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ESPN compares the 2013 UK and Kansas classes


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Everyone knows that on paper, the 2013 UK recruiting class is the best in history. But what about on tape? Going position by position, ESPN Insider Paul Biancardi compares UK’s 2013 recruiting class to Kansas’, which, of course, recently added Andrew Wiggins.

He breaks the comparison down into four categories: guards, forwards, centers, and “x-factors.” He gives Andrew and Aaron Harrison the edge over Kansas’ Conner Frankamp (PG), Brannen Greene (SG), and Frank Mason (PG) because of Andrew’s fearlessness and Aaron’s 3-point shot and midrange game. The tandem of Andrew Wiggins and Wanye Selden edges out Randle, Young, Lee and Willis in the forwards category, and Dakari Johnson’s physical presence is more impressive to Biancardi than Joel Embiid’s raw potential.

The X-factor for the Cats? John Calipari, who is the best coach in the nation at getting young talent to mesh: “Luckily for Kentucky, there may be no one better in coaching than Calipari when it comes to shaping elite freshmen into a winning team in a short amount of time.” Biancardi says the X-factor for the Jayhawks will be the power balance between Andrew Wiggins and Perry Ellis. Because Bill Self is good at defining roles and handing out responsibilities, Biancardi calls this a draw.

It’s not often that the team that lands the number one player in the class doesn’t end up having the number one class in the nation, but that’s the case this season. Biancardi concludes that UK’s incoming freshmen aren’t only better than Kansas’, they’re unprecedented:

Kentucky’s 2013 class, however, is historic. It is unprecedented in basketball recruiting to land so many talented players with such a high ranking — five in the top 10 and six in the top 25. If Calipari can get the talent to mesh, Kentucky’s class of incoming recruits has the potential to win the SEC and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

[ESPN Insider: Tale of the tape: UK vs. KU 2013 classes]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR.

29 responses to “ESPN compares the 2013 UK and Kansas classes”

  1. Rei

    Attention Seeker Wiggins and Selden edge out all 4 of those guys? I don’t think so. Randle > Wiggins/Parker

  2. BBN

    I said this before wiggins decided and ill say it again, I think Randle will be the more impactful college player and was important to get for us than wiggins. Randle plays like a junkyard dog and wants to destroy you every possession. He has a true winner’s mentality and everyone is going to love what he brings to the table. No way in hell wiggins/selden are better than our 4 guys.

  3. BOSOX

    Wiggins is a great player and can jump out of the gym! Randle is more physical than Wiggins… Plus Randle was out for almost the entire season. And Parker is Carmelo like, we will see how they do this year… Like #2 said no way in heck Wiggins and Selden is better than Randle, Young, Lee and Willis… Look at ESPN’s overall #1; only Anthony Davis was dominant in college and Nerlens would have been if not for season ending injury!

  4. UK Homer

    Is he saying KU’s forwards can beat our forwards in a game of 2 on 4?

  5. ESPNot

    Look, we know UK should get the edge at every position, but we have to keep our viewer ratings up in KS, right?

  6. OJDIDIT

    I know that some will disagree and that’s fine. However, I WANT TO PLAY KANSAS. I hope the national championship game is us VS them. I would never be one of the people who talk bad about a kid choosing to play somewhere else but there needs to be a message sent to future recruits. “If you go somewhere besides UK you are not reaching your full potential”. Anywhere you go other than UK will get you at best one thing…. SECOND PLACE.

  7. bmt22033

    Only time will tell if I’m right but I firmly believe Julius Randle is a better player than Andrew Wiggins. No slight to Wiggins because he’s capable of being a great player, too, but I think Randle is going to be a *very* rare talent. And according to ESPN’s own rankings, James Young is the #8 player (#3 SF) in the class while Wayne Selden is the #14 player (and #4 SF). Even if you completely disregard the impact of Marcus Lee (which would be crazy) and Derek Willis, I think you’d still be hard pressed to say that Wiggins/Selden > Randle/Young. But ESPN is not known for their logic and if you know that going in, you can take this sort of article with a big grain of salt.

  8. yooooo

    Lets not forget that they don’t have a returning starter and our bench will have our starters from last year on it. We’ll be
    alot deeper than them and have a little better starting 5. We should be able to win that game pretty easily when it happens.
    I want to see it! Make it happen in March NCAA!

  9. bbr

    plus wiggins and selden both play the same position (which I thought made his choice a little odd). if u have them both on the floor at the same time Randle would destroy whichever would try and guard him

  10. CadizCat

    Wiggins is better than any player we have, which is why every single recruiting service has him rated #1, and why he will be the #1 pick in next year’s draft. However, our overall class is better than theirs in my opinion.

  11. dave

    actually i would love to see a game of 2-on-2 of randle/young vs wiggins/selden. not sure id trade wiggins/selden for young/lee/randle tho.

  12. UK

    The thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that they rank Embiid ahead of Dakari in their rankings, but give Dakari the edge over Embiid in the article. Basically they are saying Dakari is better right now but in 5 years they want to look good and say they had Embiid higher than everyone else.

