Posted: 4:00 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
By James Streble
Now that Stanley Johnson is officially off the board, who is the next man up for John Calipari? Australia born Jonah Bolden just added Kentucky to his list and expect Cal to come hard after him.
Stanley Johnson is the versatile wing player that John Calipari coveted more than any other recruit in the 2014 class. Now that Johnson chose the wrong Wildcats, what are Cal's options to fill the void?
Jonah Bolden is a name that is picking up steam. He just received major interest from Kentucky and has listed the Wildcats in his list of final six schools. Kentucky wasn't even in the conversation back in September. He has not received an offer from Cal at this point, but that may change in the near future.
Bolden's final six are: Kentucky, USC, Louisville, SMU, Indiana and UCLA.
So, who is Jonah Bolden? Glad you asked!
Position- Small Forward/Power Forward
Scout.com- Four star recruit; #6 power forward; #30 overall
Rivals.com- Four star recruit; position ranking n/a; #62 overall
247sports.com- Five star recruit; #6 small forward; #24 overall
ESPN.com- Four star recruit; #18 power forward; #70 overall
Bolden is a native Australian and he is attending Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, Nevada for his senior year of high school. This move was made to give him more exposure to American college basketball programs. He has raised the eyebrows of many coaches and recruiting analysts during his short time in the United States. His recruit rankings have rocketed up the charts recently and could THE steal of this class.
Jerry Meyer from 247sports.com had this to say about Bolden and his ranking:
"With Jonah Bolden, even though I went pretty aggressive and ranked him in the Top 25, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I was probably at the bottom of his ranking range," Meyer said. "I think that guy could end up being one of the elite players in the class.
"In hindsight, I don't know if I was aggressive enough. He is a tremendous prospect."
And what about his recruitment by Kentucky?
"Someone asked me if Kentucky should look at Jonah Bolden. And I was like, ‘Well, yeah. I've got him ranked 24th in the country, so that's what I think about it,'" Meyer said. "Is he a fit for Kentucky? Does Kentucky have the connections to get him? Is it worth investing their time? Those are questions Kentucky has to answer. But I'm looking at it as, ‘Is this guy good enough to play at Kentucky?' Well, heck yeah, he is. He's good enough to play anywhere in the country."
You can read the rest of Meyer's comments about Bolden in an excellent piece by Ben Roberts.
The kid has some serious skills. Looks like a Calipari caliber player to me.
Throw him in with Trey Lyles, Karl Towns, Derek Willis, and Marcus Lee, and it looks as if Kentucky's front court is pretty much set for the foreseeable future.