Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: 2013 Big Board - July '12 Edition

Kentucky head coach John Calipari is looking for his next batch of NBA Lottery picks.

With the AAU/Grassroots season going into its final month, I thought it would be a good time to revisit Kentucky's 2013 Big Board and update the status of John Calipari's top recruiting targets. Since our last update in December, most of Kentucky's recruiting efforts have been focused on finalizing the 2012 class.

Still, Calipari and company found time to secure the 2013 class' first commitment when local kid Derek Willis committed to the Cats in January. Beyond Willis, there has been little substantive noise on the recruiting front. The Wildcats have been very selective with their 2013 offers. Even highly regarded prospects that unofficially visited Kentucky like Austin Nichols, Johnathan Williams III, and Jordan Mickey have left without a committable offer in hand.

But with high school set to start again and the November Early Signing Period looming on the horizon, expect recruiting nuggets to start popping up with regularity. Consider this the launching point.

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/ESPN)
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes Trending (since 12/6/11)
Beejay Anya
C DeMatha Catholic (Gaithersburg, MD) Scout: 5*/11
Rivals: 4*/32
ESPN: 5*/13
Not Yet Offered (15%)
N/A
Indiana
Ohio St
Kansas
Syracuse
Georgetown
UCLA
UNC
Duke
Kentucky
5/22/12 - Per Damon Sayles (ESPN), Anya has received some interest from the Kentucky coaching staff. He's an intriguing big man, and UK will have a hole at center if Nerlens Noel is a one-and-done as expected, but the Wildcats will have to ratchet up their recruitment if they want to land Anya.
Austin Nichols
C/PF Briarcrest Christian (Eads, TN) Scout: 4*/53
Rivals: 4*/43
ESPN: 4*/30
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
Florida
Virginia
Memphis
Tennessee
Kansas
Ohio St
UNC
Missouri
Duke
Kentucky
6/12/12 - After some interest in fall 2011, Kentucky has dropped off Nichols' radar. Said to be fan of Duke, Nichols and his father noted the top eight schools to the left are pursuing him the hardest, per Joe Davis (Scouts Focus). Kentucky is the only school listed not to offer.
Julius Randle
PF Prestonwood Christian
(Plano, TX)
Scout: 5*/2
Rivals: 5*/2
ESPN: 5*/2
Offered
10%
Duke
UNC
NC State
Texas
Baylor
Kentucky
Oklahoma
TCU
Ohio St
Missouri
6/6/12 - Per Adam Zagoria (Zags Blog), Randle maintains a long list of schools. Randle recently helped the U-18 USA squad win Gold. Randle remains a top priority for UK, though competition is fierce. He's a take for UK no matter what the situation, but isn't planning on starting the recruitment process until this fall.
Aaron Gordon
PF/SF Archbishop Mitty
(San Jose, CA)
Scout: 5*/4
Rivals: 5*/5
ESPN: 5*/4
Offered
10%
Washington
Oregon
Kentucky
Arizona
Kansas
5/13/12 - Per Jonah Puls (Nation of Blue), Gordon has a top 5 but likely won't decide until after his senior season. Kentucky is squarely in the hunt for the talented West Coaster, but would be taken as a much more serious contender were Gordon to actually visit.
Chris Walker
PF Holmes County (Bonifay, FL) Scout: 5*/6
Rivals: 5*/6
ESPN: 5*/7
Not Yet Offered
(45%)
N/A Florida
Kansas
Louisville
Kentucky
Ohio St
6/26/12 - Per Matt Scott (KU The Shiver), Walker maintains a top 5 list, with schools listed likely receiving official visits. UK has yet to offer.
Johnathan Williams III
PF Southwind (Memphis)
Scout: 5*/17
Rivals: 4*/24
ESPN: 5*/16
Offered 5%
Memphis
Tennessee
Texas
Florida
Georgetown
UCLA
Arkansas
Kentucky
6/18/12 - There's some debate as to whether Williams III has an "official" UK offer. The big man visited UK last December and is definitely on the radar.
Jordan Mickey
PF/SF Grace Preparatory (Arlington, TX)
Scout: 5*/21
Rivals: 4*/51
ESPN: 4*/42
Not Yet Offered
(35%)
N/A
Louisville
Ohio St
Kentucky
West VA
Arkansas
Baylor
Texas A&M
Kansas
6/4/12 - Mickey took an unofficial visit to UK and came away impressed. He doesn't have an official offer, but Calipari told him UK will scout him through the summer.
Kuran Iverson
PF/SF Northwest Catholic (Windsor, CT) Scout: 4*/51
Rivals: 4*/25
ESPN: 4*/81
Not Yet Offered
(15%)
N/A
UConn
