John Calipari’s current group of Cats haven’t even played an exhibition game yet.
The UK coach already has enough players to field a team in 2013.
Marcus Lee, a highly touted forward from California, committed to Kentucky on Wednesday, becoming the fifth member of UK’s next recruiting class.
“I think it’s just business as usual with Kentucky,” Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. “Nothing they’re doing any more on the recruiting trail is particularly surprising. They’re going out and getting the players they want, and it’s impressive to watch.”
Scout ranks Lee as the No. 38 recruit in the class of 2013, but other services have the 6-9 forward rated higher. 24/7 Sports (9th), Rivals.com (15th) and ESPN (28th) all have him in the top 30.
Daniels said Lee has “shown a lot of improvement” in the past few months and has come a long way since the analyst first saw him play last fall.
“He grew a couple of inches, he got more fluid, he became a better athlete, he developed some on the offensive end,” Daniels said. “He’s a guy that I think can really impact a game with his ability to run the floor, his ability to contest shots, his ability to rebound. … He has a lot of tools and there’s a lot to like about him.”
If there’s one area where Lee needs to show more improvement, it’s on the offensive end.
Daniels said he could see some progression over the course of the spring and summer, but the new UK commitment needs more work before he can be an offensive threat at the college level.
“His mobility and athleticism are two things that can really help him,” he said. “I think he has good hands. Offensively, he just needs some coaching and to develop a go-to move. And he has worked on it and gotten better.
“I don’t think he’s inept by any means on offense. I just think he needs to fine-tune some things on that end of the floor.”
That said, Lee’s role at UK, at least in the beginning, will be as a rebounder and defensive stopper.
But if he continues to be a high-energy player once he gets to Lexington, the opportunity to score will be there.
“He doesn’t have to put up points to be a factor,” Daniels said. “You know, Kentucky likes to play fast-paced, and the way he runs the floor he’ll get some easy buckets.”
With Lee, Young, Willis and the Harrisons all committed, that leaves four 2013 recruits who have UK scholarship offers but have not yet picked a school.
Top 5 prospects Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon are not expected to announce until the spring. Four-star center Kennedy Meeks also has said he probably won’t sign early. New Jersey forward Tyler Roberson is planning to visit UK on Nov. 2 and make a decision shortly thereafter.
The recruiting world is still awaiting word on whether Andrew Wiggins will reclassify to 2013, and, if he does, whether he’ll choose Kentucky or Florida State. There is no timetable for either of those decisions.
The biggest question regarding Lee’s commitment and its impact on other UK recruits is whether it will have an affect on what Randle decides to do.
Daniels said Lee’s decision probably doesn’t do anything to change Randle’s plans.
“I think those two guys can play together because they play so differently,” he said. “I’m not sure that another post player is really going to scare Julius Randle off. If you look at some of the other schools recruiting him … Florida has Chris Walker. I don’t see that affecting Julius’ recruitment.”
Along with UK and Florida, Randle is considering N.C. State, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.