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2013 Kentucky Wildcats Recruiting Big Board: October '12 Edition

An updated big board showcasing the top 2013 recruiting targets of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of control fast. And if you're a Kentucky fan, things are good. Really, REALLY good.

Three top ten commits in two weeks--Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, and James Young, if you're counting. Another possible domino falling post-Big Blue Madness in Marcus Lee. And a few more clearly identified top targets going into the spring signing period. Yes, it's good to be the king.

Also, the 2012-13 season has not even started yet, but all four members of the 2012 class have gotten very positive buzz from scouting circles. It is not out of the question that each one ends up leaving early to the NBA after their freshmen seasons.

That means the Kentucky Wildcats are looking at taking another full slate of players in the 2013 class. But never fear: John Calipari doesn't rebuild. He reloads.

Name Pos School
Offer (Odds)
Commitment (Odds) Favorite School(s) News & Notes Trending (since 7/5/12)
Marcus Lee C/PF Deer Valley
(Antioch, CA)
Scout: 4*/38
Rivals: 5*/15
ESPN: 4*/28
247: 5*/9
In-home visits on 9/16 & 9/24. Expected official visit on 10/12 (BBM). Top target. Expected fall decision.
Kennedy Meeks
C West Charlotte (Charlotte, NC) Scout: 4*/30
Rivals: 4*/51
ESPN: 5*/18
247: 4*/47
Ohio St
In-home visit on 9/12. Secondary target. Likely spring decision.
Derek Willis PF Bullitt East (Mt. Washington, KY)
Scout: 4*/UR
Rivals: 3*/126
247: 4*/75
Committed (1/20/12)
Kentucky Committed (Jan 12) over UL, IU, and Purdue. Expected official visit on 10/12 (BBM).
Julius Randle PF Prestonwood Christian
(Plano, TX)
Scout: 5*/4
Rivals: 5*/1
ESPN: 5*/3
247: 5*/1
In-home visit on 9/9. Official visit on 9/15. Top target. Expected spring decision.
Aaron Gordon
PF/SF Archbishop Mitty
(San Jose, CA)
Scout: 5*/5
Rivals: 5*/5
ESPN: 5*/6
247: 5*/6
In-home visit on 9/12. Official visit TBD. Top or secondary target. Expected spring decision.
Jermaine Lawrence
PF Pope John Paul XIII (Springfield Gardens, NY)
Scout: 5*/15
Rivals: 5*/18
ESPN: 5*/17
247: 5*/18
Not Yet Offered
St. John's
Included UK in his final 7 despite not having an offer. Tangential target.
Noah Vonleh
PF New Hampton (New Hampton, NJ)
Scout: 5*/7
Rivals: 5*/UR
ESPN: 5*/7
247: 5*/7
Not Yet Offered
Ohio St
Reclassified from 2014 on 9/24. Possible Kentucky target, though unlikely at this point.
Johnathan Williams III
PF Southwind (Memphis, TN)
Scout: 4*/31
Rivals: 4*/47
ESPN: 4*/35
247: 4*/51
Offered 0%
Mich St
No longer considering Kentucky.
James Young SF/SG Rochester (Troy, MI) Scout: 5*/9
Rivals: 5*/8
ESPN: 5*/5
247: 5*/10
Committed (10/11/12)
In-home visit on 9/10. Unofficial visit on 9/29. Committed 10/11. Possible official visit on 10/12 (BBM).
Tyler Roberson
SF/PF Roselle Catholic (Union, NJ)
Scout: 4*/47
Rivals: 5*/14
ESPN: 4*/25
247: 4*/27
In-home visits on 9/13 & 9/18. Possible official visit 11/2. Secondary target.
Jabari Parker
SF Simeon Vocational (Chicago, IL) Scout: 5*/1
Rivals: 5*/2
ESPN: 5*/1
247: 5*/4
Offered <5%
Mich St
No in-home visit. No longer considering Kentucky, though Calipari could re-initiate contact in spring.
Troy Williams
SF Oak Hill Academy (Hampton, VA) Scout: 4*/41
Rivals: 4*/35
ESPN: 4*/36
247: 4*/35
Offered 0%
Ohio St
No longer considering Kentucky.
Aaron Harrison SG Travis (Fort Bend, TX) Scout: 5*/3
Rivals: 5*/3
ESPN: 5*/4
247: 5*/2
Offered Committed (10/4/12)
In-home visit on 9/9. Committed 10/4 over Maryland & SMU. Expected official visit on 10/12 (BBM).
Andrew Harrison PG Travis (Fort Bend, TX) Scout: 5*/2
Rivals: 5*/4
ESPN: 5*/2
247: 5*/3
Offered Committed (10/4/12)
In-home visit on 9/9. Committed 10/4 over Maryland & SMU. Expected official visit on 10/12 (BBM).
Kasey Hill
PG Monteverde Academy (Eustis, FL) Scout: 5*/6
Rivals: 5*/6
ESPN: 5*/8
247: 5*/5
Offered N/A
Florida Committed (Dec 11) over FSU, GA Tech, and UK.

