Basketball Recruiting Roundup
For almost a year now, basketball recruiting experts have been talking about how the phenomenal recruiting classes at Texas and Indiana were the two best in the country.
Well, folks, Kentucky just crashed the party.
With the Wildcats' latest commitment — Landmark Christian School (Ga.) 6-foot-11, 270-pound center Randolph Morris pledged to Kentucky over Georgia Tech and the NBA Thursday night — they can now make a case for having the nation's top recruiting class.
Not bad for a school that didn't sign a single Top 50 player during November's early-signing period and ranked as one of the nation's biggest recruiting disappointments just six months ago.
In January, however, Kentucky picked up commitments from Renaissance High (Mich.) shooting guard Joe Crawford and Oak Hill Academy (Va.) point guard Rajon Rondo within a few days of each other.
With Morris now in the fold, the Wildcats have landed a trio of McDonald's All-Americans to put them on par with Texas (LaMarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson and Mike Williams).
Add in Top 100 point guard Ramel Bradley out of IMG Academy (Fla.), and Kentucky's recruiting class is loaded. Rondo and Bradley are both incredibly quick playmakers, Crawford is a well-rounded, athletic wing man and Morris is one of the nation's top big men with a spectacular post game reminiscent of Tim Duncan.
In fact, Morris was considered a possibility to jump straight to the NBA, but he decided instead to head to college at Kentucky for at least a year.
With Kentucky gaining a possible NBA entrant and several other colleges losing top recruits to the NBA — Indiana lost Josh Smith, Louisville lost Sebastian Telfair, North Carolina lost J.R. Smith, Duke lost Shaun Livingston and Arkansas lost Al Jefferson — the Wildcats leap over all of those teams into a dead heat with Texas for the nation's top recruiting class.
Speaking of the NBA, check back with SchoolSports.com next week for a roundup and analysis of all the high school players who entered the draft. The early-entry deadline is May 10.
More Recruiting News:
Former North Carolina recruit JamesOn Curry, who had his scholarship to UNC withdrawn last month after pleading guilty to drug charges, signed with Oklahoma State earlier this week. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard out of Eastern Alamance High (N.C.) is the all-time leading scorer in state history and is a great addition for the Cowboys. …
Louisville may have lost Telfair to the NBA, but Rick Pitino did land highly coveted combo forward Tello Palacios earlier this week to help lessen the sting. Palacios, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound beast out of Our Savior New American (N.Y.), is rated the No. 25 recruit in the Class of 2004 by SchoolSports.com and was one of the top unsigned seniors still left on the board. …
Rainier Beach High (Wash.) 6-foot-11 center C.J. Giles was released from his letter-of-intent to Miami earlier this week. Giles, who sought his release after the coaching change at Miami, is now looking at Kansas, Washington and Cincinnati. …
Notre Dame is making a strong push in the Class of 2005, having already locked up commitments from two Top 50 juniors. A week after landing Washington High (Ind.) 6-foot-11 center Luke Zeller, the Irish received a commitment from Germantown Academy (Pa.) 6-foot-6 swingman Ryan Ayers, the son of former Philadelphia 76ers coach Randy Ayers.