I look for any opportunity to use this.
After the Peach Jam, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog is starting to gain an appreciation of what Kentucky fans have suspected for several months: the 2013 class could be Kentucky’s best ever. With literally at least half of the top ten considered mild- to heavy-UK leans, Calipari has a chance to earn himself quite a few cakes over the course of the next year, even though he’d probably prefer “birthday cake” frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf. But with the pieces getting closer and closer to falling into place, Zagoria took some in the above article to examine exactly where Kentucky stands with the best players in the country.
He also had some time to talk to a few of the recruits about the school. When asked what it would be like to get a group of top-ten 2013 players together, James Young and Julius Randle had some interesting remarks:
“Great class, I don’t think we can be stopped,” Young, a 6-7 wing from Troy, Mich., told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam. “Honestly if we get that class together, I think we’ll be tough to beat.”
“I think it could be the best class they’ve ever had,” the 6-foot-9 Randle out of Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Academy said at the event.
I particularly like Young’s use of the word “we” in his brief statement. Although he hasn’t officially signed, it seems like he’s already mentally preparing himself to be a Wildcat, and is used to the idea. I think it really is just a matter of time for Young, and the only reason he wouldn’t sign is because of a potential clutter at the wing positions. That said, I hope to see him in UK Blue next year. And Randle, in acknowledging that it could be the best class UK has ever had, has to realize what the last “greatest” class did at the school. Surely that’s more than a slight temptation.
Interestingly, Zagoria thinks the Harrison twins could be “the first domino to fall.” While they seem to be a slight UK lean over Maryland, the next-closest school, they haven’t been nearly as vocal in their UK adoration as James Young. Then again, we remember how excited Quincy Miller was before he ultimately signed with Baylor. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen with Young, but we’ll see. If people think that the Harrisons could be the first to pull the trigger, though, then that’s perfectly fine with me. Those two are an instant backcourt: just add a ball.
With so many on the list, however, common sense shows that there simply isn’t room for everybody:
Of course, Kentucky won’t likely get all of these guys — but they will get some of them.
With four or five of those guys, I think Kentucky will be absolutely terrifying (consider that we’re casually throwing out terms like “four or five” in regards to the nation’s top ten players; how times have changed since BCG). Throw in a few from this year’s roster who will have some time in the system, and experience in big college games, and you’re looking at a fairly dominant team. And all this is, of course, not taking into account the possible reclassification of Matt Jones’ new golden child Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins could turn out to be the Nerlens Noel of this year, in the sense that he might not decide to reclassify until the spring…and then he could pick Kentucky over Florida State, where his parents attended.
Any comparison to Noel is a good one, in my book, although I think I’ve convinced myself that Wiggins would be a better fit in 2014. Still, no matter what year he graduates, I think all Kentucky fans want Cal to get him on the roster.
So while the article doesn’t necessarily contain any brand new information, it’s a great summary on where UK stands, and is worth a look. It’s always good when someone outside the fanbase recognizes that something scary is going on, and appreciates the work that Cal has been putting in. Now we just have to wait and see how it pays out in the coming months.