Last year, I wrote an article that ranked the top ten players that came to the University of Kentucky based on their 24/7 Sports recruiting ranking. Each recruit is given a ranking of a number between 0-1. That number was then what I used to make the list. There was no opinion of my own in it, just the facts.
In doing this, I learned that while some recruiting rankings are right on the money, there are a lot of instances where it is way off. The list of the ten guys coming into Kentucky is probably very different from what a lot of us would rank them while they leave.
When doing some digging into their 0-1 “player ranking” stat today, I noticed that they average those numbers across a recruiting class to give each class their “ranking.” Now, this can obviously be very misleading. Calipari taking a player like three-star Eloy Vargas could really bring a class’ ranking down.
With all of that being said, I still found it interesting when they ranked Calipari’s 11 recruiting classes based on that number. Again, this is not my ranking or really even their’s, instead, it uses their number PRIOR to getting to Kentucky. The list is as follows:
11. Class of 2010 (Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Eloy Vargas, and Stacey Poole) — 0.9662
10. Class of 2009 (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Jon Hood, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, Darnell Dodson) — 0.9685
9. Class of 2015 (Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray, Isaac Humphries, Isaiah Briscoe, Mychal Mulder, Charles Matthews) – 0.9715
8. Class of 2013 (Harrison twins, Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins) – 0.9728
7. Class of 2019 (Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen, Johnny Juzang) – 0.9834
6. Class of 2017 (Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Nick Richards, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, Jarred Vanderbilt, Quade Green, Jemarl Baker) – 0.9906
5. Class of 2012 (Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein) – 0.9935
4. Class of 2018 (Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery) – 0.9937
3. Class of 2014 (Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles, Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker) – 0.9942
2. Class of 2016 (Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones) – 0.9955
1. Class of 2011 (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer) – 0.9972
As you can see, the lower scores usually have at least one player that is a three-star. For example, Eloy Vargas and Stacey Poole didn’t help the ranking of the 2010 class, just like Mychal Mulder brought down the 2015 class.
These numbers obviously mean nothing, but I found them interesting. What was even more interesting were the names of some of the earlier Calipari recruits. Guys like Stacey Poole or Darnell Dodson are easily forgotten amongst the elite talent that has come through the program.
Quite possibly the craziest stat of all is not one tied into Calipari at all. In fact, it belongs to Billy Gillispie. The class of 2008, that featured DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, Kevin Galloway, Josh Harrellson, and Donald Williams was given a rating of 0.9996 by 24/7 Sports. I am still digging to try and find out the reason why, but it is puzzling that that class somehow tops all of Calipari’s.
Overall, this is just further proof that reading into rankings can be misleading, but four of the five best teams in the Calipari era are probably ranked at the top of that list, so it isn’t completely useless.