OK St
Florida St
Seton Hall
Florida
Kentucky
6/15/12 - A strong grassroots season has put Iverson back in the national spotlight. He told Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports) that the top 4 schools are working him hardest, and that he'd also like to hear more from UF and UK. Depending on how things shake out with higher ranked prospects, UK may still try to get back into the picture.
Derek Willis
PF Bullitt East (Mt. Washington, KY)
Scout: 4*/91
Rivals: 4*/95
ESPN: 3*/UR
Offered Committed (1/20/12)
Kentucky 1/20/12 - Willis committed to UK over UL, IU, and Purdue.
Jabari Parker
SF Simeon Vocational (Chicago) Scout: 5*/1
Rivals: 5*/1
ESPN: 5*/1
Offered 5%
BYU
UConn
DePaul
Duke
Illinois
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisville
Mich St
Missouri
UNC
Northwestern
Ohio St
Washington
7/3/12 - Per Adam Zagoria (Zags Blog), Parker has a list of 14 schools that he plans to cut down sometime this summer. Parker plans on deciding by November, though his dad Sonny recently told Eric Bossi (Rivals) that a spring decision is not out of the question. He is currently playing for Team USA U-17.
Troy Williams
SF Phoebus (Hampton, VA) Scout: 4*/27
Rivals: 4*/41
ESPN: 4*/43
Offered 50%
UNC
Kentucky
7/2/12 - Per Jeff Borzello (CBS Sports), Williams still has UNC and UK at the top of his list but is looking at other schools and would like to sign in November. Williams was supposed to commit in the spring, but backed off the decision. Rumor is that he favored UK, while his uncle Boo Williams wanted UNC. Call it 50-50 at this point.
James Young
SG/SF Troy (Troy, MI) Scout: 5*/7
Rivals: 5*/8
ESPN: 5*/5
Offered 45%
Kentucky
Mich St
Kansas
6/16/12 - Young's coach confirmed that Young has a UK offer after he publicly campaigned for UK interest earlier this spring. Long thought to be a MSU lean, he is now one of the favorites to pick UK.
Aaron Harrison
SG/PG Travis (Richmond, TX) Scout: 5*/8
Rivals: 5*/4
ESPN: 5*/8
Offered 60%
Kentucky
Maryland
Baylor
Villanova
SMU
6/14/12 - Multiple sites report that the Harrison twins will decide on their birthday, October 28. UK and Maryland remain the two favorites, though speculation is that Maryland's UnderArmour affiliation may be a big factor.
Keith Frazier
SG Kimball (Dallas)
Scout: 5*/10
Rivals: 5*/14
ESPN: 5*/9
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
Arizona
Texas A&M
Baylor
Texas
Kansas
OK St
Memphis
Kentucky
6/15/12 - Per Alex Schwartz (Northstar), Frazier is highest on Arizona and A&M right now. UK is not heavily recruiting Frazier, but with Calipari's interest in Texas, he could become a target.
Wayne Selden
SG/PG The Tilton School (Boston) Scout: 5*/UR
Rivals: 4*/21
ESPN: 5*/20
Offered 25%
Florida
Ohio St
Missouri
UCLA
Harvard
Kansas
Missouri
UConn
Kentucky
6/8/12 -Selden reclassified to the 2013 class. He was the only prospect in the 2014 class with a UK offer, though he says he can't see himself playing with the Harrison twins in college.
JaJuan Johnson
SG Southwind (Memphis) Scout: 4*/29
Rivals: 4*/45
ESPN: 4*/54
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
Memphis
Alabama
Texas
Louisville
Cincinnati
VA Tech
Kentucky
5/8/12 - Per Jonah Puls (Nation of Blue), Johnson has received lukewarm interest from UK. Johnson is a high school and AAU teammate of Williams III.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes
SG Huntington Prep (Toronto, Ont) Scout: 4*/40
Rivals: 4*/48
ESPN: 5*/21
Not Yet Offered
(5%)
N/A
UConn
Kansas
Florida St
Baylor
NC St
Kentucky
6/28/12 - Per Kevin Duffy (Connecticut News), Rathan-Mayes lists a top 6, with all schools having offered but UK. Rathan-Mayes is close with Andrew Wiggins, the top prospect in 2014, which may influence his recruitment.
Andrew Harrison
PG/SG Travis (Richmond, TX) Scout: 5*/3
Rivals: 5*/3
ESPN: 5*/3
Offered 60%
Kentucky
Maryland
Baylor
Villanova
SMU
6/14/12 - Multiple sites report that the Harrison twins will decide on their birthday, October 28. UK and Maryland remain the two favorites, though speculation is that Maryland's UnderArmour affiliation may be a big factor.
Kasey Hill
PG Monteverde Academy (Eustis, FL) Scout: 5*/5
Rivals: 5*/7
ESPN: 5*/6
Offered N/A
Florida 8/21/11 - Kasey Hill committed to UF over FSU, GA Tech, and UK, amongst others.

