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Nick Richards and P.J. Washington have Kentucky off and running in the 2017 recruiting class

A pair of five-star commitments have Kentucky off and running in the class of 2017.

It was an unusually late start for the Kentucky Wildcats as John Calipari and his staff didn’t even have one signing to announce on the first day of the early signing period, but now things are again rolling as expected in Lexington.

On Thursday Kentucky completed a daily double adding both P.J. Washington and Nick Richards to their class. By adding both of them on the same day, Kentucky becomes the first school in the country to have multiple five-star prospects committed.

Washington is the higher rated of the two, and is someone who is extremely college ready. There was a time where Washington would be knocked for not having prototypical height at the power forward position, but in a day and age of floor spacing and positionless basketball, a power forward who can guard inside and out and clean the glass has incredible value. That is exactly what Washington delivers, along with a developing skill level on offense.

Richards is the traditional John Calipari center. He is big, he is long, he is athletic, and he can really protect the rim. In fact Richards is one of the premier rebounders and shot blockers in the class of 2017. At the moment his offensive game lags behind his defense, but Richards is improving in that area, and before he is done in Lexington could develop into a reliable low block scorer.

By adding these two five-stars, and the likely returns of players such as Sacha Killeya-Jones, Isaac Humphries, and potentially even Wenyen Gabriel, the frontcourt is looking locked and loaded for the Wildcats.

Now Kentucky is very likely to turn their attention to the backcourt. On Monday four-star prospect Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is committing, and right now the Wildcats appear to be the clear leader for the one time Florida commitment.

Also Kentucky is heavily involved with five-star wings Hamidou Diallo and Lonnie Walker. Walker could decide in the next week or so, but Diallo is definitely going to be a later announcement

Beyond those two UK remains right in the mix with Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt, both of whom seem destined to be late decisions, and of course there is also the chance Calipari and his staff pull something out late with a prospect they aren’t currently being mentioned with.

Overall this might be a later start than usual for Calipari on the recruiting trail, but things are going just fine, and the expectation is for a top three class before things are finished in Lexington.

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