Kentucky, which already had one of the top recruiting classes in the country, received a verbal commitment from high-scoring swingman James Young of Rochester, Mich., skyrocketing the Wildcats’ recruiting class to among the best of all time.
Young has been rated the No. 5 overall player in the nation by ESPN 100, and getting him to join two other top five player over Syracuse, Michigan State and Kansas put John Calapari’s team into uncharted territory.
Young is the third player — all top-five recruits — to commit to Kentucky in the past seven days. He joins the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron to form what is quickly cementing itself as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for 2013. Few times in the history of recruiting has a program landed three top-five players.
Young, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Rochester, Mich., was named to The Detroit News Dream Team last season after averaging 25.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
“Kentucky has always been my dream school,” said Young, who made his announcement while pulling out a “Kentucky Bound” blue T-shirt with his last name on it. “Once I went up there to visit, I just fell in love with the place.
“I’m not just looking for the NBA. I’m looking for an education and a national championship and that’s about it.”
He was well aware that he would be playing with the Harrison twins.
“I’m excited,” Young said. “I’ve been seeing them over the summer. They’re great players and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”
To go down as the top recruiting class of all time, Calipari would need a pledge from either elite power forward the Wildcats are still in the mix with — No. 3 recruit Julius Randle of Dallas or No. 6 prospect Aaron Gordon of San Jose, Calif.
The Wildcats also have scholarships out to top-30 recruits Kennedy Meeks, a center out of Charlotte, N.C., and Marcus Lee, a power forward from Antioch, Calif.
Kentucky has had the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in three of the past four years. In 2012, UCLA’s contingent, led by Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson unseated the Wildcats, who had been at the top in 2009, 2010 and 2011.