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Justin Edwards Claims Top Spot In ESPN's Latest Basketball Rankings

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Kentucky has quite the class coming in next year. Statistically, it's the greatest class ever for John Calipari during his tenure at Kentucky. Three players in the top-five, four in the top-eleven, and five in the top twenty-one as it makes out for the highest-rated recruiting class on paper during the Cal era.

Just last week ESPN updated their rankings for the High School basketball 2023 recruiting class and here's how the future Cats compared against the rest.

  1. Justin Edwards (SF)

  2. D.J. Wagner (PG)

  3. Isaiah Collier (PG)

  4. Aaron Bradshaw (C)

  5. Ron Holland (PF)

  6. Cody Williams (SF)

  7. Xavier Booker (C)

  8. Mackenzie Mgbako (PF)

  9. Matas Buzelis (SF)

  10. Omaha Biliew (PF)

  11. Robert Dillingham (SG)

  12. Jared McCain (SG)

  13. Kwame Evans (PF)

  14. Ja'Kobe Walter (SG)

  15. Stephon Castle (PG)

  16. Sean Stewart (PF)

  17. Aden Holloway (PG)

  18. Mookie Cook (SF)

  19. Baye Fall (C)

  20. Jeremy Fears (PG)

  21. Reed Sheppard (SG)

  22. Elmarko Jackson (SG)

  23. Andrej Stojakovic (SF)

  24. Scotty Middleton (SF)

  25. T.J. Power (PF)

The biggest news from the updated rankings is that former Tennessee commit turned Kentucky signee, Justin Edwards, has been moved to the No. 1 status, as the players close out their High School careers. The spot that was originally D.J. Wagner's is now neck-and-neck between the two, as they both are the clear-cut top talents of the class. When in reality the ranking doesn't matter to UK fans, solely because either way they're still getting the top guy, it is pretty cool to see that they both want to come to this program and team up.

In another recruiting system that I trust just as much, the 247Sports Rankings, Justin Edwards officially ties as the 6th highest-rated recruit in Kentucky history alongside DeMarcus Cousins, which puts them just behind John Wall (5th), Julius Randle (4th), Skal Labissiere (3rd), Anthony Davis (2nd), and Nerlens Noel (1st).

With the retirement of Coach K (Duke) and the hiring of Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman to Kentucky's staff, we have seen an immediate impact on the recruiting trail and it's trending for the tides to start turning back to what they were in the first half-decade that John Calipari was here. A lock down in three of the top four ranked players - and nearly getting the fifth (Ron Holland) too - has sent a message to all of the other blue-bloods that Kentucky isn't messing around anymore and looks to reclaim their dominance over the High School recruiting scene.

The 2023 class is again the highest-rated recruiting class ever for Kentucky's head coach, which means there is a lot to be excited about next season. I understand that, being a Kentucky fan, this statement is often viewed as an annual saying. However, this specific class truly backs it up. There has never been a class rated higher than this one. Of course, they still have to come here and back it up, but there should still be a lot of excitement for what is to come this fall on the hardwood.

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