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The Rivals Rankings of Calipari’s Recruits

High School Basketball: McDonald's All American Games

Earlier today Rivals released their final rankings for the Class of 2016.  Five early signees finished as five-star prospects, with the potential to add one more to the illustrious list.

Calipari’s recruiting success has been so extraordinary, it has become difficult to appreciate the significance of signing five (maybe six) five-star players in one class.  But just how crazy has Cal recruited at UK?

I’ve compiled a list of his recruits with their final Rivals’ ranking to help you better understand the scope of Calipari’s recruiting success.  As a point of reference, remember the insanity that surrounded Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson?  Lucas was a 4-star, the No. 42 player in America, and Patterson was a 5-star at No. 17 in America.


6. De’Aaron Fox, 5-Star Point Guard
7. Bam Adebayo, 5-Star Power Forward
9.  Malik Monk, 5-Star Shooting Guard
13.  Wenyen Gabriel, 5-Star Small Forward
24.  Sacha Killeya-Jones, 5-Star Power Forward


1.  Skal Labissiere, 5-Star Center
9.  Jamal Murray, 5-Star Shooting Guard
10.  Isaiah Briscoe, 5-Star Shooting Guard
48.  Charles Matthews, 4-Star Shooting Guard


5.  Karl-Anthony Towns, 5-Star Power Forward
13.  Trey Lyles, 5-Star Small Forward
21.  Tyler Ulis, 5-Star Point Guard
29.  Devin Booker, 4-Star Shooting Guard


2.  Julius Randle, 5-Star Power Forward
5.  Andrew Harrison, 5-Star Point Guard
7.  Aaron Harrison, 5-Star Shooting Guard
9.  Dakari Johnson, 5-Star Center
11.  James Young, 5-Star Shooting Guard
19.  Marcus Lee, 5-Star Forward
115.  Derek Willis, 3-Star Small Forward
NR. Dominique Hawkins, 3-Star Point Guard


2.  Nerlens Noel, 5-Star Center
8.  Alex Poythress, 5-Star Power Forward
14.  Archie Goodwin, 5-Star Shooting Guard
40.  Willie Cauley-Stein, 4-Star Center


2.  Anthony Davis (behind Austin Rivers?), 5-Star Center
3.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 5-Star Small Forward
5.  Marquis Teague, 5-Star Point Guard
22.  Kyle Wiltjer, 5-Star Forward


3.  Enes Kanter, 5-Star Power Forward
6.  Brandon Knight, 5-Star Shooting Guard
13.  Terrence Jones, 5-Star Forward
21.  Doron Lamb, 5-Star Shooting Guard
33.  Stacey Poole, 4-Star Small Forward


1.  John Wall, 5-Star Point Guard
2. DeMarcus Cousins, 5-Star Center
22.  Daniel Orton, 5-Star Center
23.  Eric Bledsoe, 5-Star Guard
40.  Jon Hood, 4-Star Shooting Guard

A few things to consider:

  • Cal’s had at least two Top Ten players in every class, except 2014.
  • There have been at least three 5-Star players in every class.
  • Of the eight recruiting classes, five have featured the No. 1 or No. 2 player in America.
  • There are 25 McDonald’s All-Americans out of 39 total recruits, or 64%.
  • The last time Calipari brought in a “5-Stars Only” recruiting class, Kentucky won a National Championship.
  • Excluding last year’s class, at least one player from each class has played in a Final Four.
  • The only people that were ranked lower than Jai Lucas: Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Charles Matthews.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for The Rivals Rankings of Calipari’s Recruits

  1. bpisforuk
    7:08 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

    I can understand not including walk ons like Brad Calipari on but c’mon…Tai Wynyard and Isaac Humphries get no love. SMH

  2. Bobbum Man
    7:39 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

    Any updates on Jai?

  3. BCO
    8:07 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

    Odd that Cals lowest ranked class will go down as his best at UK. Shows that this stuff is far from an exact science. I think when their careers are done, out out of these classes, from best to worst itll look like

    1. 2014
    2a. 2016
    2b. 2009
    4. 2011
    5. 2013
    6. 2010
    7. 2012
    8. 2015

    • WildcatCam
      9:18 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

      2012 over 2015? Nah..I think Murray will outdo Nerlens and that class

  4. BCO
    8:11 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

    Actually switch 2010 and 2013.

  5. plumloopy
    11:43 pm May 10, 2016 Permalink

    Booker was a four star? Wow.