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Apr 182013
 
Kentucky's McDonald's All-Americans, left to right, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, James Young and Julius Randle. Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins are also part of UK's eight-man recruiting class. Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Kentucky’s McDonald’s All-Americans, left to right, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, James Young and Julius Randle. Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins are also part of UK’s eight-man recruiting class.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s

UK released a statement Thursday announcing the signings of 2013 recruits Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins. The three late commitments join the Harrison twins, James Young, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis in UK’s eight-man class.

John Calipari had comments on each of the new signees. Here they are:

Calipari on Randle …

“Julius is another hard-working player who is a great student and person along with being a dominator on the court. He has that will to win that the players I’ve had who have become special have all had. That motor will be important to our success next year. Julius has the skill set to be an inside-outside guy for us. He has the ability to put it on the floor and beat guys off the dribble, but he’s also got the toughness, size and ability to score against bigger defenders. At the end of the day, he’s a true leader whose personal drive is off the charts.”

Calipari on Johnson …

“Dakari’s improvement over the last year and a half has been phenomenal. His ability to be a true low-post threat adds an important piece to what our team will really need. He’s patient when he gets the ball on the block and has a great understanding for how to use his size for a kid his age. Dakari is a great student and a great kid. He’s won a high school championship, a world championship with Team USA, and he said he wants to win a national championship with us and an NBA championship. That statement says a lot about the type of winner he is.”

Calipari on Hawkins …

“I kept hearing about Dominique from Marquis Estill and my good friend Dr. Robert Palmer. When I watched him play, lead his team, and play with a will to win and fight, I was totally sold. At the Sweet Sixteen, he made sure he got his teammates involved and was always happy with their success, but when it was time to take over the game – when it was winning time – everyone in the building knew they were going to play through Dominique, which they did, and they won. The last UK player who was named Kentucky Mr. Basketball and won a state title in the same year was Darius Miller. He went to two Final Fours, won a national title and is now playing in the NBA. My hope is Dominique will be on the same path.”

Calipari on his No. 1-ranked recruiting class …

“The thing I like most about this group is its competitive spirit and its will to win. These guys are All-Americans and award winners, but more importantly they’re world champions, national champions and state champions. They know what it takes to win. The size and talent of the group will allow us to have tough, hard-nosed practices which will carry over to the games. I’m excited for the opportunity to coach this group.”

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  One Response to “UK announces signings of Randle, Hawkins, Johnson”

  1. It will be nice to see two competitors at every position next year. That is a luxury we did not have this year. I feel good that Willis, Hawkins, and Lee will be back for another year, and maybe Wiltjer. If Johnson, Lee, and another stays along with Towns, we could be even better next year. This should be a fun year, but don’t forget some of the returning players on other teams for next year. Again I t will be freshmen against seniors. Poythress and Stein has to make giant strides for us to be successful. John

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