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Aaron Torres’ Take

Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 102: Verne Lundquist

It’s a very, VERY special episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast today, as legendary broadcaster Verne Lundquist joins the show to talk about his time in the SEC, relationships with Nick Saban, Urban Meyer and more.
Before we get to Verne though, Aaron starts off by hitting on a few topics that caught his eye over the last week:
The Biggest Storylines One Month into the College Basketball Season: It is officially one month since the start of college basketball season, and Aaron discusses the biggest topics so far in the season. He explains why he believes Michigan is actually the best team in the country, and he reveals a stunning early National Player of the Year selection. He also explains why it isn’t time to worry about Kentucky… yet.
Coaching Carousel: On Monday, the Bulls fired head coach Fred Hoiberg and there was immediate talk that the former Iowa State basketball coach would return to college basketball. While Hoiberg has already been linked to UCLA, Aaron explains why he doesn’t believe it’s the right fit.
Next up, it’s that time — “Uncle” Verne joins the show! The legendary broadcaster discusses a number of topics including:
How he Stumbled into Broadcasting SEC football: Verne takes us down the long, winding road that led him to the SEC. He reveals the “demotion” that landed him on the college football beat, and how it’s the best thing that ever happened to him. He also shared some memories that stand out.
His Relationship with Nick Saban and is Urban Meyer really Retired? Verne provides perspective on the two most prominent coaches he covered on the SEC beat: Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. He explains why he believes Saban is the greatest college football coach who has ever lived, and his complicated relationship with Meyer that leads him to believe that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t actually “retired.”
Finally, more stories: Verne wraps with a couple more stories, including the time that he and Terry Bradshaw made up a player while calling NFL games for the entire season and how he met his wife while she was on a date with another man. This is must… listen… stuff!!

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 101: Urban Meyer Retires and CFB Playoff Questions

After a little delay, the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is back. Aaron opens the show solo with breaking news of Urban Meyer’s retirement, then later Nick Coffey and Aaron break down all the happenings in college football over the weekend. The boys will talk basketball later this week, but for now it’s all pigskin, as they discuss:

Urban Meyer Retires: Aaron opens the show by discussing the announcement of Urban Meyer’s retirement. Aaron explains why Meyer has a complicated legacy that includes winning big on the field, but also letting his players and assistant coaches get away with murder (in some cases literally) off the field. Also, Aaron explains why Ohio State fans will soon regret defending Meyer… and why no one actually believes Meyer is “retired.” Will he end up as the next head coach at USC? Notre Dame? In the NFL?
 
The Scott Satterfield Hire: The news became official right before Nick and Aaron recorded, but Scott Satterfield is Louisville’s next head coach. Nick explains the road to name Satterfield head coach and why Louisville fans are NOT happy with the decision to name him to the post. Also, Aaron discusses Vince Tyra as the school’s AD and why his unique background may have helped him with this hire.
The College Football Playoff: The guys spend the second half of the show talking College Football Playoff. They ask: Did the committee get it right? Aaron explains why he doesn’t believe Georgia was a legit candidate and why Oklahoma should have gotten the spot. Aaron also makes the case for Ohio State and brings up an interesting conspiracy theory to explain why they weren’t only left out, but never seriously considered for a spot.

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 100: Brohm Watch + College Hoops

It’s episode 100 of the Aaron Torres Sports podcast and there is no special song and dance — just great sports talk.  Louisville is still looking for a football coach (at least when the recording happened) and there is plenty of college hoops to discuss. The guys break down the latest on:
Brohm Watch: Somehow it’s late Wednesday and Louisville still doesn’t have a football coach. Nick explains why the longer things go, the worse it is for Louisville fans and what will the Cards do next if Jeff Brohm stays at Purdue. Plus, one fact no one is talking about that could sway Brohm one way or another.
Louisville’s Massive Win Over Michigan State: We’ll talk some Kentucky or other hoops down the line, but the biggest story from Tuesday night was Louisville’s win over Michigan State. Why it’s a great sign for the Cards to win while not playing well, plus has this changed the outlook on what Louisville’s ceiling is?
Finally, Could We Get a Controversy with Nevada Down the Road: The Nevada Wolf Pack dominated Loyola-Chicago on Tuesday night, with their first major victory of the season. The Wolf Pack are good — REALLY good. Unfortunately, Aaron already sees a controversy coming for the Pack as the season wears on.

