All summer long John Calipari was telling anybody who would listen that he was going to bring in his best recruiting class ever. Now time will tell if that statement proves to be prophetic or not, but with the addition of Edrice Adebayo, there is no doubt that the future frontcourt at UK will be loaded and versatile.
Already Kentucky had a pair of high level power forwards in five-star Wenyen Gabriel and four-star Sacha Killeya-Jones. Gabriel is more of a combo forward while Killeya-Jones is a traditional power forward who can also slide down and play center.
Adebayo however isn’t like either of those two. Instead he is a pure power player. In the old way basketball was played Adebayo would be described as a power forward, but in today’s basketball he is a center.
At around 6-foot-8 with elite athleticism and extremely long arms, Adebayo is reminiscent of former Kansas player Cliff Alexander. That said, Adebayo is slightly more skilled and significantly more refined in terms of feel for the game and understanding than Alexander.
Because of that the expectation should be for Adebayo to be a big time immediate contributor. In fact in a class absolutely loaded with elite level players, Adebayo is one of the most college ready players in the class, and should be one of the most productive freshmen around even if he doesn’t have the highest ceiling.
It is going to be extremely difficult for all three of these players to be on the court at the same time, but still their ability gives Calipari a ton of flexibility with all sort of combinations available to him when they get on campus.
Kentucky will also potentially have the shot blocking of Marcus Lee, the low block scorer in Isaac Humphries, and the talented but unproven Tai Wynyard available to him along with the three freshmen.
How Calipari makes that work, and what he decides is best, but in the past he has proven his strength as a coach is making talented pieces fit together well and keep everyone happy.
While it isn’t known how exactly UK is going to make it work, one thing is for sure. They will be as deep and as talented as any team up front, and with a potentially loaded backcourt as well, expectations will be sky high in Lexington heading into next season.