Highly-touted 2013 shooting guard James Young commits to Kentucky


6-6 shooting guard James Young made the news that many expected to hear official, as he verbally committed on ESPNU to attend Kentucky next fall.

“I will be heading to the University of Kentucky,” said Young on the telecast while holding up a Kentucky t-shirt.

Young is the fourth member of Kentucky’s 2013 class, joining twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison (both are guards) and power forward Derek Willis.

Like the Harrison twins, Young is a Top 10 prospect according to each of the major recruiting websites.

Young, who hails from Troy, Michigan, picked the Wildcats over Michigan State, Kansas and Syracuse.

He’s a 6-6 lefty who can score from anywhere on the floor and his size will allow for the Wildcats to use him at the three, which is likely given the presence of the Harrison twins.

This summer he played with The Family AAU program alongside guards Wes Clark (committed to Missouri) and E.C. Matthews (committed to Rhode Island).

As for Young’s decision to commit to Kentucky, many felt that once he received an offer from the Wildcats back in June it was a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.”

And as was discussed last week when the Harrison twins announced their decision, Kentucky certainly isn’t done with the 2013 class.

Aaron Gordon and Marcus Lee, two very good front court prospects from California, remain on the board as does 6-9 Texan Julius Randle and there’s that Andrew Wiggins quandary (2013 or 2014?) to consider as well.

John Calipari gets another outstanding prospect, and given what the Kentucky program has done both on the floor and in the NBA Draft in recent years that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.