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New ESPN Player Rankings for 2013 are out

Before you ask, no, there aren’t any updates on Nerlens. Trust that when there are, we will get them to you ASAP. We’re all in this together.

In the meantime, attempt to get your mind off it with ESPN’s new 2013 basketball recruiting rankings.


5. Andrew Harrison (Previous rank: 3)
6. James Young (Previous rank: 6)
7. Aaron Harrison (Previous rank: 5)
11. Dakari Johnson (Previous rank: 12)
18. Marcus Lee (Previous rank: 29)


1. Andrew Wiggins (Previous rank: 1)
3. Julius Randle (Previous rank: 4)
4. Aaron Gordon (Previous rank: 7)

That’s a big jump for Lee, who is currently averaging 23 points and 29 rebounds a game. Kid’s gonna be a monster.

Back to #NerlensWatch…

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

62 Comments for New ESPN Player Rankings for 2013 are out

  1. Tools of the Trade
    12:33 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    We need some players that are going to bring a hammer to work with them.

  2. Wow
    12:34 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    29 boards a night is impressive no matter who you are playing. Sheesh

  3. Jimmy
    12:35 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    So cal needs to start recruiting carpenters!!

  4. limited-edition holographic flat-top
    12:35 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Aaron Gordon is a beast.

  5. Jus sayin
    12:38 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Backcourt toughness won’t be a problem with the bruise brothers

  6. 3 things keeping me going
    12:38 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    1) Next years basketball team
    2) Justin Rowlands football recruiting updates
    3) Katy Perry pictures from the Grammy’s

  7. move back the stanchion
    12:38 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    What if all the very intelligent signees who have excellent judgement banded together and demanded the stanchions are moved back to provide safer playing conditions?

  8. Joey
    12:39 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I hope these kids bring a will to win!!! and they want to play hard every single play!!
    Man if we could land 1 or 2 of this last three… This is going to be epic

  9. Linda Taylor
    12:44 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Would someone explain to me how Julius Randle goes UP in the rankings when he hasn’t played in forever because of an injury? Staying the same I can understand, but up when they don’t know how his injury is going to affect his future play for sure?

  10. AWAT
    12:44 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Can someone let me in on the scholarship situation. We have 5 coming in, everyone is talking about maybe one more?? Where are all the scholarships coming from? I only see a couple of guys leaving. And it is looking like Nerlens may be back….simple math shows we are short scholarships.

  11. Jones Returns
    12:45 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Hate to sound negative and I know it’s early for this kind of talk, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Dakari Johnson decommits in fear of Nerlens uncertainty. Obviously if Nerlens stays then who gives a [email protected] about Dakari. But you’d hate to see a kid get decommit in fear of Nerlens staying all to see Nerlens actually go to the NBA anyway. Also, as I have said all along…we will NOT get Wiggins, Randle or Gordon because of the failure to launch efforts of this years team, specifically Poythress and Goodwin. I have been more excited about the potential of next years class as much as anyone, but the piss poor development of key players on this years team have totally destroyed our ability to obtain the “real difference makers” available in next years class. Yes the guys we have signed are solid, but there not franchise dominate players like Wiggins, Randle and Gordon will be. I have seen the Harrision players live 2 times. They’ll be a joy to have, but their not going to be as dominate as you’re all thinking they will be. But, if they can play with someone like Wiggins or Randle who will draw double teams they’ll appear dynamite. If they’re forced to be the go to guys on next years squad because we fail to get Wiggins or Randle we will ‘underachieve’ all of the hype and expectations of next year.

    Proceed to bash me for my statements, but I know I’m right.

  12. Smitty
    12:45 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    He’s not averaging 29 boards…he averages 19 rebounds. Must be a typo.

  13. You Got It
    12:45 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Love that name #4. And you are right about Gordon.

  14. Looking for 9
    12:47 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I know it is subject to change… anyone care to speculate on the scholarship situation next year? We have 2 seniors, who knows how many NBA draftees, 5 signees, and one verbal so far I think with 3 more targets??? Who will be the scholarship players on the UK roster next year?

  15. blue happy pappy
    12:49 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I wish the BBN would light this dudes twitter up!!!

