Kentucky basketball recruiting notebook: Zion Williamson backs off package deal talk

Package deals were the talk of the summer on the basketball recruiting trail, and none sounded sweeter to the ears of Kentucky fans than a potential 5-star partnership between Immanuel Quickley and Zion Williamson.

Kentucky has long been the favorite to land Quickley, the No. 3 point guard in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports. Quickley still looks like a lock for the Wildcats, but there has been movement in projections for the other half of the package.

Williamson, perhaps the most exciting talent in high school basketball, told USA Today that he and Quickley want to play with each other in college, but “we’re not a package deal.”

SEC Country caught up with Williamson on July 15 at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale at the peak of the package deal talk.

“That’s the real deal,” Williamson said. “I want to play with Immanuel Quickley when I go to college,” he said. “If he goes to Kentucky, then I’m going to look into Kentucky really hard.”

WATCH: 5-star Zion Williamson said the package-deal talk around him and likely Kentucky commit Immanuel Quickley is "the real deal."

Posted by Kentucky Wildcats – SEC Country on Saturday, July 15, 2017

While the door for Williamson and Quickley to potentially team up at Kentucky is still open, Kansas is emerging as a strong contender. The Crystal Ball on 247Sports gives the Cats a 42 percent chance to land Williamson, the No. 2 player in the class, followed by Kansas at 25 percent.

Andrew Slater, a recruiting expert for 247Sports, picked Williamson to Kansas on Tuesday. SEC Country’s Kyle Tucker caught up with Slater.

“I think Kansas makes sense,” Slater told Tucker, “from the perspective of his relationship with [5-star point guard] Devon Dotson, who may wind up [committing to Kansas] fairly soon, his strong connection to Adidas [Williamson plays on that shoe company’s AAU circuit] and Kansas’ ability to showcase players like him, as they did with Josh Jackson [No. 4 overall pick in 2017 NBA Draft]. He also has a strong relationship with Bill Self.”

But Slater isn’t doubting John Calipari and company’s chances. Read the rest of the story here.

More Kentucky basketball recruiting news

The post Kentucky basketball recruiting notebook: Zion Williamson backs off package deal talk appeared first on SEC Country.

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