Is Kentucky in the midst of the greatest recruiting run in modern college basketball history?
The Wildcats celebrated the opening of the spring signing period Wednesday by welcoming Class of 2012 No. 1 prospect Nerlens Noel
to the Big Blue Nation. Securing a pledge from the 6-foot-10 center will likely bring the nation's top recruiting class to Lexington for the fourth year in a row.
Kentucky has four of the top 34 prospects in MaxPreps.com's Class of 2012 Top 100 en route to campus next fall. A year ago, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist headlined a group that featured four of top 12 players in America. Five-star talents Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight highlighted a 2010 contingent that was also regarded as the nation's best.
Since Calipari arrived at Kentucky in 2009, a dozen MaxPreps five-star prospects have elected to become Wildcats.
Programs still looking for talent are running out of options as just six Top 100 senior remain undecided. The spring signing period ends May 16.TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL RECRUITING CLASSES1. KentuckySignees/Commitments:
No. 1 Nerlens Noel
(6-10, 215, C), No. 7 Archie Goodwin
(6-5, 185, SG), No. 12 Alex Poythress
(6-7, 220, SF/PF), No. 34 Willie Cauley
(6-11, 225, C)Impact:
Incredibly, the Wildcats could still add to this haul in the form of five-star forward Anthony Bennett
. North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow – a Top 25 player in the 2010 class – also becomes eligible next season.2. ArizonaSignees/Commitments:
No. 10 Kaleb Tarczewski
(7-0, 235, C), No. 14 Grant Jerrett
(6-10, 220, PF), No. 17 Brandon Ashley
(6-8, 220, PF), No. 27 Gabe York
(6-2, 180, PG/SG), JC Matt Korcheck (6-9, 235, PF) Impact:
Merging four talented big men with returning forwards Angelo Chol and Solomon Hill is going to be an interesting process to observe. The Wildcats also landed key transfer T.J. McConnell from Duquesne.3. UCLASignees/Commitments:
No. 2 Shabazz Muhammad
(6-6, 215, SG), No. 3 Kyle Anderson
(6-7, 215, PG/SF), No. 57 Jordan Adams
(6-5, 230, SG/SF)Impact:
Pac-12 rival Arizona gets the nod over UCLA based on numbers and the fact that Muhammad and Anderson aren't likely to stick around long. As the doors open to a new Pauley Pavilion, 2012-13 is going to be a pressure-filled year for Ben Howland and the Bruins.4. North CarolinaSignees/Commitments:
No. 32 Marcus Paige
(6-1, 165, PG), No. 35 Brice Johnson
(6-8, 190, PF), No. 53 Joel James
(6-10, 280, C), No. 58 Jean-Pierre Tokoto
(6-6, 190, SF)Impact:
Roy Williams landed a solid group of complimentary players that should have some staying power in Chapel Hill.5. KansasSignees/Commitments:
No. 36 Perry Ellis
(6-8, 225, PF), No. 47 Andrew White
(6-6, 210, SG/SF), No. 85 Landen Lucas
(6-10, 245, C), No. 93 Zach Peters
(6-9, 235, PF/C), No. 96 Rio Adams
(6-3, 185, SG)Impact:
Adams could wind up being the steal of the year. His stock slipped last summer after an exhausting transfer saga but re-emerged as an elite guard during an outstanding senior campaign that ended with a state title at Rainier Beach (Seattle).