LEXINGTON, Ky. – Depth is a problem for the current Kentucky basketball team. It should not be in a year.
John Calipari is set to end the early signing period with the No. 1-ranked 2020 recruiting class after signing six players, including four consensus top-30 prospects. While the 247Sports Composite has ranked Kentucky’s recruiting first or second in each year of the Calipari Era, the Hall of Fame coach has never signed that many prospects in the early period.
“I’m really excited about this group of young men,” Calipari said in a UK news release announcing the class. “They recruited us as much as we recruited them. They wanted this culture. They wanted to be with other good players. They didn’t need crazy promises. They wanted this. In the past, when we’ve had groups like that, it’s led to success both individually and as a team.
“When you’re building a great team, not only do you need to be talented, you need to have high-character individuals, which we have with this group. These are great kids from good families.”
He is likely to add more to the class in the spring with at least a couple more high-profile frontcourt targets still in his sights. Several of the current Wildcats could return to school next year too, combining some veteran experience with the elite freshman talent.
Those decisions are still to come though. For now, we know these six players have signed onto the 2020-21 class. Here is what Calipari said about each in the UK news release announcing their signing.
Terrence Clark (No. 4 overall, No. 1 shooting guard)
“Terrence is one of the most talented basketball players in the country regardless of class. He has a toughness to him that the Big Blue Nation is going to really love. When he came on his visit, he saw firsthand the type of effort and work we expect of our players and immediately decided this was the type of environment he wanted to be in. Terrence has all the tools you look for in a kid: length, athleticism, toughness and a high basketball IQ. I’m looking forward to coaching him.”
BJ Boston (No. 13 overall, No. 3 shooting guard)
“BJ is one of the best basketball players in the country. He can score from anywhere on the floor with his length and his athleticism and he finishes really well in traffic. He’s versatile enough to play two or three positions. On top of BJ’s basketball ability, what I love about him is he wants to play with other great players. He’s already doing that on the high school level and wanted the challenge of competing with and against the best every day in practice here.”
Devin Askew (No. 18 overall, No. 4 combo guard)
“Devin is a winner who other players want to play with. He has a team-first mentality and a maturity about him that you won’t find from many kids his age. He can make shots, he creates plays for himself and his teammates, and he is a willing defender with great size and length. Devin embraces the challenge of playing on this stage and has the makeup to be a special player.”
Isaiah Jackson (No. 26 overall, No. 3 power forward)
“Isaiah is without a doubt one of the best defenders in this class. You’re talking about an elite shot blocker who can guard one through five. Isaiah is acquiring the offensive skills needed to be an exceptional two-way player and I really like his ability to attack the rim in a lot of different ways. Isaiah is a high-character kid and a winner.”