Top Five Recruiting Classes & Top Five Players on the Board

The NCAA’s early signing period ended Wednesday and, once again, Kentucky and coach John Calipari were the big winners.

Calipari landed the consensus No. 1 overall recruiting class for the fourth straight year – and he’s not done yet.

Kentucky is involved with several of the top unsigned players who will wait until the spring signing period beginning in April, meaning he could still put together arguably the greatest class in the history of recruiting.

In words that should strike fear into college coaches across the land, Calipari recently said on ESPNU, “I really believe we’ll sign one or two more.”



Signed players (5): 6-5 SG Aaron Harrison, Fort Bend, TX; 6-5 PG Andrew Harrison, Fort Bend, TX;  6-9 PF Marcus Lee, Antioch Valley, CA; 6-8 PF Derek Willis, Mount Washington, KY; 6-6 SG James Young, Rochester, MI.

The skinny: The Wildcats beat out Maryland for the Harrison twins, two extremely talented guards who likely will follow the Calipari heritage of one-and-dones that includes Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight and Marquis Teague.

Kentucky remains alive in the spring for 6-8 small forward Andrew Wiggins, the top overall player in high school basketball, as well as 6-9 power forward Julius Randle and 6-8 power forward Aaron Gordon, who brings to mind Blake Griffin.


Signed players (5): 7-0 C Joel Embiid, Gainesville, FL; 6-7 SF Brannen Greene, Tifton, GA; 6-0 PG Conner Frankcamp, Wichita, KS; 5-11 PG Frank Mason, Petersburg, VA; 6-4 SG Wayne Selden, Roxbury, MA.

The skinny: The most intriguing prospect in the groupEmbiid began playing at one of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s basketball camps in his native Cameroon when he was 16. Mbah a Moute, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, encouraged him to attend Montverde Academy in Florida. Embiid transferred to The Rock School in Gainesville for coach Justin Harden for his senior season.

“Joel’s potential is untapped,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I think he’s just now starting to figure it out and get confidence. He will develop and be one of the very best tall guys in college basketball in just a year or two. The way we play, we can move him around and he made me a much better coach when he put his name on the dotted line.”


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