UK’s pool of 2013 recruits is becoming more clear

 Posted by at 3:06 PM on September 24, 2012
Sep 242012

Jabari Parker is in the process of hosting nine in-home visits, but UK isn’t one of them.
Photo: Associated Press

With the contact period in full swing and John Calipari racking up the frequent-flyer miles, the number of recruits that seem to be serious UK targets is starting to dwindle.

On Monday, new stories on Jabari Parker, Demetrius Jackson and Beejay Anya hit the web. Combined, those three stories were more than 2,800 words. Not one of those words was “Kentucky.”

It’s really not surprising in any of these three cases, but it is telling.

So far in this contact period, Calipari has visited eight recruits from the class of 2013 — Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, James Young, Marcus Lee, Kennedy Meeks and Tyler Roberson. All eight of those recruits now have UK offers.

Basically, Cal doesn’t seem to be wasting his time with players he doesn’t think will end up in Lexington.

Parker is the most highly touted 2013 prospect that Calipari has yet to meet with. Though UK is on his list of 11 schools, Parker hasn’t arranged a visit with the Wildcats and there are no indications that one is in the plans. The UK coach was in Chicago last week to meet with 2014 stars Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor, but he didn’t drop in on Parker, who has scheduled meetings with nine other schools.

Parker’s in-home visits will be finished this week, and he will then trim his list to the five schools where he plans to take official visits in anticipation of a possible fall decision. Odds are he won’t be in Lexington anytime soon.

The reason for the (apparent) end of the UK/Parker relationship is two-fold. First, Michigan State and Duke have long been considered the favorites in his recruitment, and UK never really broke into that discussion. Second, UK has plenty of other solid options at his position that are more likely to pick the Cats. (A reclassified Andrew Wiggins comes to mind).

Jackson was seen as a possible fall-back option at point guard should the Cats miss out on the Harrison twins. But the Indiana native hasn’t received a visit from Calipari despite implying that UK was among his top five schools a few weeks ago. Jackson visited Notre Dame over the weekend, and it looks like he’ll either choose Illinois or the Irish.

Anya was briefly on UK’s radar as a possible frontcourt option for 2013, but he’s made little mention of the Cats in recent months. Indiana hired one of his former AAU coaches, and the Hoosiers are now squarely in the mix with Syracuse, Ohio State, N.C. State and others.

Troy Williams, another 2013 recruit with previous ties to UK, also hasn’t mentioned the Cats in a while. Williams nearly committed to Kentucky in the spring before reopening his recruitment to include several new schools. Though he seemed a top target at one time, Calipari hasn’t visited Williams and it seems the Virginia native no longer has a UK scholarship offer.

A few others, such as Jermaine Lawrence, Johnathan Williams and Dominic Woodson are still considering Kentucky. But they haven’t seen much interest from the UK coaching staff in the last couple of weeks. Five-star forward Noah Vonleh announced Monday that he would reclassify from 2014 to 2013, but immediate reports made no mention of UK being a major player in his recruitment.

As Calipari and these prospects go their separate ways, the pool of possible future Cats gets even clearer.

So, barring unforeseen developments, it looks as if UK’s recruiting class of 2013 will be some combination of the following 10 players:

Derek Willis: UK’s only commitment so far.

The Harrison twins: They’re expected to pick UK or Maryland before November.

Julius Randle: The do-everything forward is expected to wait until the spring.

James Young: Michigan wing has UK high on his list and could commit at any time.

Aaron Gordon: California dunk machine is expected to visit UK next month.

Marcus Lee: The only confirmed 2013 visitor for Big Blue Madness.

Tyler Roberson: New Jersey forward narrowed his list to UK and five others Sunday.

Kennedy Meeks: Big-bodied North Carolina center got his UK offer earlier this month.

Andrew Wiggins: UK is considered the favorite and he could reclassify to 2013.


  10 Responses to “UK’s pool of 2013 recruits is becoming more clear”

  1. Go get em Cal. We know you will end up with another top ranked class.

  2. 100% 2013 Wildcats!!!!!!

    Derek Willis

    The Harrison twins

    Julius Randle

    James Young

    Aaron Gordon

    Andrew Wiggins


  4. With Parker’s deep Mormon ties and visits to BYU, it’s surprising that they are not near the top of the list. The more that came out about Parker’s very religious and spiritual faith, the more it didn’t look like he would have been a good fit at UK from both his perspective and the UK staff.

  5. Coach is playing in right this time. No need to beg or romance future players.
    When the recruits decide Kentucky is THE PLACE for next level, they have to *&^% or get off the pot. No need to beg . . .Coach has an impressive record of success with Kentucky being the next step in a VERY FINANCIALLY REWARDING CAREER.

  6. I hope UK works hard at getting Marcus Lee. This guy is really good! He can block shots like Davis, he is a great scorer under the basket, a great rebounder, he can dribble, just a great defender and he is 6’10” tall (maybe taller by now). I like him better than Parker. Parker is a great player, but in my opinion, he is no better than Marcus Lee. Marcus Lee will shock some people with his skill set! He may be the most under rated player in the top 100.

  7. I guess when the Harrison twins announce,, everything else will fall into place


  9. Cal has several offers out to the class of 2013, and I can’t wait for the pieces to fall. I hope they get Lee because he is maybe the best player of the group. Wiggins, the Harrisons, Young, Randle, and the return of Stein could make UK the knight at the ball. Go Cal, and thanks for ignoring Parker and Williams. They would not be good team mates for UK’s team first approach. And in passing here’s hoping Trocha signs with UK. He could be a future star in the UK tradition.

  10. If Wiggins reclassifies (which I think he will), UK could very well have the #1,2, 4,5, and 9th ranked players in the class (which is predicated on Wiggins being #1 and Gordon not coming to UK)…certainly Kennedy Meeks at C could also join, but perhaps Cauley-Stein will remain for another year…the 2013 class has all the makings of the greatest all-time recruiting class…Wiggins, Randle, Harrison twins, Young..adding to the Cats that decide to stay after 2012-2013 season…oh my…

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