Good morning, Big Blue Nation! While there was no activity on Saturday in college basketball, it was made up for in the recruiting activity.
First, at 7 PM, La Salle (Cincinnati, Ohio) cornerback Jaleel Hytchye announced that he would be attending the University of Kentucky and play for Coach Mark Stoops. Depending on which service you look at, he is ranked as either a 4 star (ESPNU) or a 3 star (247Sports, Rivals, and Scout) recruit. Regardless, it’s a big get for Stoops and Kentucky. Much was made by Joker Phillips lack of ability to recruit Ohio and the tide appears to be changing for Kentucky.
Proud to be the first ohio commitment and coach stoops first commitment as a head coach for the University of Kentucky #BBN
— Jaleel~Decision Day~ (@TheRealLeel_9) January 6, 2013
“Jaleel is not the biggest cornerback around, but he may be one of the fastest,” Rivals.com Midwest Analyst Josh Helmholdt said in an email. “He should have no trouble handling the speed of the wide receivers he sees in the SEC.”
Later on, after playing in the game between Montverde and Simeon, 5 star center Dakari Johnson made his college decision. The Montverde center announced that he would attend the University of Kentucky. Johnson’s final three also included Georgetown and Syracuse just as with 2012 big man Nerlens Noel. Johnson commented about the class that Calipari is putting together.
Dakari on UK’s 2013 class: “If we come in there, do what we’re supposed to do, work hard — then we should win a national championship.”
— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) January 6, 2013
“One of special aspects of Dakari is that Kentucky is getting a player that hasn’t peaked but he’s on the rise,” ESPN Senior National Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep said in an email. “He’s trimmed up his body and its opened up his game. He’s running the floor better, getting more dunks in traffic and his offensive game has tightened up. Hes earned the top center spot in the class”
In addition to Johnson, the class of 2013 currently includes Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Marcus Lee, James Young, and Derek Willis.
Kentucky fans in the Louisville area will have a chance to watch Johnson’s Monteverde team take on Andrew Wiggins’ Huntington Prep team in March.
Montverde coach Kevin Boyle says teamnearly has finalized details of game w/ Huntington Prep in Freedom Hall in early March
— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) January 6, 2013
I don’t know how much of a chance that the Cats will have with recruiting Jahlil Okafor but Jason Jordan tweeted the following tonight:
Asked Jahlil Okafor if Dakari Johnson to Kentucky made them less attractive. “No. We played together at USA and that worked out great!”
— Jason Jordan (@JayJayUSATODAY) January 6, 2013