The nation had fun at Kentucky’s expense on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats, less than a year removed from winning the NCAA tournament, had just lost on the road to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT.
“Kentucky lost to a guy named Bob Morris?” opposing fans joked.
Another popular jab at the Wildcats: “One and done has a new meaning in Lexington.”
Fans had several other responses that were clever and witty as they took joy in watching Kentucky and coach John Calipari deal with embarrassment on a national stage.
Calipari has established his ability to bring in the nation’s top talent every year, only to see many of them stay in college for one season before opting for the NBA. The Wildcats are getting what they deserve for gambling on their roster each year, fans thought.
But that will change next year. Kentucky has the nation’s top signing class and it’s about to get better.
Forward Julius Randle from Dallas, Texas, announced his commitment to Kentucky on Wednesday. Randle is the sixth five-star prospect to join Kentucky’s 2013 class, giving the Wildcats what many analysts are calling the best recruiting class ever.
Of course, that’s on paper. Kentucky’s class won’t receive full credit until it has success on the court.
“Our class isn’t going to be judged until you see how we play in college,” Randle told reporters following his announcement. “And our goal is to win it, go undefeated, whatever we want to do. Once we do that, then you can judge our class. But right now, we’re just great recruits.”
Randle’s correct. His class hasn’t accomplished anything in college, which will lead to debates over whether this is an Anthony Davis-type class or just another 2012 class full of disappointment.
Expect the former. Randle is only the latest addition to a class that already featured twin brother guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison from Richmond, Texas, center Dakari Johnson from Brooklyn, N.Y., and forward James Young from Rochester, Mich.
Kentucky has six McDonald’s All-Americans for the first time ever. The Wildcats have the nation’s top-rated point guard, shooting guard, power forward and center. And they will join a roster that’s expected to include at least a player or two from last year’s class (Nerlens Noel is the only player sure to leave).
How good is Kentucky’s class? It can’t be compared to other classes around the nation. It has to be matched up against the all-time greats, according to Dave Telep of ESPN Insider.
“We’re not comparing Kentucky’s recruiting class to No. 2 Memphis or No. 3 Kansas anymore,” Telep wrote. “Really what we’re talking about here is UK 2013 versus Michigan 1991, the ‘Fab Five.’”
And with that comparison will come greater expectations. That’s expected though as Kentucky continues to out-class its competition when it comes to recruiting.
Randle could have chosen any other school but decided to sign up with what he sees as the best players in the country.
“I felt like this was the best situation for me at the end of the day,” Randle said.
And Kentucky will again be one of the nation’s top title contenders at the beginning of next season.
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