Scholarship Situation

Kentucky currently has seven players on scholarship for the 2013-14 season: Jon Hood (RS senior), Ryan Harrow (RS junior), Kyle Wiltjer (junior), Nerlens Noel (sophomore), Willie Cauley-Stein (sophomore), Archie Goodwin (sophomore), and Alex Poythress (sophomore). Jarrod Polson (senior), a preferred walk-on, also returns. Note that Noel, Goodwin, Poythress and Harrow are all projected as first-round draft picks in 2013, per Draft Express.

Projected today, Kentucky could have as few as six scholarships to allocate, but will likely have more due to NBA early entries. As has become par for the course, expect Calipari to target a 5-man class.

Targets - Bigs (Needs: 2-3)

Kentucky's top target in the 2013 class had been Nerlens Noel. Fortunately, when Noel reclassed to 2012, he ended up picking blue and white anyway. However, with Noel widely considered a one-and-done prospect, Kentucky will likely be looking to fill another interior hole in 2013. Fellow 2012 recruit Willie Cauley-Stein is considered the heir apparent at center, while returnee Kyle Wiltjer could also stay at Kentucky and man power forward.

The Wildcats currently have one big man commit, local product Derek Willis. Last year, Willis was a top 50 recruit committed to Purdue. Since decommitting from the Boilermakers and committing to Kentucky, Willis has seen his stock plummet. However, he should be considered a solid building block and a multi-year contributor for the Wildcats.

If you're looking for instant impact, it doesn't get much bigger than Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon. Both players are consensus top 5 prospects from Texas and Northern California, respectively. Kentucky faces an uphill, geographic-influenced battle for both, but remains firmly on both prospects' lists. Their fall visits could reveal how serious they are about the Wildcats. Kentucky continues to slow-play top 10 prospect Chris Walker, and Walker continues to publicly stump for UK interest. If the Wildcats feel things going south with Randle or Gordon, Walker may very quickly become a primary target.

Johnathan Williams III was on Kentucky's radar during his junior season, but hasn't been linked lately. He's still a five-star recruit, though, and definitely in play. If that weren't enough names at the 4, two combo forwards have gotten a lot of positive pub during grassroots play: Jordan Mickey and Kuran Iverson. Mickey is the more intriguing name at the moment, as he just recently visited Lexington. However, it's rumored that he may have arch-rival Louisville at the top of his list.

