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Marcus Lee picks Kentucky

Just as everyone expected, Marcus Lee announced his commitment to play basketball for the University of Kentucky, picking the Cats over California. It became apparent that Kentucky was his choice earlier this week when he tweeted how much he loved his visit to Big Blue Madness, and then canceled his visit to Cal, which was scheduled for this weekend.

Lee is the fifth member of Kentucky’s 2013 recruiting class and the fourth commitment in less than a month.

A little bit about him…


200 lbs.
Antioch, California
Deer Park High School No. 15 player overall, No. 5 power forward

ESPN Recruiting: No. 28 in the ESPN Top 100 No. 38 player overall, No. 2 center


ESPN Recruiting Report…

This is one of those players that, from a scouting perspective, gets you excited and tests your ability to see value over a long term. Lee is an electric athlete, the kind that runs the floor with grace and finishes with length and explosion. There’s an air of Derrick Williams in his game. Like Williams, he’s a bit of a late bloomer but unlike Williams, he bloomed pre-senior season. He’s active at the rim and swats shots. Inside the lane, if he shakes free he’ll try and dunk. Can face and go.

One of the main things holding him back is strength; he doesn’t have any. Has a tendency to get pushed out of position in the post. Typically is a good finisher but when he struggles it’s with contact. Perimeter game is lacking and all he really needs is mid-range stuff. He’s smack in the middle of prospect and player which normally wouldn’t be a good thing but given his developmental timeline it’s not a problem.

Bottom Line:
Opinions will vary on him but most will place him amongst the top 20-50 players in the country. We’re being slightly aggressive with his ranking and projection because of the athletic traits, IQ on the floor and we’re seeing him hit markers. There’s no middle ground for a guy like this. He either fully gets it and becomes a bonafide star or he’s stuck in prospect mode and just gets by. We’re banking that his rate of improvement continues and Lee develops — as a senior or FR in college — into one of the top forwards in the class. Recruiting Report…

Marcus Lee is an athletic center who possesses very high upside due to his length and athleticism. At this stage of his career, Lee specializes as a shot blocker and rebounder. Offensively he’s raw and will have to work on his footwork, post moves and continue to grow comfortable with his left hand. Added strength will also help his offense. Regardless, he’s a very good post prospect who will be recruited at a high level due to his upside.


Welcome aboard.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

79 Comments for Marcus Lee picks Kentucky

  1. Cracker Darrell
    4:30 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    welcome to BBN

  2. Rambo
    4:30 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink


  3. Marty
    4:32 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Marcus, you made the right decision. Kentucky is the best . Welcome aboard.

  4. Axe Cop
    4:33 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Right now is like Hanukkah for UK. Everyday brings a gift of a new great recruit.

    Welcome to the BBN, Mr. Lee.

  5. tom
    4:34 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Excellent. Welcome to Lexington Mr. Lee

  6. natural macaroni
    4:34 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink


  7. Joker
    4:34 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait to coach him down

  8. Dave in Bangkok
    4:35 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    What accounts for the disparate rankings from the three primary recruit services?

    I don’t recall a kid being evaluated so confusingly before.

    Regardless, I trust the evaluation abilities of Cal and Team moreso than these recruiting services.

    Congrats to the latest member of the 2013-2014 National Championship Team!

  9. rainman
    4:35 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to BBN!!! Can’t wait!!!

  10. Rockfield, KY
    4:35 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Can contribute right away, and most likely will put on some muscle and return for a 2nd year. Him and Willis could be special together if they stay around. Especially with the way Cal pulls in guards.

  11. Laker Cat 18
    4:35 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This has been a very impressive 3 weeks for UK basketball.

  12. Han
    4:36 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to BBN!

  13. UKGrad93
    4:36 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to the family!

  14. Chad
    4:36 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink


  15. UKGrad93
    4:38 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This is why other coaches just leave when they find out Cal is recruiting a player. Good to be a Wildcat fan this month!

  16. Badams
    4:38 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares if his offense is raw, he won’t need to be a scorer with the twins, young, Wiltjer and hopefully some others comin back. He will be needed to replace Noel’s defense and he will do just that. Congrats Lee, est decision you ever made. And people doubted pluckin him off the west coast…trust in Cal!

