Get your John Calipari jabs in now while you still can. Kentucky will be back.
Yesterday Prestonwood High School (Dallas, Tx.) forward Julius Randle committed to the Wildcats, joining what some are calling the greatest college basketball recruiting class of all time. Indeed, Kentucky now has commitments from six of the top 20 players in the country according to most rankings: Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Marcus Lee and Randle.
The significance of those rankings cannot be understated. While there is always the possibility that scouts were just wrong, don’t forget that unlike high school football prospects, elite high school basketball players compete against each other all summer on the AAU circuit. They have been tested against the best competition, and they don’t have to make much of an adjustment to the college game. All six guys should be ready to contribute immediately for Kentucky.
Moreover, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein have announced that they intend to return to Lexington next season.
The incoming class plus the potential return of three experienced rising sophomores is enough to get any member of Big Blue Nation hyped up, but what happens if Andrew Wiggins, AKA the “Canadian LeBron James”, decides to take his talents to Kentucky as well? Even with Randle’s commitment, it appears that Kentucky still has room to offer at least one more basketball scholarship next season.
Although Duke commit Jabari Parker gets more press, Wiggins is the consensus top-ranked prospect in the 2013 class. The 6’7″ forward will reportedly decide between Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State.
Assuming that Wiggins will be a “one and done”, Kentucky seems to be the logical choice for him if winning a national championship is his main goal next season.
A lot of basketball fans often wonder what would happen if the worst NBA team in a given season played the best college team from that same year. Considering that Randle, the Harrison twins, Johnson and maybe James Young would all be lottery picks if they were allowed to enter the draft now, Kentucky may very well be sending a lottery caliber NBA team out onto the court in 2013-14 with or without Wiggins.
Still, the addition of Wiggins would to John Calipari’s impressive haul would make the Wildcats lethal. The determining factor for Wiggins will likely be whether or not he wants to be a star amongst stars at Kentucky, or be the star at Kansas, North Carolina or Florida State.
If Wiggins does end up choosing Kentucky, we should probably start the “can they go undefeated?” talk now.