As much of a logjam as there is at power forward recruiting, things are relatively sparse when it comes to true centers. Kentucky doesn't have a single offer out to a true center, with only Beejay Anya and Austin Nichols having tangential connection to the Wildcats. Nichols may be more of a power forward in college anyway, so it's possible some new names pop up over the fall.

Targets - Wings (Needs: 1-2)

Both Poythress and Goodwin face a bit more of an uncertain NBA future than surefire lottery pick Noel. It's wishful thinking to envision both of them returning, though, so Kentucky will be, as always, aggressively recruiting a stud wing scorer.

Jabari Parker is obviously tops on the wish list. Parker is the consensus best overall player in the 2013 class, and he has the offer sheet to prove it. Parker has repeatedly said he wants to cut his list in late summer and would like to sign in November, so the Wildcats may see where they stand shortly.

A more realistic target is James Young, who made a name for himself on the AAU circuit this spring. Like Walker, Young publicly lobbied for Kentucky interest; unlike Walker, he received it. Long thought to favor local school Michigan State, the talented swingman is now one of the more likely bets to end up in a Kentucky uniform. And if not Young, then Troy Williams. The nephew of AAU legend Boo Williams, Troy had planned to commit in the spring but backed off making a decision. Could the interest from Young have played a factor? That's a possibility.

Targets - Guards (Needs: 2-3)

Point guard: Kind of a big deal at Kentucky, no? With Harrow projected to continue the tradition of Calipari 1's drafted in the first round, the Wildcats have targeted the preferred successor. It's Andrew Harrison, who once again turned heads with a strong AAU season. You know this if you follow my recruiting posts at all, but it's worth noting that Andrew Harrison also has a twin brother, Aaron Harrison, the more polished scorer and slasher of the two. If Kentucky can land both in the fall signing period, the Wildcats would likely close up shop at guard.

Right now, there's no other point guard on the radar besides Andrew. But if the Harrisons choose a different school (they're slated to announce on their birthday, October 28), expect Calipari to scramble to find a backup option. At shooting guard, though, he has plenty of coals in the fire. Wayne Selden is arguably the most well-known, as he was Noel's high school and AAU teammate. Selden recently reclassified to the 2013 class, and like the other names on this list, he's probably an either-or with Aaron Harrison.

Other names include JaJuan Johnson (teammates with Johnathan Williams III), Keith Frazier, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Of those players, Rathan-Mayes is perhaps the most intriguing. A talented player himself, Rathan-Mayes also happens to play high school and AAU ball with his Canadian countryman, Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins, the top rated player in the 2014 class, is arguably the most talented player in high school basketball right now. Oh, and there's also a chance he ends up reclassifying to the 2013 class. If that be the case, expect Calipari to try and pull a Noel-esque recruiting coup.

Outlook

With the exception of Florida commitment Kasey Hill and North Carolina commitment Isaiah Hicks, Kentucky is involved with every top 10 prospect on the board. That's the power of the "Kentucky Effect."

The Harrison twins remain the launching point for the 2013 class. If Kentucky can convince the brothers to take their talents to Lexington, the rest of the class is gravy--and there will definitely be some gravy. A Harrison-Harrison-Young backcourt would look awfully nice, though Troy Williams is by no means a consolation option at the 3, either. From there, the coaching staff would probably try to land another big to round out the class.

With all that said, Kentucky has some ground to make up on the other top prospects in the class in Parker, Randle, and Gordon. In my opinion, the Wildcats are on the outside looking in when it comes to the most preferred schools for all three prospects. That said, things can change quickly: think Calipari stealing Marquis Teague away from Louisville or pulling Noel out of Georgetown's hat. That is part of what makes recruiting so much fun. You just never know.

Other Recruiting Big Boards

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

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join A Sea Of Blue

You must be a member of A Sea Of Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at A Sea Of Blue. You should read them.

Join A Sea Of Blue

You must be a member of A Sea Of Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at A Sea Of Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker