Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats' Odds to Land Each Top Recruiting Target

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2013

Kentucky Basketball: Wildcats' Odds to Land Each Top Recruiting Target

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    The college basketball season never ends in Lexington where what Kentucky basketball does in its offseason is just as big of news as the outcomes of games during the season.

    After John Calipari reeled in arguably the greatest recruiting class in college basketball history with the class of 2013, the question is what can he do for 2014?

    We'll take a look at Kentucky's five top targets, based on a previous Bleacher Report article, because there are simply too many targets Kentucky has in the class of 2014.

    The slideshow will break down the five players along with the odds each of those recruits end up wearing the blue and white of Kentucky.

Emmanuel Mudiay

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    Position: Point Guard

    Size: 6'5"

    High School: Prime Prep Academy (Arlington, Texas)

    ESPN Recruiting Ranking: 5th

    Odds of being a Kentucky player: 95%


    Emmanuel Mudiay will be the next great point guard to come to Kentucky and the second in a row from Texas. Standing at 6'5", he is comparable to the player he may replace in Andrew Harrison.

    Mudiay has been pretty outgoing about his relationship with Kentucky and head coach John Calipari saying the two of them text daily. He is planning on coming to the Wildcats' Big Blue Madness this October.

    What seems to be a match made in heaven as a taller, athletic point guard is Calipari's speciality in the dribble-drive offense. His length will allow him to play multiple positions defensively, and he seems to be set on being a Wildcat in the near future.

    His statement about texting Calipari daily shows he has a serious interest in Kentucky as well, and is all but a lock in my eyes to be in Lexington come 2014.

Stanley Johnson

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    Position: Small Forward

    Size: 6'6"

    High School: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)

    ESPN Recruiting Ranking: 12th

    Odds of being a Kentucky player: 80%


    Much like Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson is one of those players that just seem to be a perfect fit for Calipari's system. At 6'6" he can play three different positions defensively and has a knack for being a great rebounder for his size.

    In 2012 he pulled down 15 rebounds in the state championship game as well as averaging 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists as a sophomore.

    He is currently considering 10 schools including Kentucky and hailing from the west coast, most of the schools are based out there. However, there is a strong likelihood he ends up in Kentucky's blue and white because of two reasons.

    The first is he is attending Big Blue Madness with Mudiay in October 2013. The second, and possibly most important, Kentucky has said they aren't offering any other small forwards a scholarship until Johnson makes his decision.

    With Kentucky showing that much interest, it might be too good of an offer for Johnson to refuse.

Cliff Alexander

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    Position: Power Forward

    Size: 6'9"

    High School: Curie High School (Chicago)

    ESPN Recruiting Ranking: 2nd

    Odds of being a Kentucky player: 70%


    Cliff Alexander signing with the Wildcats would be big, literally. That's about the only word that can describe Alexander and his game.

    At 6'9", 225 pounds, Alexander would fill into the power forward spot nicely alongside already-committed Karl Towns.

    In fact, it has already been discussed by Alexander himself and how he sees it as a good fit playing alongside Towns. The other positive is he says he and Calipari talk three times a week and he loves Coach Cal.

    However, Alexander has decided to not take an official visit to Lexington so he can see other places, since he has taken an unofficial to the campus already. While that's not a huge road block for him signing with Kentucky, Big Blue Nation would like to see him take his official visit as well.

    With no clear favorite out of the 10 remaining schools on his list, his odds of coming to Kentucky will be 70 percent. Don't be surprised if it comes down to Kentucky and Michigan State, the two schools who have recruited him the heaviest that he's not taking official visits on.

Trey Lyles

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    Position: Power Forward

    Size: 6'8"

    High School: Arsenal Technical High School (Indianapolis, Ind.)

    ESPN Recruiting Ranking: 4th

    Odds of being a Kentucky player: 40%


    Trey Lyles is a former Indiana commit who is currently being heavily committed by rivals Kentucky and Louisville. Lyles has already visited Kentucky during the 2012 Big Blue Madness and last season's Kentucky vs. Florida game.

    Lyles has trimmed his list to six schools, which include Butler, Duke, Florida and UCLA, along with Kentucky and Louisville.

    Now, with Lyles taking two schools seriously and only considering six schools, why are the odds only 40 percent? Because there could be a recruiting violation and if there is any hint that this might happen, the relationship between Kentucky and Lyles could sour to save both parties.

    ESPN's Dan Dakich said on his radio show he's heard from reliable sources that last July, Lyles took an unofficial visit to Kentucky while he was still committed to Indiana, which is a violation.

    Due to that, if there is any chance this rumor could harm either party, the relationship will take a downfall and Lyles will commit to another school.

Rashad Vaughn

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Size: 6'6"

    High School: Findlay College Prep (Las Vegas, Nev.)

    ESPN Recruiting Ranking: 11th

    Odds of being a Kentucky player: 33%


    Rashad Vaughn is a 6'6" shooting guard that has range anywhere inside the gym. He is one of the best shooters in the class of 2014 and someone that would fit well with a drive-and-kick point guard like Emmanuel Mudiay.

    Vaughn is considering 13 schools and has offers from all of them except North Carolina and Duke. However, his connection with the Kentucky coaches aren't as strong as others in his class that Kentucky is targeting as well.

    Vaughn said he speaks with assistant coach Orlando Antigua from time to time and went over a month without speaking to head coach John Calipari. That can't be a good sign for a commitment.

    With the lack of interest coming from Kentucky's coaching staff, the odds are lowered for Vaughn to come to Lexington. However, at the end of the day it is still Kentucky and John Calipari and that could be enough for a player like Vaughn to commit to the Wildcats.