The University of Kentucky and John Calipari have created a monster
From The Courier-Journal…
University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari isn’t finished filling his 2012 recruiting class, but he and his staff already are turning up the heat on the future.
With three straight top-ranked classes and the 2012 group rated one of the best in the country, the Wildcats are positioned to keep the success going. They’re listed by nine of the top 10 players in the 2013 class, according to Scout.com, and are being mentioned by several stars of the 2014 and ’15 classes.
“Every year now they’re going to go into it and people are going to think, ‘Boy, this could be the best group of players they’ve gotten yet,’ ” ESPN.com analyst Dave Telep said. “It’s an embarrassing amount of riches.
“And they’re not going anywhere. I’m assuming they’re at worst a finalist and at best the leader for the best players until otherwise told further.”
In his first three years at UK, Calipari signed nine McDonald’s All Americans, including John Wall and Anthony Davis, both ranked No. 1 in the country coming out of high school.
UK already has signed four players for the upcoming season, including Nerlens Noel, ranked No. 1 by several scouting services. Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress are McDonald’s All Americans, and Willie Cauley is ranked in the 40-50 range.
Scout.com ranks UK’s class No. 1 again, and analyst Evan Daniels said it’s “no surprise because they’re in on so many top guys.” He said the school’s eighth NCAA title has helped the recruiting pitch even further.
At the recent Nike Elite Youth Basketball League event in Minneapolis, several top players talked about the Wildcats’ recruiting success.
“It’s hard not to like them right now,” said Jahlil Okafor, a Chicago center rated in the top five of the ’14 class. “They just won the national championship, and Coach Cal is so good at getting guys and making them one and done. It’s hard not to take a hard look at them because of all of that.”
Calipari still is trying to add to the ’12 class. Forward Anthony Bennett of Henderson, Nev., has eliminated the Wildcats and will pick either UNLV or Oregon, but UK still is pursuing Amile Jefferson, a top-30 prospect from Philadelphia who is expected to pick UK, North Carolina State or Duke next week.
After this year’s draft, Coach Cal and the University of Kentucky will have produced a total of 15 NBA players in just 3 years. If you need to, get up, stretch, clear your head and re-read that sentence. 15 NBA players in 3 years. That’s amazing.