Some interesting recruiting news surfaced yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere. 2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright had an interview with Josh Paunil of National Recruiting Spotlight in which he said some very pertinent words concerning Kentucky. Wainright, considered a high four-star recruit by various services, is a former Missouri commitment that has not been linked to Kentucky to date.
However, in the interview, Wainright said the following:
"Me and Julius have had a relationship since seventh grade and me and Kasey have been close since eighth grade going into freshman year," Wainright says. "They always told me, ‘wherever you go Ish, we’re all going to go.’ They put it on me but I was like, ‘no, we’ll all sit down and talk about it.’"
"Julius" is Julius Randle, a power forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, TX. He's widely considered a top five prospect in the class of 2013, if not the top prospect.
"Kasey" is Kasey Hill, a top point guard from Montverde Academy in Florida who already possesses a Kentucky offer.
Needless to say, a class comprised of Randle, Hill, and Wainright would be a very, very good one.
But wait, there's more! Wainright goes on to say:
"I’d have to say Kentucky is the number one school, I think Baylor — me and Julius like Baylor — but I don’t know if Kasey does, all I know is Kentucky is the main school."
It would be incredibly awesome news for Kentucky to land all three, but there are multiple reasons to doubt Wainright's claim.
First of all, there has been nothing to date linking Wainright to Kentucky, so John Calipari would first have to start recruiting Wainright for that to happen.
Second, Calipari's focus on the class of 2013 has been very clear. It's widely known that the Harrison twins, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, are considered priority number one. Case in point: they were the only 2013 prospects that attended Big Blue Madness. Andrew, who is more of the on-ball point guard, just so happens to play the same position as Kasey Hill. Aaron is a shooting slash combo guard as well, so dreams of Hill playing an Eric Bledsoe-type role are probably farfetched. And while Julius Randle would be an obvious take, he hasn't shown a ton of interest in Kentucky so far and doesn't yet have an offer.
Finally, recruiting packages generally end up being all talk with little follow through. In the end, individuals do what's best for them. Coaches end up being hamstrung by scholarship limitations, and players end up picking the school that best fits their personal goals. Most notably, the number one overall recruit in the nation Shabazz Muhammad has been linked as a "package deal" to both Kyle Anderson and Rodney Purvis. That would most certainly be difficult, given that Anderson verbaled to UCLA, Purvis to NC State. And while Muhammad may end up picking UCLA, he just as well might end up picking Kentucky to play for Coach Cal (fingers crossed!).
While a "package deal" of Wainright, Hill and Randle is likely a pipe dream, Wainright puts on his best Nostradamus hat to offer hints into each player's decision.
However, if the trio doesn’t go to the same school, Wainright identified who he thought the favorite was to land each player. "It would probably be between St. John’s and UCLA for me, I think Kasey would go to Florida and Julius would probably go to Kentucky," he adds.
If that does come to pass, it would certainly be great news for the Wildcats. So far, Randle has expressed the most interest in Tobacco Road schools North Carolina and Duke (he was scheduled to attend Duke's Midnight Madness but couldn't make it due to school commitments). Also, local Big 12 schools Texas, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Kansas are in his ear telling him not to venture too far from home (and we know how that sometimes turns out).
Still, half the fun of recruiting is speculation, and it's not an impossible dream to think of Randle sporting the blue and white.