Why John Calipari, Kentucky Wildcats' 2013 Could Be Best Recruiting Class Ever

Paul Ables@@PaulAblesBRContributor IIIJuly 2, 2012

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats have pulled off arguably the most impressive four-year recruiting span in the history of college basketball history.

Three of those classes were consensus No. 1 classes in the country, headlined by the likes of John Wall, Anthony Davis and Brandon Knight. 

Meanwhile, the 2012 recruiting class is a consensus top-two class and is headlined by the nation's top recruit, center Nerlens Noel. If history repeats itself, this group will yet again lead the Wildcats to a successful season and a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

With that being said, the best might be yet to come for Calipari's Wildcats.

As crazy as it sounds, there is a good chance that the Kentucky 2013 recruiting class will go down as the greatest single recruiting haul in the modern history college basketball.

This is a tall task, being that the Cats' 2011 class consisted of three players in the top five overall (Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague).

However, there is potential for 2013 to become a banner year for Big Blue Nation.

Reviewing the top 10 prospects on the Rivals 150 list, two such players have already committed to universities. That leaves eight potential recruits for UK to recruit, and six of those remaining eight players have Kentucky among their top suitors.

No. 1 overall recruit Jabari Parker is the gem of the 2013 class, and Calipari has been in talks with him for the past few seasons.

Parker hails from Chicago, the same city that produced former Kentucky standout Anthony Davis. Another Kentucky advantage in Parker's courtship is in the way that Cal handles No. 1 recruits. Former players Davis and Wall were the best players in their respective classes, and each had an incredible season at Kentucky and eventually became the No. 1 overall draft pick in the NBA draft.

Parker is the most glamorous pickup in the class, but the Harrison twins might be the most important prospects for Kentucky to land.

Andrew and Aaron are the top guards at their respective positions, and each player is ranked among the nation's five best recruits. If Kentucky hopes to make the 2013 class an historic group, then the Harrison boys will be necessary commitments.

Fortunately for the Wildcats program, it appears that the twins love Kentucky and have them listed as one of their favorite schools. 

Below is a brief quote from the twins about their excitement regarding the Kentucky program (h/t Jody Demling of courier-journal.com):

Neither twin would say they had a favorite school at this point but Kentucky has generated a lot of buzz and Andrew said “for good reason.”

“They put people in the NBA,” he said. “I like the style of play and coach (John) Calipari lets the players play. It’s a business.

“The biggest thing is that I want to win a national championship.”

Moving on, the top power forward in the class is stud Julius Randle.

He is fielding offers from numerous programs, Kentucky being one of them. He is the third best recruit in the country, and Calipari's track record of placing big men in the NBA has Randle interested in Lexington.

Randle, who hails from Plano, Texas, was impressed with John Calipari's announcement that the Wildcats would play against Baylor in Cowboys Stadium during the 2013-14 season. His reaction on Twitter appears to show his excitement about the matchup:

@J30_RANDLE Game at cowboys stadium ? Lol maybe

The rest of the top 10 players includes two possible targets in James Young and Aaron Gordon.

Both list Kentucky as one of their favorites at the moment, with Young leaning harder towards Lexington at this point.

In fact, according to Rivals.com, he goes so far as to list the Wildcats as his favorite:

According to Young, he's generated offers from Providence, Ohio State, Michigan State and Missouri while Kansas and Kentucky rate high on his list without having yet offered. Young says that the 2012 National Champions -- who have watched him plenty in Hampton -- are his current leaders.

"Kentucky is my favorite," said Young. "I like the offense and how they play and how Coach Cal coaches it all."

In addition to six interested players among the nation's 10 best recruits, there are a few 4-star recruits who are interested in Kentucky, as well.

In fact, Derek Willis, the No. 26 player in the nation, has already committed to the Cats.

Troy Williams is another name to be interested in. Williams is rated 19th by Rivals in 2013 and would likely play the small-forward position in college. He has offers from both Kentucky and North Carolina, and he was supposed to make his decision in early May.

However, he has since opened up his recruitment to include other universities.

If he accepts the Cats' offer, then Kentucky will lock down two players in the top 26 overall, and they could sign 3-6 players among the nation's 10 best prospects.

If Cal can land any combination of four or five of these players, then the 2013 class might go down as the most spectacular recruiting haul in the sport's history. 

There is still a long way to go towards that, but it is an exciting prospect to think about going forward. Surely having six players get selected in the 2012 NBA draft does not hurt matters, nor does the fact that Calipari and Kentucky are champions again.

There are plenty of reasons why these recruits would play elsewhere, but it would not be wise to bet against Kentucky's track record at this point in time.


    Kentucky and Indiana Going Head-to-Head for Keion Brooks

    Kentucky Wildcats Basketball logo
    Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

    Kentucky and Indiana Going Head-to-Head for Keion Brooks

    A Sea Of Blue
    via A Sea Of Blue

    4-Star McGowens Is Capel's 1st Commit at Pitt

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    4-Star McGowens Is Capel's 1st Commit at Pitt

    via 247sports

    Kentucky to Return to Bahamas for 4-Game Trip

    Kentucky Wildcats Basketball logo
    Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

    Kentucky to Return to Bahamas for 4-Game Trip

    University of Kentucky
    via University of Kentucky

    PG Quade Green Will Be Back at UK Next Season

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    PG Quade Green Will Be Back at UK Next Season

    via kentucky