With news coming out in the past few days that there may be two new targets for John Calipari to add to the 2012 recruiting class, UK fans were ecstatic to hear they may be potentially adding a veteran big man in UCF forward Keith Clanton, a 6’9 PF that averaged 14.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 1.8 blocks a game. Not only would the senior provide these young Cats with veteran leadership, but would give them a skilled big man that could play the role Terrence Jones played last season as the team enforcer, as well as guy who can score in a variety of ways. He shot 47% from the field and 37% from three-point range, while having 8 games in which he scored over 20 points last year.
The Cats could also be adding a late qualifier in shooting guard Torian Grahm, who the Cats had previously recruited but opted to back off after it appeared he wouldn’t qualify. While adding these two players would be a nice boost to the 2012 team, which is currently #2 or #3 in most preseason polls behind Indiana and/or Louisville, adding players this late could upset the chemistry that this team has already begun to develop. With the new summer practice rule allowing Cal to coach his players during the summer, the foundation is already being laid for next year’s team, and adding players this late could affect that chemistry that’s already been developed.
It could also affect next year’s recruiting class as well. Here next year’s top-10 according to scout.com:
1a. Jabari Parker 1b. Andrew Wiggins*
2. Andrew Harrison
3. Aaron Harrison
4. Julius Randle
5. Aaron Gordon
6. Kasey Hill
7. Chris Walker
8. James Young
9. Anthony Barber
10. Rondae Jefferson
*With Andrew Wiggins potentially about to relcassifiy to the 2013 class, he would likely overtake Parker for the #1 spot.
That’s six players in the top-10 that the Cats have a good shot of landing. Adding players this late could sway those players to look elsewhere if they think they’re playing time at UK could be less than at another school. I highly doubt Cal will add Grahm this late in the recruiting process, given that the Harrison twins are near-locks to be Cats, and James Young and Aaron Gordon play the SG spot as well.
Calipari isn’t known for adding players this late in the year, and having already held several practices with this year’s team, he’s already begun to determine how he wants his team to play going into the 2012 season. Nerlens Noel is set to join the team within the next few weeks, so he already will have his hands full implementing him into practice and getting him accustomed to the college game, and adding two more players could take way from that.
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