Next Cats Summer Recruiting Guide: Class of 2013

Capsules compiled by The Herald-Leader's Ben Roberts | Scout.com analysis provided by Evan Daniels

June 16, 2013 

Julius Randle

Position: Power forward

Height, weight: 6-9, 245 pounds

Hometown: Plano, Texas

Rivals ranking: 2

Scout ranking: 2

ESPN ranking: 3

24/7 Sports ranking: 2

■ The highest-rated prospect in UK's top-ranked recruiting class, Randle will likely assume a leadership role from the beginning. He missed almost all of his senior season with a broken foot, but came back to lead his school to a state championship and was one of the most dominant players on the post-season all-star circuit. Randle chose Kentucky over Kansas, Florida and Texas.

Scout's take: "Randle is a strong, physical presence in the post, a guy who can really score through contact. I think he's one of the best rebounders in the 2013 class. He's also a guy who's skilled enough to step out and attack guys off the bounce and make mid-range jump shots.

"I think he'll be one of the best players and one of the best long-term prospects in college basketball next year. He's a guy who will have a major impact right away."

Andrew Harrison

Position: Point guard

Height, weight: 6-5, 215 pounds

Hometown: Richmond, Texas

Rivals ranking: 5

Scout ranking: 5

ESPN ranking: 5

24/7 Sports ranking: 3

■ The unanimous pick as the top point guard in the class of 2013, Harrison had long been a top priority for Calipari before he committed to the Cats last fall. A confident, fiery court leader, Harrison missed several games last season with nagging injuries but helped his school win an elusive state title after years of disappointing finishes.

Scout's take: "What sticks out about Andrew is his ability to facilitate and create opportunities for others. He's a tremendous passer. I think when he's surrounded by so many weapons, his game will shine even more. To go with his point guard skills, he's a guy who can really score the ball. Not only at the rim and mid-range, but also well beyond the three-point stripe.

"He's the complete package from the point guard spot, and he's also a physical guard. He's tough, he's hard-nosed and he can defend."

Aaron Harrison

Position: Shooting guard

Height, weight: 6-5, 215 pounds

Hometown: Richmond, Texas

Rivals ranking: 7

Scout ranking: 6

ESPN ranking: 9

24/7 Sports ranking: 5

■ The No. 1 shooting guard in the country is also one of the elite scorers in this class (he had eight games of 30 or more points last season). He and his twin brother, Andrew, are both considered possible lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft and should form one of the best backcourts in all of college basketball next season. They chose UK over Maryland and SMU.

Scout's take: "One of the best scorers in the country. He has deep range on his jump shot. He's very consistent on making mid-range jump shots, and he's also physical and strong enough to score at the basket. I thought he was arguably the top scorer in the 2013 class. And I have a feeling that's the role he'll be playing at Kentucky."James Young

Position: Guard/forward

Height, weight: 6-6, 210 pounds

Hometown: Rochester, Mich.

Rivals ranking: 11

Scout ranking: 11

ESPN ranking: 8

24/7 Sports ranking: 10

■ He grew up in Michigan, but Young says he has followed the Wildcats since the Tubby Smith era and considered UK his "dream school" before committing last fall. As a senior last season, Young led his high school to its first regional title since 1950. The athletic wing player picked Kentucky over Michigan State, Kansas and Syracuse.

Scout's take: "James brings athleticism. He's a big wing, he's long, he can rebound pretty well, he shoots the ball well off the catch and he defends the wing pretty well. He's a scorer — a guy who can really put up some points."Dakari Johnson

Position: Center

Height, weight: 6-11, 250 pounds

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rivals ranking: 9

Scout ranking: 17

ESPN ranking: 7

24/7 Sports ranking: 8

■ The top center in his class, Johnson is already familiar with UK basketball. He attended middle school at Sayre and played for the high school's varsity team as an eighth grader. He was also a high school teammate of former UK standout Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The 17-year-old reclassified from the class of 2014 last fall and chose UK over Syracuse and Georgetown in January.

Scout's take: "Dakari's one of the best rebounders in the country. I actually think Dakari and Julius Randle are the top two rebounders in the 2013 class. He's a big, wide body. He clears out space. He's got great hands, good touch over his left shoulder. He'll contest shots with his length. He's not going to wow you with his athleticism, but he will with his motor and his ability to rebound."Marcus Lee

Position: Power forward

Height, weight: 6-10, 205 pounds

Hometown: Antioch, Calif.

Rivals ranking: 19

Scout ranking: 24

ESPN ranking: 25

24/7 Sports ranking: 14

■ One of six McDonald's All-Americans in UK's class, Lee popped up on Calipari's radar last summer and committed to the Cats shortly after attending Big Blue Madness last fall. His improved play (and increased exposure) over the past few months have earned him five-star status from most of the major recruiting services. California and Louisville were his other finalists.

Scout's take: "What Marcus brings to the table is athleticism, shot-blocking ability and rebounding. He's long, he's athletic, he moves up and down the floor very well. His timing and athleticism really help him with his ability to block shots. I think those are the areas where he's really going to shine as a freshman."Derek Willis

Position: Forward

Height, weight: 6-9, 200 pounds

Hometown: Mount Washington, Ky.

Rivals ranking: 115

Scout ranking: 3-star

ESPN ranking: 3-star

24/7 Sports ranking: 59

■ The first member of UK's recruiting class is widely considered to be the top prospect from the state of Kentucky. Willis led Bullitt East to the Sweet Sixteen in 2011 and 2012, and the Chargers were one of the top teams in the state again last season. A Mr. Basketball finalist, Willis picked UK over Louisville, Indiana and Purdue.

Scout's take: "Derek has good hands and he's a guy who can step out and make jump shots. He needs to get stronger and become a better rebounder, but he does have some skill. He has raw talent and natural ability.

"With Derek, it's going to start with him getting stronger and getting more confident in himself. I think strength helps from that standpoint. He's definitely talented."Dominique Hawkins

Position: Guard

Height, weight: 6-0, 170 pounds

Hometown: Richmond, Ky.

Rivals ranking: 3-star

Scout ranking: 3-star

ESPN ranking: 3-star

24/7 Sports ranking: 155

■ Hawkins caught Calipari's attention with a magical run through the Sweet Sixteen that resulted in Madison Central's first state tournament championship. He won Mr. Basketball honors and a scholarship offer from the school he cheered for growing up. Hawkins was leaning toward Western Kentucky before UK came through with an offer in March.

Scout's take: "The thing about Dominique is he's tough. He's a hard-nosed dude who can really defend the ball. He's a combo guard — I don't think he's a true '1' or a true '2'. He's a guy who's developed an ability to make shots. And he defends very well.

"He's a Kentucky kid and he's going to bring energy. He can appreciate wearing a Kentucky jersey. He knows what it means, being from the area. ... He's a guy that wants to play at Kentucky, and there's something to be said about that."

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