2013 Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting Big Board: In Review

USA TODAY Sports

The final big board showcasing the 2013 recruiting signees of the Kentucky Wildcats.

The Kentucky Wildcats' 2013 recruiting class is in the books. It's a class ranked #1 by all the major recruiting services (Rivals, Scout, ESPN & 247), based mostly on quality, but also quantity. There are a lot of new faces, as eight high school seniors will be added to next year's roster.

Six of those players (as evidenced by the lead photo) were McDonald's All-Americans. According to the 247 Composite, an aggregate ranker based on multiple recruiting service rankings, Kentucky will bring in five National Top 10 players. That's simply incredible.

The class, prior to on-the-court performance, is already regarded as one of the best of all-time. But for them to keep that stature, they'll need to produce a great 2013-14 season. I, for one, won't be betting against them.

Kentucky Commitments & Signees

Name Pos School (Hometown) 247 Composite Ranking Status [Offer / Commit / Sign] Other Finalists
Dakari Johnson C Montverde (FL) Academy
(New York, NY)
5*, 10th [O] 11/12
[C] 01/06/13
[S] 04/18/13
Syracuse
Georgetown
Marcus Lee C/PF Deer Valley
(Antioch, CA)
5*, 17th [O] 09/16/12
[C] 10/17/12
[S] 11/14/12
California
Louisville
Julius Randle PF Prestonwood Christian
(Plano, TX)
5*, 2nd [O] 2012
[C] 03/20/13
[S] 04/18/13
Texas
Kansas
Florida
Derek Willis PF Bullitt East
(Mt. Washington, KY)
4*, 130th [O] 2011
[C] 01/20/12
[S] 11/14/12
Indiana
Louisville
Purdue
James Young SF/SG Rochester
(Troy, MI)
5*, 9th [O] 06/12
[C] 10/11/12
[S] 11/14/12
Syracuse
Kansas
Michigan St
Aaron Harrison SG/PG Travis
(Fort Bend, TX)
5*, 6th [O] 2011
[C] 10/04/12
[S] 11/14/12
Maryland
SMU
Andrew Harrison PG Travis
(Fort Bend, TX)
5*, 4th [O] 2011
[C] 10/04/12
[S] 11/14/12
Maryland
SMU
Dominique Hawkins
PG Madison Central
(Richmond, KY)
2*, 253rd [O] 03/28/13
[C] 04/10/13
[S] 04/17/13
Purdue
S Carolina

Offered But Committed Elsewhere

Name Pos School (Hometown) 247 Composite Ranking Status Other Finalists
Kennedy Meeks
C West Charlotte
(Charlotte, NC)
4*, 55th Signed with North Carolina
Georgetown
Indiana
NC State
Aaron Gordon PF/SF Archbishop Mitty
(San Jose, CA)
5*, 5th Signed with Arizona
Washington
Oregon
Johnathan Williams III
PF Southwind
(Memphis, TN)
4*, 46th Signed with Missouri
Michigan St
Tennessee
Georgetown
Andrew Wiggins SF Huntington (WV) Prep
(Toronto, ONT)
5*, 1st Signed with Kansas
Florida St
UNC
Jabari Parker
SF Simeon Vacational
(Chicago, IL)
5*, 3rd Signed with Duke
Michigan St
Florida
BYU
Tyler Roberson
SF/PF Roselle Catholic
(Union, NJ)
5*, 41st Signed with Syracuse
Villanova
Kansas
SMU
Troy Williams
SF Oak Hill Academy
(Hampton, VA)
4*, 53rd Signed with Indiana
Ohio St
UNC
Louisville
Wayne Selden
SG/SF
The Tilton School
(Boston, MA)
5*, 13th Signed with Kansas
Florida
Syracuse
Missouri
Kasey Hill
PG
Montverde Academy
(Eustis, FL)
5*, 8th Signed with Florida
Florida St
Kansas
Louisville

Scholarship Situation

In addition to the eight signed players in the class of 2013, Kentucky returns five players on scholarship for the 2013-14 season (rising class indicated): Jon Hood (RS senior), Jarrod Polson (senior), Kyle Wiltjer (junior), Willie Cauley-Stein (sophomore), and Alex Poythress (sophomore). That gives the Wildcats a full complement of 13 scholarships next season.

Departing from last year's team are Julius Mays (graduation), Ryan Harrow (transfer), Nerlens Noel (declared for NBA Draft), and Archie Goodwin (declared for NBA Draft).

Key Misses

The 2012 recruiting class saw some key misses down the stretch. Most notably, Shabazz Muhammad, a strong contender for the #1 prospect overall alongside Nerlens Noel, picked UCLA over Kentucky. On a team that often struggled to score the ball, the Wildcats could have really used Muhammad and his "I just get buckets" game. In May, Kentucky lost out on forward Anthony Bennett, who vastly outplayed Alex Poythress en route to freshmen All-American honors. Finally, forward Amile Jefferson, who could have provided quality depth, chose Duke in mid-May.

Time will tell if John Calipari picked his recruits correctly, but ultimately, Kentucky lost only one recruit it really wanted. That would be uber-prospect Andrew Wiggins, ranked as the consensus #1 prospect in the nation. Wiggins would have been the ultimate cherry on top of an already stout recruiting class. Fortunately, Kentucky has depth at the 3, with Poythress joined by incoming recruit, James Young.

The 2013 recruiting class is considered "Top 6"-deep, with any of the six top-ranked recruits a viable candidate for #1 overall (well, in a non-Wiggins year, anyway). Besides Wiggins, Kentucky also lost out on Chicago prep legend Jabari Parker, a race that Calipari bowed out of last fall. Meanwhile, the Wildcats stuck around for Californian Aaron Gordon, though the commitment of Randle seemingly shut the door on that recruitment as well.

Other extended offers either came earlier in a prospect's career (like Troy Williams) or were hedge offers against other preferred prospects (like Kennedy Meeks). As much as we would like to see it, Kentucky can't take 'em all.

Class Overview

There's not much more to say about this group that hasn't already been spilled on ink. On paper, this is a legendary recruiting class.

The three Texans, Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, are expected to start immediately. James Young and Dakari Johnson should provide significant backup minutes, while Marcus Lee's explosive defensive ability may be too exciting to keep him chained to the bench. The Texans should be considered one-and-done prospects, and Calipari should consider himself fortunate if he's able to squeeze any more years out of the latter three All-Americans.

No one really doubts Coach Cal's ability to turn precocious high school All-Americans into NBA Draft picks. However, he has also done a sneaky good job in developing less heralded players. After a trying 2012-13 season that featured little upperclassmen depth, Calipari has tweaked his recruiting approach to compensate. Don't sleep on the two local Kentucky stars, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins. Getting any production out of these two next year is a luxury. However, both players will be given ample time to develop, and will hopefully become key contributors to successful Kentucky teams down the road.

Get your hype meter up for the 2013-14 season. Some serious talent is inbound.

Older Recruiting Big Boards

2013: 3/27/13 | 10/11/12 | 7/5/12 | 12/6/11 | 5/25/11
2014: 10/24/12 | 7/11/12 | 5/25/11

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