  17. true blue
    4:38 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Way to go Coach Cal. Go CATS

  18. Shot Blocking Dynasty?
    4:39 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Daniel Orton, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, and now Marcus Lee!

  19. Big Blue Lou
    4:39 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Another notch on Cal’s recruiting belt!

  20. not jerry tipton
    4:40 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This does not bode well for kentucky

  21. Eric K
    4:41 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to the BBN Marcus Lee! IN CAL WE TRUST!! GO CATS!!

  22. Spicoli
    4:42 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome. Totally awesome.

  23. Louisville Fan
    4:43 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Who Cares, we have Peyton Siva still

  24. mashburnfan1
    4:43 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to BBN Mr. Lee…….NEXT! come on down Mr. Randle

  25. ValleyStationTrash
    4:43 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Lee looks like perry stevenson goes beast mode, at least by looking at his numbers and videos. Anyone else notice nerlens only averaged about 4 blocks per game last season at tilton? Lee averaged almost 10! come on down!

  26. DeMarcus Cousins says
    4:45 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    @18 – I had more blocked shots then that fool in my one year.

  27. billy
    4:45 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    It is unbelievable how some fans can doubt Calipari on recruiting. If Calipari wanted him he will be an NBA player someday.

  28. Shot Blocking Dynasty?
    4:46 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    @26 – Which “fool”?

  29. DeMarcus Cousins says
    4:47 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I told Daniel Orton, try to get more blocks than me in our one year. He said “I can’t MF”

  30. Rixter
    4:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Marcus Lee picked Cal over Cal?

  31. Jay B & Andy K
    4:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Wonder who is going to be playing for runner up in the 2013-2014 title game?

  32. Viren
    4:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I guess Cal is assembling a team that can erase Bob Knight’s only claim of fame, ‘I am the coach of the last undefeated team.’ Not so fast my friend, says John Calipari. I think Cal is going for perfection. When it is all said and done he will retire with multiple National Championships with the Cats. Go Cats

  33. a total loser
    4:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink


  34. Peyton Siva blows..
    4:49 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    What am I gonna do? Same thing i’ve done in my 7 years here, nothing….

  35. I Say
    4:49 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This is great. Sucks we likely won’t see another commit till the spring though, unless wiggins reclassifys and picks us soon

  36. Orton??
    4:49 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    18. Orton is the first in line of great shot blockers?? T Jones, Harrellson, Patterson and Miller are all in the Top 20 all time in blocked shots at UK…and Orton is your choice. Good call.

  37. Linda Taylor
    4:51 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I think Cal fell in love with having a great shot blocker after being spoiled with AD last year. He seems to be going after the best shot blocker in each class every year. These are the best of times and I’m going to enjoy every second.

  38. catcrawler
    4:53 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to Camelot

  39. asdf
    4:54 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Needs to physically mature, so he could be a good 2-3 year player to be the next Wiltjer before his time to star comes.

  40. Bg cat
    4:55 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Wow. Cal must b slipping. This guy’s only ranked in the 20’s 😉

  41. manlySmell
    4:57 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    i just pooped my pants

  42. Lexington
    4:57 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Who here trusts MB to hire Cal’s replacement when Cal finally retires/leaves? Like everyone else, I am enjoying every second of this era.

  43. Louisville Fan
    4:59 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sad. I’m very very sad.

  44. catlanta
    4:59 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Glad we got him. But evan daniels thinks we are out of serious contention for randle. Bummer.

  45. goUKats
    5:04 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Welcome to “Big Blue Nation”Marcus Lee.Hope you have a fantastic season this year,and an even better one when you come on board next year.

  46. El Guapo
    5:04 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Daniel Orton averaged more goaltending calls per game than points or rebounds at UK.

    And somehow still got drafted.

    And still sucks.

  47. Han
    5:05 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    44) And everyone said Bledsoe wouldn’t come to UK to sit behind Wall.

    I’ll believe we’re out of contention when either Randle cuts us or Cal clearly steps up recruiting other people.

  48. mlvei
    5:05 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Next year odds on national champs. This year semi-longshot. Come on baby let the good times roll!

  49. mocha
    5:07 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Deer Valley high school, not deer park

  50. Stone Cold Willard Romney
    5:07 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Lee is the best shot blocker in the class that’s why cal recruited him.