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


What “Feast Week” Taught Us About The National College Basketball Scene

What “Feast Week” Taught Us About The National College Basketball Scene

It pains me to say this, but our holiday weekend is officially over. It seems only yesterday that we were headed into a blissful, four-day stretch filled with sitting on the couch, gorging on food, watching sports and taking mid-day naps. Only flash-forward and here we are, mid-Monday, with Deb from accounting trying to foist half-eaten, left-over apple pie on you in the break room.

And admit it, you just took a bite, didn’t you? Man, how did the holiday slip by so fast?

It really is wild, and not only did the holiday weekend fly by, but so too did one of the most important weeks on the college basketball calendar: Feast Week. From Monday-Sunday, noon to well after midnight we were engulfed with quality and meaningful basketball, with results that will impact teams from now until Selection Sunday in March.

So what did we learn during Feast Week? Here are a few things:

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Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 99: College Football Recap and Will Louisville Miss out on Jeff Brohm?

It’s a new episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast! After talking Duke’s loss to Gonzaga and James Wiseman last week, (if you didn’t listen click here) the guys are here to talk a little football. They’ll get into the basketball action later in the week, but first they discuss:
Ohio State’s Domination of Michigan: The guys discuss the Buckeyes stunning and dominant victory over Michigan. Should we have seen it coming? What does it say about Michigan? Can Ohio State replicate it next week in the Big Ten title game?
All the Playoff Scenarios: With Ohio State’s win, what does it mean for their chances at the College Football Playoff? Also, Aaron and Nick debate who deserves the fourth playoff spot if both Oklahoma and Ohio State win next week. Finally, will the SEC once again get two playoff teams if Georgia beats Alabama?
What’s the latest with the Louisville coaching search? After Kentucky crushed Louisville to win the Governor’s Cup, Louisville turns its attention to the future – but will Jeff Brohm be part of it? Is Brohm having second thoughts? And if he is, what does that mean for Louisville going forward?

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


John Calipari Hasn’t Lost His “Touch” – But the Recruiting Game Has Changed Around Him

John Calipari Hasn’t Lost His “Touch” – But the Recruiting Game Has Changed Around Him

 

On Tuesday morning the news that no Kentucky fan wanted, but was ultimately inevitable, officially hit. James Wiseman, the No. 1 high school player in the class of 2019, made his college decision and he is headed to Memphis. While we’ll never know anything official, it seems obvious that Kentucky finished in second place.

Again, this news wasn’t shocking. As has been well-documented, Wiseman played for Penny Hardaway in high school and AAU. He decided to stay in Memphis to play high school basketball even after Hardaway left his school, and Wiseman made his announcement on a day where he will play against fellow Memphis commit D.J. Jeffries. There hasn’t been a single piece of evidence to suggest that Wiseman’s choice was going to be anything other than Memphis for months now.

Inevitably though it is disappointing for Kentucky who – after years of basically getting any player they wanted – have once again lost out on a big, high-profile kid. This one especially stings because, as my buddy TJ Walker has written many times, Kentucky turned up the heat on Wiseman in a way they rarely had before. There was literally nothing else they could have feasibly done. And Wiseman still picked Memphis.

The question now for Kentucky is of course “Why does this keep happening to us? And how do we stop it?” Unfortunately, there really is no easy answer to that question.

Now before we get too far down this rabbit-hole I do think it’s important to mention a couple things.

One, had Memphis not hired Penny Hardaway, Wiseman would be a Kentucky Wildcat right now. I think that’s worth re-visiting here. It’s not like John Calipari and his staff got out-worked by Coach K, Sean Miller or Chris Mack. They were thiiiiiiiiis close to running away with a commitment from the No. 1 recruit in high school basketball. There was only one person and one school that could sway Wiseman from coming to Kentucky, and it just so happened that the one guy (Penny Hardaway) was hired at the exact wrong time by that one school (although the timing made perfect sense on Memphis’ end). Had Memphis been dominating on the court under Tubby Smith last season or had Penny Hardaway not had the No. 1 recruit in the country on his high school team within the city limits, Kentucky would have locked in the No. 1 recruit in the country on Tuesday morning. And none of this would even be a conversation.

