Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

A Few Mid-Week Notes

June 17, 2010 8:23 am

A few notes for your Thursday…

  • After a few weeks of anticipation all we are left with regarding the realignment of college athletics is Nebraska joining the Big 10 and Colorado and possibly Utah heading to the Pac 10. The landscape will stay very similar to how we see it today but the question is did this all just get shoved to the back burner for a few years and will we see this issue again in 5-10 years? Who knows, but as of now all remains relatively the same.
  • Coach Calipari said on Wednesday that he may still add one more player to the roster for next season and late Wednesday night it may have become a little clearer who that player may be. A Minnesota college basketball writer said that Royce White (pictured above) is “narrowing in” on Kentucky. The interest appears to be mutual between UK and White and after Arnett Moultrie picked Mississippi State last week, White could step into his spot as a big time transfer. If the name seems familiar, it’s because White was a former 5-star McDonalds All-American out of high school before he committed to Tubby Smith and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He was then suspended indefinitely in October of 2009 for shop lifting at The Mall of America. White then quit the team in December and is currently assessing all his options. Coach Calipari has always been known for giving kids a second chance and this may be another one he hands out.
  • Reports out of Philidelphia are that rookie corner Trevard Lindley may be working his way into a starting role for the Eagles. Lindley struggled with injuries during his senior campaign but was a “lock-down” corner during his 5 seasons in Lexington.
  • Rajon Rondo will be looking for his 2nd ring tonight in the NBA Finals Game 7. A win by the Celtics and Rondo will collect the 19th NBA Championship for a former Wildcat.

We will have more this weekend previewing the NBA Draft which is a week from tonight. Untill then stay cool and Go Big Blue!!!

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Some Weekend Notes

May 28, 2010 7:26 am

As we head into Memorial Day Weekend we are currently in a recruiting “dead” period untill June 1st. Arnett Moultrie is set to make his visits to both Kentucky and Texas as soon as the dead period is over and will decide soon after he has completed those visits. In other news, UK announced that the game against North Carolina this year will be set for December 4th. Finally, The Oregonian out of Portland Oregon as well as Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman are saying that Oregon assistant Kenny Payne will be taking the same position at Kentucky. Payne, a former Louisville player, is known for is incredible recruiting ability. It’s hard to believe that this staff could get any stronger in the recruiting department but Kenny Payne will definitely add to this staff’s productivity. Have a good Memorial Day Weekend, sit back and enjoy some racing. Go Big Blue!!!

The Final Piece?

May 24, 2010 4:02 pm

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari mentioned towards the end of last week that he would like to add one more player to the current recruiting class. With power forward Kadeem Jack looking like he will be heading to South Kent Prep School, it leaves UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie as the top canidate to finalize the 2010 recruiting class. Moultrie is a 6’10 power forward out of Memphis, Tennessee. He is very long and athletic and has the potential to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft in the near future. As a freshman at UTEP, Moultrie averaged 8.8 points to go along with 8.2 boards a game. With the addition of Louisville transfer Derrick Caracter, Moultrie’s rebounding numbers dipped a bit during his sophomore campaign but he still averaged 9.8 points and 6.7 boards. Moultrie is set decide within the next week and is down to Kentucky and Texas. Wherever Moultrie decides to transfer, NCAA rules dictate that he must sit out the 2010-2011 season. He still will be allowed to practice with the team and would be eligible to lace it up starting in the fall of 2011. Go Big Blue!!!

How Does This Class Stack Up?

May 20, 2010 3:00 pm

Just a week ago, Kentucky was looking for someone to fill the 4 spot on next year’s roster. Now, after last night’s commitment from Terrence Jones and last weekend’s commitment from Eloy Vargas, Kentucky has gone from a very thin frontcout to one of the best in America. Jones’ commitment last night not only solidifies the frontcourt for the Cats, it also gurantees by far that this is the #1 recruiting class in the country this year making it two years in a row the Cats hauled in the top ranked class.

But how does this class stack up to some of the all-time great recruiting classes? Last season’s class drew a lot of comparisons to the famous “Fab 5” of Michigan. When the numbers were crunched, Michigan’s “Fab 5” came out on top of Kentucky’s 2009 class by just fractions of a point. At first glance, this season’s Kentucky class is very impressive but doesn’t quite seem to measure up to last season’s class or the “Fab 5”, but the numbers seem to suggest otherwise. When these three classes are averaged out, the 2010 UK class has overtaken Michigan’s “Fab 5” as the greatest recruiting class of all-time. Take a look at where each player ranked.

Fab 5                           UK 2009                         UK 2010

1-Chris Webber             1-John Wall               3-Enes Kanter

5-Juwan Howard           2-DeMarcus Cousins  6-Brandon Knight 

8-Jalen Rose               22-Daniel Orton          13-Terrence Jones

18-Jimmy King             23-Eric Bledsoe          21-Doron Lamb

48-Ray Jackson           40-Jon Hood              33-Stacey Poole

   avg-16.2                    avg-17.6                   avg-15.2

As you can see, statiscally speaking, this year’s class average is better than any class in the history of college basketball. I found this rather surprising as this class doesn’t necessarily have the “star power” of a John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins or Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, but as a whole it is a stronger class. Of course once the ball is tipped in early November all of these rankings are arbitrary, but untill then, it is yet another development to get excited about as a Wildcat fan. Of course the accomplishment by this year’s class will be short lived as next year’s class is already set up to be a monster. Go Big Blue!!!

Terrence Jones Is A Cat!!!

