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Jarred Vanderbilt will be a top-10 commit for Kentucky Wildcats

Jarred Vanderbilt may end up being Kentucky’s highest-ranked recruit in 2017.

High School Basketball: McDonald's All-American Portraits Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When Jarred Vanderbilt picked Kentucky back in December, it didn’t get quite the national attention that most five-star commitments get.

After all, when the 6-8, 213-pound wing made his decision, Vanderbilt was ranked in the mid 20s of most recruiting services, including 23rd by ESPN. Part of that was due to the Texas native missing most of 2016 with a broken foot.

But Vanderbilt is a far better prospect than the rankings have indicated, and he’s shown that on the high school all-star circuit this offseason. He’s done so well that 247 Sports’ Jerry Meyer says Vanderbilt will be a top-10 recruit in 247’s updated rankings.

The 6-8 combo forward from Bellaire (Texas) Victory Prep High School made his initial positive impression during the McDonald's All American Game practices. Vanderbilt, who has always had great instincts for the game, was on another level than the other forwards in regards to his level of activity and engagement in all areas of the game. With improved strength and quickness, Vanderbilt chased down rebounds and loose balls, created turnovers and both initiated and finished the fast break.

Along with his improved physique, Vanderbilt also showed an improved lefty shooting stroke from outside. His lack of outside shooting ability has been the consistent knock on his game.

As of now, five-star center Nick Richards is Kentucky’s highest-ranked recruit at No. 12 in the 247 rankings, followed by P.J. Washington (15). Hamidou Diallo is technically the highest at No. 9, but he joined the team midway through last season.

But with as many as eight players leaving this offseason, Kentucky badly needs to add one, if not two top 10-caliber recruits to ensure they’re a Final Four contender next season. Mo Bamba and Kevin Knox have been the guys getting all the contention to fill those spots, but it looks like Kentucky already got one in Vanderbilt.

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