I’d also add that even though this is a frustrating day for Kentucky fans, it’s easy to forget that the Wildcats have had their fair share of wins on the recruiting trail of late. I know it doesn’t feel like that at this particular moment, but they have. E.J. Montgomery just chose Kentucky over Duke (and basically everyone) six months ago. Same with Kevin Knox in May 2017. Ashton Hagans, who was regarded as the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2019 re-opened his recruitment and seemingly never really considered anyone other than Kentucky (that includes Memphis by the way, who contacted Hagans shortly after he decommitted from Georgia). Reid Travis could have played anywhere in the country after he withdrew from the NBA Draft. He chose Kentucky.

So, forgive me for throwing out a little perspective here. But at the end of the day, I also understand the frustration from Kentucky fans who have watched one too many kids that UK really wanted pick different schools. The list is becoming increasingly longer, as you can add Wiseman in with names like Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Marvin Bagley, Bol Bol, you name it. Again, Wiseman is a bit different because of the fact that Memphis hired his high school coach. But it doesn’t make today any easier.

Here is the problem though when evaluating both the Wiseman situation and the other recruiting misses by Kentucky in recent years: I am not positive there is a solution. The recruiting game has changed over the last several years, with more schools willing to recruit one-and-done kids. And as the pool of schools willing to go after the truly 10-15 elite players a year has expanded, the opportunity to sign them as decreased for everyone. And right now it’s hurting Kentucky the most.

Think about it.

When John Calipari got to Kentucky in 2010, he really was the only guy selling the one-year path to the pros, the promise that if you came to Kentucky for one year, he and his staff would do everything they could to get you to the next level as fast as possible. In the subsequent years other schools like Duke, Kansas, UCLA and Arizona began dabbling on the one-and-done market, mixing the occasional star freshman (Andrew Wiggins, Stanley Johnson etc.) with three and four-year players. Even when Duke jumped two feet in a few years ago and started almost exclusively recruiting one-and-done guys, there were still more than enough guys to go around and Kentucky got more than its fair share. De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Jamal Murray, Kevin Knox all come to mind in that category.

But now, fast-forward just a few years and everyone is recruiting one-and-done kids. Understand, Kentucky doesn’t just have to beat out Duke and occasionally Arizona or Kansas for the best kids. But other schools too, places that never would have considered recruiting these kids just a few years ago.

Again, think about it.

Villanova would have never dared recruit a can’t miss, one-and-done guy just two or three years ago – this year they got Bryan Antoine. Florida signed his high school teammate Scottie Lewis. Last year Vanderbilt got Darius Garland North Carolina got Nassir Little. This year, the Tar Heels are the leaders for Cole Anthony… and there’s buzz that Notre Dame – NOTRE DAME!!!! – might be gaining ground in Anthony’s recruitment. If Notre Dame is getting into the one-and-done game you know things have gotten crazy.

Want me to keep going? Too bad, I’m going to anyway.

LSU has two potential one-and-dones on their roster this year. Michigan State might be the favorite for Vernon Carey after getting Jaren Jackson last year. Oregon has Bol Bol and Louis King. Indiana has Romeo Langford. Memphis now has James Wiseman.

Point being, just two or three years ago Kentucky was only competing with Duke for the best players, and maybe occasionally Arizona and Kansas. Now they’re recruiting against literally just about everyone.

Which again makes me wonder one simple thing: Has John Calipari “lost” his recruiting touch? I don’t believe so. What I do believe is that the one advantage that he once had no longer exists. And it isn’t just Kentucky either. Remember, Duke was thought to be a lock for Bryan Antoine and he chose Villanova. Another kid named Josiah James was assumed to be a heavy Duke lean. He picked Tennessee instead.

This isn’t about Calipari losing his touch. It’s about the world changing around him.

And that’s kind of also the problem here: There is no easy answer to solve the problem.

I’ve heard some say to change up the coaching staff, but again, no coach bats 1000 in recruiting. Again, Duke lost Bryan Antoine to Villanova. Kansas wanted Romeo Langford and he ended up at Indiana. Hell, Penny Hardaway wanted Ashton Hagans… and he chose Kentucky. It happens to everyone. Sometimes you can do everything right, impress mom and dad, give the perfect pitch… but a kid just chooses somewhere else.

