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Are Kentucky and Villanova The Top Two Options for 2023 #1 Prospect DJ Wagner?

Published 06/21/2021, 5:30 PM EDT

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With the onset of the G-League Ignite team and now Overtime Elite, high school players are angling towards going pro early instead of joining college. Because of this, top prospects are hounded by colleges who are eager to keep college basketball alive. One of the top prospects in demand right now is DJ Wagner.

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He is the son of former NBA player, Dajuan Wagner, and is the number one ranked prospect from the class of 2023. The 16-year-old has already received interest from a number of top colleges like Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, Syracuse, Villanova, and Michigan. And out of them all, Kentucky and Villanova could be leading the race to get him.


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In a recent interview, Wagner spoke highly about both of those colleges. He said, “(Villanova) was a pretty good visit, and I liked it. It’s a really nice school. It’s crazy the history of guards they have had over there. As of right now I’m considering everyone and enjoying the process.”

“(Kentucky) was good. We had a nice conversation and I love Kentucky, especially with family ties and things like that. In general, I really just love college basketball so any coach I talk to is exciting. I’m a college basketball fan and I love watching March Madness.”

Is John Calipari Still Upset Cade Cunningham Choose Oklahoma State Cowboys Over Kentucky Wildcats?

Is DJ Wagner going to team up with his father’s coach at Kentucky?

Father Dajuan Wagner was part of the Memphis Tigers in 2001-02 when John Calipari was the coach. Wagner only played one season for the Tigers where he averaged 21.2 points per game. He was the star player on the team, but coach Calipari refused to allow him to return for another year since he knew Wagner would be a top pick. And as predicted, Wagner went sixth in the 2002 NBA Draft.


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Two decades later, Calipari now has a chance to coach Wagner’s son with the Kentucky Wildcats. Although Wagner wasn’t able to convert his college success to the NBA, Calipari will be eager to help DJ set a better career path.


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Kentucky is famous for developing young players quickly and turning them into NBA ready players. Wagner could join the likes of Anthony Davis, Devin Booker and John Wall as players to have excelled and become world class because of Coach Calipari.


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Aaron Mathew

1689 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.