It is a different beast covering recruiting in the John Calipari era. He only offers 5-7 guys, ends up getting 4 of them and in the process, usually rakes in the top overall class in America. While it is great for the basketball program and makes following the Cats immensely exciting, it also takes some of the overall buzz away from recruiting coverage in general. Whereas talk was once prevalent over “what are Patterson and Lucas doing” and “just wait until Vinny Zollo grows into those feet”, now we know Calipari is going to get a great class. The question is not if, but simply when.
Nevertheless, it is important we know who the main contenders are for the crown of being the next top Kentucky recruit. With that in mind, today’s news concerning 2012 big man from upstate New York, Dajuan Coleman, is interesting. Coleman is John Calipari’s #1 powerful big man target for 2012. I am told that the staff sees Coleman as playing the same role as Josh Harrelson this past season, but with more skill. He is a banger and can shoot from the outside, while muscling down low with his 6’10″, 280 pound frame. HE will make an immediate impact in college basketball and could cement the post for UK in the 2012-2013 season.
Today Coleman told CBSSports.com that Syracuse and Kentucky are 1 and 1A for his services at this point. Coleman considers Syracuse his “hometown” team but he also loves Kentucky and Calipari and plans on visiting the campus later this year. He is being pursued by North Carolina, Pittsburgh and UCONN among others, but for Coleman, the hometown Orange and Wildcats apparently stand out.
Can Calipari pull another Terrence Jones and get a player to leave his hometown area and travel across the country to become a first round NBA draft pick? In recruiting, betting against Calipari is a fool’s game. But one thing is clear, Coleman is part of the Calipari “dream class” for 2012 (likely joined by Shabazz Muhammad, Archie Goodwin and potentially Ricardo Ledo) and will get the full-court press from the staff beginning next week.