College Basketball Analysis: Kentucky Recruiting Update

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As if the early signing period didn’t provide enough recruiting information for you Big Blue crazies, there is a ton of buzz right now around the Kentucky basketball program regarding the 2013 class. John Calipari has been pulling double duty so far in the infancy of this basketball season, continuing his recruiting after winning the Hall of Fame Tip-off Championship on Sunday. Cal parted with his team and traveled to New Hampshire to check out some of 2013′s top prospects.

  • One of Calipari’s top targets is 6’11 center Nerlens Noel. Noel is considered the top center in the class and is a prolific shot blocker. He’s not the tall gangly center that Hasheem Thabeet was at Connecticut, but is a strong, athletic player who will develop nicely in Calipari’s offense. He gets up and down the court well and handles the fast break well, capable of finishing. He will need to improve on his scoring in the post, but he’s great at finding his teammates and is an exceptional passer. considers him a five star recruit and the fifth-best player in the class.
  •  According to sources, the Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, are favoring Kentucky heavily. They are considered the two top players in the 2013 class according to and would give Kentucky one of the best backcourts in the nation their freshman year. Andrew, a 6-5 point guard, is a gutty, hard-nosed kid that does everything well. With his size, he’s able to do many things that other point guards are unable to do and can create as well as any point guard in the class. He’s a unique talent with few flaws, but could improve his mid-range game a bit. His brother Aaron, who is projected as a shooting guard, is an aggressive scorer who finishes as well as anyone around the rim. He also can stroke from the beyond the arc and is considered one of the very best scorers in the class. Aaron is a stat-sheet stuffer and will automatically be one of the top players in college basketball when he steps on the floor.
  • Julius Randle is another guy on Calipari’s radar. Orlando Antigua has been the the head-guy on his recruitment, and both recently visited Randle’s high school practice. Randle is considered the top forward in the 2013 class and is a great low-block scorer. The 6’8 post player has a great build and is very strong in the paint which allows him to put up big numbers. He’s got an arsenal of post moves and his strength allows him to finish through contact. What Randle also does well is attack the basket while facing up against defenders. He’s capable of taking his defender off the dribble and is one of the best athletes in the 2013 class. It’s unclear how much he is feeling Kentucky right now, but Calipari and Antigua are pushing hard for him right now.

While the 2012 class didn’t have a ton of Kentucky noise leading up to the signing period, the 2013 class is buzzing loudly. The Harrison twins are the top prize of that class, and Kentucky is in the best position to land the Texas two-for. Kentucky is in on five of the top six players in the 2013 class, and the future could be very bright in two years.