It’s easy to take for granted just how much work goes into being the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. As the Wildcats are entering the stretch run of their season, the recruiting side of the game is rapidly coming to a head as well. There are three top ten targets that are still up for grabs in the 2013 recruiting class and Kentucky is in the mix for all three of them to some degree. And as they say the dominoes will start to fall again later this month as Julius Randle will make his announcement on March 20 on ESPN-U:
Randle, a 6-foot-8 power forward who is ranked as high as No. 2 overall in the class of 2013, has narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, N.C. State, Florida and Oklahoma.
The Plano, Texas native wrapped up his tour of official visits late last month with a trip to Kansas. He used his first official visit to see Kentucky in September.
If you listen to the recruiting experts, however, it may be a very long close to the recruiting period for John Calipari and his Wildcats. The Lexington Herald Leader talked to five national recruiting experts of them, only one, Jerry Meyer of 24/7 Sports, had any of the big three recruits going to Kentucky. The general consensus was that Andrew Wiggins would go to Florida State, Aaron Gordon would go to Arizona, and Julius Randle to Kansas. None of these were unanimous except for Wiggins but here is what Meyer had to say about Randle and Kentucky:
Julius Randle (Kentucky): “Randle’s recruitment isn’t an easy one to get a handle on. Texas is down, Kansas runs a tight system, N.C. State probably doesn’t quite have the allure and Billy Donovan isn’t quite enough to get him to Florida. The style of play and successful pipeline to the NBA probably wins out for Kentucky.”
It should be noted that Ben Roberts, who is probably closest to the Kentucky recruiting scene picked both Wiggins and Randle to choose UK. Take that as you will.
Forget about what the national pundits say about Kentucky’s post season chances. Georgia coach Mark Fox, who Kentucky will play Thursday night, still thinks UK is a postseason team:
Georgia Coach Mark Fox endorsed Kentucky’s status for post-season play. He said Kentucky was having “a post-season kind of year.”
When asked to elaborate, Fox noted UK’s status as defending national champions and the “terrific job” done by Calipari in fashioning a new team with largely freshmen.
“Kentucky still has a very good basketball team,” Fox said, “a team that has won 20 games and is in second place in the league. So there’s a lot of plusses there that still exist. So that’s why I say that.”