When Chicago native Jabari Parker, the top player in the class of 2013 and already a Sports Illustrated cover boy, announced his list of five remaining potential collegiate destinations, Kentucky wasn't on that list. That was surprising to me, if only because these days, top players like Parker seem to consider UK coach John Calipari almost as a reflex. That's how dominant the Wildcats' yearly search for talent has become: That when a top player doesn't put Kentucky in his final list, the immediate reaction is surprise.
But fear not, Kentucky basketball fans. You guys are still going to be plenty loaded in 2013 anyway.
A mere week after landing Aaron and Andrew Harrison, twin brothers and the top shooting guard and point guard in the class of 2013, respectively, Calipari added another top-five player to his team -- No. 2-ranked shooting guard James Young. Young is 6-foot-6 and can play at the small forward position as well as in the backcourt, which sounds like an ideal fit alongside the versatile, athletic Harrisons. However the talent fits, it also gives Calipari three of the top five players in the class, a feat rarely seen in any class. From Dave Telep's story on Young's commitment:
John Calipari's Wildcats are treading in historic water. Few times in the history of recruiting has a program landed three top-five players. Those pledges alone give UK ammunition in the conversation as one of the top recruiting classes of all time.
To polish off the claim and potentially end any arguments, Calipari would need a pledge from either elite power forward the Wildcats are still in the mix with -- No. 3 recruit Julius Randle of Dallas or No. 6 prospect Aaron Gordon of San Jose, Calif.
To recap: Calipari already has the top class in the country, and arguably one of the top classes all time, and he still has much more than a puncher's chance of landing Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon, both of whom fall in the top six in the class of 2013.
Kentucky's level of recruiting success would be remarkable and mind-blowing if it weren't, at this point, so very routine. Jabari who?