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Kentucky Basketball Recruiting: UK has done best job at filling 2018 needs

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Kentucky’s recruiting class isn’t in the top two as usual, but it may be the best in another way.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois-Chicago at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky fans are likely to see something rare in the John Calipari era.

In the era of “we don’t rebuild, we reload,” the Cats might have more returning starters than new faces next year. Early in the 2017 season, it’s not likely that the team is full of one-and-done’s as it usually is, and Calipari’s 2018 class — while star-studded — isn’t as deep as it sometimes is (at least for now).

That being said, The recruits that Calipari has gotten are going to fill team needs better than anyone else’s class in 2018, Eric Bossi of Rivals says.

“I think that Kentucky's No. 4-ranked recruiting class has done the best job of addressing needs,” Bossi said.

He also notes that Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox are most likely to leave, but Calipari already has that covered, and the point guard position will be strengthened regardless of who departs from the backcourt.

The two guys who do appear most likely to leave after one year are wing scorers Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo. So, their positions needed to be accounted for, and in a perfect world at least one wing would be a big-time shooter. In five-star swingman Keldon Johnson and four-star shooting guard Tyler Herro, those needs have been addressed. Additionally, Quade Green is starting to settle in at the point guard slot, but he's not quite the big athlete Calipari prefers at the point. The Wildcats have sufficiently bolstered their point guard play with five-star Immanuel Quickley. Five-star forward Zion Williamson remains the most important target still on the Wildcats' board.

The potential for Kentucky’s class to make a substantial jump is really down to just Zion Williamson, who will likely pick either UK or Clemson. There’s also a chance that they land five-star center Moses Brown, if they ever offer him a scholarship.

You can read the rest of Bossi’s piece with Corey Evans here, in which they talk about North Carolina, Notre Dame and Duke’s recruiting classes as well.

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