Another solution I’ve heard some suggest is to go harder after transfers. I don’t necessarily disagree, and was just recently talking to a coach who told me he loves recruiting transfers. The recruitment is easier (no “middle man” or “handlers” just the kid, mom and dad) and because if a kid sits out a year it gives him time to develop in a system. The flip side is, how many truly impactful guys are there on the transfer market? If a guy is good enough, in most cases he’ll just go pro rather than sitting out a year. Even if they do elect to transfer, how many make an instant impact wherever they go? As good as Malik Newman was for Kansas a year ago – he went undrafted. Reid Travis might go undrafted this year. And those are probably the two best transfers of the last four or five years.

My only other thought – not that John Calipari wants or needs my advice – is that, if it were me, I would cast a slightly large net in recruiting. Specifically, I’d emphasize guys that really, really want to play at Kentucky even if they aren’t elite.

For example, I was perplexed last year when the staff never seriously went hard after Simi Shittu, who seemingly wanted to be recruited harder by Kentucky. Shittu is currently averaging 15 points and 10 boards a game at Vanderbilt. I’m still not totally sure why Kentucky never got serious on Aiden Igiehon, who is another player that made it obvious that he wanted to be recruited by Kentucky. He is a legit Top 30 or so recruit and a player who I believe will one day be in the NBA, yet the Wildcats never seriously went after him either.

Super random, but let me give you some further context to back this up: I remember Jay Wright once discussing Mikal Bridges, who arrived at Villanova as a 175 lb. freshman, redshirted and became a lottery pick last year after four seasons in the program. Wright once said that he didn’t initially believe that Bridges would contribute at Villanova, but he was sold because Villanova is where Bridges really wanted to go. His quote (and I’m loosely paraphrasing because I spent a half hour looking for the right quote and couldn’t find it) was something to the effect of “I’m not sure I totally believed in him when we were recruiting him. But it’s a lot easier to take a chance on a kid when you know that this is the only place he wants to be.” it feels like Calipari could have taken that approach on Igiehon, but instead he’ll be at Louisville instead.

Anyway, I’m getting long-winded here, and again, it’s not like this is the beginning of the end or anything for Kentucky in recruiting. They will almost certainly finish in the Top 2 when recruiting is all said and done, and ultimately something weird will happen and a good player will land on their doorstep. Maybe a coach will be fired and a kid become available. Maybe someone reclassifies like Ashton Hagans did last year (and ironically, like a kid named Anthony Edwards did on Tuesday). Maybe a better-than-expected transfer becomes available.

The one thing that seems certain: The days of simply mopping up on the recruiting trail and getting the four or five best players might be over.

And there’s no one to blame. The game has simply changed in recruiting.


A Full Preview of All The Thanksgiving College Basketball Tournaments

A Full Preview of All The Thanksgiving College Basketball Tournaments

I’m just going to throw it out there: I really do believe that “Feast Week” – the week leading up and through Thanksgiving – really is one of the best weeks on the entire college basketball calendar. I know everyone loves the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament (because who doesn’t love betting on obscure schools you’ve never heard of) but “Feast Week” really is basically just as good, without half the hype.

Seriously, think about it. What’s better than wall-to-wall basketball, from noon until well after midnight, Monday-Friday? Nothing. Well, except maybe for wall-to-wall basketball, from noon until well after midnight, Monday-Friday… after half-assing your work week Monday-Wednesday, then taking off the back end of the week to gorge on too much food and adult beverages for four straight days. Forget Fourth of July. I never feel more American than I do during Thanksgiving week. And I’m sure you feel the same.

So with the games underway, what do you need to know heading into the most underrated week of the college basketball calendar? From Maui to New York, Atlantis to Orlando, here is your guide to everything you need to watch for this weekend.

Maui Invitational (Monday-Wednesday)

Teams to Watch: Umm, all of them, but mostly Duke, Gonzaga, Auburn, Arizona, Xavier

As you know this tournament already tipped off Monday – but that’s OK. This is always one of the pre-eminent tournaments of Feast Week so even though we’re entering Day 2, it’s only appropriate to start here. Especially since an already incredible tournament got more incredible-er this year. That’s because, as you’ve probably heard by now, Chaminade isn’t playing in the Maui Invitational this year.

