2014 Rankings Report: Kentucky

Here is a look at where the Kentucky Wildcats commitments come in, in the final 2014 rankings, and why they are ranked where they are.

John Calipari clearly is a recruiting machine right now at UK. While the Wildcats won't have the top class in the country for the first time in half a decade, there is nobody crying for UK given the talent that they have coming in with three five-star prospects.

The top pledge for Kentucky is now center Karl Towns. Towns was as impressive as anybody at the McDonald's All-American Game as well as the Nike Hoops Summit to vault from No. 11 in the country to No.4.

Given his skill level and legit 7-foot size, Towns is a very unique prospect. He has really improved his physical conditioning and toned up his body which has let everything else shine through. With his potential along with strong production against the best, there was no doubt that Towns had to be moved into the top five, and he settled in at No. 4.

Falling just out of the top 10 from No. 8 to No. 11 was Trey Lyles. The power forward lacks the elite athleticism of some in the class, but he is highly skilled and very tough. Lyles was very good during the high school season where his size and strength overwhelmed opponents, but he struggled in the all-star settings against like prospects, so he had to be dropped a few spots down out of the top 10.

Right now Lyles projects as somebody who should be around Lexington for a few years, and should be very productive as a scorer and rebounder. Not a major shot blocker, Lyles gives effort but there is some physical limitation. Still expect a very strong season or two from Lyles, and he leads the way in terms of power forwards in the class.

Making a big jump for UK was point guard Tyler Ulis. Was bumped up to five-star status, and is now viewed as the No. 20 prospect in the country. Of all the floor generals in this class, Ulis was the most dominant and made everybody else better at the highest level. During several in-person high school viewings Ulis got the best of solid four-star prospects, and then during the all-star circuit he was nearly unstoppable.

Ulis is small, but he knows how to play while being small and actually can use it to his advantage at times. His feel for the game and floor vision are elite, and that allows him to set up teammates at a high level. Even with the return of Andrew Harrison, it wouldn't be surprising for Ulis to get major minutes because of how many plays he makes, and how easy the game becomes for others with him on the floor.

The only non five-star being brought in by Kentucky is Devin Booker. Booker is just outside of five-star range at No. 29. Booker went up a few spots, but he just doesn't have all the physical tools to crack that five-star range. Still he is a near elite shooter, a solid athlete, and has a solid understanding of the game. He just now needs to be more consistent off the dribble as well as impacting the game on both ends of the floor.

Overall Calipari did it again. He brought in a superstar class, and has filled needs in the process. This is one of the elite groups, and with a playmaker like Ulis at the point along with skilled bigs down low, the future is extremely bright in Lexington.


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