Kentucky’s 5-star “take no prisoners” signee gives John Calipari another elite class
Edrice Adebayo, the nation’s No. 10 player (per 247Sports.com), committed to Kentucky on Tuesday morning, giving John Calipari another outstanding overall class.
“Bam” is Calipari’s fourth 5-star signee in the Class of 2016, and there might be more to come.
We called up Rivals.com’s national basketball analyst Eric Bossi to discuss what the Adebayo signing means, and how Coach Cal’s new class stacks up against the rest of America.
“They’re in the thick of it with Duke for the top class in the country,” Bossi said. “It’s a pretty tight race right now.”
Here’s a collection of Bossi’s thoughts…
…on Adebayo’s late swing from N.C. State to Kentucky: Anytime it looks like there’s a swing, it’s probably something that’s been a lot more in the works than people on the outside have realized. In this one, there were a lot of connections to N.C. State with a good friend and teammate playing there, and it being local for him. In the aftermath kind of looking at things, Kentucky was somewhere that Bam might’ve wanted more all along.
It’s just a matter of getting everybody on the same page. It’s never easy to get that trigger pulled when a kid wants to leave home and he’s been kind of insulated.
…on a crowded 2016 frontcourt: Yes, there are going to be some things that need to shake out, because they’re going to have guys that will be back. Maybe Marcus Lee goes pro, we don’t know. But here’s the thing that I do know: There’s going to be nobody else on that roster from a big-man perspective who has an approach and a style like Adebayo does.
…on “Bam” Adebayo: He is a take-no-prisoners, brute athlete who tries to tear the rim down every chance he gets. Wenyen Gabriel has a great motor and plays just as hard, but he has a different style of game. Sacha Killeya-Jones is more of a finesse guy. And I don’t think Tai Wynyard or Isaac Humphries plays that style, either, so I think he kind of separates himself.
…on Adebayo’s position fit: I think he’s definitely a power forward. In college, it doesn’t really matter. He’s a guy that, 4 and 5, it doesn’t matter. It’s his activity and his effort and just the fact that… what I love about him is, a lot of young big guys don’t understand how to impact the game when they’re not getting the ball. Even if he’s not getting offensive touches, he’s gonna go out there and make something happen. Just because that’s his mentality. It’s the way he plays. He’s not gonna sulk. He’s not gonna cry. He’s not gonna start roaming around the perimeter. He’s just gonna go take the ball from somebody off the glass and force himself into the game.
…on Adebayo’s defensive prowess: He’s a good shot blocker. I wouldn’t say he’s a crazy defensive player. But he’s not a bad one, either. I think they’re all good defenders, but they’re all gonna have to buy into what Cal is gonna teach them. Other than (guard) De’Aaron Fox, they’re good defenders with a chance to be very good college defenders if they pick it up.
…on where Kentucky’s class fits into the national picture: I still slightly lean toward Duke with the No. 2 and 3 player, plus another Top 10 player. And the difference between the last player in the class — Kentucky’s Sacha Killeya-Jones and Duke’s Javin DeLaurier — isn’t all that different. They’re pretty close to even right now. I could see someone arguing either way on it. Michigan State’s right in the thick of it, too. Were they able to pull off someone like the No. 1 player in the country, Josh Jackson, they could potentially take it over.