Marcus Lee to Kentucky: What Elite Basketball Recruit's Pick Means for Wildcats

Josh Schoch@JoshSchochAnalyst IIIOctober 18, 2012


He did it again.

Less than a week after receiving a commitment from James Young, John Calipari landed another highly-touted recruit for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Marcus Lee is the latest recruit to choose to don the blue and white of Kentucky. It seems like picking Kentucky has become trendier than usual for college basketball recruits over the last two weeks.

It all started when the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, chose Kentucky on ESPNU on Oct. 4. Exactly one week later James Young also picked the 'Cats on ESPNU, giving the team three of the top five players in the nation.

And now Lee will also be a Wildcat.

UK has been receiving an unprecedented amount of talent over the last two weeks, and with a new backcourt, a soon-to-be wing in Young and an elite big man in Lee, this class could compete for a national championship by itself. In fact, I would call this the best recruiting class in history already, regardless of the many other elite recruits considering Kentucky.

After Lee bolstered an already-dominant class it's time to take a look at just what this means for Calipari and company.

What Lee Brings to the Table

Lee himself is a great player. He has superior length and athleticism, which makes him a great shot-blocker and a threat on offense.

While he doesn't have much strength, Lee can still play well inside, but more importantly he can play well on the perimeter. In fact, his game resembles that of former UK star and National Player of the Year Anthony Davis. My colleague B/R Doug Brodess raises the question, and there are many similarities in their games.

What's more important for the team is that Lee is a skilled big man. The recruiting class for the Class of 2013 desperately needed an elite center or power forward, and Lee fits the bill.


Now that Kentucky has its power forward for the Class of 2013, along with its perimeter players, you might expect Calipari to be done recruiting.

Not so fast.

There's always a way for a team to improve, and Calipari will surely still be hitting the recruiting trail. Likely targets include Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon, all of whom are also big men. If he lands one we can expect Kentucky's recruiting class to become the consensus best in history.

How the Team Will Look Next Season

With five recruits joining the team next season we will see a new Kentucky team. However, the team will surely return center Willie Cauley and will likely return one or two players from the trio of Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer.

This year's Kentucky team probably won't lose as much talent as a regular UK team, but it will be adding more than ever before.

So what does that mean for the Wildcats?

Just as this may be the best recruiting class in history, if Calipari lands another elite recruit or two this could be among the most talented teams in history.

Calipari is creating a dynasty at Kentucky, and next season will surely continue the trend.


When the Harrison twins committed to Kentucky two weeks ago I said that the expectations should be national championship or bust.

I said it again less than a week ago when Young committed as well.

Now that the team finally has another elite big man for the 2013-14 season, there is absolutely no excuse for the team not to win a national title. I know that March Madness is a time for upsets, but this is going to be the most talented team we've seen in years—possibly decades.

The expectations for this team are going to be through the roof and with good reason. I see UK raising yet another banner after the 2013-14 season.


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