The nation’s two highest-rated players in the 2012 recruiting class — Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad — both have Kentucky among their final choices and ESPNU recruiting director Paul Biancardi recently indicated he felt UK was a “heavy favorite” for both players.
If Kentucky coach John Calipari did add both players to signees Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley, he would have his fourth straight No. 1 recruiting class.
“That’s always a possibility, too,” said Biancardi. “When you are losing Anthony Davis (to the NBA), I think Nerlens would be an ideal replacement because they have a lot of similarities as shot blockers. They are both long, athletic guys that change games by blocking shots. Anthony leaves and Nerlens could come right in and replace his shot blocking ability. But he’s not as good an offensive player as Anthony right now.
“Shabazz is really good. He could easily fit into what Kentucky will have coming back and what they are bringing in. I have said Kentucky is a heavy favorite for both because they both really liked Kentucky a lot when they were on campus and when kids like places even more after a visit, that puts you in a very favorable position. But Syracuse and North Carolina, a place he says he has liked since he was a kid, are right there for Nerlens and he has visited Florida and Georgetown. Shabazz has Kansas and Duke on his mind as well. There’s still some stiff competition for Kentucky, but there should be for those elite players. Still, I think there is a good chance they get both.”