Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: John Calipari And The Wild Recruiting Carousel


Oct. 14, 2011; Lexington, KY USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks to fans in front of players during big blue madness at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

Big Blue Madness is set to take place on Friday, October 12th. This is by far one of the biggest recruiting tools that coach Calipari has used in his days at the University of Kentucky. With that being said, there’s not a better time to talk about whats been going on the the recruiting world.

Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader let us know who that Calipari has visited thus far. The entire list can be read here. But I’ll let you know some of the notable faces that have been in contact with Calipari.

Probably the most notable person(s) on here, are the Harrison twins. Calipari went down to Houston,Texas to meet up with those guys on September 9th. Those guys are first on the list for a reason. The twins are the hottest commodity out there right now. Calipari also payed a visit to some normal faces, including Julius Randle, James Young, Aaron Gordon, and Karl Towns.

Let’s touch on the 2013 recruiting class as a whole. Derek Willis is the lone commit for the Wildcats, as of yet. We have also had a few turn-offs take place recently. Jabari Parker, Demetrius Jackson and Beejay Anya have all been rumored not to be expressing mutual interest with the Wildcats right now. Of those three, Jabari Parker has to be the most gut-wrenching. Parker comes in ranked in the top two by most recruiting services. I’ll offer my take of the 2013 class in a moment. You can look at the entire article by Ben Roberts, where he updates you on the 2013 class.

Usually, I am reluctant to get into predictions, especially when they involve recruiting, but I’ll let you hear some today.

Let’s go with who I think our 2013 class will consist of. And please remember that this is pure speculation, and I am not basing this on any sources. In spite of recent Maryland talks, I still think the Cats will land the Harrison twins. Their recruitment is starting to get very confusing, but I think we’ll still have them wearing Kentucky blue for us. I also think that we will land James Young. Expect to see Young as a lock for the Wildcats. He has already stated that Kentucky is his leader, but he hasn’t pulled the trigger. Michigan State is also heavily involved.

The last person I think we’ll get is Julius Randle, but this is the most skeptical one for me. Julius will hold his recruitment off until Spring. He will have one of those very lengthy recruitments, so don’t expect a commitment right away. He was definitely impressed with his visit to the Kentucky alumni game. He also stated that it will be a “tough act to follow”. We’ll see how it works out, but I think Kentucky wins him in the long run.

Now let’s get to Andrew Wiggins. We all want Wiggins to reclassify to see how he could co-exist with other players if he were to commit to UK, but that has yet to happen. At this point, I think Kentucky and Florida State are his 1A and 1B. But I do feel that he will be a Kentucky Wildcat, but I still can’t go as far as saying the Kentucky is his favorite. His teammate, Xavier Rathan Mayes, also recently trimmed his list, where Florida State is still included. Expect a two-horse race until the very end of his recruitment.

There are plenty of other players who could still land at UK. The only player who that I am almost confident that won’t be at Kentucky, is Aaron Gordon. Expect him to stay out west, as the Washington Huskies are his favorite. Marcus Lee seems like he may be a interesting target for the Wildcats. Lee is a very talented player who has been rising. He is also the only confirmed visitor for Big Blue Madness. Tyler Roberson also just trimmed his list to six, and Kentucky is involved.

As you can see, I expect the Wildcats to be in route for another monster class. If we can just land a few of these guys, I think we should have no problem getting another number one class. Big Blue Madness may just make a few of those guys to have a newly sparked interest in the Cats. Expect the dominoes to start falling after that.