At the moment, Kentucky’s 2014 recruiting class wasn’t considered John Calipari’s best, but with time comes perspective. This morning, SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell ranked the eleven best recruiting classes of the past decade, and Kentucky’s 2014 haul of Karl Towns, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles took the No. 2 spot, right behind Duke’s class from the same year that included Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen.
“The most unforgettable college basketball team of the decade didn’t win a national championship, but it did captivate the country by coming tantalizingly close to perfection. The story of Kentucky’s chase for history started way back when John Calipari agreed to coach the Dominican Republic national team as a way of getting in tight with 16-year-old Karl Towns. Towns would go on to become a freshman superstar at Kentucky, the eventual No. 1 overall draft pick, and one of the most talented players Calipari ever coached. That Towns was only seventh on his own team in minutes per game during his lone year on campus is the ultimate testament to just how loaded his Kentucky team really was.”
Kentucky’s 2011 class of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, and Kyle Wiltjer came in at No. 3 in O’Donnell’s rankings, which are based on three criteria: Contributions to team success at the college level, players who emerged into NBA stars, and players who became NBA first round draft picks. Clearly, Devin Booker’s success in the NBA is the reason why the 2014 class got the nod over 2011.
If you’re wondering, these rankings only go back to 2010, which is why Kentucky’s 2009 class with John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins isn’t included. Check out the rest of the list at the link below.