Kentucky Recruiting – Class of 2012

The 2010 Class has yet to take the court and the excitement of the 2011 Class is already a buzz around the Big Blue Nation. So we thought we would jump ahead and take a quick peak at the Class of 2012 and those in the Top 25 that have Kentucky on the list…

DuJuan Coleman | Coleman is a 6-8, 280lb Center out of Jamesville-Dewitt High School in Dewitt, New York. He is ranked as the No. 3 overall player according to Rivals. ESPN had the following to say about Coleman “This young big body post is tough to handle in the lane when he is motivated. Coleman is talented and powerful. He scores through contact with ease and does a good job of drawing fouls. Coleman power dunks drop off passes created by dribble penetration or on any clear path to the rim. He is an excellent area rebounder on both ends of the floor and has the strength to take the ball out of smaller post player hands.” Currently holds a Scholarship offer from Kentucky.

Shabazz Muhammad | Muhammad is the No. 4 overall ranked player and No. 1 in his position. He is a 6-5 shooting guard from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN says “Muhammad is a very talented player with off the charts athletic ability. This lefty can glide on the break and finish above the rim with flare. In the half court Muhammad can score inside and out. He just abuses smaller perimeter players in the low post with a quick turn shot where he simply elevates over them. He can hit the mid range pull up and can knock the down the spot up open three after sprinting the lane on the break or by reading dribble penetration and moving to the vision of the passer.” Thirteen schools have offered a scholarship to Muhammad. Kentucky is the only one on his list yet to offer.

Brandon Ashley | Ashley is the No. 5 overall ranked player and No. 1 at the position of Power Forward. The 6-8, 225 lb Ashley is from Bishop O’Dowd out of Oakland, California.  ESPN says “Ashley is a long, athletic and talented forward that provides the wow factor especially in transition where he is a threat to go coast to coast and finish above the rim in traffic. He runs the floor like a deer and handles the ball great for his size. Ashley scores in the lane with his great length and ability to elevate over defenders with ease. He can shoot short pull ups, finger roll or punch it on the late help defenders. Defensively he can block shots on or away from the ball with his athletic ability and great timing.” While five schools have, including Washington, Kentucky is yet to offer a scholarship.

Khem Birch | At 6-8, Birch is “absolutely one of the best shot blockers in the country”, according to ESPN. He’s ranked No. 9 overall and No. 3 at the power forward position. He plays for Notre Dame High out of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. ESPN says “While his skills have evolved over the last year his defense is still far ahead of his offense. His super high motor allows him to pick up lots of points inside the paint and while he has improved use of both hands and a cleaner stroke from the free-throw line, he still isn’t much of a low post scoring threat. Birch is always a factor in transition, both running down the middle of the floor and finishing as well as starting the break because of his rebounding.” Nine schools have formally offered a scholarship, including Florida, Texas and Connecticut, but Kentucky is yet to offer.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera | Smith-Rivera is “too big and too strong for most kids in his age group. He just drags his opponent wherever he wants on the court and scores over them.” The No. 23 overall and No. 2 Point Guard is “more of a scorer then a shooter.” Out of North Central High in Indianapolis, Indiana, ESPN says “Smith-Rivera is a winner and he seems to do whatever is needed to make sure his team wins. He is a solid defender and a good distributor of the basketball. His all around game help lead his team to the 15 & Under championship.” Seven schools, including Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio State have offered scholarships, but UK is yet to offer.

L. J. Rose | L. J. was recently highlighted on UKBBN as he is the most recent member of the 2012 Class to receive a scholarship offer from the Cats. He is a 6-3, 175lb Point Guard out of Houston’s, Second Baptist. Rose was a member of the 2009-10 USA Basketball Developmental National Team. ESPN says “He is an excellent ball handler and passer, plays with his head and eyes up and can get a teammate an open shot with his ability to draw and kick. He has good size and can pass over smaller defenders to deliver the ball and can see over double teams. He scores with high arcing floaters in the lane, mid range pull ups and can knock down the open three although he is still streaky from behind the arc.” Currently holds a Scholarship offer from Kentucky as well as Kansas, Memphis, Texas and LSU, to name a few.

Alex PoythressNO VIDEO AVAILABLE | Poythress is the 24th overall player and is out of Northeast High in Clarksville, Tennessee. At 6-7, 205lb’s, he ranks 5th among Small Forwards and a thoroughbred that has the look of a high major player and carries himself with a mature demeanor. ESPN says, “He has great hands and is an outstanding rebounder on both ends of the floor; he is a two handed rebounder that gets to balls outside of his area. He showed the ability to step out and knock down the 3-ball, but is most effective when he is attacking the basket. He can finish through contact when challenged at the rim. As his perimeter skill level develops he should transition into a high level wing player that is a difficult match-up as he can score inside and out.” Five schools, including Tennessee and Vanderbilt have offered scholarships, but UK is yet to offer.

It doesn’t appear that the Overall Class of 2012 is as strong as the 2010 or the 2011 classes, but the Cats are definitely in the running for some of the top talent. How many one and done’s UK will have to absorb over the next two years, will create the need from the 2012 Class. With two offers already on the table, John Calipari isn’t wasting time in trying to put together another block buster class, even if it isn’t needed at the time.

Go Cats!!!

Chip Miller can be reached at ukbigbluenation@live.com.

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  • Chip Miller can be contacted via e-mail at ukbigbluenation@live.com.
  • This website and information found within are not affiliated with, nor does it represent the views of the University of Kentucky. All images, copyrights, and trademarks on this website are used under the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act for purposes of comment and news reporting.
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