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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: 2012 Big Board (Version 3)

The dominoes are falling! The dominoes are falling! Since we last updated the big board in July, four of Scout's 5* recruits decided to commit, including Brandon Ashley (Arizona), Kyle Anderson (UCLA), and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State). Oh, and hey, look here. The sky isn't falling for the Kentucky Wildcats after all!

Yes, we can all shoot fireworks in celebration. The Wildcats snagged their first recruit for the class of 2012 when Archie Goodwin, the fourth of the 5*'s mentioned above, committed on September 20.

That said, the prospect pool is shrinking, and one commit does not a class make. Kentucky is sitting comfortably with many of the top recruits in the nation. In fact, many of them will be attending Kentucky's Big Blue Madness celebration come October 14. This will be John Calipari's premier opportunity to sell the program. So if you're in and around Lexington, go out and show your support for your current, and possibly 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
(City Located)
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes Trending (since 7/25/11)
Willie Cauley
C Olathe Northwest (Olathe, KS) Scout: 4*/28th
Rivals: 4*/39th
ESPNU: 4*/32nd
Offered 40%
Kansas St
9/16/11 - Per Brian Snow (Scout), Cauley is down to four schools. He will likely make a decision before the early signing deadline.
9/9/11 - Cauley had an in-home visit with UK, as well as with KSU, Alabama, and UF.
8/31/11 - Cauley is expected to attend Big Blue Madness (BBN) on Oct 14.
DaJuan Coleman
C Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt, NY)
Scout: 5*/11th
Rivals: 4*/27th
ESPNU: 5*/14th
Offered 25%
Ohio State
9/20/11 - Coleman had an in-home visit with UK.
9/7/11 - Per Adam Zagoria (ZagsBlog), Coleman will also visit OSU on Sep 23 and Syracuse at a TBD date.
8/31/11 - Coleman is expected to attend Big Blue Madness (BBN) on Oct 14.
Kaleb Tarczewski
C St. Mark's (Southborough, MA) Scout: 5*/8th
Rivals: 5*/20th
ESPNU: 5*/6th
Not Offered (0%)
9/13/11 - Per Dave Telep (ESPNU), Tarczewski is down to KU and UA and will likely take officials to both before deciding. He'll drop off the next big board.
Anthony Bennett
PF/SF Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV) Scout: 5*/9th
Rivals: 5*/7th
ESPNU: 5*/7th
Offered 25%
West VA
Ohio St
9/13/11 - Bennett was visited by UK at Findlay Prep. UK will most likely make Bennett's final cut.
9/11/11 - Per Adam Zagoria (ZagsBlog), Bennett plans to name finalists sometime next week.
9/1/11 - Bennett cut Missouri from his list of ten semi-finalists, and the nine left are listed.
Robert Carter
PF/C Shiloh (Gwinett, GA) Scout: 5*/18th
Rivals: 4*/28th
ESPNU: 5*/21st
Florida St
GA Tech
Rhode Is
8/22/11 - Per Evan Daniels (Scout), Carter is down to seven finalists. He expects to take 5 official visits before committing.
Mitch McGary
PF/C Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, NH) Scout: 5*/2nd
Rivals: 5*/3rd
ESPNU: 5*/2nd
Offered 20%
9/17/11 - UK watched McGary along with teammate TJ Warren at a Brewster Academy practice.
9/15/11 - Per Jeff Goodman (CBS Sports), McGary's parents love Duke while his AAU coach loves Michigan. He is unconfirmed for visits to Maryland, UF, and UK.
8/9/11 - McGary cut his list to the 6 finalists listed.
Christopher Obekpa
PF Our Savior New American (Centereach, NY) Scout: 4*/UR
Rivals: 3*/105th
ESPNU: 4*/91st
Not Yet Offered (5%) N/A
St. John's
GA Tech
West Va
8/20/11 - After a breakout summer at the Nike Skills Academies and Global Challenge, Obekpa has seen his offer list grow, the latest from UConn. He is on UK's radar, but is likely a backup option should the 4 names above not pan out.

