Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Best College Basketball Recruiting Class Ever
I don't like being that guy. You know, the guy that likes to jump the gun. The guy that likes to label things prematurely. The guy that is always quick to label the next best thing as the best thing.
However, this time I do believe that the next big thing can be the best thing...ever.
The Kentucky Basketball recruiting class has the potential to be the best we've ever seen. Yes, better than UCLA's class of 1965 and better than the still popular "Fab Five" of Michigan. They are simply that good.
In ESPNU's Top 100, Kentucky has four members. By Scout.com's rankings, three of Kentucky's five recruits are five-star recruits. Kentucky had one recruit in the McDonald's All American game and three players in the Jordan Brand Classic.
I hope you see my point.
Now, I know that high school rankings don't always translate to collegiate success (Greg Paulus?). But I have seen these guys play in person. The Kentucky recruiting class completely dominated high school basketball.
Kentucky's top recruit, John Wall, aka the No. 1 point guard in the country, will give Kentucky the most explosive and athletic floor general in college basketball. Bar none.
In high school, it was impossible to keep him out of the paint. He has outstanding court vision. His scintillating array of skills compare favorably to Derrick Rose.
If John Wall plays half as well as D-Rose did in Memphis, then it'll be a great year for the Wildcats.
DeMarcus Cousins, one of the best centers in the country, is an absolute beast in the post. However, I see him as more of a power forward at the next level because of his handles and 15-foot jumper.
Cousins paired with incoming 6'10" center Daniel Orton or even returning junior Pat Patterson would create a backcourt that could be one of the best in college basketball.
I've only talked about three of the top recruits that Kentucky has coming in and haven't even mentioned the "recruitment" of one of the top coaches in college basketball, John Calipari.
Calipari's credentials, in tandem with the immense potential of the 2009 recruiting class, makes Kentucky one of the best college teams in basketball.
In my eyes, al that may hold Kentucky's class back are the one-and-dones. The thing that made the Fab Five so spectacular was not only that their five freshman starters led Michigan to the Championship game, but the fact that they also returned as sophomores and did it again.
It is very unlikely that all of Kentucky's starting five will be back for the 2010-11 season. John Wall has already stated that if there were no eligibility laws, then he would have put his name in the 2009 NBA Draft.
There is no reason to believe Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins wouldn't do the same thing. Such an exodus would be similar to the 2006 UNC class with Raymond Felton, Sean May, and company.
So, when you are watching Kentucky during next year's college basketball season, enjoy it. Chances are that we will only be able to enjoy this group of guys for a year.
Whether they make it to the Final Four or the National Championship is irrelevant (though it seems inevitable they will make it). The fact is, that we may not have seen a recruiting class like this ever before.
The hype machine is working overtime and the expectations are high. However, I don't think the expectation will phase this class at all. I believe this class will rise to the occasion.
Best recruiting class of 2009? Most definitely. Best recruiting class ever? We'll have to wait and see.
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