Kentucky Basketball: How a James Young Commitment Would Affect UK's 2013 Class
News broke today that James Young, the eighth-ranked player in the 2013 recruiting class, will announce his college decision this Thursday, October 11. His commitment will air on an ESPNU special beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Young is considering a small list of schools, but many analysts believe that he is down to either Kentucky or Syracuse. If Young chooses to play in Lexington, then the Cats' 2013 recruiting class would be affected in many ways.
First of all, Young is a 6'6", 200-pound guard/forward who excels at running the floor and finishing strong at the rim. He also possesses a sweet shooting stroke and is one of the better three-point shooters in the class.
His addition to the 2013 class would greatly benefit current commitments Aaron and Andrew Harrison. As good as the twins are, their game would elevate even more with the addition of Young.
Having a dynamic, athletic wingmate would give them an extra outlet option in transition. His outside shooting would also draw attention from defenders and create extra space on the floor, creating more driving opportunities and open shots for the Harrisons. Young's perimeter game also opens up space in the paint, giving more room for the big men to work down low.
One possible scenario that could work in Kentucky's favor is if current sophomore Kyle Wiltjer returns for his junior season to join the 2013 class. Wiltjer will be the team's best three-point threat this year and will likely be used as a stretch four to create spacing. If he joins Young and the Harrison twins, then Kentucky will have four legitimate threats from the outside, which would be a nightmare scenario for opposing defenses to guard.
In addition to all of this, Young is a dynamic player in his own right. As mentioned earlier, Rivals has him tabbed as the nation's eighth-best recruit. ESPN ranks him even higher and places him fifth overall in the 2013 class rankings.
Young is so valuable because of his versatility. At his size, he can effectively play either shooting guard or small forward. Since he excels from the outside and in the paint, he is a difficult matchup for any defender and he forces the defense to focus on him. This in turn takes pressure off of his teammates so he makes others around him better.
Kentucky fans hope that he can make their team better next season. The basketball world will find out tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. EDT where he will begin his collegiate career. If he does commit to the Wildcats, then the 2013 recruiting class could go down as one of the greatest of all-time.
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