 1980s, Milt was a superstar who helped the Cardinals won the national championship in 1986. The relationship between Payne and DJ’s granddad was not enough to snag the nation’s top recruit, even though Payne served as Calipari’s longtime assistant and associate head coach at Kentucky.