4 PM Headlines: Kentucky Wildcats Bigs and the AP

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Dec 15, 2012; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts in the game against the Lipscomb Bisons in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Lipscomb 88-50. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports


I imagine this is Calipari’s expression when recruiting the best in the country…and they’re not sure about coming to Kentucky.  Caption please!

Speaking of recruits, as reported by Adam Zagoria at ZagsBlog.com according to Evan Daniels and Dave Telep, Dakari Johnson has whittled his schools down to 3:  Kentucky, Syracuse, and Georgetown.  The 6’ll Johnson has reclassified to the 2013 class from 2014, and we already have Marcus Lee committed, and are pursuing Julius Randle.  Randle is a Florida lean at this point but if Cal can pull him from the Dirty South then that could present a problem for us getting Johnson.  But who doesn’t want that problem, right?

His Mama on Kentucky:

In an interview last month with SNY.tv, Makini Campbell, Johnson’s mother, talked about Kentucky’s attraction because the family lived in Lexington for several years while Johnson was in middle school.

“Actually, last Thanksgiving we spent time with his friends there, with his extended family,” she said. “So for him that is kind of like going back to something that ‘s very familiar and something that is likable.

“As a parent, with you not being there in the same place as your child, you always want, kids always say, ‘I have an aunt there’ or ‘I have an uncle there,’ there’s someone to kind of look after him,” she added. “So that’s comforting for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it might be the best fit for him, but I think that will definitely have an appeal for him.”

Kentucky’s loaded class features guards, wings and forwards like Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis, but no center.

“But we also noted you still have Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein, which is similar to Dakari and so it’s a whole process, looking to see where you’re needed, what’s the best fit,” Campbell said.

She didn’t rule out Johnson joining forces with another big, such as a Noel or a Cauley-Stein, should one or both not go one-and-done.

“That could be good for him in a sense, you know what I mean?” she said. “Just like when he was at St. Pat’s and he had [recent Illinois commit] Austin Colbert. They complemented each other, especially in practice. It’s not that. You just kind of wonder if it’s the same kind of guy like yourself.”

In the reality of recruiting, family is a strong lean for these kids.  Many times parents have been known to pack up and move nearby to where their children are playing, if work is available, etc.  Being that Johnson spent his middle school years in Lex has to favor UK.  This kid could be a monster.

Small sampling:

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