Shabazz Muhammad
SF/SG Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Scout: 5*/1st
Rivals: 5*/1st
ESPNU: 5*/1st
Offered 40%
Texas A&M
9/13/11 - Muhammad had an in-home visit with UK, and he also hosted UCLA, Duke, and Kansas. Other schools listed remain in consideration, and Muhammad has not yet decided on any other official visits.
8/31/11 - Muhammad is expected to attend BBM on Oct 14.
Alex Poythress
SF/PF Northeast (Clarkville, TN)
Scout: 5*/16th
Rivals: 5*/19th
ESPNU: 5*/17th
Offered 30%
9/15/11 - Poythress had an in-home visit with UK after previously taking his first official visit to Vanderbilt.
9/15/11 - Per Jeff Lockridge (Tennessean), Poythress will take official visits to the five schools listed.
8/31/11 - Poythress is expected to attend BBM on Oct 14.
Devonta Pollard
SF Kemper County (Porterville, MS)
Scout: 5*/21st
Rivals: 5*/9th
ESPNU: 5*/20th
Offered 15%
Miss St
NC State
9/16/11 - UK had previously watched Pollard play on Jul 15, and news came out that Calipari may have violated the "bump" rule with another prospect. This is non-news as far as Pollard is concerned.
8/31/11 - Pollard is expected to attend BBM on Oct 14.
TJ Warren
SF Brewster Academy (Wolfesboro, NH)
Scout: 5*/22nd
Rivals: 5*/23rd
ESPNU: 4*/23rd
NC State
9/17/11 - UK watched Warren along with teammate Mitch McGary at a Brewster Academy practice.
8/31/11 - Warren is expected to attend BBM on Oct 14.
Winston Shepard
SF Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV)
Scout: 4*/43rd
Rivals: 4*/40th
ESPNU: 4*/68th
Not Yet Offered (5%)
OK State
New Mexico
9/21/11 - No new news on Shepard, who remains a backup option for UK.
Archie Goodwin
SG Sylvan Hills (Little Rock, AR)
Scout: 5*/13th
Rivals: 5*/12th
ESPNU: 5*/13th
Offered Committed (9/20/11)
9/20/11 - Goodwin committed to UK over Memphis and Arkansas on Sep 20 and will attend BBM on Oct 14.
Gary Harris
SG Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, IN)
Scout: 5*/12th
Rivals: 5*/25th
ESPNU: 5*/10th
Not Yet Offered (25%)
Michigan St
Notre Dame
9/20/11 - Harris received an unexpected in-home visit from UK. Harris had previously eliminated UK as a finalist, but Calipari is renewing interest. Stay tuned.
Torian Graham
SG Word of God (Durham, NC)
Scout: 4*/51st
Rivals: 4*/51st
ESPNU: 4*/38th
Not Yet Offered (5%)
NC State
8/8/11 - Graham decommitted from NC State on Aug 8. Per Jeff Gravley (WRAL Sports), he is considering the schools listed. UK remains a longshot, but it's a shot.
Andre Drummond
C St. Thomas More (Oakdale, CT) Scout: 5*/N/A
Rivals: 5*/N/A
Not Offered (0%)
8/28/11 - Drummond committed to UConn on Aug 28 and reclassed to 2011. He'll drop off the next big board.
Brandon Ashley
PF Findlay Prep (Las Vegas, NV) Scout: 5*/3rd
Rivals: 5*/13th
ESPNU: 5*/4th
Offered 0%
Arizona 8/29/11 - Ashley committed to Arizona over UCLA, Oregon, and UK on Aug 29.
Perry Ellis
PF Wichita Heights (Wichita, KS)
Scout: 4*/33rd
Rivals: 5*/24th
ESPNU: 4*/37th
Offered 0%
9/21/11 - Ellis committed to KU over UK, KSU, and Wich St on Sep 21.
Ricardo Ledo
SG Notre Dame (Fitchberg, MA)
Scout: 4*/25th
Rivals: 5*/8th
ESPNU: 4*/22nd
Offered 0%
9/5/11 - Ledo committed to Providence over UK, Syracuse and UConn on Sep 5.
JP Tokoto
SG/SF Menomonee Falls (Menomonee Falls, WI)
Scout: 4*/86th
Rivals: 4*/68th
ESPNU: 4*/65th
Offered 0%
UNC 3/4/11 - Tokoto committed to UNC over Wisconsin on Mar 4.
LJ Rose
PG Westbury Christian (Houston)
Scout: 4*/66th
Rivals: 4*/95th
ESPNU: 4*/74th
Offered 0%
Baylor 9/3/11 - Rose committed to Baylor over Georgetown and Virginia on Sep 3.


Note: Offer status is per Rivals where appropriate. Likelihood of offer and likelihood of commitment are estimates based on available information. Percentage statuses change as new information becomes available.

Scholarship Situation

Note: Section remains the same from last update.

As of today, Kentucky has two graduating seniors in Eloy Vargas and Darius Miller. Returnees in 2012 would include Jon Hood (RS junior), Stacey Poole (junior), Doron Lamb (junior), Terrence Jones (junior) and the 2011 class of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer. Jones, Lamb, Kidd-Gilchrist, Teague and Davis are strong early entrant candidates. Kentucky will also add NC State transfer Ryan Harrow, who is eligible starting in 2012 (RS sophomore), and return two preferred walk-ons, Jarrod Polson (junior) and Twany Beckham (senior).

Based on the above, Kentucky could have as many as 10 scholarships open, or as few as 4. Expect it to be closer to the former rather than the latter. This is admittedly a projection far into the future, and Kentucky's needs can and will change accordingly.


Remaining Targets - Bigs (Needs: 2-4)

Calipari will likely be looking for at least one stud each for the 4 and 5 spots, and possibly a third for depth.

At center, the pecking order appears to have changed. For the longest time, it appeared that Calipari targeted DaJuan Coleman as his center of choice. Recently, he's paid a lot of attention to a rising star, Willie Cauley. Calipari took in-home visits with both prospects, and both will be attending Big Blue Madness (BBM) in October. The difference between the two is (1) Coleman has long been rumored to favor hometown Syracuse, and (2) Cauley has expressed a willingness to commit prior to the early signing period. Given those two factors, Cauley seems like the take for now, but things will likely become clearer once BBM has passed.

