John Calipari has already built one of the top recruiting classes for 2014 — No. 2 in the country in most rankings — but UK is still looking to add one or two more players for next season.
The current class consists of five-star post players Karl Towns Jr. and Trey Lyles, and four-star guards Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker. Calipari has said he would like at least one more player on the perimeter in that group.
Earlier this week, we looked at who might fill out UK’s football recruiting class. Here’s a closer look at where things stand with the basketball class of 2014:
Myles Turner | Center | Euless, Texas
Scout ranking: No. 2 overall
247Sports Crystal Ball: Kansas (71%)
Turner is the No. 1 available player, and some analysts believe he could be the best player in the senior class. UK is among his final seven or eight schools, but the Cats have some stiff competition. Turner has already taken an official visit to Ohio State and is scheduled for an official visit to Oklahoma State in a couple of weeks. UK will try to get him on campus for one of his three remaining visits, which will take place after his high school season. Though the Cats remain in the mix, Lexington seems like an unlikely landing spot for Turner. The UK frontcourt next season will likely consist of Towns, Lyles, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee — all players who will play primarily in the post. It’s more likely that Turner will stay in Big 12 country, with Kansas, Oklahoma State and Texas looking like the favorites.
Rashad Vaughn | Shooting guard | Robbinsdale, Minn.
Scout ranking: No. 13 overall
247Sports Crystal Ball: Iowa State (42%)
Vaughn, who is playing his senior season at Findlay Prep (Nev.), has already taken official visits to UNLV and Iowa State – the two perceived favorites — and is scheduled for an official trip to North Carolina next month. He said over the weekend that he will also take an official to UK, though that visit has not been finalized. It looks as if one of those four schools will be his college destination. Vaughn has said that he would like to make his decision in February or March, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he waited until after the season to see what Andrew and Aaron Harrison do. If the twins go pro, UK could be a major player in Vaughn’s recruitment. If the twins stay, the Cats will be in good shape with a guard rotation that consists of the Harrisons, Dominique Hawkins, Booker and Ulis.
Montaque Gill-Caesar | Small forward | Vaughan, Ontario
Scout ranking: No. 18 (in 2015)
247Sports Crystal Ball: Kentucky (
Gill-Caesar is still contemplating a move to the Class of 2014 and has set no timetable for that decision. If he does reclassify, the Huntington Prep star will have a UK scholarship offer. Gill-Caesar is a do-everything-type player who can carve out a role on any team, so what UK’s current players decide to do will likely have little impact on his decision or UK’s interest level. The prediction here is that Gill-Caesar will join the Class of 2014, but that doesn’t necessarily make UK a lock for his commitment. He’s legitimately interested in Michigan State, Kansas, West Virginia and several other schools. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he was playing for any of those programs next season.
(Update: 247Sports national analyst Jerry Meyer switched his Crystal Ball prediction from UK to Michigan State on Wednesday. Gill-Caesar is expected to visit East Lansing sometime soon).
Torian Graham | Shooting guard | Raleigh, N.C.
Scout ranking: Not rated
247Sports Crystal Ball: Missouri (100%)
Graham and two teammates were arrested last week and suspended indefinitely from the Chipola (Fla.) junior college team. Graham was seen as a backup plan for UK even before that incident. He almost certainly will not be a realistic option for the Wildcats now.
The only other uncommitted player in the Scout.com Top 100 is Huntington Prep guard JaQuan Lyle, who is not being recruited by Kentucky. Australian point guard Dante Exum is listing UK in his final five, but he is projected to be a top-five pick in this year’s NBA Draft and is widely expected to skip college and go straight to the pros. Kentucky has expressed some interest in Egyptian big man Anas Osama Mahmoud – currently playing high school ball in Florida — but he seems like a long shot to join the Wildcats. If UK adds anyone to its recruiting class that is not on this list, it will likely be a transfer with immediate eligibility or a currently committed/signed player who backs out of his pledge due to a coaching change.