May 19, 2010 11:06 pm

 

Back on April 30th, a still undecided Terrence Jones put on a Washington hat at a school press conference announcing that he would attend school close to home on the west coast. Immediately after his decision, Jones started to have second thoughts about the decision he made and took us all on a crazy ride to tonight where he ultimately chose Kentucky. He did not sign a LOI but instead choose to sign Finacial Aid papers similar to what Brandon Knight did back in April. Before this decsion I thought Kentucky had about a 20% chance of landing Jones making tonight’s decsion pretty surprising to me. This gurantees that Kentucky ends up with the #1 recruiting class, again. This team has now jumped to a top 10 team going into next season and makes this team a realistic championship contender. GO BIG BLUE!!!

And The Winner Is…

May 18, 2010 10:10 pm

…The Washington Wizards.

For the 5th time in the last 6 seasons, the winner of the NBA Draft Lottery was a team with a single digit chance at taking home the #1 pick. Washington entered the night with just a 7.6% chance of landing the top pick, and with their majority owner Irene Polin looking on, the Wizards won the John Wall sweepstakes. The Wizards currently have 4 point guards on their roster and drafting Wall would put them at the 5. I would anticipate the Wizards moving Gilbert Arenas to the 2-guard when he returns from his suspension freeing up the point for Wall. Flip Saunders is the coach in Washington and has had past success in the league coaching the Minnesota Timberwolves to a conference finals appearence and he also led the Detroit Pistons to to 3 consecutive conference finals appearences from 2006-2008. All in all this is a good situation for John Wall. Washington has a solid coaching staff, a large media market, and 2 first round draft pick. Drafting John Wall on June 24th won’t make Washington a contender right away, but it will put the Wizards on track to have a special team in the next few years.

We’ll be around later this week to preview the draft status of Kentucky’s other players who are getting ready for the draft. The NBA Draft Combine is this Friday and will be shown on ESPNU starting at 10:00 A.M. Daniel Orton will attend but will not participate in any physical activities. No word yet on if John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, or Eric Bledsoe will participate.

There is finally an end in sight for the Terrence Jones sweepstakes as the Oregonian has reported that he will either sign a LOI or Financial Aid papers tomorrow. Wednesday is the last day of the spring signing period so it should be noted if this decision is put off again, he will not be able to sign a LOI. We shall see.

As always, Go Big Blue!!!

Eloy Vargas

May 15, 2010 3:24 pm

Evan Daniels of scout.com is reporting that power forward Eloy Vargas has committed to Kentucky. This commitment could possibly push this year’s recruiting class back to the #1 overall class for the 2nd year in a row.

UK Heading North

May 13, 2010 1:46 pm

$300,000 has been alotted to the UK Men’s Basketball team for a fall trip north of the border.  Kentucky has been eligible the past few seasons to make an international trip an Coach Calipari decided that with a large number of freshman making up this year’s team, a trip to Canada could give these kids some time to come togethar before the season begins. Also, Rod Strickland has been reassinged to the Head of Basketball Operations at UK making an opening at assistant coaching position. There is speculation the Oregon Assistant Kenny Payne will be named to the position and while it hasn’t happend yet, I expect Payne to be on the sidelines for the Cats next season. It should also be noted that Payne has a very close relationship with Terrence Jones. Go Big Blue, AYE!

The Next Memeber of the Class of 2010?

May 12, 2010 10:33 pm

The Eloy Vargas to Kentucky story has been gaining a lot of momentum over the past few days and it may be coming to an end soon as the 6-11 junior college transfer has apparently  narrowed his list down to Kentucky and Seattle after Arizona dropped out of the race today. Vargas was ranked as the 26th player in the class of 2008 before committing to Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators. He played one season at Florida seeing very limited action leading to his transfer to Miami Dade Community College. Vargas averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds last season at MDCC and would be a very solid option to come in and play right away at the power forward position. Vargas had been rumored a few months ago to be interested in Kentucky and vice versa. Those rumors died down for a few months but now as the Cats continue to find someone to plug into the 4 position next season, Vargas seems like the best solution for rounding out next seasons roster. Terrence Jones and Kadeem Jack still could end up in blue and white next season even if Eloy Vargas comes to Lexington.

On a scheduling note, Dillard University from New Orleans will be playing in Rupp Arena in early November for a pre-season exhibition. Dillard is coached by former UK player Dale Brown.

That’s all for today. Go Big Blue!

The Dog Days of Summer Are Here

May 6, 2010 11:35 pm

Yes I know it is only May 7th, but the slow news days that make up college athletics during the summer have arrived. Three quick things today to keep an eye on.

  1. Tomorrow is the last day for underclassmen to remove their names from the NBA Draft. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Patrick Patterson have already announced that they will stay in the draft, so it’s down to just Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton to make up their mind. I would be shocked if either of them decide to return as they were projected at #11 and #18 respectively in ESPN’s mock draft today. I’ve said since the end of the season that if they are projected first round picks they should stay in the draft and ESPN seems to think that they will both be taken comfortably in round 1.
  2. We continue to wait for Terrence Jones to decide. He has said by the end of the signing period on May 19th he will have a decision, untill then I’m done talking about this.
  3. And finally to adress the Coach Calipari rumors about his interest in the Chicago Bulls job opening. I do believe that he has some interest as the idea of coaching Derrick Rose and possibly LeBron James intrigues him, but I believe  he will be on the sidelines when UK tips it up next season and unless there is a LEGITIMATE report that states other wise, this will be the 1st and last comment on that subject here.

Again the news comes at a slower pace during the summer months so daily updates will probably not happen but continue to check back with us as we will update the occasional news and we also plan on doing a couple projects that you might find interesting this summer. GO BIG BLUE!!!