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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: Amile Jefferson Picks Duke

Coach K lands a late recruit in the 2012 class, Kentucky target Amile Jefferson.
Coach K lands a late recruit in the 2012 class, Kentucky target Amile Jefferson.

Kentucky target Amile Jefferson (Friends Central / Philadelphia, PA) committed to the Duke Blue Devils today in a press conference. Jefferson picked Duke over N.C. State, Kentucky, Villanova, and Ohio State.

The Wildcats had been linked to Jefferson since last fall, and the rationale train of thought was the longer Jefferson's recruitment played out, the more of a chance Kentucky had. Jefferson had reportedly been close to committing multiple times in favor of Duke or N.C. State, his two favorites, yet ended up being one of the last touted players in his class to pull the trigger. In the end, however, the time delay didn't end up helping John Calipari and the Wildcats.

After losing both starting forwards, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrence Jones, to the NBA Draft, the Kentucky Wildcats were hoping to add one more big man to the frontcourt next year. Unfortunately, their two primary targets--Anthony Bennett (UNLV) and Jefferson--chose other schools. Currently, the Wildcats currently sport sophomore returnee Kyle Wiltjer and incoming freshman Alex Poythress at the starting 4 and 3 spots on the floor without a natural backup.

With depth still a concern, Kentucky may yet go after another big man in the 2012 class or try to land a transfer this summer. This past weekend, Kentucky did something in a similar vein, landing Wright St. transfer Julius Mays to bolster backcourt depth.

As far as forwards go, the primary name currently on the radar is Montrezl Harrell, a top 100 forward in the 2012 class. He decommitted from Virginia Tech following the firing of former head coach Seth Greenberg. Harrell has requested a release from his LOI, though he has not officially received that release from the university.

The other name to be aware of is Tony Trocha, a big man from Colombia. Trocha arrived in the states last winter and was slated to play AAU ball this summer and for St. Thomas in Houston, TX this fall. Instead, it appears he is making a late push to reclassify to the 2012 class. Little is known of Trocha, and how good he actually is at basketball is a complete mystery.