    James Novaria‏@nova411jimm

    @D_ocho Seriously dude I will not let you go to Kentucky You are way too talented for that Go get your fame on but it ain’t happening there

  16. kentuckyrules
    12:49 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #11: I disagree. No bashing, but how do you “know you are right?” Been to the future and back? I think we all forget that the double-teams will go to Junior seasoned Wiltjer, and potentially even Lee.

  17. kelkat66
    12:52 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #12 Thanks…I was trying to look that up. I was like NO WAY anyone could average 29 boards unless he is playing against a bunch of midgets…LOL

    Still, 19 boards a game is pretty impressive. 🙂

  18. bdown
    12:53 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Who is this Lee playing against that he is able to average 29 boards a game! That’s just madness

  19. bdown
    12:53 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Never mind, just saw 12’s post

  20. Justsayin
    12:54 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    JonesReturns, I too have seen the Harrisons play and the Harrisons/Young are light years above Harrow/Goodwin/Mayes. The comparison is not to be against all of college basketball but instead our current situation. Keep in mind that PG Harrison can get anywhere on the floor he wants whereas a butterfly landing on Harrow’s shoulder knocks him off balance. Plus 2G Harrison and Young are lights out shooters. Unless you are Dakari Johnson’s mom I seriously doubt you have any idea what he is going to do. Based on his comments, not his coaches, he justs wants to help the team and is not demanding minutes out of Cal.

    I totally agree that folks are sitting lightly on Marcus Lee, to me he is the unsung hero of our class. I love the kid and I think we all will too. And yes, if NN has a serious injury I think there is a decent chance he’ll come back.

  21. Darryl
    12:54 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    A coorection; Lee is NOT averaging 23 pts and 29 rebounds. His
    averages are updated on Maxpreps quite often and he is at 17.7 ppg, 19.5 rpg and 6.7 blocks/game

  22. Scholarships
    12:55 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    The new NCAA rule says that scholarships are not guaranteed for 4 years and are year to year. We get 13 scholarships. Lets say 7 new guys (derek willis has also signed and then maybe one of the big three). Even if Nerlens, Alex, Archie, and Willie come back thats 11. Kyle is 12 and Harrow is 13. The rest of the team are using the extra scholarships currently available. It seems that we are good to go esp since we will most likely lose 3 of the 4 freshman this year.

  23. Linda Taylor
    12:55 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Those speculating on scholarships please keep in mind that all of the walk-ons that are currently on scholarship can go back to being walk-ons again if need be. Some of them like Polson could probably get academic scholarships to replace the athletic scholarships as they are very good students.

  24. BurnerTurner5
    12:56 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Big deal. Screw those rankings. How have Goodwin and Poythress panned out?

  25. Darryl
    12:56 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    My spelling of correction needed correcting…..

  26. Rixter
    12:56 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I see Louisville signed both #44 AND #76. Stellar class I tell ya, STELLAR!

  27. B-man
    12:57 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Teams get 13 scholarships, we have 13 players. Three (not sure about Beckham, but he’s a senior anyway) are not on scholarship…Malone, Long, Lanter. Those three, plus our two seniors (Mays and Beckham), make 5 available scholarships. Nerlens will not be here next year. Even if his injury is bad, he can recover and the NBA will draft him (highly).

  28. Sammydog
    1:00 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t see why a serious injury would result in NN coming back next year. If he is able to play at UK next year he would be able to play in the pros. He has shown the pros enough this year to be #1 or #2 draft pick. As long as the injury is fixable, he will still go high in the draft.

  29. Kai
    1:00 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Im 90% sure Lee doesn’t average 29 rebounds, I think 2 weeks ago he was averaging 19.5. Unless he had 40/50 rebounding per game the last 4 games.

  30. Rae
    1:01 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    23. The wild card is Twany Beckham. He was never a walk-on, but a transfer. His scholarship has been useless pretty much. I hate to throw a kid out to pasture, but he never plays. I know he has a bad back, but if there is a scholarship problem you just don’t know what to do about him.

  31. Rae
    1:01 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Nevermind. He is apparently a senior. Thought he was a junior.

  32. Kelkat66
    1:02 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #11 Seriously??? You are bashing UK’s next class??? LOL

    I mean we have right now 5 of the top 20 rated players committed to UK. 3 of the top 10 with Dakari ranked just outside at #11 and you are complaining???

