Karl Towns

Top recruit Karl Towns commits to Kentucky, reclassifies to 2014


New Jersey native Karl Towns, one of the brightest young talents in the country, has committed to Kentucky and reclassified to the Class of 2014, he announced Tuesday.

Towns’ commitment to Kentucky comes as little surprise, as he had developed a strong relationship with coach John Calipari and even played for Calipari this past summer on the Dominican Republic’s National Olympic Team in London.

“Kentucky is such a great school,” Towns told MSG Varsity after his decision. “I felt like Kentucky was just the right school at the end of the day.”

At 6-11, 235 pounds, Towns can extend out to the perimeter on the offensive end and pull defenses away from the basket. He also considered Duke and Florida heavily, along with Michigan State, North Carolina, Seton Hall, and Rutgers.

He attends St. Joseph High School (N.J.), the same school that Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum attended for much of his prep career. Because of their size and position similarities, as well as ties to the state of New Jersey, the two have often been mentioned together.

Towns becomes the first commit for Calipari in the Class of 2014, after what is expected to be a monstrous 2013 class for Kentucky.

In 2013, Calipari has already secured signatures from three Top-10 players (Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young), plus Top-30 prospect Marcus Lee and forward Derek Willis.

With the reclassification of Andrew Wiggins, perhaps the best prospect in the country and a Kentucky target, and the possibility of nabbing Julius Randle, another Top-5 player, the Wildcats’ 2013 recruiting class could end up being historically talented.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.