Back in the fall, ESPNU's No. 1 overall player Harrison Barnes sat in Ames, Iowa, live on ESPNU, where he surprised many by choosing North Carolina over Duke, Iowa State, and pretty much every other school in the country (any of which would have happily taken him).
Fast forward a few months, when the No. 4-ranked player, Brandon Knight, had his moment in the ESPNU sun. Cue the suspense? Not quite. In one of the least surprising recruiting decisions since, well, John Wall's, Knight just announced his decision to play his college basketball at Kentucky under John Calipari. Shocker.
This has become par for the course for Calipari. Wall was last spring's major recruiting coup. This year's is Knight, the best remaining uncommitted player in the late signing period. The major implication is obvious: Kentucky fans will hope Knight can step into the backcourt role recently vacated by the NBA-bound Wall and fellow guard Eric Bledsoe. That might be a bit of a stretch -- Knight is a very good point guard, but Wall was a once-in-every-five-years kind of player. Asking Knight to replace Wall is like asking Matt Santos to replace Josiah Bartlet. Both guys are great, but come on. (West Wing reference, anyone? No?)
There are also implications down the rest of the ESPNU 100 board. Point guard Josh Selby, ESPNU's No. 5 overall guy, will announce his decision Saturday. It's unlikely Selby will want to risk being Knight's second-fiddle at Kentucky, which will please the other schools (Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee, and Connecticut) on Selby's list. Although to be fair, the same was said before Bledsoe's decision last year.
How the rest of the recruiting field will shake out will have a lot to do with those two players. But no one can say they didn't see this coming. Brandon Knight is at Kentucky. John Calipari landed another blue-chip point guard. The surprises just keep on coming.