    You speak as if you blame Cal for Alex and Archie not having the year we had all hoped. They are freshman…Cal has brought in high quality freshmen every year. Some guys don’t develop as fast as others. It happens…

    I think what is truly detrimental to recruiting is people like you that get on these sites and paint such a negative picture of things. These young kids read what some unappreciative fans have to post and how they put down these guys and they think…”Wow, UK fans are crazy” And I mean that in a bad way. Alex and Archie want to make all UK fans happy. They want to play better. They have a lot of pressure on them and they just 18 year old kids.

  33. Bledsoe's Biceps
    1:02 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    22) You are one scholarship short. You failed to mention Hood, who is a junior. But in all probability, two or three go to the NBA and/or transfer, so the problem is solved.

  34. James K
    1:05 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    All I can think about is Nerlens.

  35. Dumb
    1:08 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    11… You are an idiot… Enough said

  36. asfggd
    1:10 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Jones I hope you realize that Just because poythress and goodwin are having trouble developing means nothing. Example: 2012 national championship team. Every player is different therefore every player develops at a different pace. Cal isn’t fully to blame for this teams struggles especially considering that the whole team went to the league last year and they have no one to lead. The recruits aren’t overly concerned about this years team, but what they can accomplish when they get there. Also look at North Carolina.. yeah not so good of a record either. We definitely have a chance to land those top 3 or we wouldn’t be on their list.

  37. buddyblue62
    1:13 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    archie wcs and alex are not ready for the nba no way.

  38. Linda Taylor
    1:16 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    While we are waiting for news on Nerlens, remember that at 6:00 tonight we can get our tickets to ESPN Gameday on Ticketmaster. If a team ever needed the fans to support them no matter what, this team does. Let’s all get online at 6:00 tonight and fill Rupp to the rafters to show this team and the world (including future recruits) that the BBN will always support the kids that wear the KY uniform even when they are having a rough year. Do it for Nerlens.

  39. theSkinny81
    1:19 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    11 – Wow… that was the most idiotic comment I’ve ever read.

  40. R. Smith
    1:22 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    a Kentucky Sports review on facebook has just posted that sources are saying its the MCL and ACL. nothing concrete from them

  41. AylortheImpaler
    1:23 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I bet the site has record hit counts today for updates on Nerlens. #uniquevisitors

  42. Cawood2Cal
    1:25 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    One bedrock principle that all these new recruits can depend on is once you’re a Kentucky Wildcat, you’re always a Kentucky Wildcat. After you make the NBA and come back to a game, or long after you retire from the league, you will not see a stranger in Lex.

  43. @41
    1:26 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I’m a Louisville fan, and even I’m accounting for a ton of unique visits. Worried about the young man. Those were some soul-stabbing screams he was letting out. Can’t help but hope for the best for a kid with a good heart and major hustle. Worst story of the season, this.

  44. Cawood2Cal
    1:28 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Now please UK release the injury update before I lose my mind… I know KSR is on top of it, plus UK wants to be certain. Just thinkin about the flat top feller.

  45. jpo
    1:32 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    11. when Gordon, Wiggins, or Randle committs to UK are you going to come back on here and eat your words? of course you won’t. Stay classy

  46. Al's IndiCats
    1:33 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    11, I really wouldn’t worry too much about the Alex and Archie show keeping anybody from signing. Not that I’m throwing them under the bus but without a doubt those two guys are the most selfish players Cal’s recruited here. Neither one has the ambition to pass as we’ve all witnessed all season long. Granted we’re going to need some older players on the team next year sand yet I feel these two are not what we need to help the younger ones coming in. As alot of you said I really don’t see Nerlens returning next year reguardless of his injury. He’ll be a top 5 draft if he never dribbles another basketball in college.
    37, the truth was never said better in your statement, they have the tools to do it, but not the work ethic to make the team better. I mean if you’re going to throw the ball away, take rediculous shots and have them blocked back into your face, and have the ball stolen everytime you drive, you might as well have John Hood on ther court….,at least he’ll be a team player!

