Next Cats: Top 10 recruit James Young to announce college decision

broberts@herald-leader.comOctober 10, 2012 

VG James Young

Col. Charles Young was the third black West Point graduate. He once rode a horse 500 miles to prove his fitness for duty.

VAUGHN GURGANIAN — The Oakland Press

  • Thursday

    What: James Young announcement

    When: 5 p.m.

    TV: ESPNU

ESPNU's Recruiting Nation might be due for a name change.

For a second week in a row, it looks like the show will deliver more good news for Kentucky basketball, and more bad news for the coaches around the nation who are trying to keep up with John Calipari.

Top-10 recruit James Young will announce his college decision on Thursday's program, following in the footsteps of Andrew and Aaron Harrison, who committed to Kentucky during last week's edition.

The setting will be the same. The destination, too, it seems.

"I would be pretty shocked if he doesn't pick Kentucky," said Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels. "All signs point to Kentucky."

Daniels' fellow recruiting analysts agreed with him, if Twitter is any indication.

"Looks like Kentucky will get another top 10 prospect when James Young announces on Thursday," tweeted Jerry Meyer of 24/7 Sports.

Young to UK is "basically a lock," added CBS analyst Jeff Borzello.

When the week began, UK was one of four teams on Young's list, joining Michigan State, Syracuse and Kansas.

Of those schools, the 6-foot-6 wing forward had only visited Kentucky. His plan was to make a trip to Michigan State and then sit down with his inner circle to discuss a possible midnight madness visit for this weekend.

The trip to East Lansing didn't happen, and Michigan State quit recruiting him.

"He hasn't visited any other schools," Daniels said. "Michigan State has pulled out of the recruitment. I think they kind of saw the writing on the wall."

That writing says Kentucky. If Young says the same Thursday, the Cats will be getting another top-notch player for their 2013 recruiting class.

Already a highly regarded prospect, the Michigan native climbed higher up the rankings with a spectacular showing on the Nike travel circuit over the summer. He's now rated No. 5 his class by ESPN and No. 8 by Scout.com.

Young has been listed as a guard for much of his high school career, but he's said that he has no problem playing the small forward position, and Daniels said that's probably the spot that suits his game best.

Gary Fralick coached Young for three years at Troy High School, before the prospect's recent transfer to Rochester High for his senior year.

Though Young has a national reputation as a scorer, Fralick said he is also "extremely unselfish" and should have no problem sharing the court with the Harrison twins and whoever else Calipari brings to Lexington in 2013.

"He's a great talent," Fralick said. "I'm sure that if he does sign with Kentucky then he's going to be a great complement to the twins. They're going to have a lot of talent on that team and James is right up there with probably anybody in the nation right now.

"They're going to love him. You got four scorers on the floor and James will be the passer. And he'll enjoy it."

Adding Young would give Kentucky three of the top 10 recruits in the country for the third year in a row.

Other than UK, the last school to bring in three top-10 recruits in one class was North Carolina in 2006.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216Twitter: @NextCatsBlog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com

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