Kentucky Basketball: 5 Biggest Questions About Wildcats' 2014 Recruiting Plans

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2013

Kentucky Basketball: 5 Biggest Questions About Wildcats' 2014 Recruiting Plans

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    Big Blue Madness is less than two months away and despite having the No. 1 recruiting class for 2013, Kentucky is excited to see which class of 2014 recruits will be in the stands. 

    Despite losing out on arguably the best point guard in the class, John Calipari and the Wildcats still have their eyes on some of the top targets including Cliff Alexander, Stanley Johnson and Trey Lyles. 

    While very few people who watch college basketball question any move Calipari makes when it comes to recruiting, this slideshow will try to come up with the five biggest ones that Wildcat fans must keep an eye out for as the early signing period comes up. 

Who Is the Next Point Guard?

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    After Emmanuel Mudiay did the unexpected as a top-ranked point guard and said no to John Calipari, it left Kentucky wondering who will be its next point guard. 

    Mudiay elected to stay closer to home and committed to SMU and Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown last month. 

    Kentucky currently has offers out to Tyler Ulis and Tyus Jones. Jones could be a question mark though as he is expected to follow Jahil Okafor to Duke, which really leaves Ulis as the only option who Kentucky has offered. 

    Ulis is different than most of Calipari's point guards have been, and it's quite glaring. Ulis stands at only 5'9", something that is quite drastic than those who usually play in Calipari's system. Despite his diminutive stature, Ulis impressed Calipari enough at the Peach Jam to be offered a scholarship. 

     

Can Calipari Have Someone Say No to the NBA?

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    While John Calipari is commonly known for having his players say no to school and bolt for the NBA, he is looking to do the exact opposite with the class of 2014. 

    Dante Exum, who played for the Australian national team in the London Olympics, remains the biggest question mark in the class of 2014 and not because of which schools he is deciding between. He remains that question mark because he could very easily be a first-round NBA draft pick next year. 

    In fact, ESPN's Chad Ford has him ranked as the third-best prospect behind Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle

    If Exum does decide to go to college, he will decide between Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Oregon. 

    Exum stands at 6'6" and 188 pounds and is more of the prototypical size of a point guard in Calipari's system. 

Who Will Be the Face of the Class?

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    Sure, John Calipari is known for bringing in the top point guards year after year. 

    But, let's not forget about the run of impressive big men Calipari has brought to Lexington as well. Whether it's been DeMarcus Cousins, Nerlens Noel or Julius Randle, Calipari has shown he is more than capable of having a power player be the face of his recruiting class.

    The class of 2014 can be no different if Kentucky can bring in Chicago's Cliff Alexander. The power forward is ranked as high as No. 2 in the class and would fit nicely with Karl Towns, who has already committed. 

    Alexander is a strong, strong man, as he already has broke a backboard while in high school. He couples his brute strength with a great set of hands that allows him to be dominant in the half court. 

    His size and skills would easily make him the gem of the next possible great recruiting class at Kentucky. 

Does the All-in Method Work?

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    Up until July, Stanley Johnson was the only small forward Kentucky offered a scholarship to in the class of 2014. 

    It showed Johnson how serious Calipari and the Wildcats were about him, risking missing out on other top small forwards in an attempt to land the California native. Since then, Kentucky has offered Justise Winslow and Kelly Oubre.

    With Winslow and Oubre knowing Johnson is Kentucky's No. 1 option at the position and with Johnson most likely not signing until the spring, there's a chance the Wildcats could miss out on all three players. 

    The method could pay off though if Kentucky hits the jackpot with Johnson. He is arguably the most important recruit in the class for the Wildcats based on the recruiting method used by Calipari. 

Who Does Kentucky Even Need to Recruit?

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    Kentucky is probably the only school in the country that can truly ask this question. With six McDonald's All-American's coming to Lexington this year, there's a chance not everyone leaves after one year for the NBA.

    The obvious thought is Julius Randle and the Harrison twins are one-and-done, but as we've seen with some other players that's not always the case. 

    If Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee return, there's not a huge need to win the Cliff Alexander sweepstakes, and the face of the class could be a returning player. 

    There's no guarantee how this works out, but it is the one question that will be asked throughout the recruiting process.