Where does UK stand with class of 2013 stars?

 Posted by at 3:40 PM on July 23, 2012  Add comments
Jul 232012
 

2013 recruit Aaron Gordon said over the weekend that Kentucky is one of his top three schools.
Credit: USA Basketball

Chris Walker committed to Florida over the weekend, but Kentucky still has plenty of elite options in the class of 2013.

Many of those prospects updated the status of their recruitments during the past few days and it was mostly good news for the Cats. In fact, Kentucky is in the mix for each of the top six uncommitted recruits in the Rivals Top 150.

Here’s a look at those players, and where UK currently stands in its quest for another No. 1 recruiting class.

ANDREW AND AARON HARRISON
Rivals rankings: 3 and 4
Decision date: September/October
There’s been a lot of Maryland buzz surrounding the twins lately, but that’s mainly because they’ve been playing games in that area of the country. Their performance in Baltimore last week left local fans dreaming of a “new era” of Terps basketball. And the ties are legit. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was one of the first to recruit the Harrisons back when he was coaching Texas A&M. The Harrisons’ father grew up in the Baltimore area. The twins have a close relationship with incoming freshman Shaq Cleare. And there’s always the Under Armour angle. Factor in the Scout.com chatter that UK has contacted 2013 point guard Demetrius Jackson (possible fall back plan?) and the Harrisons might not look like the “lock” many UK fans think them to be. Yes, Maryland is probably UK’s main competition. But you’d still be hard-pressed to find anyone following the twins who’d bet against Kentucky.
UK’s status: Leader

JAMES YOUNG
Rivals ranking: 8
Decision date: Possibly August/September
Young had another stellar EYBL showing at the Peach Jam, and John Calipari was there for several of his games. ESPN’s Dave Telep noted that Young was one of the few players to get the “three-deep” treatment from UK, meaning Calipari and assistants Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne all watched him play at the same time. If Young was at all displeased with UK’s somewhat-delayed scholarship offer, the coaching staff’s presence in North Augusta surely made him feel better. Young’s AAU teammate Wes Clark did say the two players were discussing going to the same school, mentioning only Michigan State and Syracuse. But Young was focused on Kentucky, and instead mentioned the possibility of forming a super class in Lexington. Young also talked of waiting until spring to make a decision. That seems unlikely given his other recent comments. What’s probably more likely is that he’ll commit to the Cats in the next few weeks. One development that could derail that plan would be the reclassification of Andrew Wiggins (keep reading).
UK’s status: Leader

AARON GORDON
Rivals ranking: 5
Decision date: Likely spring
Perhaps the biggest UK news out of the Peach Jam came from Gordon, who returned from injury and led the Oakland Soldiers to the championship. The San Jose native has always had Kentucky on his list, but this time he mentioned the Cats on the same level as the closer-to-home Washington and Arizona. Gordon gave a series of colorful interviews praising Calipari and the UK program. And he told the Cats’ Pause that he has spoken with former Oakland Soldiers star Kyle Wiltjer about life in Lexington. After winning the Peach Jam title, Gordon told ZagsBlog he was “definitely going to go up to Kentucky to see what that’s about.” Gordon might be tough to pry off the West Coast, but Kentucky is clearly making gains in his recruitment.
UK’s status: Top 3

JULIUS RANDLE
Rivals ranking: 2
Decision date: Likely spring
Randle was one of the stars of Peach Jam, but he didn’t really shed any new light on the recruiting process. He made it clear that he has never released an official list of schools he’s interested in, though he was complimentary of several, including UK. Randle will choose from the best programs in the country, and it looks like he’s going to take his time in doing it. He recently said UK was one of three schools that would almost certainly get one of his five official visits. But don’t take that to mean Kentucky is in his top 3. He’s already taken unofficial visits to several schools on his list, and he’s considering a few local ones that he can conveniently visit any time. Randle’s recruitment is a long way from being decided.
UK’s status: Top 5

JABARI PARKER
Rivals ranking: 1
Decision date: November
Parker missed the Peach Jam with an injury, and he hasn’t said much of anything since tweeting his final 10 schools earlier this month. But others are speaking on his behalf. Chicago recruiting expert Roy Schmidt said over the weekend that Kentucky was one of three schools with a legitimate shot at Parker. The other two — Duke and Michigan State — have long thought to be at the top of Parker’s list and there’s been nothing to indicate that has changed. Despite Schmidt’s claim, UK is probably still in a small pack of schools behind Duke and Michigan State. Parker is expected to whittle his list to five in the next few weeks, but that probably won’t clear anything up. The Blue Devils and Spartans will surely survive. UK will probably be fighting Kansas, North Carolina and BYU for one of the other three spots. Hometown DePaul, Florida, Georgetown and Stanford are the others in the final 10.
UK’s status: Top 5

ANDREW WIGGINS
Rivals ranking: 1 (in 2014)
Decision date: Who knows?
OK, he’s not even in the class of 2013. But he could be. And if that happens, several recruiting services will likely make Wiggins the No. 1 recruit in that class. Many of the best players in the country were at the Peach Jam and Wiggins was clearly the best among them. He again confirmed that UK and Florida State are recruiting him the hardest, and many consider the Cats the favorite. Wiggins and his coaches say there has been no decision and little discussion regarding a possible move to 2013, but that talk can’t be held off too much longer. Calipari barely missed a minute of his games before departing North Augusta after the quarterfinals. And there was always at least one UK coach in the stands while he was on the court. Wiggins might already be Calipari’s biggest target. If he moves to 2013, there will be no doubt.
UK’s status: Top 2

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  One Response to “Where does UK stand with class of 2013 stars?”

  1. Everybody seems to be in agreement not only in UK circles, but national recruiting circles that the Twins are leaning towards Kentucky. Watch Papa H’s interview here and you tell me where he wants his kids to go. “Bub” he refers to there is Maryland assistant Bino Ranson, who is a good friend of Sr since High School.
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/recruiting-blog/bal-harrison-brothers-dazzle-aau-crowd-at-baltimore-city-community-college-20120716,0,6553171.story

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