  13. Deepblue

    10) unfortunately for Randle that matchup has already happened and wiggins was the clear winner. Fortunately for us Randle has a lot more help than Wig.

  14. Al/in/Indy

    Espn knows there’ll be some knuckle heads that will pound them because of this article. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it…..nothing new here, ESpn will just be……Espn!

  15. Your Momma

    #13 – Deepblue – Clear winner???

    Wiggins won an overtime game that was neck & neck.

    Seriously, it was back & forth until the final second.

  16. Rockfield, KY

    As far as pure potential, I don’t know if anyone can touch Wiggins. However, how will Wiggins fare when he gets roughed up by a guy his size and comparable athleticism? Randle is mean when on the court, and even though he’s touted as a shooter, James Young will D him up and play physical. That’s Detroit basketball.

  17. Cesar Romero's Mustache

    “If Calipari can get the talent to mesh, Kentucky’s class of incoming recruits has the potential to win the SEC and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.” Way to go out on a limb there.

  18. Capt Obvious

    “If Calipari can get the talent to mesh, Kentucky’s class of incoming recruits has the potential to win the SEC and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.”

    That is a ridiculous understatement. If this team “meshes,” they will win the SEC with no significant conference challenges, will win the NCAA tournament more definitively than any team in over a decade, and will possibly go 40-0.

  19. me

    They have the KU frontcourt freshman ranked so highly because every single analyst that has ever seen Wiggins play is enamored with him. The guys on here saying Randle will be better than Wiggins this year are wayyyy out on a limb. It’s possible that Randle is a better teammate, has a more impactful season, or whatever – and sure, he might even be a better get for our specific team than Wiggins would have been (but that’s a stretch).

    But Wiggins is the only guy in this absolutely loaded overall recruiting class who is hailed as a once-in-a-generation talent. I think the comparisons to LeBron are silly, but Wiggins is the real deal.

    That said, I like our chances matching our freshman vs. KU’s. If you include our returning stars (WCS, Poythress, and Wiltjer) I don’t think there’s even a comparison.

  20. bosshog

    As I predicted, neither UK fans nor the site can go one day without talking about Andrew Wiggins. Only on thing is certain: there has never been one player whose mention has become more tiresome and hackneyed than this kid. Perhaps when he goes to the NBA we can finally stop talking about him-God speed the day.

  21. wilt

    I’d take Randle Lee and Young over Wiggins and Sheldon. Better positional diversity and obviously gives you a 5* player to bring fresh off the bench.

    I think Randle has the body and attitude to dominate on the college level, I do not believe he’ll be able to match Wiggins in the pros though.

  22. Bbob

    I too think with no disrespect to Wiggins that Randle will be #1 NBA pick next year. As the guessing above goes i want to call to your attn. Sitting on UK’s bench is Alex P. whom will be an monster this year and Willy whom will defend the basket tell them Willie Boy is here .Now add our 6ft.5″ walk on and this class gets deeper .This season is an deep and loaded with talent season accross the country . Kansas is an great team this year however in all honesty Lousville will be an much better club than Kansas and more of an danger to beat my Cats. I’m not sure if the Nation can gasp but there’s an chance the Title may not leave the State of Kentucky for years to come . Probally the 2 best coach’s coach in the bluegrass state .

  23. NineWillBeFine

    20.

    The KSR story is a reaction to an ESPN article, so not really KSR’s fault their. And the fans here are talking about the Kansas recruiting class, which in case you somehow missed it, includes Andrew Wiggins. What the hell did you think the comments would be about? Meteor showers that the public will be able to see in fall 2017?

  24. NineWillBeFine

    *their is supposed to be “there” in my first sentence, for any grammar nerds out there eager to correct it for me

  25. Marcel

    Sometimes, these cars might be converted into valuable classic cars and treasured for years in the future.
    Taking a vintage car off the road and recycling it should be good to the environment, but only when it’s done inside right way. But using an old, rusty car occupy some part of your residential premises is not a pleasant thing in any respect.

  26. Glenna Harris

    I know that this was mentioned briefly, but I want to repeat it because in my opinion it is significant. Julius Randle was out most of last season. I believe he might have been touted by some as the #1 player in the class before his injury. Think about it. Would Wiggins be as lauded as he is if he had been out most of last year? Julius will catch and surpass him.

  27. Wickedson

    Wiggins vs Randle at Nike Peach Jam

    Wiggins – 28 points in victory

    Randle – 15 points in losing

    Even a Robert Morris student can tell you who’s better.

  28. KYIA

    I think Kansas will be lucky to have a season like UK had last year with the young team that seems more interested in how quick he could go play for Canadian team than preparing for the up coming season.Which does not make for team play only me play

  29. blakers

    You wildcat fans need to cherish every season like its your last because with the squid as your coach its only a matter of time before your beloved cats are on probation like every other team he has coached in the past! He’s gonna run you through the ringer and move on and not give a damn about the devastation he left for you fans and the university! Great coach….I think not!