Today marks the beginning of the final evaluation period in college basketball and despite having just one commitment for the 2013 season, John Calipari and Kentucky are among the teams in the best shape headed into this period. Adam Zagoria listed 12 teams that are in good shape and a couple of SEC teams are at the top of the list:
1. Kentucky — As discussed in this story from Monday, Kentucky is, to no one’s surprise, involved with a Who’s Who of 2013 talent, including Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, the Harrison Twins, James Young, Aaron Gordon and Andrew Wiggins (who may or may not reclassify), among others.
2. Florida — While everyone else is pursuing players, Florida landed a verbal pledge from 2013 forward Chris Walker on Sunday. A future pro, Walker will pair with AAU teammate Kasey Hill to give the Gators a devastating 1-2 punch beginning in 2013. Florida remains involved with some very big fish, including Jermaine Lawrence, Austin Nichols and Rondae Jefferson in 2013 and Chris McCullough in 2014.
Calipari is hedging on the Harrisons. New UK interest in ’13 guards not named Aaron or Andrew, almost weekly now.
With this news comes an interesting tweet from HoopMax in which they say that Calipari is “hedging” on the Harrison twins. It’s really nothing to get excited about or even worry about at this point. It’s just a classic example of “don’t count your eggs before they are hatched”. John Calipari has put a lot of time and energy into the Harrison twins and uis not backing off, but with all the players in the 2013 class, it is wise to have a backup plan. Even Maryland, who at best is a “co-leader” for the Harrisons recently offered PG Roddy Peters and SG Detrick Mostella. Simply put, there are too many players in the 2013 class and as weird as it sounds, Kentucky will still have a top rated class even without the duo. As of now they are still priority number one and I have not read anything that would indicate otherwise yet.
If you are looking for proof on how quickly things can change on the recruiting trail, just consider the case of 2014′s Cliff Hawkins, who just got an offer from Calipari:
“I talked to (Calipari) the day before the offer and he said he wanted to coach me,” Alexander said. “The next day I got a text from Coach Orlando (Antigua) that I have a scholarship offer. It is something I’ve been waiting for a long time.”
Michigan State long has been considered the leader for Alexander, but his excitement over the offer and Calipari’s ability to land his targets would seem to make it a two-horse race.