Next Cats is back from furlough, and it was a relatively quiet week for UK recruiting.
But that doesn’t mean there was no important news.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest stories from the past few days …
Dakari’s down to three
Dakari Johnson, one of UK’s four remaining targets from the class of 2013, announced at the City of Palms Classic that he will decide between Kentucky, Syracuse and Georgetown. The 6-11 center eliminated Florida, Ohio State and others, and said he does not expect to make a final decision until the spring.
Johnson attended middle school in Lexington and still has close friends and family in the city.
The New York City native was also named the MVP of the prestigious City of Palms event after leading Montverde Academy to the championship.
Parker picks Duke
Jabari Parker — who Sports Illustrated called “The best high school basketball player since LeBron James — made his much-anticipated announcement Thursday. The senior forward out of Chicago picked Duke, choosing the Blue Devils over Michigan State and several others.
Parker and Kentucky went their separate ways over the summer, so the Cats were no longer involved in his recruitment once the big day arrived.
He was quickly introduced to his future archrival when North Carolina fans (among others) taunted him via Twitter. Even a hometown columnist criticized the hoopla surrounding Parker’s decision, calling it a “day of suspenseful silliness.”
But Parker and Duke fans were happy. With the commitment of the No. 2 player in the class, the Blue Devils rose to the No. 2 position in the Scout.com team rankings — behind only Kentucky.
Harrison helps with Randle?
UK target Julius Randle is still sidelined with a broken foot and was not able to participate at City of Palms. But he has had some time to think about his recruitment and talked to ESPN’s Dave Telep about his upcoming decision.
Randle, who won’t make an announcement until the spring, told Telep that the one player he would most like to play with at the college level is UK signee Andrew Harrison.
That’s a great sign for Kentucky, but most of the buzz still has Florida and Texas as the co-leaders for Randle. We’ll have to wait a few more months to find out for sure.
Jones on the mend
Tyus Jones, who has been visited twice by John Calipari in recent weeks, left Tuesday’s game with back spasms and his coach is not sure when he’ll return to action. “I’m not going to bring him back now until he’s 100 percent healthy,” Apple Valley coach Zach Goring told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Jones is generally regarded as the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2014 and many services rank him as the No. 1 overall player. He has narrowed his list to Kentucky and seven other schools.
New offer for Lyle
Florida was the latest school to offer 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle, despite the fact that he narrowed his list earlier this year and didn’t include the Gators.
Kentucky is on Lyle’s list of 10 schools, though UK is the only one of those programs that has not offered him a scholarship. Scout.com ranks Lyle as the No. 13 overall player in the class of 2014.
A few new videos
– Andrew Wiggins had a big game at City of Palms on Thursday, scoring 31 points in front of Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton.
– Several highlights of James Young from the Battle of the Best earlier this week.
– UK commitment Karl Towns talks to KSTV about his life after the college decision and looking forward to wearing blue at Kentucky.