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This week, all five members of UK’s No. 1 ranked 2013 recruiting class made their pledges official when they signed to attend UK.
But, Karl Towns Jr., the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2015, has taken some of the attention away from the opening weeks of the early signing period by electing to make a decision of his own.
He is only a sophomore, but the young forward will make his verbal commitment on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
“He is going to make an announcement at our school on December 4,” St. Joseph High School athletic director Jerry Smith told the Kernel. “It will be in the gym in front of our student body.”
According to Smith, the early decision by Towns “caught us off guard, but the main reason was to stop all the phone calls and the disturbances at home from all the various institutions after him.”
“He wanted to get it off his shoulders,” Smith said.
St. Joseph High School, in New Jersey, will host a press conference at 10 a.m., which will be aired live on MSG Varsity, a regional cable network. There will likely be a live feed to a radio station in Kentucky as well, Smith said.
“Based on the conversations I had with MSG Varsity when they checked out our gym and they said they wanted to get a feed to a radio station and it ended with K-Y,” Smith said.
According to Smith, the decision has come down to three schools: Florida, Duke and Kentucky.
But it seems as though UK may have the edge to this point. Towns spent a majority of the summer playing for UK head coach John Calipari and his coaching staff for the Dominican National team.
“Karl really fell in love with Orlando (Antigua). That is his main guy,” Smith said. “When he gets down to Kentucky he is going to be an unbelievable celebrity. Not so much for his play, which will be outstanding, but for the way he speaks and handles himself and involves himself with everyone.
“They are going to fall in love with this kid.”
The Metuchen, N.J., native is already the most highly coveted 15-year-old in the basketball world, but with his time in Lexington this summer working out with current NBA players and the elite coaching staff at UK, he has seemingly taken his game to yet another level.
“When you get coached by college coaches, your game really takes off,” Smith said. “The only thing he lacks now is the physical strength because he can score inside, outside, he can handle.”
The skill set the 6-foot-11 forward possesses is obvious, but it is his off-the-court gifts that truly sets him apart from his peers.
“He is so gifted, he has like a 4.2 GPA and he has all accelerated courses,” Smith said.
The accelerated courses will allow Towns to reclassify and go to college early if he so chooses.
“He is so bright that there is no reason for him to just waste his time (in high school),” Smith told the Kernel, “but we are a high academic institution. We are a college prep school and he will probably enter one of those programs in his junior year.”
The decision to reclassify should come sometime after his college announcement on Dec. 4, a decision that some around the UK program might feel comfortable about.
“I went to school in Kentucky,” said Smith, who attended Bellarmine University. “So I know he is going to fit perfectly down there.”