Larry Vaught continues with the second part of this two-part installment with Adam Zagoria. Zagoria concluded the first installment by talking about the Harrison brothers, widely believed to be leaning toward the Wildcats. This second part begins with another wing target, James Young.
Another potential wing target is James Young, a player Zagoria says reminds him of J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks “because he is not afraid to shoot” a lot of shots.
“He will have games where he goes like 6-for-19, but he also went off against Wiggins. He took that game over this summer,” Zagoria said. “He is a scorer. He can put points on the board. He handles it well.?He is a big physical kid with a body to play two guard in the?NBA.
“I saw where he said he would not announce until the spring. A lot will depend on how other stuff unfolds and what happens with certain players. It looks right now like the Harrisons will be the first to announce, then maybe Jabari Parker in November. I do not know when Young and Randle will announce and I guess Wiggins will wait until spring.”
The 6-9 Randle, another player from Texas, recently noted that Calipari “is a great coach” and that he could see a mega recruiting class coming for UK. He also has interest in Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Baylor and Texas.
“Randle is a definite possibility for Kentucky, but he has his pick of Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Baylor. Anywhere he wants to go, he can go,” Zagoria said. “And there really is not a bad choice on the schools he has.”
He doesn’t think Parker, a Chicago product considered the top player in the 2013 recruiting class by most, will pick UK?over Duke and Michigan State.
“He has strong relationships with coaches at Duke and Michigan State. Academics are very important to his family, and that helps Duke,” Zagoria said. “I have even had sources close to Calipari tell me that he believes Duke is the favorite. I?honestly don’t think Jabari Parker goes to Kentucky.”
He also honestly believes that expectations for success at UK this year should be reeled in just a bit despite the arrival of a No. 1 recruiting class that includes Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin along with Willie Cauley-Stein, a player Zagoria admits he has not seen much of.
“I think those guys (Poythress, Goodwin, Noel) are great players, but Kentucky fans should temper their expectations about winning another title,” Zagoria said. “Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller won’t be there to provide that veteran leadership. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis were such special players. You are asking a lot of new guys to replicate that along with Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow.”
Of course, tempering expectations at Kentucky under Calipari is a bit different than it is at other schools.
“They may only get to Elite Eight and Final Four instead of winning the championship,” Zagoria said. “That’s how good Kentucky’s program is right now.”