College basketball’s late signing period is becoming Christmas in April for John Calipari and Kentucky.
Not only did the Wildcats score No. 3 2010 prospect Brandon Knight, but top-rated 2011 player Michael Gilchrist made it a Big Blue Wednesday by giving the program a verbal commitment.
Both announcements came live on ESPNU.
Gilchrist, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward, earned fourth team All-America honors from MaxPreps following his junior campaign after posting 16.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for nationally-ranked St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.).
The Garden State phenom is widely regarded as the top 2011 talent in the country and has even been called the best basketball prospect in America regardless of class. The announcement turned emotional toward the end as Gilchrist mentioned his late father and the significance of today's date.
“My dad passed when I was two years old,” Gilchrist said. “It's his birthday today. It’s not for me, it’s for him.”
Gilchrist is Kentucky’s first 2011 commitment and continues a string of major recruiting victories for Calipari that include Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Brandon Knight.