Welcome to LaFamilia (UK Athletics Photo).
LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky picked up a commitment on the recruiting trail when Robert Dillingham chose the Wildcats on Friday night.
Dillingham, the No. 13 overall prospect in the Class of 2023, is a point guard and a five-star recruit and chose Kentucky over Auburn, Louisville, and USC.
“If you put in the work at Kentucky and coach (John Calipari) thinks you are good enough to make it, then it will happen for you,” Dillingham told ESPN. “When I visited Kentucky, it was incredible. They explained everything. The basketball, academics, strength and conditioning, NIL.”
NIL, a new recruiting tool, helped sway Dillingham to Lexington.
“Coach Cal explained how it works and said, ‘It’s not the reason you come here, but it’s definitely a perk.’ I know TyTy Washington and Oscar Tshiebwe have done very well.”
Dillingham chose N.C. State initially, but de-committed last March.
“Coach Cal and his staff came to see me when I was at Combine Academy,” he recalled. “They flew private into Lincolnton, North Carolina. That meant a lot. Coach Cal is down to earth. He told me and my mom his whole story growing up. My mom is an energetic and positive person. She felt good about Coach Cal and Kentucky.”
Dillingham, a 6-foot-1 guard, plays for Donda Academy in California and currently plays on the Nike EYBL summer league circuit.
Lyon County (Ky.) High School Travis Perry received a scholarship offer from Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. Perry made a visit to Lexington and impressed Calipari in the Titans-Rockets Summer Shootout in Shelbyville. Perry scored 42 points in one game and 36 in another contest in the shootout.
Perry has played on the varsity team at Lyon County since 7th-grade and has scored 3,189 points in his career. The state record is held by King Kelly Coleman, who tallied 4.337 points from 1953-56.
Kentucky will host Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Jan. 28 at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats and Jayhawks will meet for the 34th time with Kentucky holding a 24-10 edge in the series.
Last January, the Wildcats handed the defending national champions a 71-63 setback in Lawrence, Kansas.
In other games in the Challenge, Alabama is at Oklahoma, Arkansas plays at Baylor, Auburn will take on West Virginia in Morgantown, Florida will play at Kansas State, Texas Tech is at LSU, Ole Miss will play Oklahoma State in Stillwater, while Texas Christian will take on Mississippi State, Iowa State is at Missouri and Texas will take on Tennessee in Knoxville.
The Challenge between the two leagues has been contested for the past 10 years, with the games televised on various ESPN networks.