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November 15, 2012

UK announces five-man fall class

John Calipari wants you to know that he's excited about his five-man fall signing class.

But the Kentucky coach only wants to say it once.

UK announced its five signees on Thursday in a press release that included quotes on each player from Calipari. At a news conference to discuss Friday's Lafayette game, Calipari declined to comment further.

"We put out a press release, so I'll let you guys take it from there if that's all right, so I don't have to rehash all what I said," Calipari said. "We're excited about it, don't get me wrong. I'm jacked up. It's a good class and a good bunch of guys, but you know."


In the press release, Calipari addressed what each of the signees will bring to Lexington next year, and in particular, what their current strengths are as players.

First up were Fort Bend (Texas) Travis High School twin brothers Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison. The 6-foot-5 guards - Andrew is a point, and Aaron plays off the ball - are both five-star prospects who are ranked in the top five in the 2013 Rivals150.

"Andrew comes in ready to play physically at the point-guard position," Calipari said. "He's a driver, slasher and playmaker with great size. He and his brother Aaron have the ability to be great on-ball defenders.

"Aaron is more of a scoring guard who can make shots and make plays at the rim. He can also play some point in a pinch. Like his brother, Andrew, he has the ability to physically dominate the opponent."

The next prospect was 6-foot-9 power forward Marcus Lee, out of Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley High School. Like the Harrison twins, Lee is a five-star prospect in the Rivals rankings, and currently sits at No. 18 in the 2013 Rivals150.

"Marcus Lee is a long, agile, quick-bounce, quick-twitch, 6-9 forward," Calipari said. "He gets to the basket, he's a terrific shot-blocker and he can rebound above the rim. Marcus has unlimited upside because he's going to get stronger and he's going to improve his skill around the basket. His speed, quickness, jumping ability and length set him apart."

The fourth signee that Calipari commented on was in-state forward Derek Willis, a 6-foot-9 skilled combo forward out of Mount Washington Bullitt East High School.

"Derek is a very skilled, 6-9 big man who is learning to play through bumps, which is going to elevate his game," Calipari said. "He's a long-armed basketball player who can get his hands on balls and really pass. Like Marcus, he has a tremendous upside because he's going to get stronger and be able to play more physical and really use his size and his shot-making ability to spread the court for us."

The fifth member of the spring signing class, James Young is a 6-foot-7 wing out of Rochester Hills (Mich.) High School, although he just transferred there for his senior year from neighboring Troy (Mich.) High.

Young is the fourth five-star signee in UK's fall class for 2013, and is currently ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the class of 2013.

"James is a long, athletic and skilled wing," Calipari said. "He's a lefty who can shoot it and get in transition. You can throw it ahead to him and he can make basketball plays. He rebounds the ball for his position as well anyone in the class."

These five signees put Kentucky well on their way to securing a fifth consecutive top ranked recruiting class, a feat that Calipari has accomplished in each class that he has signed at UK.

With these five signatures now inked and official, Kentucky is unlikely to sign any more prospects in the fall. Calipari said Kentucky likely will sign "one or two" more players in the class.


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