Whitehead lists UK, UCLA among final nine

It was nearly three weeks ago that Chris McCullough (Bronx, N.Y./Brewster Academy) and Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) told me it was a very real possibility that they would end up at Syracuse together.

On Tuesday, McCullough delivered the first half of that potential package deal when he committed to the Orange. In the hours soon after, Twitter came alive with Syracuse fans urging Whitehead to follow suit.

The junior guard didn’t do anything to discourage the fanfare either, retweeting a number of comments and congratulating his friend on his recent decision.

While Whitehead isn’t ready to make a decision of his own just yet, he did cut his list to nine, again taking to his own twitter account to make the announcement.

“Just Cut My List To 9 Syracuse Kentucky Arizona Maryland Florida UCLA St.Johns Kansas Rutgers,” Whitehead tweeted late Tuesday night.

Twenty minutes later an addendum was added, “I Have To Add In One More School And That's Louisville So Its 10.”

The list provides no real surprises. Syracuse was the first school mentioned as most expected, while UCLA and St. John’s — two of the other schools most often associated with Whitehead — were on the list as well.

St. John’s is expected to make an increased push for Whitehead in the coming weeks given mounting pressure on the recruiting trail after missing out on McCullough and others. Whitehead was originally expected to be in attendance for their exhibition game on Tuesday night before having to reschedule.

As for Kentucky, the Wildcats have expressed interest but have yet to offer a scholarship. If Coach Cal doesn’t extend an offer, it seems any of the nine other schools would be ready to accept Whitehead’s commitment at virtually any point.

As for the chances of Whitehead joining McCullough at Syracuse, it seems very possible, but certainly not a sure thing. Even during our initial package-deal conversation, it was McCullough, not Whitehead, who was willing to go so far as to call Syracuse the leader.

Whitehead is currently the 40th ranked prospect in the ESPN 60, but certainly a player capable of climbing up those ranks with increased production this season. He’s one of the most powerful scoring guards in the class and someone who is capable of sliding over to the point at times.