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Five-star PG Fland picks Kentucky over Indiana

Five-star PG Fland picks Kentucky over Indiana

Five-star guard Boogie Fland announced his commitment Friday, picking John Calipari and Kentucky over Indiana.

Alabama was also on Fland’s final list of three, but this became a Kentucky vs. Indiana battle over the past few weeks. The Hoosiers appeared to be in the driver’s seat down the stretch, but Calipari and the Wildcats finished strong and won over Fland.

“The visit played a big part in my decision,” Fland told ESPN. “It was fantastic. It blew me away. The setup there is incredible; the gym is right next to the housing lodge. My host was D.J. Wagner. We played USA Basketball together and bonded. On my visit, I watched practice and workouts. You go against the best every day, and that’s what I want.”

Since Fland visited in early September, Kentucky consistently sent multiple coaches to Archbishop Stepinac High School in New York to watch the talented guard and make him a priority. Calipari and Fland developed a strong relationship during the process.

“He is a Hall of Fame coach who cares about his players,” Fland said. “When he gave his Hall of Fame speech, his former players and coaches were up on the stage with him. He only wants the best for you. Off the court, he is a funny guy. He has a lot of jokes, and they are spot on.

“He told me this decision was like a marriage. You need to say, ‘I do.'”

A 6-foot-3 guard, Fland is the No. 2 point guard in the 2024 class, ranking No. 18 overall in the ESPN 100 for 2024. In 22 games this past spring and summer with the PSA Cardinals, Fland averaged 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Fland, who said he studies Darius Garland, Jamal Murray, Kyrie Irving and Sharife Cooper, won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA U17 World Championships in 2022. He played in seven games in that tournament, shooting nearly 39% from 3-point range.

“I continue to work on being patient and changing the pace I play at on the offensive end,” he said. “Staying aware of when to score, pass and knowing where my teammates are is important. I am working at being a better leader too.”

When watching Fland, his extra gear of speed is evident. His burst and handle help him put extreme pressure on the defense in transition. In a half-court set, once Fland has made up his mind, he is one of the best in the class at getting a piece of the paint to either score or be a willing passer and spray it out to open teammates. In ball screens, he locates the coverage and reads the help. He displays control, vision and IQ coming off the ball screen to manipulate a defense.

Fland is an inconsistent shooter but is capable from distance and the midrange. Fland made 81.3% of his free throws over the summer in the EYBL. At this stage, he is more comfortable shooting off a rhythm dribble as opposed to catch-and-shoot scenarios. However, he has shown flashes of dynamic shot-making ability. He needs to add strength as he can be bumped off the ball because of his slender frame.

“He is a great kid,” Archbishop Stepinac coach Pat Massaroni said. “It has all clicked in over the last couple of months. He is laser-focused. He loves the gym and the work.”

Fland is the 15th five-star point guard to commit to Kentucky since Calipari took over in 2009, with at least one five-star point guard picking the Wildcats in every class besides 2012 and 2019.

He is Kentucky’s second pledge in the 2024 class, joining ESPN 100 big man Somto Cyril (No. 55). Kentucky remains in pursuit of Jayden Quaintance (No. 14), Karter Knox (No. 16), Pat Ngongba (No. 19) and Billy Richmond (No. 34) and recently began recruiting elite wing V.J. Edgecombe (No. 5).

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Jeff Borzello and Paul Biancardi

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