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Could this be the start of Kentucky’s greatest recruiting class ever?


Generally speaking, when a program brings in a pair of players as talented as twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison, their recruiting class is all but set.

Yes, some holes will get filled in and there will likely be a couple of other names that end up on the roster, but at the end of the day, those two top five talents are usually end up being the meat of the class.

Not Kentucky.

Not under John Calipari.

And while we’ve seen him put together some incredible classes in his three years in Lexington — last year’s crop of newbies included three of the top six players nationally and a fourth that was in the top 25 and his first class included DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall  and two other five-star players — they pale in comparison to the kind of class that Coach Cal has the chance to put together for 2013.

Of the top seven players in the Class of 2013, according to ESPN, the five that remain uncommitted are Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, James Young, Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh. (The other two are the Harrisons.) Kentucky is involved with all five, and probably the favorite, at this point, for at least two of the them.

And that doesn’t include Andrew Wiggins, the best high school player in the country who is expected by most to reclassify to 2013 from 2014, or Marcus Lee, a top 30 recruit who has whittled his choices down to Cal and UK.

Is it possible that we could be heading for a 2013-2014 season where Kentucky’s starting lineup is completely made up of players who were ranked in the top ten nationally?

As for the Terps, missing out on the Harrisons is a major disappointment, but they still have some promising recruits to chase.

Rysheed Jordan (Philly) and Roddy Peters (Suitland, MD) are both four-star point guards that the Terps are currently pursuing, while forwards Cameron Blakely and Junior Etou and shooting guard RJ Curington are involved with Turgeon’s team. Maryland already has a commitment from Damonte Dodd.

It’s back to the drawing board for Turgeon, but on some level he had to have known: he wasn’t getting the Harrison twins out of Calipari’s grip.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.


VIDEO: Kris Dunn wills Providence to win over No. 11 Arizona

Kris Dunn, Elliott Pitts
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Kris Dunn spent the first 35 minutes of Friday night’s game against No. 11 Arizona in foul trouble, splitting his time between sitting on the bench and trying to avoid finding himself, again, on the wrong side the whistle.

With 11 minutes left in the game, and with Dunn yet to find a rhythm, the all-american point guard was whistled for his fourth foul as he battled for a rebound with Arizona’s Mark Tollefsen. Head coach Ed Cooley say his superstar beside his for six game minutes, time enough for Arizona to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 58-54 lead.

There were just over five minutes left when Dunn reentered the second semifinal of the Wooden Legacy, and he proceeded to show everyone in the country why he was named the NBCSports.com Preseason Player of the Year. Providence had nine possessions after he reentered the game. Dunn scored 11 points and had a pair of assists on those eight possessions, and if Ben Bentil had stuck a wide-open three — that was setup by Dunn — the Friars would have scored on all nine.

In total, Dunn was responsible for all 15 Friar points in a game-changing, 15-7 run in the final 4:30. It was capped off by this Kobe-in-his-prime-esque game-winner:

The win for Providence is huge for a couple of reasons:

  • Dunn showed a killer instinct against a marquee opponent, something that we didn’t necessarily see out of him a season ago. He wasn’t going to let his team lose, and given that Providence doesn’t have anyone else that can consistently create good shots, they are going to need that from him a lot this year.
  • It makes a statement for the Friars. Arizona is overrated at No. 11 in the country, yes, but going out on national television against an elite program and getting this kind of performance from Dunn is a confidence-booster and a tone-setter. Providence hasn’t been accustomed to winning in recent years. This is a way to set a trend.
  • Ben Bentil continues to play like a star. Dunn had 19 points and eight assists on Friday, but Bentil followed up a 24-point performance in the win over Evansville with 21 critical points on Friday.

This win sets up a matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence on Sunday night, which means that Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn — the two best players in the country, sorry Ben Simmons — will be going head-to-head.

Oh. Hell. Yes.

No. 14 Cal goes 0-2 in Las Vegas Invitational

Jaylen Brown
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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After midnight on the east coast on Thanksgiving, No. 14 Cal blew a 15 point second half lead against San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to use a 30-6 run to put away the game and advance to the final of the Las Vegas Invitational. That’s the same San Diego State team had scored 43 points in a loss to Arkansas-Little Rock last week.

Not 24 hours later, the Golden Bears were shredded defensively by the Richmond Spiders, losing 94-90 in the consolation game of a four-team tournament they were considered to be the heavy favorite in.

It’s a disappointing two-game stretch for Cal, who entered the season as a Pac-12 favorite and had looked the part for the first four games of the season.

And the issue appears to be on the defensive end of the floor.

Richmond is a good Atlantic 10 team. Terry Allen and Marshall Wood are high-major big men, Shawn’Dre Jones is a jitterbug at the point and Chris Mooney runs a Princeton-esque system that is very difficult to prepare for without a day in-between games. So it’s not really surprising that the Spiders gave Cal a fight.

But 94 points?

On the heels of giving up 44 points in the second half against the offensively-challenged Aztecs?

That’s a problem, one that I’m sure that Cuonzo Martin is going to address this week in practice. Martin has managed to put together a roster that is build for small-ball, with four talented perimeter players surrounding a first round pick in the post. But that’s not the style that he’s known for. Martin played his college ball at Purdue in the Gene Keady days. He cut his teeth as a head coach at Missouri State in the Missouri Valley. His team’s at Tennessee were known for being tough and physical defensively.

That’s how Martin coaches, which is part of the reason Cal had such hype entering the year.

The talents of Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews on a team with a coach that gets teams to defend the way Martin does? It’s no surprise that pundits would be optimistic.

But as of now, they have some work to do defensively if they want to live up to that hype.