2014 Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting Big Board: October '12 Edition

Jeff Gross

Talking Andrew Wiggins, Cliff Alexander, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Lyles, Stanley Johnson & other top prospects.

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari doesn't typically take commitments from recruits prior to their senior years. Since coming to Kentucky, Calipari has had just three such prospects. The 2011 class saw Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist commit in April 2010, and the 2013 class received a January 2012 commitment from currently unsigned Derek Willis.

Translation: don't expect a commitment from a 2014 prospect anytime soon. That said, Coach Cal fired up the private jet this fall and zoomed across the nation. In doing so, he extended quite a few offers (some earlier, via phone) and made it clear which top prospects the Wildcats are targeting.

Yes, the 2013 recruiting season is in full force, and Kentucky's could be the greatest class ever. Well, until 2014, anyway.

Name Pos School
(Hometown)
Ranking
(Scout
/Rivals/ESPN/247)
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes Trending (since 5/25/11)
Cliff Alexander
C Curie
(Chicago, IL)
Scout: 5*/5
Rivals: 5*/6
ESPN: 5*/9
247: 5*/8
Offered
(7/24/12)
55% Kentucky
Michigan St
Florida
Illinois
Wisconsin
Offered 7/24. In-home visit on 9/19. Unofficially visited MSU on 9/21. Attended Big Blue Madness on 10/12.
Jahlil Okafor
C Whitney Young (Chicago, IL) Scout: 5*/4
Rivals: 5*/2
ESPN: 5*/3
247: 5*/5
Offered
(9/19/12)
25%
Duke
UNC
Ohio St
Arizona
Florida
Kentucky
In-home visit and offered on 9/19. Unofficially visited Duke on 10/19 and UNC on 10/20.
Dakari Johnson
C Montverde Academy (New York, NY) Scout: 5*/6
Rivals: 5*/7
ESPN: 5*/4
247: 5*/13
Not Yet Offered
(50%)
N/A
Florida
Syracuse
Kentucky
Kansas
Florida St
Unofficially visited Syracuse on 9/15 and Florida on 10/6. Did not receive in-home visit from UK this fall.
Trey Lyles
PF Arsenal Technical
(Indianapolis, IN)
Scout: 5*/7
Rivals: 5*/8
ESPN: 5*/6
247: 5*/9
Offered
(9/10/12)
40% Kentucky
Duke
Louisville
Florida
Michigan St
Indiana
Unofficial visit on 9/8. In-home visit and offered on 9/10. Attended Big Blue Madness on 10/12.
**NEW**
Shane Hall
PF Johnson Central (Prestonburg, KY) Scout: 4*/63
Rivals: 4*/86
ESPN: 3*/UR
247: 4*/45
Not Yet Offered (5%) N/A
Butler
Xavier
Virginia Tech
UAB
Unofficially visited Virginia Tech on 10/9.
Andrew Wiggins SF Huntington Prep (Toronto, ONT)
Scout: 5*/1
Rivals: 5*/1
ESPN: 5*/1
247: 5*/1
Offered 55%
Kentucky
Florida St
UNC
In-home visit on 9/13. Scheduled to attend Big Blue Madness but went home instead. Undecided about 2013 reclassification.
Stanley Johnson
SF Mater Dei (Fullerton, CA) Scout: 4*/27
Rivals: 5*/17
ESPN: 4*/23
247: 5*/16
Offered
(7/31/12)
15%
Arizona
UCLA
USC
Kentucky
Washington
SDSU
Oregon