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 (2nd overall), Poythress (7th), Goodwin (9th) and Harrow (26th) 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 large class, with 5 to 7 recruits.

Targets - Bigs (Needs: 2-3)

Derek Willis is the only big man currently committed in the 2013 class. Ranked outside the top 100 by most recruiting services, Willis is not an instant-impact player but provides quality depth going forward.

If you're looking for instant impact, it doesn't get much bigger than Julius Randle. Randle is by far Kentucky's top big man prospect on the board. In recent months, both Kentucky and Florida have gained traction in Randle's recruitment, to the point where both teams should be considered the favorites with local program Texas a very close third. Randle took his first official visit, to Kentucky, for UK Alumni Weekend.

Kentucky has also made up a lot of ground with Marcus Lee, previously unmentioned in the July Big Board update. Kentucky just offered Lee, but is the only school Lee is now considering alongside hometown favorite California. Lee will be in Lexington for Big Blue Madness, Calipari's best chance to prevent Lee from staying on the West Coast. A decision from Lee might come soon after.

If Lee pops for the Golden Bears, Kennedy Meeks' recruitment may gain traction. Like Lee, Meeks was offered by Calipari this past September. His recruitment timeline is much slower than Lee's. Meeks has yet to take any official visits, though he might go to North Carolina for Midnight Madness, thus making him a likely spring decision.

Aaron Gordon is the wildcard. He has consistently listed Kentucky, and plans to make his final official visit (still unplanned) to Lexington. If Gordon chooses to make a fall decision, Kentucky probably won't be the pick, since that spot might be reserved for Randle, a likely spring decision. As of now, it looks like Gordon will wait to sign in the spring.

Other prospects to note: Jermaine Lawrence included Kentucky in his list of finalists, though the Wildcats did not visit him during the fall contact period. Noah Vonleh recently reclassified to the 2013 class. He had tangential interest from Kentucky when he was a member of the 2014 class. It remains to be seen how much interest Kentucky will show in Vonleh, but early returns say the likelihood is "not much." Johnathan Williams III will not be choosing Kentucky, and there has no been communication from the coaching staff in recent months anyway.

Off the radar: Kuran Iverson committed to Memphis. Chris Walker committed to Florida. Both Beejay Anya and Austin Nichols remain uncommitted, but have no link to Kentucky at this time.

Targets - Wings (Needs: 1-2)

With James Young, a top 10 overall player in the 2013 class, on board, it's all luxury from here. That would be the guy mentioned in the next paragraph.

Not listed, but very much under consideration, is phenom Andrew Wiggins. Currently a member of the 2014 class, Wiggins would immediately shoot to #1 overall in the 2013 class, with Kentucky and Florida State leading the charge in his recruitment. Even if Wiggins were to reclassify and choose Kentucky, Young has still expressed interest playing a "sixth man" role behind Wiggins.

Other prospects to note: Tyler Roberson currently has an offer in hand and a visit planned. Kentucky visited him twice this fall, the first visit being just assistant coach Orlando Antigua. Obviously, there is something the Wildcats like, but with Young on board, that offer may have already become non-committable.

Off the board: Jordan Mickey committed to LSU. The most publicized non-recruitment this fall was that of Kentucky and Jabari Parker. It appears that the Wildcats and Parker have both moved on. Same story with Troy Williams, who once looked thisclose to committing to the Cats. However, with Parker likely to make a spring decision, things may heat up again if other recruitments go south.

Targets - Guards (Needs: 2-3)

Kentucky was all-in with just one point guard, Andrew Harrison. Wildcats fans had a right to be extremely bullish, though Maryland fought to the end. Chalk up another recruiting victory for Big Blue Nation. The Wildcats now have their backcourt set with Harrison at the 1 and a starting 2 guard in Andrew's twin brother, Aaron Harrison. With Young also able to play shooting guard, Kentucky is done in the backcourt.

Off the radar: Four shooting guard prospects--Keith Frazier, Wayne Selden, JaJuan Johnson, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes--are still uncommitted but not considering Kentucky. Of the four, Rathan-Mayes is the most intriguing. He is high school and AAU teammates--and close friends--with the aforementioned Wiggins. Both players' parents went to Florida State, which is, quite conveniently, trying to recruit the two players as a 2013 "package deal." Rathan-Mayes plans to commit tomorrow, so stay tuned. Recruiting news never sleeps.


As I mentioned at the outset, things have gotten pretty straightforward. The guard spots were the key, and the commitment from the Harrison twins have Kentucky fans breathing easy. James Young's commitment only makes things even sweeter

Turning to the frontcourt, the other position that could be immediately filled this fall is center, with Marcus Lee likely to make a decision soon after Big Blue Madness.

From there, Kentucky can then afford to go all-in with the remaining top players in the nation: Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, and perhaps a reclassified Andrew Wiggins. Randle and Gordon look like an either/or proposition, while, as mentioned, Wiggins and Young could still co-exist.

Could it be another greatest recruiting class of all-time? You betcha. That's just how we roll at Kentucky.

Other Recruiting Big Boards

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