Mar 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the game against the Florida Gators in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Florida 61-57. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcat Basketball: Did John Calipari Oversign for 2013?


With the likelihood of Kentucky’s rival, Louisville Cardinals, winning the 2013 National Championship increasing this weekend as they advanced to the Final Four for the second straight year, Kentucky fans continued to turn their attention away from this season and set their eyes on next.

As those gazes linger on a class that currently stands as one of the best (and arguably the best) ever assembled, its natural for everyone else to begin to look and see just what you’re staring at and in this case, those joining may not necessarily have the same blue colored glasses.

Over the next few weeks and months, rather due to your retaliation to some Louisville fan’s bragging of their first championship in 27 years or an Indiana fan’s disappointment and subsequent lashing out over a hyped season ending in the Sweet 16, prepare for the argument over this class being over-signed… of which, you’ll see below, John Calipari is not guilty.

Oversigning – the act of signing more players to scholarship than a team has available (12 per year).

 Before agreeing or disagreeing with those UL or IU fans, take a look at where Kentucky stands currently.

# Name Pos Class Scholarship 2013   Status (Projected Status)
#33 Kyle Wiltjer F So. Yes Scholarship
#3 Nerlens Noel C Fr. Yes Scholarship   (NBA)
#22 Alex Poythress F Fr. Yes Scholarship   (Unknown)
#10 Archie Goodwin G Fr. Yes Scholarship (NBA)
#12 Ryan Harrow G So. Yes Scholarship (Transfer – Georgia State)
#15 Willie Cauley-Stein C Fr. Yes Scholarship
#34 Julius Mays G Grad   Student Yes Graduation
#4 Jon Hood G Redshirt   Jr. Yes Scholarship
#5 Jarrod Polson G Jr. No Scholarship   (Walk-On)
#11 Twany Beckham G Sr. No Senior
#13 Sam Malone G So. No Scholarship (Walk-On)
#32 Brian Long G So. No Scholarship (Walk-On)
#21 Tod Lanter G So. No Walk-On

Let’s break the list down:

  • Kentucky has 4 players (Long, Malone, Polson, Beckham) who came to the team as a walk-ons.
  • Kentucky only had 8 scholarship players last year and gave the 4 walk-ons above scholarships.
  • Kentucky has two players, Julius Mays and Twanny Beckham, who will finish eligibility (graduate student and senior).
  • Kentucky didn’t use one scholarship (likely for the possibility of an in-season transfer).

That’s 5 scholarships that have an expiration date and one unused for a total of 6.

Kentucky has accepted commitments from 7 players to date:

Pos Scout Nat’l
Rank
Name
School, Hometown
PF 1 Julius Randle Plano, TX
C 1 Dakari Johnson Montverde, FL
C 2 Marcus Lee Antioch, CA
SF 3 James Young Rochester   Hills, MI
SG 1 Aaron Harrison Richmond,   TX
PG 1 Andrew Harrison Richmond,   TX
PF 29 Derek Willis Mount Washington, KY

That would put Kentucky 1 above the limit.

Archie Goodwin recently announced, as expected, that he would enter the NBA draft.

That leaves Kentucky even for 2013-2014.

If Harrow, Noel, and Poythress all return (or would have returned in the case of Harrow who just announced he would transfer to Georgia State), Kentucky would simply not be able to extend to Polson, Long, and Malone, putting to rest any statement that Harrow was ‘forced to leave’ like Rick Pitino did to Jared Swopshire in 2011.

Now that Ryan Harrow has announced and with likely the inevitable departure of potential #1 overall NBA pick Nerlens Noel, recent transfer announcement, Kentucky has room for both Polson and one of Andrew Wiggins (#1 2013)/Gordon (#6 2013).

Did John Calipari oversign? No – he just undersigned in 2012-2013 in preparation of the best class ever assembled.

Tags: 2013 Recruits Basketball Articles Featured John Calipari Kentucky Wildcats Oversign Popular

  • Mike

    It’s confounding that Cal did not revoke Kyle Wiltjer’s scholarship. It was clear that Cal was clearly frustrated and upset with Wiltjer’s lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball. He lacks the strength, quickness, and toughness needed to succeed at this level. He’s the most overrated 5 star recruit ever. He won’t improve so give his playing time to some of these up and coming freshman. Marcus Lee is better off going back home, he won’t play either especially if Noel returns and Wiggins signs. Not enough basketballs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brett.bibbins Brett Bibbins

      Marcus Lee is going to surprise you with his ability. Great length and athleticism allows for him to excel in blocking shots and running the floor in transition. At this point, the possibility of Noel returning is almost nonexistent. As for Wiltjer, maybe he can work better as he did with last season’s team. He could come off the bench for a minute or two at a time and hit an open three. It seemed to work before. Coach Cal won’t revoke a scholarship of an upperclassman who has experience.

  • Bryant Douglass

    This will be interesting to watch how he handles it.