“But Knight and Lamb can really defend the perimeter. They are two guards with size that Cal loves. Poole, who is 6-5, has a chance to be really good defensively.
“What they have is an excellent class with all the pieces to put together a really nice team again.”
Biancardi said even though Kentucky has had the No. 1-ranked recruiting class for two straight years, the 2011 class could eventually be better if Michael Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, the nation’s two top-ranked juniors, honor their commitments as expected and sign with the Wildcats in November.
“Gilchrist committing early was a surprise even to us that he did it on the same day that Knight signed with Kentucky,” Biancardi said. “That sent out a huge statement about Kentucky and Cal.
“Gilchrist is a guy who is really going to be special. He has size, athletic ability and superb skills. He is very developed for his age. He has a ways to go, but he’s humble and hungry. He will be a spectacular addition and attract other guys who want to come play with him.”
That is what helped convince Teague, who Biancardi has ranked No. 3 in the junior class, to also commit to Kentucky.
“I recently saw him play and he was sensational,” Biancardi said. “In transition, he’s almost unstoppable. He gets to the rim going coast to coast, and when he gets near the rim he has the ability to finish with his athleticism and body control. But he can also find open teammates.
“He is ideal for Cal’s pressure defense and dribble-drive offense. He’s a strong ball-handler and has great speed and great ability to change speeds. He can beat you off the dribble in different ways, which Cal loves. He has quick hands and creates turnovers that he turns into points.
“He has that killer instinct on offense. Seldom does he get knocked off the ball by other guards. He has a quick first step, and once Teague is even with the defender, he’s gone. He can rebound the ball defensively, too. He has a good mid-range shot and his 3-point shot is rapidly improving.”
Gilchrist and Teague will be among the 19 players attending the 2010 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team’s training camp June 18-24 in San Antonio.
The camp will be used to select the 12-member 2010 USA Under-17 World Championship Team and the four players who will represent the U.S. in the three-on-three basketball competition at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Two other potential UK recruiting targets, Johnny O’Bryant of Cleveland, Miss., and Anthony Wroten Jr. of Seattle, will also be at the tryout.
Payne fan: Vaughtsviews.com reader Tony Holmes shared this story about Kenny Payne, who should officially be named Kentucky’s new assistant basketball coach after he finishes a few more things in the next week or so at Oregon.
“I have a great story about meeting Kenny Payne when he was being recruited by UK. His escorts were (UK players) Richard Madison and Leroy Byrd. I asked him what position did he play, and when he said guard I asked, ‘Well, whose position do you think you could take?’ — I believe we had Rex Chapman and Ed Davender at the time — and he said, ‘Any one of them I want.’” Holmes said.
“I was greatly disappointed when he chose Louisville. I loved his ‘any-one-of-them-I-want’ attitude. We talked about it for a couple of days. We were all excited that UK was recruiting a guy that tall with the confidence to believe he could just take any guard spot on our team. We were crushed when he picked Louisville.
“Also, Madison was my favorite player at the time. I did not know who Kenny was when I went over to talk to them, but he looked down with cold confidence and seemed to enjoy the attention.