Offered 7/31. In-home visit on 9/11.
Justise Winslow
SF St. John's (Houston, TX) Scout: 5*/9
Rivals: 5*/9
ESPN: 5*/10
247: 5*/6
Not Yet Offered (35%) N/A
Arizona
Texas
Baylor
Texas A&M
Houston
UCLA
Duke
Went to Baylor's Midnight Madness on 10/12. Unofficially visited to Arizona on 10/20.
Theo Pinson
SF Weslayan Christian (Greensboro, NC)
Scout: 5*/12
Rivals: 5*/14
ESPN: 5*/8
247: 5*/11
Not Yet Offered (35%) N/A
NC St
UNC
Duke
Indiana
Georgetown
S Carolina
Unofficially visited USC on 10/6. Went to NC State's Midnight Madness on 10/12. Unofficially visited Duke on 10/19 and UNC on 10/20.
Jalen Lindsey
SF Christian Presbyterian Academy (Franklin, TN) Scout: 5*/23
Rivals: 4*/33
ESPN: 5*/15
247: 4*/36
Not Yet Offered (35%) N/A
Alabama
Auburn
NC St
Florida St
Tennessee
Providence
Unofficially visited Tennessee on 9/22 and Alabama on 9/29.
Shaqquan Aaron
SF Rainier Beach (Woodland Hills, CA) Scout: 4*/30
Rivals: 4*/30
ESPN: 5*/17
247: 4*/36
Not Yet Offered (15%) N/A
Washington
Arizona
Louisville
UCLA
Kansas
Transferred from local HS Taft to Rainier Beach in Washington. Unofficially visited Washington on 10/14.
Paul White
SF Whitney Young (Chicago, IL) Scout: 4*/45
Rivals: 4*/58
ESPN: 4*/56
247: 4*/UR
Not Yet Offered (15%) N/A
Arizona
Marquette
DePaul
Illinois
Indiana
Went to Marquette's Midnight Madness on 10/12.
Rashad Vaughn
SG Robbinsdale Cooper (Minneapolis, MN)
Scout: 5*/15
Rivals: 5*/15
ESPN: 5*/11
247: 5*/12
Offered
(9/21/12)
20% Minnesota
Kentucky
Baylor
Kansas
Maryland
Syracuse
In-home visit and offered on 9/21. Went to Minnesota's Midnight Madness on 10/12.
D'Angelo Russell
SG Montverde Academy (Louisville, KY) Scout: 5*/11
Rivals: 5*/13
ESPN: 5*/14
247: 5*/18
Not Yet Offered (50%) N/A
Louisville
Kentucky
UNC
Missouri
Ohio St
Memphis
Unofficial visit on 6/25. Did not receive in-home visit from UK in Sep.
Isaiah Whitehead
SG Abraham Lincoln (Brooklyn) Scout: 4*/41
Rivals: 5*/16
ESPN: 4*/42
247: 4*/29
Not Yet Offered (25%) N/A
Syracuse
UConn
Rutgers
Arizona
St. John's
Kentucky
Went to St. John's Midnight Madness on 10/12.
Emmanuel Mudiay
PG
Grace Preparatory (Arlington, TX) Scout: 5*/3
Rivals: 5*/4
ESPN: 5*/5
247: 5*/2
Offered
(8/14/12)
40%
Texas
Baylor
Kentucky
Oklahoma
SMU
Arizona
Kansas
Offered in July (public on 8/14). In-home visit on 9/10. Went to Baylor's Midnight Madness on 10/12.
Tyus Jones
PG Apple Valley (Apple Valley, MN)
Scout: 5*/2
Rivals: 5*/5
ESPN: 5*/2
247: 5*/3
Offered
(7/20/12)
15%
Duke
Ohio St
Indiana
Baylor
Arizona
Minnesota
Kentucky
Offered 7/20. In-home visit on 9/10. Unofficially visited Duke on 10/19 and UNC on 10/20.
Jaquan Lyle
PG Benjamin Bosse (Evansville, IN)
Scout: 5*/14
Rivals: 5*/19
ESPN: 5*/16
247: 4*/21
Not Yet Offered (50%) N/A
Louisville
Michigan St
Ohio St
Kentucky
Texas
Indiana
Illinois
Attended Big Blue Madness on 10/12. Unofficially visited Louisville on 10/13 and Indiana on 10/20.

