OPERATION: RELOAD is in full swing for ..."/>
OPERATION: RELOAD is in full swing for ..."/>

Doron Lamb solidifies the Wildcat backcourt and makes an argument for Kentucky to take over the #1 recruiting class


by Paul Jordan

OPERATION: RELOAD is in full swing for John Calipari as he added his fourth member of the 2010 recruiting class with Doron Lamb. Lamb fills an immediate need for the Wildcat’s providing a solid #2 guard who can score in transition and he has a very solid midrange game from 15-17 feet. He is good at drawing fouls and getting to the line and he is a pretty good FT shooter. He is above average from beyond the three point line and is a very good defender.

If you need proof of Lamb;s toughness and defense, you really only need to look back to February or so when he shut down the much taller Jared Sullinger (Ohio State). In case you are keeping track, this makes two UK recruits who have owned Sullinger the past two months. Enes Kanter exploded for 34 points and 13 boards at the Nike Summit earlier about a week ago.

More importantly, Lamb helps to solidify a Wildcats backcourt rocked by the probable defections of Eric Bledsoe and John Wall. I think that Knight has a beter shot than Wall, and he has shown he can score in the clutch by evidenced by his game winning shot in the McDonald’s classic. Time will tell of Knight has the leadership abilities and intangibles that made Wall so special. With Lamb, I think he is a pretty good replacement for Bledsoe. He is a bit taller than Eric and maybe a bit better on defense. I think that Bledsoe was quicker and a better outside shot however. Regardless, Cat fans have to be thrilled with the events of this week.

With the addition of Lamb, Kentucky is making a serious charge at the number one overall recruiting class for the second straight season. ESPN currently has Ohio State number one with four top 100 players,(Jared Sullinger #2, DeShaun Thomas #12, Lenzelle Smith, Jr #80, and Jordan Siebert #82) plus two other players. North Carolina weighs in at number two with Harrison Barnes (#1), Reggie Bullock (#18) and Kendall Marshall (#22). Memphis comes in at number three with seven players including Will Barton (#8), Joe Jackson (#21), Jelan Kendrick (#44), and Tarik Black #59). I am using ESPN’s rankings as they have added Enes Kanter and rivals has not yet.

You would think tha Kentucky would rate at least second with Knight (#4), Kanter (#25), Lamb (#29), and Poole (#51). If we rate the teams just on the top 100 players they have by averaging the player ratings position and dividing it by the number of recruits, North Carolina has the highest rated recruits with an average of 13. Kentucky is second with 27, followed by Memphis with 33 and Ohio State with 44.

If Kentucky can add another top 1o player, they should take over the ESPN ratings just on the basis of having five top 100 recruits. That number would in fact top last years Kentucky class which had four ESPN top 100 recruits (Cousins #4, Wall #5, Orton #13, and Hood #92). That class had an average player ranking of 28, but the 2009 class will still reign supreme due to having three players in the top 13.

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