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Can Alabama really compete with Kentucky for a top recruit? Is it possible?

Well Avery Johnson and the Crimson Tide did make five-star guard John Petty’s top-five on Saturday, along with the Kentucky Wildcats, Connecticut Huskies, Kansas Jayhawks, and Florida State Seminoles.

The favorites for Petty’s services are currently rumored to be Kentucky and his home town team, Alabama. Obviously, Kentucky is capable of turning Petty into a one-and-done talent and a potential first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, while also helping him win at the college level.

Alabama would be a shocking move on the surface, especially after Malik Newman made a similar move (playing for his hometown team and failing to launch them to an NCAA Tournament) last year. Newman struggled mightily in his lone season at Mississippi State, didn’t receive strong feedback when he declared for the NBA Draft, and then opted to transfer to a blue blood program to get his possible NBA career back on track.

Petty is ranked 17th on ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2017, is the number one player in the state of Alabama, and is the fourth best shooting guard in the class.

The Huntsville, Ala native stands at 6’4″, 185 pounds, and has length, athleticism, high upside, raw ability and a good nose for the ball. He is a force in transition and is a high confidence player who can put the ball in the basket.

Petty, who attends J O Johnson High School and played his AAU ball with Team Penny this summer, is a “tremendous prospect,” according to Scout.

Petty has good size (6-foot-5) and athleticism for the position. He’s a very good leaper and uses his athleticism when he attacks the rim both in transition and in the half court. Petty moves his feet well laterally and has potential as a wing defender. He has a reputation as a shooter, but struggled some shooting the ball from three in the EYBL. He’s good when he attacks and is comfortable from mid-range.

While Petty may have struggled shooting the ball in Peach Jam (21 percent), he shot 39 percent overall from long range during the Nike EYBL Circuit (which is pretty solid). He also shot an efficient 45 percent overall during the EYBL regular season, and averaged 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 2.6 assists per game.

Not only are his Nike EYBL AAU stats very impressive, but Petty is a winner. He brought Team Penny to the semifinals (along with 2017 five-star big man P.J. Washington) before losing by two points to the PSA Cardinals.

If Petty can improve his three-point shooting and ball handling, he could honestly be one of the best players in all of college basketball in 2017-18.

Will Alabama really reel in that type of talent?