  51. Julius
    5:07 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Won’t Randle sign up now? Starting lineup of Wiltjer, Randle, The twins, and Young with Lee and company to back up.

  52. Stat Line
    5:09 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Is it true that this guy averages a near triple double?? 9 bpg, and 14&14?

  53. Rixter
    5:09 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    “(The challenge) is figuring out how we play,” Calipari said Wednesday.

    THAT (along with his superhuman ability to recruit) is what sets Calipari apart from other coaches. Guys like Ricky P try to make the players fit into their system. Calipari tweaks his system to fit the skill set of his players.

  54. stmlax03
    5:10 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    44. Evan Daniels doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Randle’s a lock and Marcus Lee’s commitment has absolutely no effect on Randle’s decision. Why would Randle constantly go out of his way to talk up the Harrison twins and kentucky if he wasn’t going to come here. If Cal wants him, he will get him.

  55. J A Brooks
    5:12 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    8)Because Scout hasn’t updated in a while. Rivals and ESPN update more regularly.

    35)Not true, Roberson should announce in early November and he could be another great addition. 6’7 200 lb SF with a super motor and very good athleticism. Some have said same kind of motor as MKG but not nearly as polished at this stage. He would be a great addition though and would give us a real solid base (Lee, Roberson, Willis) of multi year guys to join the one and dones

  56. lyan remond
    5:12 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink


  57. bluesman
    5:13 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    woopee another Perry Stevenson this may be the last me mber of this recruiting class maybe no Randle Gordon Wiggins good class but not a supper class for sure all said i hope im wrong.

  58. redandyz
    5:17 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Congrats. Another one and done. Wheeeeee.

    Okay, let me say something. You won’t like it.

    KY will bring in 5-6 new freshmen every year. Top level recruits I’d imagine. Over the 4 years that most college kids would take to graduate, 20-24 players will have rotated in and out of KY. In 4 years (for dramatic effect).

    You’ll have an occassional bench warmer come in and stay all 4, but most years no one will graduate. How can they? they are all coming ON THE PREMISE they are one year then to the NBA, like Anthony Davis and Co. That is EXPECTED at UK now, and Cal dangles it out in front of them.

    Deep down I truely hope Lee enjoys his 9 month visit to Kentucky Coal Lodge and CoRUPP Arena. And, I know you’ll call me a typical Hoosiers fan blah blah blah. And that would be an pretty accurate assessment. Because while legal, it seems against the spirit of the game and the intent of college basketball and athletics in general. Deep down in your cold little blue hearts you know this to be true.

  59. bill
    5:18 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    57)…dong ever speak again…good but not great? UK just signed 3 top 10 players last week and this makes 4 top 20….you sir are an idiot. UK isnt done either.

  60. redman
    5:19 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    #57 I don’t remember ranking Perry Stephenson the #2 center in the country.

  61. Coach Cal
    5:19 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    At the end of the day, this recruiting stuff is like shooting fish in a barrel.

  62. bill
    5:20 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58) so are you happy Cody Zeller is getting his two year degree….oh wait thats different I guess. Let me ask you something….Harvard and MIT get the best of the best for academics…does that mean they have to pay them to come there? NO. Same with UK, its the best basketball progam ever..the best of the best want to come here..

  63. redman
    5:21 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    #58 The tourney loss still makes you miserable I see. That’s awesome.

  64. Bob Knight
    5:22 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    When Cal breaks my record with a perfect season in 2014, my head will explode.

  65. Linda Taylor
    5:26 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58 – Microsoft, Apple, Facebook: three companies started by college dropouts.

  66. Welll....
    5:29 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    #58. I honestly see your point. But, you play the game with the rules you have. And, for right now, for better or worse, this is the college game today.

  67. CardinalHater
    5:36 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    Is #58 Bob Knight commenting on KSR??

  68. J A Brooks
    5:37 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58) Your entire post is moot since Lee won’t be a one and done. Think MacAdoo at UNC.

    57) Either follow recruiting and do your homework or don’t follow it… if you don’t follow it then don’t come in and trash a kid you know nothing about. This kid had offers from every school in America. They’re all wrong though and you, random poster on KSR, are correct? SMH. UK just got a steal and a half. If you think #3, #4, #8, #15 is a super class then you should probably explore the problem between your chair and the keyboard.

