The all-time leading scorer in Kentucky boys high school basketball history has made his college choice.
On Sunday afternoon, Travis Perry — the star class of 2024 guard from Lyon County High School in Eddyville — committed to Kentucky as his college basketball destination.
Perry pledged to join the Wildcats from a small list of finalists that also included Alabama, Cincinnati, Ole Miss and Western Kentucky.
He made his commitment to UK in a live-streamed announcement from the Lyon County High School gym that was broadcast on the 247Sports YouTube channel.
When John Calipari and Kentucky offered Perry a scholarship in June 2022, he was just the fifth player in the 2024 recruiting class to earn a UK offer. Kentucky was not expected to be Perry’s choice Sunday, but in a surprise decision Perry opted for the Wildcats.
Ranked by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) — which combines the rankings from the nation’s top recruiting services into one single metric — as the No. 81 player in the 2024 recruiting class, Perry has been a varsity starter for Lyon County since he was a seventh grader and will begin his senior season with 4,359 career points.
Perry is the top Kentucky-based prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, and his recruitment took off following a strong showing on the summer travel basketball circuit in 2022.
As the high-major offers rolled in, plenty of people took notice of what Perry was doing on the court.
“(The) biggest standout quality for Travis is his maturity and shooting ability,” Max Feldman, a national grassroots basketball scout for MADE Hoops, told the Herald-Leader earlier this year. “He knows what he is and knows where his spots are. He never seems to speed up or (get) overwhelmed. He’s capable of bringing value as the main dude or as an ancillary guy.”
While Perry’s offensive exploits have earned him well-deserved praise as a scorer and finisher, he’s also a well-rounded player with strong passing skills.
The 6-foot-2 guard’s jump shot and ability to score from deep are his biggest calling cards though, and he repeatedly spoke about play style fit when discussing his recruitment prior to Sunday’s commitment to UK.
Both of Perry’s parents graduated from UK, and he now becomes the third commit for Calipari and Kentucky in the 2024 recruiting class, joining guard Boogie Fland and center Somto Cyril. Both Fland and Cyril have signed their national letters of intent with UK.
The 2024 early signing period began Nov. 8 and runs through Wednesday, which should give Perry plenty of time to sign his own NLI to play at UK.
What will Travis Perry bring to UK?
So what will Perry bring to Kentucky as part of a 2024 recruiting class that already includes Fland and Cyril?
His scoring ability, above all else, is what seems to intrigue national analysts the most.
It comes with the territory of being able to score 61 points in a single game (a Lyon County record that Perry set in February) and breaking an all-time state scoring record that stood for 67 years.
Perry is also the state’s career leader in 3-pointers made.
“Travis is going to shoot it and find ways to put the ball in the bucket at the next level. ... He knows both how to fit in or stand out within a team construct,” Feldman added. “He has a high floor at the next level. Defense and finishing at the rim will be barriers early on, just as he adjusts to the level of athleticism.”
Perry boasts the ability to connect as both a spot up and motion shooter. His basketball IQ should help him when it comes to reading ball screens and with his off-ball movement.
“Perry is more than just a shooter, however, as his feel for the pick-and-roll paired with some crafty finishing allows him to create and capitalize on additional self-created advantages to complement the shooting threat,” Alex Brown, a senior analyst for Pro Insight Basketball, told the Herald-Leader earlier this year.
While concerns exist about Perry’s ability as a high-major defender against elite athletes, his offensive value brings plenty to the table.
“... Travis has shown unselfishness in his approach, as well as the capacity to manage the game and get others involved from the lead guard spot, which is a highly valuable trait to have in a guard that can fill it up like he can,” Brown added. “He may not be a very explosive athlete or possess advantageous size for the high-major level, but there is a ton to like in the offensive threat that Travis Perry presents moving forward.”
Perry aims for another state tournament trip with Lyon County
With his college commitment now in the rearview, Perry can focus solely on his senior season at Lyon County ahead of his time as a Kentucky Wildcat.
The Lyons have made two consecutive appearances in the Boys’ Sweet 16 state tournament in Rupp Arena as champions of the 2nd Region.
Perry has been the driving force behind both of these state tournament teams for Lyon County, and in both the 2022 and 2023 state tournaments, the Lyons advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Before this, Lyon County last made the Sweet 16 in 1951.
But Perry isn’t the only NCAA Division I commit who will be suiting up for the Lyons this season.
Earlier this month, 6-foot-6 Lyon County standout Brady Shoulders (another class of 2024 prospect) committed to play at Tennessee-Martin.