College Basketball Insider

Kentucky's lack of Class (of 2012) nothing to worry about


John Calipari's track record leaves little doubt that Kentucky will land at least a top-five class. (AP)  
John Calipari's track record leaves little doubt that Kentucky will land at least a top-five class. (AP)  

Another weekend has passed and Kentucky still has zero commitments from the Class of 2012.

So Wildcats fans should be concerned, right?

"Not at all," recruiting analyst Evan Daniels said. "At this point, it's hard to doubt John Calipari and what he's doing recruiting wise."


Which is why I joked last week during a podcast with my colleagues Matt Norlander and Jeff Goodman that worrying about when Calipari will land his next great prospect is akin to worrying about when George Clooney will land his next gorgeous woman. Just give it time. It'll happen, because it always happens.

In 2005, Clooney had a smoking hot British model. When that ended he dated a smoking hot Vegas cocktail waitress. When that ended he dated a smoking hot Italian actress. When that ended he got Stacy Keibler, and did I mention that George Clooney is awesome?

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Calipari is similarly great at landing heralded basketball prospects. He has enrolled at least one McDonald's All-American in each of his past five classes and had the consensus top-ranked recruiting class each of the past three years. He has secured elite point guards (Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Brandon Knight), elite wings (Doron Lamb, Mike Gilchrist) and elite bigs (DeMarcus Cousins, Enes Kanter, Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis), all of which allowed him to win 30 games in each of his final four seasons at Memphis, win a national-best 35 games in his first season at Kentucky, make a Final Four in his second season at Kentucky and garner a No. 2 ranking in this year's preseason Top 25 (and one).

There are few sure things in sports anymore.

One is that Tony Romo will crumble under pressure.

Another is that Tiger Woods won't take the golf tournament he enters.

Another is that John Calipari will get great prospects and win a lot with them.

"Kentucky fans shouldn't be concerned," recruiting analyst Jeff Borzello said. "If most of the top prospects were already gone, then maybe it would be a problem. As it stands, though, about 20 of the top 30 players in the country are still available -- and Kentucky is in good shape with several of them. When it comes down to it, Kentucky is still going to end up with one of the top recruiting classes in the country."

And how will it look?

"The Wildcats are in best with Archie Goodwin [No. 6 in the Class of 2012 rankings], Alex Poythress [No. 14], Devonta Pollard [No. 18] and Willie Cauley [No. 47], and all four will be on campus for Big Blue Madness [on Oct. 14] -- along with Shabazz Muhammad [No. 1], DaJuan Coleman [No. 10] and T.J. Warren [No. 32]," Borzello answered. "They're also heavily in the mix for guys like Mitch McGary [No. 3] and Perry Ellis [No. 27], and if Kentucky ends up with three or four of the aforementioned players, it's another top-rated recruiting class for Calipari."

Just like always.

So Kentucky fans, don't worry even a little bit.

You're gonna be fine.

I don't know if our country is headed toward a recession, when Libya will be settled, whether Peyton Manning will ever return to his old form or how the SEC and Pac-12 will look in five years. But I do know this: George Clooney will trade in Stacy Keibler at some point for a girl who looks just like Stacy Keibler. And John Calipari, now back in the United States after coaching the Dominican Republic to a third-place finish at FIBA Americas, will eventually secure commitments from enough top-rated prospects to eliminate all questions about whether UK's recent recruiting success can continue.

Anybody suggesting otherwise hasn't been paying attention.

"Bottom line, they are going to get some of those guys [Borzello mentioned]," Daniels said. "There is no way Calipari strikes out on all of those dudes, and when the dust settles he'll be sitting with another top-five class and probably something better than that."

Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for and college basketball insider for the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts an award-winning radio show in Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two sons and two dogs.

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