With 2012 in the books now, and us going into 2013, like every year in recruiting we should be expecting big news from some big name high school recruits to make their announcement. It happens every year with some recruits most people have a feel of where they are going before they actually make the announcement, but in 2012 that wasn’t the case.
In October the biggest package deal in history took place when Andrew and Aaron Harrison made the announcement to attend the University Of Kentucky. Ever since the twins sophmore year most people thought they would end up at Kentucky with John Calipari, but coming into the week of the decision many people believed Maryland could be in the lead for the amazing duo. Under Armour was thought to be a major factor in the twins decision on what school to attend, and with Maryland being an Under Armour school it put a scare into the Kentucky fan base. Even with all that Andrew and Aaron picked Kentucky, and gave Kentucky the best backcourt in the nation for 2013-2014.
Another example of the of a top recruit keeping his school choice a secret was Nerlens Noel. He moved from the 2013 class to 2012 and had final 3 of Syracuse, Gtown, and Kentucky. He and Shabazz Muhammad(UCLA) made their decision the same day, which was a day before the Jordan Brand Classic in Madison Square Garden. ESPNU picked up the announcement on live TV and 3 fan bases were very nervous, because nothing was leaking out like usual. Nobody knew where Noel would end up- not even recruiting guru Evan Daniels. Noel didn’t let any of the 3 remaining coaches know until after the show, and as most of us know he also picked Kentucky.
So with a new year I want to give you my prediction of where some of the top recruits may end up. Some guys are from 2013 and I will include one guy from 2014 in my predictions.
Andrew Wiggins(2013)- I have watched him twice in person now, and I will see him again this weekend in the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia. He is the real deal-best player in my opinion in high school since Lebron James, and may even be a better player than anybody in college this season. FSU has a lot going for them with the family ties and Xavier Rathan Mayes his high school teammate has already committed to FSU. John Calipari has never recruited anybody harder than he has Wiggins, because he knows if Wiggins commits to Kentucky he could have a shot at his undefeated season. I will get a better feel for his recruitment as I see him more, but I really don’t think FSU has the power to beat Kentucky and John Calipari in the end!!! Prediction-Kentucky
Aaron Gordon(2013)- This Kid is a Blake Griffin type of player. He looks for people to dunk on, and if your in his way he way dunk all over you. He is from out west, and myself and many people believe he will stay out west to either Arizona or Washington. Kentucky has made a great push for him, but I don’t think it will be enough to lure him away from the west coast. His best friend Jabari Bird has committed to California, and they could be in the lead for Gordon, but I think he will end up at Arizona or Washington.
Dakari Johnson(2013)- Another kid like Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad, and Andrew Wiggins to reclassify. Dakari is an old school low post player, but he is an absolute beast down low. I will see him this weekend as well, and I am very excited. He has a final 3 of Syracuse, Gtown, and Kentucky just like Nerlens Noel, but I feel like he knows where he is going already. He played at Sayre High School in Lexington, Kentucky and still has family in Lexington. He has built great relationships with the Kentucky coaches, and I expect him to pick Kentucky in the end.
Julius Randle(2013)- I can’t say enough about how much I like this kid as a player, and a person. He is battling back from a foot injury that will end his senior season, but he should be fully healthy next year for his freshman season in college. I feel like he is the best player in high school only behind Andrew Wiggins. Most recruiting guys feel like Texas and Florida are in the lead, and Kentucky is a close 3rd. Julius although may not feel that way as he said the one player he wants to play with next year in college is Andrew Harrsion. That’s not going to happen at Florida or Texas so you have to feel like Kentucky has a great shot at landing Randle. This is my hardest prediction, because nobody knows who his favorite is. Although I do think he is waiting until the Spring to see who stays and leaves from Kentucky.
Trey Lyles(2014)- Lyles made big news as he took his verbal away from Indiana, and re-opened his recruitment back up. Indiana fans seem to think that 16 year olds can’t change from one day to another, and blamed John Calipari for Lyles backing out of his verbal to Indiana. Yes, Calipari continued to recruit him, but when he is only a verbal commit you can do that. Lyles is ranked #4 in the class of 2014, and has Louisville, Kentucky, and Indiana as his top 3. Some rumors were going around that Lyles was close to making his decision and it would be Kentucky. Those weren’t true, but I fully expect him to pick Kentucky when he does make his decision.