Recruit Report: Calipari still reeling in blue chips

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John Calipari just keeps reloading.

After losing all his starters from the NCAA championship team a year ago and after landing some stellar recruits from the class of 2012, the University of Kentucky basketball coach is putting together a star-studded recruiting class that is widely regarded as the best in the country for 2013.

The NCAA's week-long early-signing period for basketball started Wednesday and lasts until the middle of next week. Calipari, a graduate of Moon High School who was once an assistant at Pitt, signed five players, including three of Rivals.com's top 10 players in the country and another ranked No. 18.

Calipari landed two prizes from one family in 6-foot-5 twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison of Richmond, Texas. Rivals ranks point guard Andrew the No. 4 player in the country and shooting guard Aaron No. 5.

Calipari also got 6-6 small forward James Young of Rochester Hills, Mich., and 6-9 forward Marcus Lee of Antioch, Calif. Young is ranked the No. 10 player in the country and Lee No. 18. Kentucky's fifth recruit in the early-signing period is 6-9 Derek Willis of Mount Washington, Ky.

But Calipari is not finished recruiting. Kentucky is one of the finalists for Andrew Wiggins, ranked by most scouting services as the No. 1 player in the class of '13. Kentucky and Florida State are considered his top choices, but North Carolina and a few others are still in the hunt for Wiggins, a 6-7 forward. Wiggins does not plan to sign until the spring period.

Wiggins is originally from Ontario and is attending Huntington Prep in West Virginia. By attending Huntington Prep, he was going to be in the class of '14. But in October, Wiggins announced he would leave Huntington Prep and be part of the class of '13.

Only one for D-I

Only one WPIAL senior will sign with a Division I basketball team during the NCAA early signing period. Shaler senior guard Geno Thorpe committed to Penn State during his junior year and signed with the Nittany Lions.

There is a chance a few other WPIAL players will sign with a Division I college during the spring signing period in April, but Thorpe is it for now. Thorpe was recently cleared by the WPIAL to play his senior season at Shaler.

He moved to Orlando, Fla., this summer to live with his father and enrolled at West Oaks Academy. But in mid-September, Thorpe returned to Shaler to live with his mother and enrolled again at Shaler.

sportscollegenational - hsbasketball

Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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