Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: 2013 Big Board (Version 2)

Projecting out some future Cats.

Yes. I know. You're thinking it. "JC, it's ridiculously early! These kids are just juniors! Can't we wait on discussing them until they're actually, you know, ready to commit?!" To rebut, I point you to ESPNU's Super 60, which shows that 12 of the top 60 juniors in the country having already committed to a school. Most committed recently, within the fall. Three are headed to Tobacco Road: PF Isaiah Hicks and PG Nate Britt to North Carolina, and SG Matt Jones to Duke. One, a local product Bobby Portis, is SEC-bound to Arkansas.

In an Internet age of instantaneous gratification, more and more news is sprouting earlier and earlier about the top prospects in the nation, regardless of class. And while Kentucky's first 2013 commitment may yet still be a ways off, the 2013 Recruiting Big Board is becoming more and more defined. After the jump is the latest and greatest information about your potential future Wildcats.

Please be advised that table is best-viewed in "Wide" screen mode, which you can toggle via your dashboard. It's jam-packed with information that just can't be contained!

Name Pos School
(Hometown)
Ranking
(Scout
/Rivals/ESPNU)
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes Trending (since 5/25/11)
Nerlens Noel
C The Tilton School (Everett, MA) Scout: 5*, 3rd
Rivals: 5*, 3rd
ESPNU: 5*, 2nd
Offered 10%
Syracuse
Providence
UConn
Florida
Georgetown
Kentucky
11/20/11 - John Calipari watched Noel and teammate Wayne Selden ('14) at the Tilton School after UK played in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic in Connecticut.
11/16/11 - In an interview with Recruit Recon, Noel says the five schools recruiting him the hardest are Syracuse, Providence, UConn, Florida and Georgetown.
Austin Nichols
C/PF Briarcrest Christian (Eads, TN) Scout: 4*, 55th
Rivals: 4*, 41st
ESPNU: 4*, UR
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
Auburn
Duke
Florida
Kentucky
Memphis
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
11/5/11 - Per Garrett Tucker (Bluegrass Hoops), Nichols lists his ideal top 8 schools, after being very excited to see Calipari attend his practice.
11/4/11 - John Calipari watched Nichols at Briarcrest after visiting Jarnell Stokes ('12) at Southwind.
Julius Randle
PF Prestonwood Christian
(Plano, TX)
Scout: 5*, 2nd
Rivals: 5*, 4th
ESPNU: 5*, 3rd
Not Yet Offered
(95%)
N/A
Duke
UNC
Texas
Kentucky
Baylor
Oklahoma
TCU
12/1/11 - Per Evan Daniels (Scout), Randle says "Coach Orlando Antigua & Coach Calipari say the same thing, that I'm their main guy."
11/29/11 - Randle's close friend and AAU teammate 2013 SG Matt Jones committed to Duke, leading to speculation that Randle may eventually join him in Durham.
11/21/11 - John Calipari visited Randle and watched him practice at Prestonwood Christian.
10/15/11 - Randle had been scheduled to attend Midnight Madness at Duke, but canceled due to his school's homecoming.
Chris Walker
PF Holmes County (Bonifay, FL) Scout: 5*, 6th
Rivals: 5*, 8th
ESPNU: 5*, 5th
Not Yet Offered
(45%)
N/A Florida
Kansas
UConn
Kentucky
Ohio St
12/2/11 - Walker followed up by saying that Orlando Antigua has reached out noting that UK plans to visit soon.
11/30/11 - On his Twitter, Walker named a top 3 of UF, KU and UConn, and expressed frustration about UK's lack of interest.
10/15/11 - Walker attended KU's Midnight Madness instead of UK's Big Blue Madness as previously planned. He had expected to make a decision on Nov 15 but delayed it, and is said to be "waiting for a Kentucky offer."
9/22/11 - In an interview with Joey Natale (UConn Ball), Walker listed five favorites.