One name that the Wildcats are no longer targeting is Andre Drummond. He committed to Connecticut and enrolled early to play college ball in 2011. Kaleb Tarczewski, likewise, has taken Kentucky off his list and is solely considering Arizona and Kansas.

For a while, Calipari thought he had his man the hold down the power forward fort. Kentucky had been aggressively recruiting Perry Ellis, but the Kansas native chose to stay in stay and play for the Jayhawks. Another potential 4, Brandon Ashley, is taking his talents to Arizona. That leaves a bunch of hybrid power forward prospects remaining. Mitch McGary and Robert Carter are both big 4's that could slide up to center, a la Anthony Davis. Anthony Bennett and Alex Poythress (further discussed in the wings) are more 3/4 forward hybrids, a la Terrence Jones.

Who will Calipari go after the hardest now? Your guess is as good as mine. Poythress has been a named bandied about by recruitniks as a likely commmit, but Duke is making a charge and would be a strong adversary. One thing to note: of the four listed, Poythress is the only confirmed to be at BBM. So there's that. Meanwhile, Bennett and Carter remain mystery men with no real favorites. McGary may be slipping behind, as Duke and Michigan have emerged as leaders.

The only new name to debut on the board is Christopher Obekpa, a sleeper prospect that drew Calipari's attention after a strong summer circuit. For Kentucky, he would be a good project big and would add to frontcourt depth. However, with his stock rising (UConn recently offered, for example), Obekpa may not want to start out so low on the totem pole. Anyway, he's on the Wildcat radar, but has not been offered.


Remaining Targets - Wings (Needs: 1-2)

Surprise, surprise. Shabazz Muhammad remains the target here. It's good news, bad news time. The good news is that he's coming to BBM to bond with potential future Wildcats. The bad news is that his close friend, Kyle Anderson, committed to UCLA. With both sides said, the Bruins still remain the favorite to land Shabazz, but Kentucky still looks like a close second.

Beyond the #1 prospect in the nation, Kentucky is in the hunt for three other small forwards, Alex Poythress,  Devonta Pollard, and TJ Warren. All three are expected to attend BBM, making it hard to play favorites at this point. Still, gut feel from recruitniks and from me says Poythress is the main target, with the Warren train gaining steam.

Winston Shepard remains on the board, but he's been very quiet recently. He doesn't have an offer, but is still a backup option for Kentucky. It wouldn't surprise me if Shepard was a guy that looked for immediate playing time at a mid-major and starred there.


Remaining Targets - Guards (Needs: 1-3)

Archie Goodwin, come on down! In the last update, I posited that Goodwin and Ricardo Ledo were an either/or combination. Well, Kentucky's interest waned on Ledo, who ended up committing to Providence. Meanwhile, Calipari continued to doggedly pursue Goodwin, and the hard work paid off with Kentucky's first commitment.

Even with Goodwin on board, Calipari is still fishing. Perhaps the most interesting news is that Calipari told Muhammad he was being recruited as a 2, his NBA position, even though he could easily slide up to the 3 in college. Goodwin, being a tall 2 himself, would still mesh well with Muhammad sharing the perimeter. At least, that's what Calipari will be telling Muhammad.

But wait, there's more! Two names that were thought to be off Kentucky's radar have resurfaced. The first is Gary Harris, who has received the full-court press for Calipari in the past couple of weeks. Harris looks like a true 2 and may or may not have been a contingency plan if Goodwin hadn't committed. But Kentucky's interest remains real even after the Goodwin commit, so keep an eye on Harris. The other name, Torian Graham, decommitted from NC State and is hopeful that Kentucky will pursue him. The interest appears one way right now, but that could change.

Kentucky's only point guard offer, LJ Rose, ended up committing to Baylor. His recruitment was a (relatively) disappointing story. Once regarded as a potential 5* recruit during his sophomore year, he has since slipped down recruiting boards. Along the way, he's seen his potential schools UNC (Marcus Paige), UK (Ryan Harrow), Texas (Jevan Felix), and UCLA (Dominic Artis) all pick up a different point guard of choice. Hopefully, the young man does well at Baylor.


With Goodwin on board, Kentucky fans can breathe a little easier. But in recruiting, it's always about "what's next?"

Willie Cauley could be the next domino to fall. Of the names listed on the big board, he's the only one that's been discussed as an early signing period commit.

And Shabazz Muhammad clearly remains priority number one. He is the guy we'll wait on until the end of time. Expect that one to continue on into the spring period.

Beyond that, the picture has gotten clearer while still staying fuzzy. As names like Ashley and Ellis drop off the board, there's less prospects for Calipari to pick from. The thing is, we still don't know who he's picking. Anyone attending BBM is a candidate, and yes, it's a whole host of names.

The one thing you can count on is that recruitniks remain unconcerned that Calipari will end up with a stellar recruiting class. The questions are just who and when.

Follow my Twitter feed (@JC_at_M2M) for the latest updates and keep an eye out for the next big board update.

Other Recruiting Big Boards

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