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Cats Hold off Bruins for Top Spot in Rivals 2012 Class Rankings

Despite Ben Howland’s recent addition of Tony Parker, the 27th ranked player in the class of 2012, Rivals still ranks Kentucky’s 2012 class as the best in the country. The Rivals recruiting staff had this to say of Nerlens and company:

With a class that is headlined by three five-star prospects, including the nation’s No. 2-ranked player in Noel, John Calipari and the Wildcats lay claim to the nation’s top recruiting class for the fourth year in a row. Noel, Poythress, Goodwin and Cauley form a group that is likely the most athletic recruiting class put together by any staff in the country and has just enough firepower to hold off hard-charging UCLA for the top spot.

While Coach Cal holds a narrow edge at the moment, the fate of Anthony Bennett, the 7th best player in the class, is still up in the air. Kentucky’s current recruits have waged an impressive Twitter campaign in an attempt to sway the premier big man to Lexington and if they’re successful then the Cats will be the runaway choice for the nation’s top class for a fourth consecutive year. The current class hasn’t been as widely lauded as Calipari’s previous Kentucky hauls, but the addition of Bennett could allow this group a chance to enter the conversation of his most talented recruiting gets. Incorporate Ryan Harrow into that equation, and 2012-2013 may provide us with the deepest crop of impact newcomers that we’ve ever seen – something that’s hard to say considering who we’re losing this year.

Bennett is scheduled to announce his decision in early May. In addition to UK, he is considering Florida, UNLV and Oregon.

Article written by Matthew Hays

24 Comments for Cats Hold off Bruins for Top Spot in Rivals 2012 Class Rankings

  1. cracka
    8:17 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    scout still has us as #1, too … and they do have parker on ucla, so you’d think it’s updated

  2. soggyUKgrad
    8:18 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Noel was the #1 player in the class of 2012??

  3. cracka
    8:26 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    noel is first on scout and espnu, shabazz is first on rivals … anybody else relevant? i don’t know

    here is a good breakdown of uk targets for 2013 –

  4. Ridge Runner
    8:30 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    How is Bennetts grades in HS? Just trying to find out a logical reason he is not a Cat at this stage? Goodness Gracious.

  5. Ridge Runner
    8:31 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I think ESPN is the only 1 who has us #2 & UCLA #1.

  6. Shawn
    8:32 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why would he choose UF, UNLV, or Oregon over UK? Its a no brainer. UF wont even be better than us In the SEC, UNLV Is a great place to go If you want to be approached by bookies around every street corner, and does Orgeon even have a basketball team? Cmon this Is like being at the grocery store and wondering…Do I want to eat prime beef for dinner or should I just run through the Rallys drive thru on the way home? Play at UK and be a millionaire In less than a year or go to the other schools and take 4 years to get un-guranteed money In the second round. Cmon Anthony!

  7. Aaron C Bunch
    8:37 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Shawn summed it up PERFECTLY. Bennett should be the next Wildcat. No brainer!!

  8. Ridge Runner
    8:40 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    7…actually (nothing meant by this) but summing it up is… “Why isn’t he already?”

  9. stevie
    8:46 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Actually, ESPN has UK’s class ranked ahead of UCLA’s. Each school has 4 top 50 recruits, but UK’s average is 17.25, while UCLA average is 18.5

  10. REAL BLY
    8:47 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    I won’t hate Bennett if he doesn’t pick UK….but I will always wonder why in the world he would choose to go somewhere else that’s on his list. Either way…UK will ROCK next year!!!

  11. Ridge Runner
    8:51 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    9…Go to ESPN’s NCAA BB – Recruiting Page

    ESPN 2012 Rankings
    1. UCLA
    2. Kentucky
    3. Arizona
    4. Texas
    5. Baylor

    The higher number you are referring to means the higher ranked team.

  12. SayHarrowToTheRepeat
    8:52 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    The interviewed Cal on the Reds broadcast. He said that they were looking to add one more player and that they were looking at a few guys.