Jonathan Williams III
PF Southwind (Memphis)
Scout: 5*, 14th
Rivals: 5*, 10th
ESPNU: 5*, 17th
Offered 15%
Florida
Tennessee
Memphis
Texas
OK State
Marquette
Georgetown
UCLA
Arkansas
Kentucky
11/1/11 - Per Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports), Williams holds multiple offers including one from UK. It's a long list of suitors for the big man from Memphis.
10/27/11 - John Calipari watched Williams at Southwind along with his teammate, Jarnell Stokes ('12).
Derek Willis
PF Bullitt East (Mt. Washington, KY)
Scout: 4*, 33rd
Rivals: 4*, 23rd
ESPNU: 4*, 42nd
Offered 15%
Louisville
Indiana
Purdue
Kentucky
12/3/11 - Willis attended the UK-UNC game at Rupp Arena and will try to watch UK play Louisville on 12/31.
10/16/11 - Willis was busy during Midnight Madness, taking in both UL's Red-White Scrimmage and IU's Hoosier Hysteria.
10/12/11 - Per Jody Demling (Courier-Journal), Willis, a Purdue decommit, was offered by UK after an unofficial visit.
Malik Price-Martin
PF Monsignor Edward Pace (Miami Gardens, FL) Scout: 4*, 53rd
Rivals: 4*, 20th
ESPNU: 4*, 50th
Offered
5%
Louisville
Ohio St
UConn
Florida
Texas
Syracuse
Kentucky
10/4/11 - In an interview with Joey Natale (UConn Ball), Walker listed six schools pursuing him the hardest, excluding UK from that list.
7/10/11 - According to multiple sources, UK offered Price-Martin and fellow Floridian Kasey Hill.
Jabari Parker
SF Simeon Vocational (Chicago) Scout: 5*, 1st
Rivals: 5*, 2nd
ESPNU: 5*, 1st
Offered 5%
Kansas
Washington
Duke
Illinois
Michigan St
11/28/11 - In an interview with Chris Fisher (Cats Pause), Jabari's dad Sonny Parker says UK "look[s] at him as their No. 1 recruit."
9/25/11 - According to Chicago Hoops, Kentucky offered Parker after watching him at Simeon.
7/21/11 - Per Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports), Parker has a top 5 list as listed.
Troy Williams
SF Phoebus (Hampton, VA) Scout: 5*/8th
Rivals: 4*/14th
ESPNU: 5*/8th
Offered N/A
Georgetown
Villanova
Kentucky
Florida
Texas
VA Tech
Alabama
Miami
Louisville
12/2/11 - Per Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports), Williams lists a litany of schools that have offered him a scholarship. He doesn't plan on committing anytime soon.
10/9/11 - Williams took back-to-back unofficial visits to UK and UL over the weekend and came away with a Kentucky offer.
Ishmail Wainright
SF/SG Montrose Christian (Raytown, MO) Scout: 4*, 40th
Rivals: 4*, 32nd
ESPNU: 4*, 31st
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
St. John's
UCLA
Missouri
Louisville
Syracuse
West VA
10/31/11 - In an interview with Josh Paunil (National Recruiting Spotlight), Wainright listed his favorites. He also mentioned that he, Julius Randle, and Kasey Hill have discussed a package deal, with UK being an appealing option.
Kuran Iverson
SF/PF Northwest Catholic (Windsor, CT) Scout: 4*, 56th
Rivals: 4*, 65th
ESPNU: 4*, 30th
Not Yet Offered
(45%)
N/A
UConn
Kentucky
Louisville
Villanova
Texas
9/26/11 - John Calipari visited Iverson at Northwest Catholic. Per Adam Zagoria (Zags Blog), Iverson has a top 5 as listed.
Aaron Harrison
SG/PG Travis (Richmond, TX) Scout: 5*, 7th
Rivals: 5*, 7th
ESPNU: 5*, 7th
Offered 75%
Kentucky
Maryland
Texas
Baylor
Villanova
Arizona
11/21/11 - John Calipari visited Harrison and watched him at Travis.
10/14/11 - Aaron and twin brother Andrew unofficially visited UK for Big Blue Madness. They were the only two non-seniors to visit. Per Harrison's father, the twins are a "top priority" for UK.
Chris Thomas
SG South Kent (Denver) Scout: 5*, 10th
Rivals: 5*, 5th
ESPNU: 5*, 13th
Not Yet Offered
(25%)
N/A
Kentucky
Xavier
Florida