And while that’s disappointing to people who love tradition, the reality is that it’s made Maui a better tournament overall. For starters, while we love the nostalgia of Chaminade, the reality is that they haven’t been all that good in this event. They’re just 8-92 overall since its inception and haven’t won an opening round game since 2012.

So while we lose to the chance to see a major upset, the reality is that it probably wasn’t going to happen anyway. And without Chaminade, it also gives us more good games featuring more good teams – and honestly, who are we to complain about getting more good teams? That’d be like complaining about your grandma serving you too much pecan pie for dessert on Thursday night. What kind of monster would do such a thing?

Therefore forgive me for stepping all over the little guy in favor of a field that will now go down as the most loaded in the history of the Maui Invitational. By now you know the field features three Top 10 teams (Duke, Auburn and Gonzaga), another perennial power (Arizona), and a loser’s bracket that starting today features a bunch of clubs that might just be good enough to make the NCAA Tournament. When the “worst” teams in the field are Iowa State, Xavier, Illinois and San Diego State, you know you’ve got yourself a heck of a field.

Looking ahead the one storyline here worth watching is whether anyone can beat Duke. With the way that both Auburn and Gonzaga played on Monday (which would best be described as “sloppy”) it’s not looking good.

Instead just stick around to watch good basketball, even if we probably know what the end result will be. Also stick around to watch Zion Williamson and see if he breaks a backboard before the end of this tournament. And because Bill Walton is calling these games and honestly, you never know what you’re going to get from that dude.

No, seriously.

NIT Tip-Off (Wednesday and Friday)

Teams to Watch: Kansas, Tennessee, Louisville and Marquette

While Maui has the deepest field, the two-day, four-team NIT Tip-Off is the only one where every team playing will probably end up in the NCAA Tournament. The “worst” team here might be Marquette – which was picked to finish second in the Big East. Louisville, which is “down” as they’ve been in a while is still probably a tourney team with a new coach. So yeah, there will be plenty of intrigue too.

So again, there is plenty to watch here.

In terms of storylines, there are two things that interest me the most, and ironically, neither of them involves Kansas. At this point, we know who the Jayhawks are: A deep, loaded, talented team who – regardless of how they may, umm, “recruit” their players – is still a national title contender and Final Four threat. I’m not sure we’ll learn all that much about the Jayhawks that we don’t already know.

Instead, what I want to see at the Barclays Center on Wednesday and Friday is two-fold. First, I just want to see what Louisville looks like under Chris Mack. I’m a believer in Mack and truly think this squad can surprise some folks in the ACC. Still, it won’t be easy opening with a loaded Tennessee team that is currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally.

Speaking of Tennessee, that’s the other thing I’m interested in here: How good are the Vols this year? We know they were phenomenal a season ago, but as I’ve said all off-season, on a roster full of veterans with limited upside, is it possible this team has already peaked? Unlike a young squad like Duke, Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona or whoever that you know will get better, haven’t we already kind of seen the “best” that Tennessee is going to get?

We’ll find out, but I’ll add this: Even if the Vols have peaked they’re still a darn good team. And I wouldn’t complain if we got a Tennessee-Kansas final on Friday night at Barclays Center, a game that could have an Elite Eight feel to it.

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Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 97: Previewing Thanksgiving College Hoops with Barstool Reags

We are entering one of the best weeks on the college hoops calendar — “Feast Week” — as college basketball takes center stage from Maui to Atlantis and everywhere in between. There’s no better way to get things started than with a preview of Feast Week with our old friend, Bobby Reagan, a.k.a “Barstool Reags.”
Before Aaron welcomes Reags to the show, he and Nick Coffey discuss a number of topics including:
All the big college hoops stories from the weekend: Including Kentucky’s narrow win over VMI — Aaron explains why UK fans shouldn’t be concerned and why there are positive signs even after a close loss. They also break down a second straight loss for Villanova — and why things aren’t getting better any time soon for Jay Wright’s club. Finally they wrap by discussing Dan Hurley’s coming out party as UConn head coach, which included a shocking upset of Syracuse, followed with Hurley being ejected a night later against Iowa.
Next up, Barstool’s Bobby Reagan joins Aaron. The two…
Give a full preview of Feast Week: And break down all the big stories at the Maui Invitational, Battle 4 Atlantis and NIT Tip-Off Classic. Can anyone beat Duke — and who is going to be the poor team that leaves Maui with three losses? Also what should we expect from Chris Mack’s first big game at Louisville against Tennessee on Wednesday?