  69. J A Brooks
    5:38 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    *is not a super class

  70. dumb
    5:38 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    57= idiot

  71. Rae
    5:42 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58. I think too many people today have degrees. People who have no interest in learning go to college and get a token degree because it is expected of them. Cultural studies are all well and good, but what is the point of such certification, especially when everyone and their brother is doing the same thing? This makes the actual worth of a degree fall. So you can have your average guys who get a BA in Communications and go on to play overseas. We’ll take talented guys with skills worth far more than a piece of paper proclaiming an education they won’t use.

  72. Says me
    5:48 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58- What you’re too stupid to understand is that a huge part of Calipari’s success is that he doesn’t buy into the absolute sham that is high level college athletics. And he’s totally upfront about it.

    You can live in your little 1950’s fantasy Hoosier World all you want, where Ollie hits that granny FT, and all those nice crewcut white kids triumph in the end. All that IU fans have is the past. In the real world, circa now, college basketball is a multi-billion dollar a year business, where nearly every coach at every major program makes 7 figures a year.

    In that kind of atmosphere, the real corruption is telling the HS kids that the NBA is already drooling over, especially the ones (the majority) who don’t come from comfy middle-class backgrounds, that they should postpone lifetime financial security and play for free, to preserve the “sanctity of amateur athletics”- the amateur athletics where coaches are millionaires, and dozens of people at every school (or hundreds, if you expand into the media and other areas connected to sports) make a nice living off the game.

    The players don’t buy that. They shouldn’t. And Cal doesn’t sell it. He sells reality. He benefits, the players benefit, and UK fans get to watch great teams. Too damn bad for Ollie and the rest of the Hoosiers.

  73. portlandky
    5:55 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    72) Very well put!!!

  74. Cry for me
    5:56 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    58) please dont be mad at us just because we knocked you out of the tourney. i mean hey you bet us once SMILE!. its not against the “intent of the college basketball” when face the facts this IS college basketball now! sure i would have loved to watch wall and cuz and knight and davis and MKG etc stay for 4 years but one that wouldnt be fair to the rest of the nation because we would absolutley be killing and two theyre good enough to go so why not go…. were not the only school that has one and dones we just have more than anyone else because… wait for it… our players are better than anyone in the nation!!!! its really pretty simple. haters will hate and please continue to do so. it makes being a Kentucky fan that much more fun. GO CATS

  75. LA Steve
    6:14 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    I am telling you right now. This guy is the steal of this class. You watch him play out here and he reminds EVERYONE of a young Kevin Garnett. This kid is about to blow up his senior year! Awesome get for the cats!!!!

  76. over the hills and far away
    8:32 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    This is getting almost too good to be true ! Love it.

  77. Beavis
    8:40 pm October 17, 2012 Permalink

    How many years of eligibility do they get in Louisville ? You have got to be kidding,,,,Siva has not graduated yet ? Only problem with it is the players at the Ville get dumber every year,,,one of the benefits of playing for 15 second Rick.

  78. barn
    6:29 am October 18, 2012 Permalink

    someone give 58 a hankie. boo-hoo little girl. every coach in america would give one of their hangy downs to have a program like UK’s where recruiting 5 star talent is accomplished simply by saying Calipari & Kentucky in the same sentence.

  79. redandyz
    5:25 pm October 18, 2012 Permalink

    #72 – I see your point (besides the “stupid” name calling). I’m not disagreeing that this is a wholesale change in the way the whole game is approached. I’m also not saying the way Cal goes about it is cheating in any way. I’m just saying I don’t like it, and a lot of others don’t as well. NOT because it is Kentucky, but because it does defeat the purpose of the whole collegiate athetics idea in relation to the NBA. I hate the game – not the playa! (Loathe would be appropriate though)

    #78 – Indiana is the number one team in the nation this season and has a stellar recruiting class without the help of the UK name or Cal. The preseason number one player. Likely three/four total NBA draft picks, and a TON of national media attention. Two VERY different ways of going about it – and only one of them really gives “student athletes” more than a suite at WCL for a 9 month stint at UK.