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October 11, 2012
John Calipariand his staff at Kentucky have landed the top recruiting class in the country in each of the last four years. They are well on their way to running that streak to five after landing their third top-10 player from the class of 2013.
James Young, a 6-foot-6 wing from Rochester (Mich.) High and the No. 8 player in the country, announced his commitment to the Wildcats on national television Thursday, adding his name to a commit list that already included five-star twins Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison from Houston (Texas) Lake Travis. Ranked No. 3 and No. 4 nationally, the Harrisons committed to Kentucky last week. The class also includes three-star PF Derek Willis, the No. 126 player in the Rivals 150.
Young had maintained throughout the recruiting process that Kentucky was his leader. After visiting Lexington at the end of September, the southpaw was sold on the school.
"Kentucky has always been my dream school and I've always dreamed of going to that school," Young said on ESPNU. "Once I went up there to visit I just fell in love with the place."
Since early in his career, Young has been seen as a high-level prospect on the offensive end; but his effort, jumper and dribbling were often inconsistent, and he didn't always maximize his ability.
Late last winter at Troy (Mich.) High and then through the spring and summer with the Detroit-based grassroots team The Family, Young elevated his game to a new level. Gone were the spurts where he wasn't engaged, and his jumper was much improved. Young has also improved off the dribble and has become a true three-level scorer who is a threat to score at the rim, with the mid-range game or via the deep jumper.
Capable of playing either the shooting guard or small forward at the college level, Young is a versatile perimeter player and a very nice compliment to the Harrison twins. Andrew is a pure point guard who plays physically and has great size; Aaron is a combo guard who can play either the shooting or point guard spot but brings more of a scorer's mentality to the floor.
With three top 10 players committed to the program, Calipari and UK have taken the early lead for best recruiting class of 2013 and put themselves in strong position to finish there.
"I'm excited, very excited," Young said of the prospect of playing with the Harrison twins. "I've been seeing them over the summer, and they are great players. I can't wait to play with them."
This weekend, they'll be looking to impress even more talent when they host their season-opening Big Blue Madness event on Friday night. The Harrisons and Young will be on hand, and they'll surely be in the ear of other expected attendees such as five-star prospects Marcus Lee and Cliff Alexander.