Kentucky Basketball: Projected Stats for Each Incoming 2013 Recruit
Another year, another No. 1 recruiting class for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. Despite the class of 2012 failing on living up to expectations, or even making the NCAA tournament, don't think Calipari will change his style of recruiting.
In fact, the class of 2013 might be the most important recruiting class in Calipari's tenure at Kentucky. With six McDonald's All-Americans coming into Lexington next year, it will be a testament to both Calipari's coaching ability and recruiting theory if the Wildcats are able to succeed.
Not only will Calipari have to mesh these six players, he will have to throw in two former McDonald's All-Americans in junior Kyle Wiltjer and sophomore Alex Poythress and returning starting center Willie Cauley-Stein.
So, with all this talent coming to Kentucky, what will their individual seasons look like? I know Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins are also on their way to Kentucky, but this will take a look at the big six recruits coming in.
Let's take an early look at what to expect from each player.
Marcus Lee might be the most forgotten No. 18 overall recruit of all time. I guess it happens when you're the sixth-highest recruit in a class all going to one college.
Lee will be in the rotation from day one and will be expected to spell Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson in the frontcourt. Pending on the other team, Lee will be either the first big man off the bench of follow Wiltjer.
Lee will make his presence known on the defensive end after he averaged almost 20 rebounds and seven blocks a game during his senior year at Deer Valley High School. He won't be putting up those types of numbers in Lexington, but he will be solid game in and game out.
MIN: 18.5 PPG: 8.3 RPG: 7.3
APG: 1.7 SPG: 1.0 BPG: 3.1
FG%: 55 FT%: 56 3P%: 0.0
Dakari Johnson will not only lead Kentucky in field-goal percentage—he will lead the nation. Thanks to his 6'10" size and with the playmaking of Andrew Harrison, Johnson will have easy and open looks throughout the year.
Despite not being a great jumper, he will be a force on the offensive glass. With excellent footwork and a 265-pound body, it will be hard for most opponents to keep him away from the boards. Johnson will be the anchor inside for Kentucky and will be in charge of protecting the rim on the defensive side of the ball.
MIN: 23.5 PPG: 13.4 RPG: 10.1
APG: 2.2 SPG: 0.6 BPG: 2.3
FG%: 69 FT%: 53 3P%: 0.0
Aaron Harrison can score from anywhere on the court. With range almost anywhere inside of half court and a 6'5" frame to finish at the rim, expect Aaron to be attacking and looking to score at all times when he is on the court.
He showed during the McDonald's game that he is also very capable of bringing the ball up the court and distributing when need be despite that not being his forte. Harrison is coming off a senior year where he scored over 23 points per game while leading Travis High School to a state championship.
Aaron is expected to be a starter coming into the year, and don't be surprised to see big scoring numbers from him.
MIN: 27.5 PPG: 16.4 RPG: 3.9
APG: 2.8 SPG: 1.4 BPG: 0.4
FG%: 46.0 FT%: 85.0 3P%: 42.0
Speaking of players who can score both inside and out, James Young may be even better than Aaron Harrison at that. At 6'6", with a 6'11" wingspan, it allows Young to not only shoot over his opponent but get into the lane and finish at the rim.
While he gambles defensively, Young has the potential to be the lockdown defender on the wing that every Calipari team has head when the Wildcats have been successful. Young will also contribute to the rebounding cause, as he is a great rebounder at his position.
MIN: 29.5 PPG: 14.2 RPG: 6.3
APG: 3.5 SPG: 2.4 BPG: 0.9
FG%: 51.0 FT%: 88.0 3P%: 44.0
After not having an elite point guard last year, Kentucky hit the jackpot with Andrew Harrison joining the Wildcats in 2013-14. Andrew Harrison has the size, speed and passing ability to be the best point guard in the country this season.
At 6'5", he will be tough for other point guards to keep out of the paint. Coupled with his size, Andrew Harrison has a smooth jumper for defenders to respect as well. As he showed during the McDonald's All-American Game, expect Harrison to be always looking for teammates and rack up assists.
Playing alongside James Young, Harrison will be key defensively on the perimeter to lock down opposing guards. While he may not be the best player for Kentucky—that honor goes to Julius Randle—Andrew Harrison will be the most important.
MIN: 34.1 PPG: 11.3 RPG: 4.1
APG: 9.1 SPG: 2.7 BPG: 0.4
FG%: 56.0 FT%: 83.0 3P%: 39.0
Julius Randle, the No. 3 recruit in the nation, is the diamond in this loaded class. The 6'10" power forward is able to step outside and hit jumpers as well as be a force in the paint.
Randle will lead Kentucky in scoring thanks to versatility and Harrison's passing ability. Expect to see Randle make highlight dunks as well as show his handle off throughout the season.
Within Calipari's system, Randle is made to be a star. The dribble-drive motion offense allows players like Randle to take advantage of the mismatch, something the Texan will see a lot of. With his size and speed, it will be tough for power forwards to keep up with him and small forwards to body him.
MIN: 35.0 PPG: 18.4 RPG: 8.7
APG: 2.4 SPG: 0.9 BPG: 1.7
FG%: 61.0 FT%: 77.0 3P%: 36.0
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