Kentucky is at it once again. Another year, another top recruiting class in the country. And to make things even scarier, they may not necessarily be done. Coach Cal is still in the mix with elite forwards Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon, and landing one of the three would give the Wildcats the best recruiting class since Michigan’s Fab Five. Given the fact that they already have 5 McDonald’s All Americans, we figured that we’d give you a closer look at what could become the best recruiting class of all time.
Andrew Harrison, 6’5, Point Guard, Fort Bend Travis (TX)- Andrew has been a bit banged up the last few times that I’ve seen him, but when he’s 100 percent, there isn’t a better lead guard in the country. He’s got a devastating crossover, can finish through contact, and has outstanding court vision. To top it off, Harrison can be a lockdown defender at either guard position due to his size and strength. It’s going to be interesting to see how things work out with Ryan Harrow still potentially being around, but given Andrew’s competitive nature, expect him to do everything in his power to take the starting point guard spot from him.
Aaron Harrison, 6’5, Shooting Guard, Fort Bend Travis (TX)- The other half of the Harrison twins plays off of the ball, but is still a nightmare to defend. Aaron is a really nice ball handler for a scoring guard, is a creative finisher in the paint, and shoots the lights out of the ball from deep. Like Andrew, Aaron is a lockdown defender and may even be a little bit more athletic than his brother. Given his ability to create his own shot with ease, expect him to make a huge impact at UK.
James Young, 6’6, Shooting guard/Small Forward, Troy HS (MI)- One of the best pure scorers in the class, James Young absolutely lit up the Nike circuit this past spring and summer. He was named MVP of the Global Challenge and led the EYBL in scoring for a decent stretch. What makes the 6’6 lefty so tough to guard is the variety of ways he can put the ball through the basket. He can kill you from deep, has an above average handle for a swingman, and has the athleticism to finish above you at the rim. James is the type of guy who doesn’t need a play ran for him, which is why he will fit in perfectly at Kentucky.
Marcus Lee, 6’10, Power Forward, Deer Valley HS (CA)- There were few players who shot up the boards the way that Lee has over the last year. He’s 6’10 with a 7’2 wingspan, giving him the size to play both power forward and center. Lee is an outstanding shot-blocker who has a better offensive game than people give him credit for, a la Anthony Davis. No one is expecting the NorCal native to be the #1 pick in next year’s draft, but his vision out of the post and ability to convert nearly everything at the rim with a dunk is going to surprise some people.
Derek Willis, 6’9, Power Forward, Bullitt East (KY)- Willis fits in Cal’s offense, as a face-up power forward who can score in a variety of ways. He does an outstanding job of hitting the trail three pointer, can pass the ball out of the high post, and does a great job on the offensive glass. The least highly touted of Cal’s recruits, Willis won’t have pressure to contribute immediately and anything he does during his freshman campaign will be an added bonus.
Dakari Johnson, 6’11, Center, Montverde Academy (FL)- One of the nation’s top-5 prospects in the class of 2014, Dakari bumped up to the class of 2013 and popped to UK. With roots in Lexington, Dakari will bring UK their most traditional back to the basket scoring threat since DeMarcus Cousins. He’s not the most explosive athlete, but Johnson can score in the post with just about anyone in the class of 2013.