11/19/11 - In an interview with Five Star Basketball, Thomas mentioned he likes Kentucky, Xavier, and Florida, and capped it by saying "that's it right now."
Solomon Poole
SG/PG Terry Parker (Jacksonville, FL) Scout: 4*, 28th
Rivals: 5*, 9th
ESPNU: 5*, 22nd
Not Yet Offered
(<1%)
N/A
Florida
UCF
USF
GA Tech
S Carolina
Memphis
Arizona
OK St
Providence
11/14/11 - With older brother Stacey transferring from UK, the younger Poole is probably done considering the Wildcats.
6/2/11 - Per Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports), Poole has a long list of offers and favorites.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes
SG Huntington Prep (Toronto, Ont) Scout: 4*, 62nd
Rivals: 3*, 95th
ESPNU: UR
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
UConn
Kansas
Florida St
Illinois
Arizona
Arizona St
Oregon
12/5/11 - Rathan-Mayes attended the UK-UNC game at Rupp Arena.
11/30/11 - Per Scott Burgess (Hoops Illini), Rathan-Mayes listed the schools recruiting him, along with a few other unnamed.
10/15/11 - After rumors that Rathan-Mayes and Wiggins would attend Big Blue Madness, Rathan-Mayes decided to attend UConn's Midnight Madness instead.
9/25/11 - Rathan-Mayes unofficially visited UK along with teammate and fellow Canadian Andrew Wiggins ('14).
Darryl Hicks
SG Trinity (Louisville, KY)
Scout: 3*, UR
Rivals: 3*, 144th
ESPNU: UR
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
Indiana
Arizona
Cincinnati
Missouri
Georgia
Kentucky
11/7/11 - Hicks was named the top high school player in Kentucky by Rick Bolus' High Potential Recruiting Service. He may garner a feel-good local offer if UK is looking for depth at guard.
Andrew Harrison
PG/SG Travis (Richmond, TX) Scout: 5*, 4th
Rivals: 5*, 1st
ESPNU: 5*, 4th
Offered 75%
Kentucky
Maryland
Texas
Baylor
Villanova
Arizona
11/21/11 - John Calipari watched visited Harrison and watched him practice at Travis.
10/14/11 - Andrew and twin brother Aaron unofficially visited UK for Big Blue Madness. They were the only two non-seniors to visit. Per Harrison's father, the twins are a "top priority" for UK.
Kasey Hill
PG Monteverde Academy (Eustis, FL) Scout: 5*, 13th
Rivals: 4*, 27th
ESPNU: 5*, 16th
Offered 15%
Florida
Florida St
Kentucky
Louisville
Missouri
NC State
USF
8/21/11 - Per Garrett Tucker (Bluegrass Hoops), Hill is down to 7 finalists as listed.
7/10/11 - According to multiple sources, UK offered Hill and fellow Floridian Malik Price-Martin.
Tyler Ennis
PG St. Benedict's (Brampton, Ont) Scout: 5*, 24th
Rivals: 4*, 34th
ESPNU: 4*, 56th
Not Yet Offered
(10%)
N/A
West VA
Seton Hall
Rutgers
Cincinnati
Georgetown
Virginia
GA Tech
OK St
Miami
11/16/11 - Per Adam Zagoria (Five Star Basketball), Ennis has a growing offer list as he gains more notoriety in the US. There's been no new UK news regarding Ennis.
Aquille Carr
PG/SG Patterson (Baltimore) Scout: 4*, 41st
Rivals: 4*, 26th
ESPNU: 4*, 59th
Not Yet Offered
(50%)
N/A
Kentucky
Memphis
Seton Hall
Syracuse
UConn
9/24/11 -Per Five Star Basketball, Carr has 5 finalists as listed. He notes that all have offered, but a UK offer is unconfirmed at this point.
Isaiah Lewis
PG/SG Christ the King (Brooklyn) Scout: 4*, 79th
Rivals: 4*, 52nd
ESPNU: 4*, UR
Not Yet Offered
(10%)
N/A
Kansas
Louisville
GA Tech
USC
Florida St
Memphis
Kentucky
11/28/11 - Per Adam Zagoria (ZagsBlog), KU, UL, GA Tech and Memphis are working the hardest on Lewis.
11/17/11 - New York native Lewis watched UK play KU at Madison Square Garden and came away impressed.
11/6/11 - Per Garrett Tucker (Bluegrass Hoops), Lewis is back on UK's radar and the coaching staff is trying to find time to visit Lewis this season. Lewis had previously dropped UK after he hadn't heard from the Wildcats in a while.

