John Calipari has Kentucky basketball back to its recruiting dominance as they’ve added top recruit DJ Wagner to the Wildcats’ No. 1 class.
For years, it felt like every top recruit ended up under the watch of John Calipari and Kentucky basketball. In recent years, that has died down a bit, even with the Wildcats still consistently bringing in Top 5 classes. But on Monday, they confirmed that they are back at the top by landing DJ Wagner.
Wagner, the No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings for 2023, announced his commitment on Monday as he chose Kentucky over rival Louisville for his final decision.
Kentucky basketball: DJ Wagner commits, gives Wildcats No. 1 class
As if landing Wagner wasn’t cool enough, it’s a true full-circle (and perhaps a “way to make me feel old”) moment for Calipari. He is the son of Dajuan Wagner, who Coach Cal recruited and coached at Memphis. Calipari famously pulled the elder Wagner’s scholarship after a phenomenal freshman season to urge him to take the money being offered as an NBA first-round pick.
In the case of DJ Wagner, the newest commitment for Kentucky basketball has been hyped up for years now and for good reason. He’s an elite and versatile scorer that has flashed playmaking ability. Yes, as a prospect, he still needs development as a true point guard given his 6-foot-3, 165-pound frame, but he should still be a catalyst for the Wildcats upon arrival.
Kentucky now holds the No. 1 recruiting class for 2023 as Wagner joins the No. 2 overall recruit, Justin Edwards, along with Aaron Bradshaw (No. 6), Robert Dillingham (No. 9) and Reed Sheppard (No. 29) in a truly loaded class.
The Wildcats are currently a Top 5 team in college basketball and have looked the part to start the season. But if they can reach their potential in the 2022-23 season and then replenish the roster with this class, Calipari could have a dynastic run starting to cook.
For more NCAA basketball news, analysis, opinion and features, check out more from the FanSided college basketball section to stay on top of the latest action.