Okafor/Jones package pushes Duke past Kentucky for No. 1 class

broberts@herald-leader.comNovember 15, 2013 

On the day Kentucky lost its hold on the No. 1 spot in the basketball recruiting rankings, Coach John Calipari also lost his No. 1 recruit.

Stanley Johnson announced his commitment to Arizona on Friday during a program on ESPNU. The five-star small forward from California emerged over the summer as arguably UK's top recruiting priority for the Class of 2014. He had narrowed his choices to Arizona, Kentucky and Southern Cal before deciding to stay out west with Coach Sean Miller's Wildcats.

Scout.com ranks Johnson as the No. 7 overall prospect in the senior class. He's ranked as high as No. 2 by 247Sports.

Johnson's announcement means UK is unlikely to add any more commitments to its four-man recruiting class before the end of the early signing period Wednesday. UK officially announced the additions of Karl Towns Jr., Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker and Trey Lyles on Thursday, the day after all four players signed with the Cats.

Kentucky went into Friday with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, but that changed early on in the ESPNU program. Top-five prospects Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones — both former UK recruits — kept their promise to play at the same school by announcing their commitments to Duke. The addition of those two players vaulted the Blue Devils past Kentucky for the country's top class.

Chicago power forward Cliff Alexander — another top-five recruit who at one time considered UK — announced his commitment to Kansas on Friday.

Friday's developments leave Texas center Myles Turner as the only player in the Class of 2014 with a scholarship offer from Kentucky, which is expected to add two or three more players to its recruiting class.

Turner is still considering more than half a dozen schools and is unlikely to make a college announcement anytime soon.

UK has also shown more interest in five-star small forward Montaque Gill-Caesar of Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. Gill-Caesar, who visited Lexington for last weekend's victory over Northern Kentucky, is currently in the Class of 2015 but is considering a move to the senior class. The Canada native will turn 18 in January and his coach has said that he would be academically eligible to join the Class of 2014.

■ Also Friday, Ballard High School point guard Quentin Snider made a last-minute change by signing with Louisville. Snider initially committed to the Cardinals, reopened his recruitment, then committed to Illinois before finally settling on Louisville.

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

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