Scholarship Situation

Too early to tell, obviously. If Kentucky keeps all of its eligible players, the 2013 roster would include seniors Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones, juniors Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer, and Ryan Harrow, and sophomore signees Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin, and Willie Cauley.

Without going too far out on a limb, it's safe to say that if John Calipari is still the head coach, Kentucky will be looking to reload with their typical 4 to 6 freshmen in another "diaper dandy" class.

Outlook

It's entirely possible that 2013 turns out to be John Calipari's best recruiting class ever. I know, I know, we say that every year. (And every year has looked better than the last.) With that said, Kentucky is extraordinarily well-positioned in the class of 2013.

Right now, there's a pretty clear "Big 4" to me.

Calipari's first priority is picking up a top-flight point guard to run his player-friendly motion offense. That target is Andrew Harrison, an insanely good player from the greater Houston area. He also happens to have a twin brother, Aaron Harrison, who's a dang fine ball-handling shooting guard in his own right. Here's an important fact: the Harrison twins were the only non-2012 prospects that attended Kentucky's Big Blue Madness. At this point, they're considered heavy Kentucky leans.

Calipari's second priority is finding playmaking, ball-handling bigs that can play inside-out. Beyond the Harrisons, Calipari has told two other prospects that were considered "top priorities." Those two, power forward Julius Randle and small forward Jabari Parker, are odds-on favorites to end up as the top two prospects in the class of 2013. Unfortunately, they're both longer shots for Kentucky. Randle is from the greater Dallas area and is intimately familiar with Big 12 schools like Texas, Kansas, and TCU. He's also been enamored with Tobacco Road. Parker, from Chicago, will be a Big 10 battle with Illinois fighting fiercely. Like Randle, he's also been linked closely to Duke.

Finally, the Calipari Wild Card is a big center, and that would be Nerlens Noel. Noel was Kentucky's first offer in the class of 2013, and early on it looked like the Wildcats would go all out for Noel's commitment. In a recent interview, Noel surprisingly mentioned that he hadn't heard much from Kentucky recently. Never one to back down, Calipari recently visited Noel at his high school. Like 2012 prospect DaJuan Coleman (who signed with Syracuse), it may be hard to pull the Massachusetts native from the Northeast. That doesn't mean Calipari won't try.

If Calipari is able to pull that starting five, there's no question it would be the most amazing recruiting heist ever. For reference, they're currently ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 on the aforementioned ESPNU Super 60.

But even if some of Kentucky's Most Wanted end up at other schools, the Wildcats have cast a wide net. There's a lot of talent in the class of 2013, and rest assured that Kentucky will end up with some good players.

Targets - Bigs

Beyond Noel, the only other center prospect Kentucky is currently looking at is Tennessean Austin Nichols. Calipari stopped by Nichols' high school after visiting 2012 prospect Jarnell Stokes. Nichols is an intriguing, high-upside prospect similar to Willie Cauley.

There's much more going on at power forward, where multiple offers have reportedly gone out: Jonathan Williams III (also from Tennessee), Derek Willis, and Malik Price-Martin. Of those three, Willis is the most intriguing. The local product from Bullitt East had been committed to Purdue, but reopened his commitment and is looking closely at in-state schools Kentucky and Louisville. He'd be a great in-state pull for the Wildcats, and is plenty talented in his own right.

While it hasn't been reported that Randle has an official Kentucky offer, expect one to be forthcoming. The only other puzzling news is the recruitment of highly touted Chris Walker. At one point, it looked like the Twitter-friendly Walker could be Kentucky's first 2013 commitment. But recently, it appears that Calipari has backed off Walker in favor of Randle. Again, it's still very early in Kentucky's evaluation process, and it wouldn't be shocking to see the Wildcats go hard after Walker at some point.

Targets - Wings

Along with Parker, Troy Williams also possesses a Kentucky offer. Williams, the nephew of legendary AAU coach Boo Williams, can play a little ball himself. While he might not quite be in Parker's class (Jabari was just named USA Basketball's High School Player of the Year, after all), Williams is an exciting swingman that would look great in Kentucky's free flowing offense.

Two other interesting names to track are Ishmail Wainright and Kuran Iverson. Kentucky hasn't been heavily recruiting Wainright, but in a recent interview, Wainright mentioned the possibility of package deal along with fellow '13 prospect Julius Randle and Kasey Hill. Now, package deals are almost always (99.9%) pipedreams, but at this point, wishful thinking is fun. As for Iverson, he's the cousin of Philadelphia 76er great Allen Iverson, so there's that.

Targets - Guards

After the Harrison twins, there's a plethora of guards to keep an eye on. The only other one that has an offer is the aforementioned Kasey Hill. The Monteverde Academy point guard received an offer at the same time as fellow Floridian Price-Martin. Hill and Andrew Harrison are almost assuredly mutually exclusive recruits, and right now there's not much buzz about Hill. Looking deeper at the point guard position are a trio of other prospects to note: Tyler Ennis, Isaiah Lewis, and Aquille Carr. Of the three, Carr is the name of most interest. Unlike the others, Carr could still be a take with Harrison as a sparkplug backup guard, and he's already garnered notoriety with his dazzling YouTube clips.

At shooting guard, there are multiple un-offered options as well. Chris Thomas is the most highly regarded, and he reportedly listed Kentucky amongst his top 3 choices at this early point in his recruitment. Xavier Rathan-Mayes is also another name to track, and he's been to Kentucky multiple times. While he's not as highly rated, he's a fine looking shooter and also happens to be teammates with Andrew Wiggins, far and away the best player in the class of 2014. Finally, there's two other names that may sound familiar. Solomon Poole, younger brother of former Cat Stacey Poole, is probably done with Kentucky after his brother left the program, while Darryl Hicks is a local kid from Trinity that could draw interest from the hometown school.

Other Recruiting Big Boards

2013/14 | Version 1 (5/25/11)
2012 Version 4 (11/21/11) | Version 3 (9/23/11) | Version 2 (7/25/11) | Version 1 (4/21/11)
2011 | Version 2 (4/25/11) | Version 1 (4/15/11)

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