Updated Kentucky 2014 Recruiting Breakdown

| August 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

2014 Kentucky Recruits

Basketball recruiting is finally heating up as the fall steadily approaches, and a lot has changed in Kentucky’s recruiting picture since the beginning of the summer. Following is a look at Kentucky’s updated (unofficial) recruiting board.

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Emmanuel Mudiay Rashad Vaughn Stanley Johnson Trey Lyles Karl Towns
Tyus Jones James Blackmon Jr. Justise Winslow Cliff Alexander Jahlil Okafor
Tyler Ulis Devin Booker Kelly Oubre Angel Delgado Myles Turner
Josh Perkins Dante Exum

Key: Committed to Kentucky | Offer from Kentucky | No offer from Kentucky

Over the summer, Kentucky has extended several new offers and added a couple of new targets entirely. Point guard Tyler Ulis and James Blackmon Jr. are two of the newest names. Blackmon Jr., a former Indiana commit, is a Kentucky legacy as his father played for the Cats in the late 80s. The youngest Blackmon is regarded as one of the best shooters in the class and, although he is primarily regarded as a shooting guard, he is also capable of playing some point guard. Kentucky wasted no time in offering Blackmon Jr. and the Cats are viewed as the odds-on favorite to land his services. He would likely fill a Doron Lamb role at Kentucky.

Kentucky ramped up its interest in Chicago point guard Tyler Ulis after an impressive 22-point, 17-assist performance against top point guard Tyus Jones at the Peach Jam in July. Measuring in at 5’8″, Ulis is undoubtedly undersized, but he is also explosive and would immediately be a spark plug off the bench. Calipari and company have not yet offered Ulis, but they have invited him to visit the campus in September. It’s difficult to say at this point whether the coaching staff views Ulis as a “plan C” in case they miss on both Emmanuel Mudiay and Tyus Jones, or as a guy who could co-exist with one of their top two targets and stick around two to three years. Either way, don’t expect an offer until after Ulis has visited in the fall.

The recruitment of Ulis does likely signal the end of the road for Josh Perkins’ Kentucky aspirations. Perkins, who is set to make a decision at the end of the month, still does not have an offer from the Cats. The coaching staff took a long look at the future Huntington Prep point guard during July but were not impressed enough to pull the trigger on an offer.

Angel Delgado is definitely another name to keep in mind. Although he does not have an offer from the Cats, the Kentucky coaching staff is very high on the Dominican Republic native. In fact, he is viewed as the main reason Kentucky moved on from power forwards Craig Victor and Abdul-Malik Abu. Delgado is a member of the Orlando Antigua-coach Dominican Republic National Team and will spend the upcoming year at Huntington Prep, so the Kentucky coaching staff will have plenty of time to evaluate him. The 6’9″ power forward is likely Kentucky-bound if/when an offer comes.

With so many targets in play, it’s not easy to predict exactly what Kentucky’s 2014 class will look like come the spring signing period. With that said, there are a few consensus favorites out there at the moment. Following is a look at the current favorites to end up in Lexington, according to the Crystal Ball panel of experts.


In order to get a holistic view of the recruiting picture, we must not only look at the players coming in, but also the players going out. Following is a “heat chart” for Kentucky’s roster regarding who may stay and who may go.

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Andrew Harrison Aaron Harrison Alex Poythress Julius Randle Willie Cauley-Stein
Jarrod Polson Jon Hood James Young Marcus Lee Dakari Johnson
Dominique Hawkins Derek Willis

Walk-ons: E.J. Floreal, Tod Lanter, Sam Malone, Brian Long

Key: Definitely leaving Likely leaving Could be leaving Likely staying

Now, if we assume that all of the guys on the fence of leaving indeed do so, and add in the consensus favorites to land at Kentucky, the roster looks as follows.

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Emmanuel Mudiay Rashad Vaughn Stanley Johnson Trey Lyles Karl Towns
Dominique Hawkins James Blackmon Jr. Angel Delgado Marcus Lee
Derek Willis

Walk-ons: E.J. Floreal, Tod Lanter, Sam Malone, Brian Long

Key: Uncommitted | Committed | Returning

As you can see, even with all but three guys leaving from the 2013-2014 team, Kentucky’s 2014-2015 roster already looks fairly solid with the addition of six of the Wildcats’ most likely targets. If this scenario plays out, Kentucky will still have three open scholarships to distribute. Those scholarships would likely be used to build depth on the perimeter with some multi-year guys.

Someone like point guard Tyler Ulis would be a welcomed addition as he could back up Mudiay and give Blackmon Jr. enough flexibility to back up the two and three spots. Calipari and company would also be well-served in bringing in another wing player to spell Stanley Johnson. Devin Booker, Justise Winslow and Kelly Oubre would all be candidates, but there is also an excellent chance that the coaching staff pursues a multi-year guy off the radar.

The frontcourt in this scenario is already very talented and deep, so Kentucky could likely stand pat. Take Karl Towns and Trey Lyles, combine them with sophomores Marcus Lee and Derek Willis and throw in a rebounding machine like Angel Delgado and the Cats will have one of the best frontcourts in the nation once again.

Many people have remarked about how Calipari is widening the net this year and extending a lot more offers than usual. While this is true, it’s certainly no reason to panic. Not counting Karl Towns, Kentucky will likely need to fill seven to nine scholarships in 2014. In order to pull off such a monster class, the coaching staff has to open up a lot of options. Expect the coaching staff to widen the net even further after the early signing period in November in order to build up some multi-year depth.


Category: Basketball, Featured Posts, Kentucky Recruits, KSC Blog

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