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 96: Reaction to the Early College Basketball Season

On the latest edition of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, Nick Coffey and Aaron talk college football before Aaron shares all his thoughts on the early season of college hoops. Highlights:
The Latest with Jeff Brohm to Louisville: Is it a done deal? How soon will we know? And how the calendar may play a role in deciding when the hire becomes official. Also, is there any truth to Dan Dakich’s report that things will become official on November 26?
Is Les Miles’ Return a Done Deal? The guys respond to some shocking news that may link Les Miles to the Kansas job. Will the Mad Hatter be back on the sidelines soon? Also, the guys talk all the big college football headlines into the weekend: What do we make of Notre Dame-Syracuse? Will Ohio State finally get a spark? And does anyone care about Cincinnati-Central Florida.
Next up, Aaron shares his early season thoughts on the college basketball season, including:
Why Kentucky’s win over North Dakota could pay dividends all season long: Aaron discusses the importance of that North Dakota win, and why we may have seen the “real version” of Kentucky.
Other topics include Auburn’s hot start — just how real are they? Why Nevada is starting to take shape and just how good is the Big Ten after a dominant week?

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


Recruiting Guru Evan Daniels Updates The Status of A Couple Kentucky Targets

Photo: USA Basketball

College basketball’s National Signing Day (which is really a week) has arrived, as top high school basketball recruits were allowed to sign Letters of Intent starting yesterday, with the period closing next Wednesday, November 21.

Kentucky already got its first signee, as Tyrese Maxey officially became a member of the 2019-2020 Wildcats on Wednesday, with Dontaie Allen expected to sign later this week. UK’s third commit Kahlil Whitney isn’t expected to sign this week, but as T.J. Walker reported on Tuesday, there is nothing to worry about for now.

Still, with the usual exodus of players expected following the season, Kentucky clearly isn’t done recruiting, and the question is obviously who will join the three guys above? 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels joined KSR’s “The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast” earlier this week to share his thoughts on some of the top players left in the class.

You can listen to the full interview by clicking here, but below is a rundown of what Evan is hearing about the 2019 class’s top players.

We start with 247’s No. 1 player James Wiseman, who has seemingly been stuck between Memphis and Kentucky since the day that Penny Hardaway signed on as Memphis’ head coach back in March. Things have changed a little bit since Daniels and Aaron recorded late last week, as Daniels is now reporting that he doesn’t expect Wiseman to make a decision before the end of the signing period (he said on Aaron’s’ show that he thought Wiseman might sign early).

That’s probably a good sign for Kentucky, as all the buzz lately has been on Memphis. And unlike others who say they believe Wiseman is a “done deal” to Memphis, Evan isn’t buying it.

“I don’t think there’s anything per se new to report,” Daniels said. “But he’s done with his visits. And obviously where he goes to school, the buzz and what everyone thinks is Kentucky and Memphis.

Where is he going to between those two? I think it’s difficult to determine. I think most people right now would say it’s Memphis. I’m not fully sold, but it wouldn’t shock me. I wouldn’t be shocked if he goes to Kentucky either. But as of now that’s all we really know. And I think we’ll probably see some sort of decision date set in the very near future.”

Again, considering how many others have reported that Memphis is a done deal, that is a good sign for Kentucky.

It’s not a good sign however for the No. 2 player in the class, Vernon Carey. At one point Kentucky was thought to be the leader for Carey, and KSR’s TJ Walker does still believe UK to be in the mix. But right now Evan says two other powers lead the way:

“My gut would say it’s between Duke and Michigan State,” Daniels said. “And Michigan State getting a second official visit factors in here. But heading into that visit I would probably give the edge to Duke. That’s just me handicapping it. That’s just me saying it. I don’t think that’s necessarily what he would say publicly.”

So, one good update and one bad for Kentucky fans.

Now, how about a total wild card that no one is quite sure on? That would be Seattle-area prospect Jaden McDaniels, who absolutely burst onto the scene last summer. Thanks to his strong player, McDaniels has gone from a fringe Top 100 prospect to now in the Top 5 by virtually every recruiting service.