  13. SayHarrowToTheRepeat
    8:52 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    *They interviewed

  14. blitzedanddazed
    8:55 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Bennett is the key to next season for UK. Bennett is the difference between the Cats being really good or the Cats being dominant. The only question is if Bennett wants to except the challenge.
    Can someone post how many scholarships UK has available as of now.

  15. blueblue
    9:07 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    And Cal mentioned Jon Hood as a key for next season. Looks like Hood may have an opportunity to step into Darius Miller’s role IF he is ready to step up…

  16. stevie
    9:08 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    ESPN ranks the four UK players as #1, 13, 15, and 40. Together they add up to 69, and 69 divided by 4 is 17.15.

    ESPN ranks the four UCLA players as #2, 5, 26, and 41. Together they add up to 74, and 74 divided by 4 is 18.5.

    We want the lower number. Like #1 is more favorable than #2.

    This is so simple to u/s that a seven year old near the end of the second grade should be able to figur it out quite easily.

  17. BlueMist
    9:12 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    16) As was pointed out earlier, look man, espn has UK at 2. Yes it sux but qet over it. Its on the front page on the rankings.

  18. Han
    9:13 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Why the hell do they release the final rankings when there’s still a top 10 player (Bennett) left to announce, plus Jefferson, and the kid decommitting from Va Tech.

    They should announce it when the kids enroll, anyway.

    12) Odds are the 1 he means is between Bennett, Jefferson and the Va Tech decommit, but it wouldn’t shock me if he takes for 2 players: 1 of those 3 plus 1 of Graham or the Xavier transfer. Especially Bennett and the Xavier transfer since both are likely to only be in Blue for a year, keeping schollies open for the monster class next year.

  19. stevie
    9:19 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    My seven year old comment was directed at ESPN. By their own rankings UK has the better class, even if it is ever so slight. It can’t be both ways. If they use Rivals rankings UK is the better team. If they use Scout UK is the better team. If they use ESPN UK is the better team. The onlybway they can claim that UCLA has the better class is by tossing ESPN’s own rankings and sustituting them with their own.

  20. TBone
    9:25 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Its a moot point. UK will add one more, at least, in 2012 and whether its currently a narrow lead or slightly behind relative to UCLA, won’t matter.

  21. mashburnfan1
    9:27 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    My Bday is May 4th. If AB is choosing in early May I say go with the 4th and make my Bday more special by saying “I am going to UK for #9.

  22. Ridge Runner
    9:32 pm April 24, 2012 Permalink

    Slightly off subject but… Oh how the mighty have fallen. Michael Bradley and Roscoe Smith have both been released from their UCONN scholarships.

    The fourth and fifth underclassmen to leave the program since the NCAA turned down a waiver request that would have allowed them to play in the 2013 NCAA tournament.

    Along with the players already transferring…wow!

  23. Harlan
    8:33 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    #19–Let me say first that I believe UK has the better recruting class than UK, but just averaging up numbers might not be the way ESPN (or any other organizations for that matter) determines the best recruiting class–you might have players #1, 5, 7, and 9, but if they are all point guards, that wouldn’t make it the best overall recruting class. When ranking recruiting classes–balance has to be considered along with numbers.

  24. stevie
    9:13 am April 25, 2012 Permalink

    23, I u/s your point, but ESPN should have to clarify why they have gone against themselves. And, I believe that UK will reclaim it, but it seems to be rather objective.

    Not only does UK have a better ranking for it four top 50 commits than does UCLA (17.25 vs. 18.5), they also have a higher overall grade. UK 98, 97, 97, 95 ( 96.75) vs. UCLA 98, 97, 96, 95 (96.5).
    UK has three 5 star commits; UCLA has two. UK has four recruits in ESPN’s top 40. UCLA has three.
    I’m all for allowing ESPN to rate classes/players in any way they see fit. I don’t have a problem with this. However, after they do so how can they turn right around and go completely against their own rankings?