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Elite prospect Karl Towns picks Kentucky, reclassifies to 2014

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
Karl Towns was the No. 1-ranked prospect in the class of 2015. (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Kentucky fell out of the top 25 on Monday for the first time since John Calipari took over in Lexington. The Wildcats' struggles certainly aren't affecting their recruiting, though.

Karl Towns, formerly the top-ranked sophomore in the country, announced for Kentucky on Tuesday.

"Kentucky is such a great school," Towns told MSG Varsity. "I felt like Kentucky was just the right school at the end of the day."

Towns, a 6-foot-11 power forward from St. Joseph (N.J.), is an elite talent who has been recruited by some of the nation's best for a couple of years. Kentucky has always seemed like the favorite, and Calipari coaching Towns on the Dominican Republic national team didn't hurt. Florida was heavily in the mix for awhile, while Duke was also a frontrunner for some time. Seton Hall, Rutgers, Michigan State and North Carolina made the final seven. North Carolina, Michigan, Baylor, Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova and others were all involved too.

"It was a big battle between Duke and Kentucky," Towns' mother, Jackie, told MSG Varsity.

"It was just such a relieving process," Towns added. "So much stress and so much nervousness was building up over these days."

Towns has the ability to be a matchup nightmare against nearly any opponent. With his size, he can score in the post and make an impact on the glass. Defensively, he blocks shots out of his area and can force difficult shots with his length. What makes him so intriguing, though, is his perimeter play. Towns can step out and consistently knock down 3-pointers with good range, and he is also effective at going off the dribble against slower defenders.

Another interesting aspect to Towns' recruitment is his classification status. Heading into the week, he was in the class of 2015. Now, though, he has decided to move up a year and will be a member of 2014. Instead of No. 1 in 2015, he will be a top-five prospect in 2014.

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