As anchor posted earlier today, recruiting analyst (and father of 2012 national recruit Tyler Lewis) Rick Lewis tweeted that Kentucky had offered Adjehi Baru, arguably the top target on Maryland's board aside from Nick Faust (whom, depending on your viewpoint, you may or may not count). See:
Kentucky just offered 6'9 Adjehi Baru. Baru will take an official visit to UK in the near future. UK will replace USC as the 5th official
There is good news, though: as it turns out, this report was incorrect (more on that in a minute), and Kentucky hasn't offered yet. Still, they are showing "heavy interest" and I have no reason to doubt that Lewis is right about them being on Baru's list.
With USC out, that means that Baru's final five is Maryland and Virginia Tech, both of which have been recruiting him from the start, plus College of Charleston, who either has some kind of "in" with Baru or is just a courtesy list, UNC, and Kentucky. UNC and Kentucky are scary for very obvious reasons.
There is some hope, though; Baru's still behind Cody Zeller on the UNC wishlist, and Kentucky hasn't yet offered, either:
Kentucky is definitely heavily interested in Adjehi Baru, but despite rumors has not stepped up with an offer yet. They'll see him soon.
Have confirmed that Adjehi Baru does not have an offer, but UK is interested. Like all 2011 names u hear, only a possibility down the road.
The hope is obviously that Kentucky will land whoever is on their list ahead of Baru, though I'm not sure who that would be (maybe DeAndre Daniels or Adonis Thomas). They are loaded at PF/C with five-stars Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer in tow for 2011, plus the potential of Terrence Jones or Enes Kanter being there next year.
Of course, even the potential of a Kentucky offer should be enough to scare any fan hoping for a Baru commit (that is, all of you). UK is getting to the point where they're getting almost anyone they seriously want, and if they seriously want Baru, the allure of Calipari and his success at getting guys into the NBA will probably win out. And if it doesn't, there's pretty good odds UNC will.
That said, Maryland was still the first team to recruit him and he's at least been on Maryland's campus, which can't be said about UK. Both UNC and UK have their weaknesses, mostly revolving around the talent at Baru's position already. We'll see where the recruitment goes, but on the surface, there's some bad signs.