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Kentucky Basketball tops ESPN 2016 Recruiting Class Rankings

UK and Duke continue to battle for the top spot.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2016 recruiting cycle winds down, the Kentucky Wildcats still have the No. 1 class.

John Calipari has been touting this as his best class since coming to UK, and there's plenty of merit to that claim. De'Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk are consensus top-10 prospects in what's regarded as one of the deepest high school classes in recent memory.

And don't count out five-star forwards Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones, both of whom have the potential to be college superstars before they leave Lexington for the NBA.

All of this helped the Cats reclaim the top spot in the updated ESPN  recruiting class rankings. However, the Duke Blue Devils are right behind them and still in position to claim the top spot if they land five-star center Marques Bolden, whom UK is also in great shape with.

Here's an excerpt of ESPN's report on UK's 2016 class:

Adebayo is a dominant rebounder who will push his way onto the court immediately for John Calipari. Meanwhile, Fox has the potential to be the next great Calipari point guard, in the footsteps of John Wall, Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans and others.

Fox is often compared to Wall, due to his speed and ability to drive through traffic and finish at the rim. Fox is also arguably the best defensive guard in the class.

Prior to the early signing period, Wenyen Gabriel (No. 14) was the jewel of Kentucky's group. Gabriel chose Kentucky over Duke, Maryland and others. He was one of the biggest risers during the summer period, catapulting from a back-end top-100 prospect into the five-star range. He has a high ceiling and is only getting better.

Gabriel will join high four-star forward Sacha Killeya-Jones (No. 24) in Lexington next season. Killeya-Jones is another player who really boosted his stock during the live periods in the spring and summer.

Here is a look at ESPN's top-25 class rankings:


1. Kentucky - 6*

2. Duke - 5

3. Arizona - 4

4. Michigan State - 4

5. Mississippi State - 7

6. UCLA - 4

7. Kansas - 3

8. Virginia - 4

9. Connecticut - 4

10. Harvard - 7

11. Florida State - 5

12. North Carolina - 3

13. Miami - 4

14. Auburn - 3

15. Texas - 3

16. UNLV 2 -

17Indiana - 5

18. Marquette - 3

19. Xavier - 3

20. Maryland - 3

21. Syracuse - 2

22. Gonzaga - 5

23. Arizona State - 3

24. Oklahoma 4

25. Texas A&M - 2

*The sixth recruit is Tai Wynyard, who committed and signed as a 2016 prospect, but was able to enroll early and join the 2015 team.