  47. Jones Returns
    1:35 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    The total number NCAA DIV I scholarships per team = 13

    As you can see, there is no way we can offer a scholarship to Wiggins, Randle or Gordon unless one the following things occur:

    -At least one player from this years team goes pro (unlikely with Noel’s injury)
    -Jon Hood transfers for his senior year (unlikely)
    -Or, a scholarship is pulled from a key asset player like Hood or Polson (this would be wrong)


    Team ’12-’13
    Name Year On Scholarship
    Nerlens Noel FR Yes
    Archie Goodwin FR Yes
    Willie Stein FR Yes
    Alex Poythress FR Yes
    Ryan Harrow SO Yes
    Sam Malone SO Yes
    Tod Lanter SO Yes
    Brian Long SO Yes
    Kyle Wiltjer SO Yes
    Jon Hood RS JR Yes
    Jarrod Polson JR Yes
    Twany Beckham SR Yes
    Julius Mays GS Yes
    Total Number of Scholarships 13


    Team ’13-’14
    Name Year On Scholarship
    Andrew Harrison FR Yes
    Aaron Harrison FR Yes
    James Young FR Yes
    Dakari Johnson FR Yes
    Marcus Lee FR Yes
    Derek Willis Walk On NO
    Nerlens Noel SO Yes
    Archie Goodwin SO Yes
    Willie Stein SO Yes
    Alex Poythress SO Yes
    Ryan Harrow JR Yes
    Sam Malone Walk On NO
    Tod Lanter Walk On NO
    Brian Long Walk On NO
    Kyle Wiltjer JR Yes
    Jon Hood RS SR Yes
    Jarrod Polson SR Yes
    Total Number of Scholarships 13


    Summary: The “failure to launch” efforts of this years team and our premature offers to non-franchise players has made it nearly impossible to capitalize on the “difference maker” players of the ’13-’14 class (Wiggins, Randle, Gordon). In my opinion this entire situation was mismanaged. The UK ’13-’14 class could have been the greatest class composed in the history of NCAA basketball. It was ours for the taking, but now our hands are tied because this years team has failed to launch. In all likelyhood we will probably still win the ’13-’14 championship, but it will not be as epic as it could have been and for that I am disappointed.

  48. Logan
    1:35 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    43. Thanks for not being a dick

  49. RealCatsFan
    1:42 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #11, so explain to me which other schools are doing so well with freshman development that would cause these kids to avoid UK for “failure to launch issues”? UNC hasn’t been lighting the world on fire this year. Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Florida and Indiana sure aren’t known for putting players into the league early either. The Noel injury, if anything, further strengthens the odds of kids who want to get to the NBA early to pick a school like Kentucky, just because they want to avoid the chance of injury by playing 2 or 3 years of college ball. In spite of the struggles of Poythress and Goodwin, not one does a better job of preparing players for the NBA than Cal. Point blank. Period. (as said by another player who would be going early if playing for Cal)

  50. Not Jones
    1:44 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #47, why would the injury make Noel come back? He will still be drafted in the top 5

  51. AreYouHigh?
    1:47 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    47 are you serious with your post? You don’t think anyone from this years team will go pro? Regardless if we think they are ready, Goodwin, Poythress and WCS are still projected to go fairly early in the draft. If they can go that early, why come back? Esp after seeing what happened to Nerlens last night…take the money and run instead of risking injury here. Plus Nerlens has already showed the NBA that he is ready, so even if his season is over it’s still unlikely that he’d come back. And finally: it’s not wrong to pull the scholly from Hood or Polson if they can get an academic scholly. wait one more thing: Hood and Polson are key asset players??? really?? Polson may be this year, but that’s just bc we aren’t that good.

  52. R. Smith
    1:48 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Nerlens Noel has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, which he suffered in Tuesday night’s game against Florida. According to the UK medical staff, surgery should be expected in the next two to three weeks. The normal timetable for recovery is estimated at six to eight months. — staff

  53. Cokely
    1:49 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    11.) you’ve gotta be a troll or just a huge pessimist if that’s how you truly feel. I think you forget how rare it actually is for freshman to be one and done. Just because the guys we have had did it doesn’t mean all of them do. Those guys coming back does nothing to change the mind of those three because they know they will be one and done any where they go. Plus dakari has stated many times he doesn’t care if NN or WCS come back.

