Kentucky hosting pair of 5-star juniors for official visits

A week after hosting a trio of 5-star juniors on official visits for Big Blue Madness, Kentucky will have two more elite 2023 prospects on campus for its annual Blue-White Game.

The Wildcats are set to host both Chicago (Ill.) Kenwood Academy 5-star wing JJ Taylor and Los Angeles (Calif.) Donda Prep 5-star point guard Robert Dillingham for official visits this weekend.

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Taylor (6-8, 185), who is ranked No. 5 overall in the industry average 247Sports Composite rankings, became the first class of 2023 prospect to receive an offer from UK back on June 15, the first day college coaches could directly contact rising juniors.

On the first day of the contact period alone, Taylor added offers from Kentucky, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona, Maryland, Florida, LSU, and Nebraska.

This will be the first official visit for Taylor, who also took an unofficial visit to Illinois earlier this month.

Playing for the Illinois-based Mac Irvin Fire of the Nike EYBL, Taylor has become one of the Wildcats’ top targets early in the 2023 recruiting cycle. UK assistant Chin Coleman began his coaching career with Fire and has extensive ties to his hometown of Chicago.

Taylor was named Co-MVP of the Top 30 Game and was among 247Sports Director of Basketball Recruiting Eric Bossi’s underclassman standouts at the Pangos All-American Camp in Las Vegas over the summer. He also impressed Bossi with his play at the Bill Hensley Run-N-Slam earlier this spring.

“The top ranked prospect in attendance, regardless of class, JJ Taylor of the Mac Irvin Fire 16U team showed why he’s already ranked in the top 10 in 2023. The 6-foot-7 wing from Chicago (Ill.) Kenwood is a slashing athlete who hits enough jumpers to keep defenders honest, plays above the rim and can really create in the open floor. When he starts to fill out and add strength, look out. This is the second time we’ve been able to watch Taylor this spring and he’s not disappointed. Illinois is his first major offer and has made him an early priority.”

Dillingham, meanwhile, is the top-ranked point guard and No. 8 overall prospect in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite and holds early offers from Auburn, Florida, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, North Carolina, NC State, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas, and Wake Forest among others.

Originally from Hickory, N.C., Dillingham recently announced he will transfer to the newly-formed Donda Academy, which will be based in Los Angeles and is founded by rapper Kanye West.

This will be the third visit for Dillingham, who has also taken official visits to Memphis and LSU.

Playing for CP3 U16, Dillingham stood out to 247Sports national recruiting analyst Travis Branham with his play at Peach Jam in July.

“In a big matchup with Team WhyNot 16s, Robert Dillingham got the opportunity to play in front of dozens of high major coaches and the sidelines was buzzing with talk of his ball-skills, wiggle, shiftiness and ability to score the basketball,” Branham wrote. “His efforts did come up short in a loss but it wasn’t for lack of effort or production from Dillingham. Each time down the floor, Dillingham was creating scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates, specifically GG Jackson.”

Kentucky hosted 5-stars DJ Wagner, Mackenzie Mgbako, and Reed Sheppard on visits last weekend for Big Blue Madness.

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