Photo via Endless Motor

Still, even after McDaniels rapid rise, his recruitment has remained relatively under wraps. He is from Washington and his brother plays at San Diego State. But as we’ve discussed before, his dream school is Kentucky, where he just visited last weekend.

“He’s got that official visit with Kentucky this past weekend,” Daniels said. “He’s got one more visit, he’s probably going to visit UCLA before he decides. Assuming he does do that then it’s going to be interesting, because I think there’s a possibility he decides early, but it wouldn’t shock me if he goes ahead and waits. So, he’s one of those guys who would have taken visits to all the schools he wants to see, but maybe he doesn’t have a decision yet. And that could change too. He may end up being ready.

His is an interesting scenario. Does he stay close to home (Washington)? Does he go where his brother went (which is San Diego State). Does he go to the blueblood school that is recruiting him (Kentucky)?

It’s an interesting scenario and it’s one to figure out. I couldn’t give you a leader for him at this time.”

Like all the recruitments, it appears as though it will be wait and see for McDaniels.

To listen to Evan Daniels full interview with Aaron Torres, there is no need to wait however. Evan and Aaron not only discuss recruiting, but also the shocking Champions Classic result and what it means for Kentucky going forward, as well as all the big topics in college basketball.

To get the full episode, subscribe to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.

 


Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 95: Bobby Petrino is Fired + Evan Daniels

It’s been nearly a week since the last Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, but there are no shortage of topics to discuss, as Nick Coffey joins to discuss the dismissal of Bobby Petrino and 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels talks more Champions Classic and college basketball recruiting.
Bobby Petrino is Out at Louisville: What many had been waiting for became official on Sunday as morning. Coffey discusses what went wrong for Petrino in his second act at the school and why maybe it always destined to end like this for Petrino.
Is Jeff Brohm THE Guy?  Nick tells us why Jeff Brohm will inevitably be the guy at Louisville and what he would mean to the program. Is Louisville’s administration even planning for the possibility he turns down the job? The guys also talk a little weekend college football, and Aaron discusses whether we’ve finally seen a flaw in Alabama’s armor.
Next up, 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels joins the show to discuss all things hoops. He and Aaron go in-depth on:
The Champions Classic: Evan was in the building in Indianapolis; what did he see? As the recruiting expert who has seen all of these players dozens of times, he admits why even he was surprised at how good Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett looked. Evan and Aaron then debate whether we’ve already seen Duke’s best game, and also, where does Kentucky go from here?
Recruiting talk: The guys wrap up by talking recruiting. When will James Wiseman announce the next step in his recruitment and is a decision on the horizon? What about Vernon Carey and Jaden McDaniels? Finally, what is Cole Anthony looking for in a school and just how long will his decision take?

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.


Why It’s Ok for Kentucky Fans To Be Frustrated, But Not Give Up on the Season

Why It’s Ok for Kentucky Fans To Be Frustrated, But Not Give Up on the Season

I’ve been watching college basketball religiously for well over two decades, and the more that I think about it, the more I realize that I don’t think I ever remember a result quite as stunning as what we saw from Duke-Kentucky on Tuesday night.

Take the two most tradition-rich programs in college basketball. Take the two most talented teams top-to-bottom in the sport. Take two Hall of Fame coaches and put them on the court together, and what do you get?

A 34-point blowout. Huh?

Only that’s what happened on Tuesday night, and there really is nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said. It was a game where Duke was so thorough and dominant, it’s leading to all kinds of hyperbole and Wednesday morning quarterbacking from college basketball fans: Is Duke the Bama of college basketball (no, please stop). Is Kentucky’s season over before it begins (no, please stop). And is Zion Williamson the evolutionary next step in the sport of basketball, with 6’7, 285 lb. cyborgs taking over the sport from now until the end of time? No, please stop. There has only been one Zion Williamson in the history of basketball. And what he does is not replicable.

So yes, Duke was the far better team on Tuesday night, and yes, they should be the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country going forward. But it’s also safe to play the season, and let’s not just hand them the national championship trophy now.

To quote Denny Green, “If you want to crown their ass, crown ‘em!” but I’m not ready to do that yet. Even if again, they truly put forth a transcendent, unbelievable performance on Tuesday night.

Still, there are reasons to still to tune into college hoops this season, and if you’re a Kentucky fan (which most everyone reading this article is) to not give up on the season yet.

Here are six reasons why.

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