Alexan­der com­mits to Ken­tucky

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Former Florida com­mit Shai Alexan­der is stay­ing in the SEC after com­mit­ting to Ken­tucky on Mon­day.

Alexan­der, who de­com­mit­ted from the Ga­tors in Oc­to­ber, chose Ken­tucky over Syra­cuse, Texas and UNLV. Florida also re­mained in­volved after the part­ing of ways last month. Forty-three schools reached out to Alexan­der once he de­com­mit­ted, sources told ESPN.

Alexan­der, a 6-foot-5 point guard, is ranked No. 44 in the ESPN 100. The na­tive of Canada plays at Hamilton Heights Chris­tian Academy in Ten­nessee.

“It was fast-paced, that’s for sure,” said Zach Fer­rell, the coach at Hamilton Heights. “Just a ton of phone calls and in­ter­est at the be­gin­ning, then his fam­ily kind of short­ened the list. It looked like one or two schools ev­ery day com­ing in and spend­ing time with him, watch­ing prac­tice.”

Ken­tucky coach John Cali­pari of­fered Alexan­der a schol­ar­ship after watch­ing him on Oct. 31. Alexan­der then took a visit to Lex­ing­ton on Nov. 4. Duke still No. 1: Duke held on to its com­fort­able lead in the As­so­ci­ated Press poll while Cincin­nati and Cal­i­for­nia are new­com­ers in the first reg­u­lar-sea­son poll.

The Blue Devils (2-0) re­ceived 58 first-place votes from the 65-mem­ber national me­dia panel, keep­ing their large lead over Ken­tucky, which was No. 1 on one bal­lot.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Vil­lanova re­ceived five first­place votes and moved up one place to third, re­plac­ing Kansas, one of three ranked teams that lost last week. Ore­gon and North Carolina both moved up one spot to fourth and fifth, while In­di­ana, which beat Kansas 103-99 in over­time, jumped from 11th to sixth. The Hoosiers were No. 1 on one bal­lot.

Kansas was sev­enth fol­lowed by Vir­ginia, Wis­con­sin and Ari­zona, which beat then-No. 12 Michi­gan State.

Xavier, which was ranked sev­enth, fell to 11th fol­low­ing an 84-81 vic­tory over Le­high. Michi­gan State fell to No. 13.

The only ranked team to lose to an un­ranked team was Con­necti­cut, which dropped out of the poll from 18th fol­low­ing its de­feat against Wag­ner.

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