Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
To the surprise of virtually no one, Rochester (Mich.) shooting guard James Young committed to Kentucky Thursday afternoon on ESPNU.
The 6-foot-6 left-hander had said all summer that Kentucky was his No. 1 choice, and in the end he picked the Wildcats over Michigan State, Syracuse and Kansas.
“I will be heading to the University of Kentucky,” Young said as he held up a “Kentucky bound” shirt.
Young took an unofficial to Kentucky recently and never even bothered to visit the other schools.
“Kentucky’s just always been my dream school,” Young said. “I’ve always dreamed of going to that school, and once I went up to go visit I just fell in love with the place. It’s a great atmosphere, great coaching, great facility, great basketball history behind it. I just love the school.”
Playing for the Michigan-based AAU program The Family, Young averaged 18 points in 20 games in the Nike EYBL this past summer and scored 29 points to lead Team USA Midwest over Andrew Wiggins and Team Canada in the Nike Global Challenge final in Washington, D.C.
He is the 13th Top 10 recruit to commit to Kentucky coach John Calipari since Calipari’s been at the school, according to Scout.com.
Calipari has also sent 15 players to the NBA in his time at Kentucky.
“It played a little bit of a role but I’m not just looking for the NBA,” Young said. “I’m looking for an education, looking to get to the national championship and that’s about it.”
Young joins power forward Derek Willis and guards Aaron and Andrew Harrisonin what could end up being the greatest class in the history of recruiting.
“I’m excited, very excited,” Young said. “I’ve been seeing them over the summer. They’re great players and I can’t wait to play with them.”
“James is one of the best scorers in the county. Having him and Aaron alongside me is a point guard’s dream,” Andrew Harrison told The Courier-Journal.
Young’s commitment came the same day that Calipari held a press conference in which he promised to continue recruiting the best players in the nation at a relentless pace.
“I’m going to recruit harder than I’ve ever done….I’m trying to go harder,” Calipari said in Lexington in what amounted to more bad news for the nation’s other elite programs.
Kentucky remains in the mix for 2013 forwards Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Lee, Noah Vonleh and Tyler Roberson, with Randle and Gordon set to decide in the spring.
Wiggins, the 6-8 small forward from Huntington (W.V.) Prep who has yet to decide whether he will reclassify to 2013 from 2014, remains the ultimate prize.
Kentucky is considered the favorite to land him when he does elect to attend college.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.