When looking at the greatest college basketball recruiting classes since 2000, when the rise of internet recruiting services caused this to become a much bigger national story that is now an industry run for 365 days per year, Athlon Sports had several of John Calipari’s hauls among the 25 best classes, with the 2011 UK class being the greatest of them all:
1. 2011 Kentucky
The class: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer
John Calipari’s best recruiting class produced a dominant regular season team (38-2, 16-0 SEC), the national champion and the top two players in the NBA Draft. Anthony Davis joined Kansas’ Danny Manning and UCLA’s Lew Alcindor as the only players to win the the Naismith Award, to win Final Four Most Outstanding honors and to go first the NBA Draft. Kidd-Gilchrist was a second-team All-American and the second overall pick while the point guard Teague was the No. 29 pick in 2012.
Also making the list were the 2009, ’10, and ’12 UK classes. The ’13 UK and Kansas Jayhawks class would likely be near the top of that list, but because none of this year’s freshman have played a college game yet, they left them at the end of the rankings.
Speaking of this year’s class, don’t expect to see UK add any late transfers ala Julius Mays this year.
In addition to the eight signed players in the class of 2013, Kentucky returns five players on scholarship for the 2013-14 season, including Jon Hood, Jarrod Polson, Kyle Wiltjer, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Alex Poythress. That gives the Wildcats a full complement of 13 scholarships next season.
As for the latest on the 2014 recruits, Leron Black was a prospect UK had been showing interest in, but judging by this tweet, I’d say they won’t be much longer:
By the way my top schools are Baylor, Florida, Connecticut, Kansas and Illinois.
— Leron Black✈ (@Showtime_LB) May 17, 2013
Black was one of the first 2014 stars to pick a school when he committed to Baylor before his junior season, but later backed out of that commitment earlier this year.