John Calipari has certainly established himself as perhaps the best recruiter in all of college basketball. In seven of the last ten seasons, Calipari has brought in the nation's best recruiting class, according to 247Sports.

This year, however, Kentucky is bringing in one of the greatest recruiting classes of the century.

The Class

5-star small forward Kevin Knox (Tampa, FL)

In a surprising commitment, the Florida native chose the Wildcats over Duke, North Carolina, and others. He was rated the No. 9 prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports.

5-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo (Flushing, NY)

An early enrollee, Diallo has been on campus with the team since January. While he was ineligible to play, he was allowed to participate in practice. The Putnam Science Academy product chose to come back to Kentucky after earning an invite to the draft combine.

5-star small forward Jarred Vanderbilt (Houston, TX)

The Texas native ranks No. 13 prospect in the 2017 class and the No. 4 small forward. While Vanderbilt looks to play behind Kevin Knox in the rotation, he should see considerable minutes off the bench.

5-star power forward P.J. Washington (Henderson, NV)

Alongside Richards, Washington will find a starting role in the front court. The Findlay Prep product was the No.

14 player in the 2017 class.

5-star center Nick Richards (Elizabeth, NJ)

Richards figures to be the starting big man for Kentucky next season. The 7-footer led The Patrick School to a Tournament of Champions title last spring.

5-star point guard Quade Green (Philadelphia, PA)

A McDonald's All-American, Green decided on the Wildcats back in November over Syracuse, in-state Villanova and others.

Green looks to be the starting point guard for Calipari's group for the season.

4-star combo guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Chattanooga, TN)

As perhaps the most versatile player on the team, Gilgeous-Alexander will see significant minutes off the bench in the point guard, shooting the guard and maybe even the small forward positions.

He was the No. 40 prospect in the 2017 class and the top player from Tennessee.

4-star shooting guard Jemarl Baker (Coronoa, CA)

Baker chose the Wildcats in a somewhat head-scratching decision. He won't be a starter next season, but will surely be able to crack the rotation. Baker was the No. 76 prospect in the 2017 class.


A recruiting class of eight players is extremely rare. A recruiting class of eight top-100 prospects and five McDonald's All-Americans is inconceivable. Had Diallo been eligible for the All-American game, he surely would have been a participant as well.

This recruiting class alone could make one of the best starting lineups in the SEC and single-handedly earn a NCAA Tournament bid.

Simply put, this class is indescribably talented.

There's no doubt the majority of production will come from the freshmen core this season, as "A Sea of Blue," a Kentucky blog on SB Nation, noted that the all five starters next season might be a freshman. The five were: Green (PG), Diallo (SG), Knox (SF), Washington (PF), and Richards (C).

Deja Vu?

A starting five of five freshmen... Sound familiar?

Michigan's "Fab Five" in the 1991-92 season is one of college basketball's greatest stories. Regarded as possibly the greatest recruiting class ever, Michigan went on to the national championship game when the Fab Five were freshmen as well as sophomores.

In the 2013-14 season, Kentucky's roster drew comparisons to Michigan's Fab Five from 22 seasons ago.

With highly-touted freshmen including Julius Randle and the Harrison twins, the Wildcats went on to the national championship game after a 24-11 regular season.

This year's Kentucky team should have very similar success to the 2013-14 group. However, it is expected that the 2017-18 Kentucky team will receive a seed much higher than the No. 8 seed in 2014.

Gelling as a group will surely be difficult initially, but the early arrivals on campus for the majority of the recruits should have them prepared to make a serious run in the NCAA Tournament come March, similarly to how it did in 2014. Experience has become a major factor in determining victors in March Madness, but can this talented young core find its way to San Antonio?