Scholarship Situation

Kentucky currently has six players on scholarship for the 2014-15 season: Ryan Harrow (RS senior), Kyle Wiltjer (senior), Nerlens Noel (junior), Willie Cauley-Stein (junior), Archie Goodwin (junior), and Alex Poythress (junior). Honestly, there is a pretty good chance all of them are playing professionally by 2014.

Recruit Overview - Offers

By taking in-home visits and extending select offers, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has made it perfectly clear which prospects are highest on the wish list.

The first name to know is all-world small forward Andrew Wiggins. There is a chance that Wiggins won't be in the class much longer; speculation is rampant that he will reclassify to 2013 (and then, hopefully, pick Kentucky). As long as he's officially classed to 2014, he'll stay on this board, with Kentucky and the Florida St. Seminoles considered his co-leaders.

A Calipari class is never complete without a point guard, and Kentucky has offered two. Emmanuel Mudiay, who also likes in-state programs like the Texas Longhorns and Baylor Bears, has long been on Kentucky's radar and has repeatedly expressed interest in playing for Big Blue. Tyus Jones is a Minnesota kid. The Wildcats just recently initiated contact with Jones and should be considered a long shot...for now. You knew this already, but Calipari aims high: Jones and Mudiay are widely considered the top two point guard prospects in the class.

The 2014 class is center-heavy, and Kentucky offered the two best centers in the country in Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor. They're both from the Chicago area, and--paging Anthony Davis--Kentucky knows a thing or two about Windy City bigs. Alexander also really likes the Michigan St. Spartans but is considered (at this point, anyway) a Kentucky lean. Okafor looks like a harder sell, with typical players the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels involved.

Here are three more recruits to know. The first is Trey Lyles, a power forward who recently decommitted from Indiana. Lyles attended Big Blue Madness along with Alexander and Jaquan Lyle (more on him below). Having just landed Californian Marcus Lee in the 2013 class, Kentucky could be set to take another elite West Coast prospect in small forward Stanley Johnson, who called Lexington a "must visit" last summer. Finally, the only offer out to a shooting guard is to Rashad Vaughn, somewhat of a surprise offer as he was one of the last visits Calipari took in September.

Recruit Overview - Possible Targets

The biggest surprise non-offer was Dakari Johnson, a center from the New York area that has been on Kentucky's radar since his freshman year when Johnson played with ex-Wildcat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Johnson, who now plays at Montverde Academy and has shown interest in the Florida Gators and Syracuse Orange, is falling in priority for Kentucky.

The other surprise is a non-offer to Jaquan Lyle, who was the only recruit--regardless of class--at Big Blue Madness not to possess an offer. Lyle isn't as highly regarded as fellow point guards Mudiay and Jones, but is still a five-star prospect in his own right. His offer may come soon, especially if Calipari doesn't like where Kentucky stands in Mudiay and Jones' recruitments.

With less certainty at the wing, there are a lot more names to know. Should Wiggins reclassify, a plethora of small forwards beyond Stanley Johnson have some Kentucky interest. Those names include consensus five-stars Justise Winslow and Theo Pinson, along with top 50 prospects like Jalen Lindsey and Shaqquan Aaron. Filed under possible but unlikely, Paul White is teammates with Okafor and may rise up boards with a strong senior season, while local prospect Shane Hall is a promising combo forward that could earn a merited local offer, a la Jon Hood or Derek Willis.

One name that is no longer around is Leron Black, a combo forward that, growing up in Memphis, idolized Calipari. Black committed to Baylor last month.

Local product D'Angelo Russell is the big name at shooting guard. Like Hall, Russell is from the state of Kentucky, though Russell now plays at Montverde alongside Dakari Johnson. Curiously like Johnson, Russell did not receive an in-home visit in September and does not possess and Kentucky offer. Isaiah Whitehead, a native of New York, is a carryover from the last board but hasn't received any updated interest.

Other Recruiting Big Boards

2012 | 4/10/12 | 2/24/12 | 11/21/11 | 9/23/11 | 7/25/11 | 4/21/11
2013 | 10/11/12 | 7/5/12 | 12/6/11 | 5/25/11
2014 | 7/11/12 | 5/25/11

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