Roundtable: The late UK surge

When Isaac Humphries reclassed forward and announced for Kentucky last week, the Scout team debated back and forth whether Duke or Kentucky could best lay claim to the top spot in our final 2015 team recruiting rankings.

The Blue Devils had held the edge prior to Humphries’ decision, but after extensive internal discussion John Calipari's program slid into the top spot.

We asked each of our national team members this question: Why did you feel this change needed to be made, or do you agree with the switch in the first place?

Brian Snow: Yes, I felt the decision was right. It was clear in April that Duke had the better class, but once Kentucky was able to add a five-star talent in Jamal Murray and a four-star talent in Isaac Humphries it gave the Wildcats the edge.

Now, one can clearly state that Duke has more quality and UK has more quantity, but the reality is when evaluating a class quantity can't be ignored, and Kentucky has a very good combination of elite talent and significant depth within its class.

Evan Daniels: It was the necessary move, although the two classes were very close. If Kentucky hadn't picked up Isaac Humphries then we would have stuck with Duke, but I think with his addition UK earned the No. 1 spot. That gives them the ‘Cats the nation’s top prospect -- Skal Labissiere -- plus our No. 12, No. 13 and No. 68 prospects. This was another really good group for Kentucky. It was certainly close between them and Duke, however, because Duke had four five-star prospects.

Josh Gershon: It's definitely really close but at the end of the day, Kentucky's combination of quality and quantity gave it the edge. You have to give bonus points for landing the best prospect in the country in Skal Labissiere, but really what put the Wildcats over the top were landing two impressive talents in Jamal Murray and Isaac Humphries at such a late hour.

Duke no doubt has a big time class and maybe a few years ago it didn’t look like it should have been a close call, but for now, on paper, it very much is and Kentucky slightly wins out.

Rob Harrington: I thought Kentucky nudged ahead slightly after Humphries announced. In my view, there’s some separation between Labissiere and those ranked just behind him, and ultimately I think that pushes the ‘Cats’ group over the top.

If anything, fans may assert this season that the competition between the classes isn’t close at all, given that Duke-bound Brandon Ingram (No. 3 overall prospect) may need a full year to catch up to speed physically while Derryck Thornton (No. 11) bypassed his senior year of high school to enroll early.

But over time, I think Ingram and Thornton will narrow the gap between the two classes considerably and that in retrospect they’ll indeed appear to have been very close.

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this article


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