  54. Jones Returns
    1:51 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #49…What are you talking about? I never said anything about Cal’s inability to develop players… I’m simply saying we have positioned ourselves in such a way that we can not accept a commitment from Wiggins, Randle or Gordon because of scholarship limitations…and the scholarship limitations problem would not exist if players on this years team had developed as they should have AND because we extended offers to non-top 5 players earlier than we have in years past. I think offers to players ranked 10 or below should only be extended when we miss on our true wish list (i.e. Wiggins, Randle, Gordon)

  55. ricdix
    1:52 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Love you Noel. Good luck young man. Jones, thanks for reminding my why i dont visit more often.

  56. Craig
    1:54 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Noel still goes pro, don’t kid yourself. He may not go #1 now but he will be a lottery pick. And you seriously don’t think at least one of the following happens? Poythress goes pro since he’s projected still borderline lottery. Goodwin goes pro because he won’t start and won’t play more than 15 minutes a game next year. Hood calls it a career and takes his diploma and leaves (he wouldn’t play at all next year). Harrow takes a grad student exemption and transfers somewhere he won’t have to sit behind two Harrisons and Young. Polson goes back off scholarship, since he came in as a walk-on and got a scholarship since it happened to be avilable.

  57. here ya go
    2:35 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Jones Returns “Also, as I have said all along…we will NOT get Wiggins, Randle or Gordon because of the failure to launch efforts of this years team, specifically Poythress and Goodwin. I have been more excited about the potential of next years class as much as anyone, but the piss poor development of key players on this years team have totally destroyed our ability to obtain the “real difference makers” available in next years class. ”

    reads like you said coach cal failed to develop in this statement. backpedal much?

  58. Rick
    2:48 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Nerlens Noel will still be a Top 5 pick unless his career is over. No threat to next year recruit PT.

    Plus, Dakari and Randle play the same position.

    I’d like to see Cal get Gordon.

    Wiggins doesn’t seem like he’s cut out to be a Kentucky athlete. Could be wrong.

  59. CatsFan502
    2:49 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    I am convinced that for the purposes of ratings and television, once a kid commits to a school, they drop his ranking just because there is nothing else to follow. Especially when they are in the top 5-10 range. Players will go up from like 30-40 to like 20-30 once they commit but you never see a kid that is committed go from 4 to like 2 or 1.

  60. theSkinny81
    4:38 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    47 – Ah, the old “bend-facts-so-it-completes-your-argument” trick. I’ll go out on a limb and say Noel’s not coming back. Hood transfers or gives up schollie. Polson will be walk-on status. Now factor in the potential loss of Goodwin, Poythress or even WCS….

    You lost credibility with that talk about Hood being a key asset. I want the kid to succeed, but next year he will contribute ZERO. He hasn’t even contributed much THIS year. To stay is a waste of his time, and frankly, UKs.

  61. Yaboy426
    4:46 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    Noel can still be a top 5 draft pick. The whole nba draft if based on upside and potential. Look at how many freshman and sophmores are picked over seniors. With the seniors, you know what you are getting. Noel could take the time off to better his free throw percentage, practice dribbling with is left hand, watching game film, etc… I don’t think there is any way he still goes number 1 or 2 but a 3 to 8 is very realistic sense it’s going to be a weak draft. He’ll be fine and should go on and get the NBA doctor’s to bring him back to a speedy recovery.

    P.S.-speaking of upside and potential, that is why archie and alex could still go pro. In all honesty, it’s probably better for them to go b/c the 2014 draft will be loaded and with them being in the 11 to 15 range could really become a 25 to second round range. Think about terrence jones d lamb. Jones could have been a top 10 pick and lamb could have been top 20 if they went after their freshman year b/c of the weak draft. They stayed and better themselves and got a ring but the draft positions dropped drastically.

  62. Kelkat66
    6:24 pm February 13, 2013 Permalink

    #47 – Polson was originally a walk on, I am quite sure he is well aware that he could go back to walk on status if the bench gets to crowded.

    Nerlens is going to get drafted. Some of the NBA scouts have already come out and stated that he is still top 10 draft pick.

    Hood’s status is a little more uncertain. I have heard that he is a head in his academics and could possibly d what Mays did this year for us and complete his academics and go to another school that he could actually get some playing time. He won’t get any next year with UK regardless.

    NBA teams draft on potential. It doesn’t matter what we as fans think of Archie and Alex’s development. Most mock drafts have them in the top #15 right now. So whether they stay or go…UK will be able to make room for Wiggins, Randle or Gordon. We probably will only get one at best…but I think we could actually make room for a three if need be…LOL