Julius Randle announced on Wednesday afternoon that he has committed to playing for the Kentucky Wildcats next season. The consensus Top 5 national player had narrowed his list of finalists to UK, Texas, Florida, and Kansas.
Randle joins what is now sure to be considered the top recruiting class of all time. Led by the Harrison twins, PG Andrew and SG Aaron, and outstanding playmaking wing James Young, with the addition of Randle the Wildcats now have four of the nation's Top 10 recruits. And that's without mentioning the nation's top-rated center, Dakari Johnson, highly regarded power forward Marcus Lee and local product Derek Willis. Best class ever? Best class ever. And it's not close.
For Rick Barnes and Texas, it's a missed opportunity at a time when Barnes badly needs to build some positive momentum. Depending on any forthcoming defections, Texas' roster looks reasonably promising next year, but Randle would have been a difference-making addition. With patience wearing thin from an increasingly dispirited fan base, the 2013-14 basketball season looks like it will have a lot to say about Barnes' ability to keep hold of the Texas program.