LEXINGTON, Ky. -- One year after Penny Hardaway and Memphis came out of nowhere to rocket to the top of the recruiting charts, John Calipari and Kentucky are back in their accustomed place in the rankings.
The long-running Recruiting Services Consensus Index rankings were finalized for the class of 2020 this week, and UK took the No. 1 spot for the eighth time in 12 recruiting cycles under Calipari, who had gone three years without a top-ranked RSCI class.
Last year, it was Memphis -- led by No. 1 prospect and longtime UK target James Wiseman -- that took the top spot. The year before that, it was Duke at No. 1 with a class led by the all-star trio of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cameron Reddish.
In both of those years, Kentucky was No. 2.
The RSCI rankings predate the 247Sports composite rankings by more than a decade and attempt to build a master list of the top high school seniors in the country, using in-house rankings from Rivals.com, ESPN, 247Sports and longtime recruiting analyst Van Coleman to come up with one overall order of players.
In 12 classes under Calipari, the Wildcats have now finished first in the RSCI rankings eight times, with three No. 2 finishes and one placing at No. 3.
This year's UK class ended a skid in the individual rankings. No Kentucky signee had placed in the top five in the RSCI rankings since Skal Labissiere finished in the No. 2 spot five years ago. And no UK signee had finished better than No. 10 since 2016. In this cycle, shooting guard Brandon Boston was placed at No. 4, and fellow shooting guard Terrence Clarke finished tied for No. 8 (with former UK target Greg Brown).
That makes Kentucky the only program in the country to land two top-10 recruits for next season. It's the first time UK has landed multiple top-10 recruits in one class since 2016, when De'Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk finished sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Wildcats' incoming group also features four other highly touted players: power forward Isaiah Jackson (No. 26 in the final RSCI rankings), point guard Devin Askew (No. 28), power forward Lance Ware (No. 39) and wing Cam'Ron Fletcher (No. 52).
Despite all that talent, Kentucky barely held off Duke for the No. 1 spot.