Calipari tops off #1 class with John Wall

John Wall

With the addition of John Wall to the UK class, it appears Calipari is taking a page out of Noah's instruction on how to load the ark. Calipari is bringing in players by twos, as he has a class with two point guards, two center and two wing forwards following the addition of John Wall, the nation's #1 point guard.

The 2009 UK men's basketball recruiting class was completed today with point guard John Wall's announcement that he will be playing his college basketball for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Already ranked as the #1 class in the nation by Scout, landing Wall solidifies Kentucky's hold on the top spot, and begins talk of how it rates all time.

When asked about how good the class Calipari has coming to Lexington over the coming months is Scout's national recruiting director, Dave Telep, was hard pressed to find a class that rates higher than the Kentucky class.

"That's a good question," said Telep. "At the end of the day, you truly measure recruiting classes by wins and losses. But if you look back the last 10 years or so, it's going to be hard to top this one."

He recalled a recruiting class at Duke headed by Shane Battier or one at Ohio State headed by Greg Oden that were extraordinary. There's been one or two at North Carolina that were special, too.

"But I just have to think that this group, at least from my perspective, is as strong as any recruiting class I have seen in the last decade or so," Telep said Tuesday. "The absolute magnitude of this class catches you and leaves you shaking your head a little bit."

When asked if Calipari luring such a great class this quickly is suprising, Telep said, "Maybe it is (surprising) he could do it this fast but John Calipari and Kentucky was a perfect marriage between an elite, tradition-rich school with a high profile coach who is on top of his game. It is no surprise these are the results.

"In terms of this recruiting class here, he just way overdelivered. If he recruits a better class than this one during his tenure at Kentucky, there will be a few more (national championship) banners at Kentucky."

The assemblage of talent in this class is simply amazing. The highest rated player in the group is Scout's #1 ranked point guard, John Wall, who is rated second in the nation by Scout overall. Wall is able to get into the lane and to the rim at will, and seems to explode and finish with either hand, or find teammates in traffic for easy scores.

What does it say about a class when the second highest ranked player in the class is Scout's third highest rated player in the country? That #3 overall ranking belongs to DeMarcus Cousins, a 6-9 center. Cousins can play on the blocks, and play facing the basket, a definite offensive threat in the frontcourt.

Daniel Orton is Scout's #17 rated player overall, and #4 center. Rankings that would likely have been better had the big man not had to sit out all but the final few games of his high school season after having ACL surgery. This Oklahoman is one tough hombre, having played his junior season and the AAU games that followed with a torn ACL. Orton is a shot blocker, with a strong defensive presence and a much improved offensive game. Like Cousins Orton can play inside and out.

Eric Bledsoe was right behind Wall on the spring list of sought after available point guards. Bledsoe is rated 37th overall by Scout, and is ranked as the sixth best point guard. Bledsoe's stock has been on the rise, and is rated higher by some other entities. Bledsoe isn't a wing guard trapped in a point guard's body. This young man is a pass first guard, who plays the point instinctively. He can also score, and averaged nearly a triple double in leading his high school team to the Alabama title game, after upending a future teammate's squad in the quarter finals, when his Parker HS team defeated LeFlore HS, which was led by Cousins.

Jon Hood is wing forward that possesses a high basketball IQ. Hood is able to put the ball on the floor, shoot the midrange jumper, and much more. His ability to do a bit of everything makes him a perfect fit in this class. Hood is ranked by Scout at #45 in the nation, and is a top ten wing forward. Hood is a gem, and was also recruited heavily by Duke and Florida, before casting his lot with the Wildcats.

Calipari must have a bit of Noah in him, as he is bringing players two-by-two onto the Wildcat ark. With two highly touted point guards, two highly touted centers, it only seems fitting that the sixth member of the Kentucky recruiting class is a wing forward, giving Calipari a matched pair at three spots on the floor.

That sixth player is Darnell Dodson. Dodson comes from Miami-Dade in the juco ranks, but unlike most juco players he will arrive in Lexington with three years of eligibility, after redshirting his first season in Miami.

Dodson is the biggest mystery among the Kentucky recruits, as few recruiting gurus have seen the kid play recently. His coach at Miami-Dade told Scout.com what he thinks of Dodson's talent level.

"There may be 2-3 people in the country that have a clue how good this kid is," Miami Dade JC coach Matt Eisele said. "We think he's really underrated. He was 6-5 out of high school and he's a legit 6-8. He's toned his body and can almost play anywhere on the floor. He's one of the best scorers in that class."

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