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Basketball Recruiting

Taylen Kinney rising in the 2026 class, talks recruitment

December 27, 2023

Yes, it could be very early to determine the future for a 2026 prospect such as Newport’s Taylen Kinney.

The 6-foot, 160-pound guard out of Newport, KY, has been shining during his sophomore campaign and recently went to one of the nation’s top prospects regardless of class, Darryn Peterson. He would end up finishing with 22 points and led his team to a huge victory.

Recently, at the King Of The Bluegrass event, Kinney averaged a team-high of 22.7 points per game and was named to the All-Tournament team, cementing an amazing month of December and headed into his holiday break with a successful week at KOB.

Speaking on a big-time month of December, he started the month off strong from day one. Kinney and his squad faced Richmond Heights on Dec. 1st, entering the game Richmond Heights was on a 49-game win streak which came to an end after Kinney scored 27 points and led his squad to victory.

The point is, Kinney is legit.

As his sophomore campaign continues, he’s a prospect worth monitoring and he’s electrifying to watch. caught up with Kinney on Wednesday morning and discussed his recruitment and his game.

Which schools are the heaviest involved in your recruitment?

“Purdue, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Xavier, Cincinnati, Indiana, Wisconsin.”

Have any newer schools entered the mix?

“Kentucky and Tennessee.”

Describe your reaction to the Tennessee offer and your thoughts on the program.

“I was thankful. I’ve been working extremely hard and it feels good to receive another Power Five offer. Tennessee has a lot of good things going their way right now and they play up-tempo which is how I like to play.”

How about a program like Kentucky, you visited them already, what has been their message to you early in your recruitment?

“A program like Kentucky, which is sending a lot of people to the NBA, and that’s my dream, their message to me is I’m a guard from Kentucky and they think I can be real good and that I would be a good fit for them.”

How about a program like Louisville, which has struggled but remains one of the historic programs in the country, what has been their pitch to you?

“The pitch to me has been the same, they need good players to come to get their program back on track and they were one of the first to believe in me and offer me.”

And how has your game improved from this season compared to the last?

“My confidence has gotten a lot higher, my teammates are believing in me, I’m playing with a higher motor, and I’m working on becoming a three-level scorer.”

Have there been any areas of your game that you worked to get better at this summer that you have improved on here during the season?

“Just being able to score on all three levels.”

Are you done with visits for the season? or anything you’re working on on that end?

“I think I’m going up to Tennessee.”

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