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Some Recruiting and other UK Notes


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Some thoughts on a windy day here in Lexington:

— Lot of stuff going on but probably the most important right now are the decisions that will make up the 2018 UK Basketball Roster. Hamidou Diallo has been invited to the NBA Combine and from what I am hearing, will be making the trip. It is an interesting scenario for Hamidou, who wants to get the best information possible and try out the process, but also doesn’t want to ruin a potential first impression in front of the NBA folks. The NBA Combine gives two types of invitations, those that are invited and can choose not to participate in the 5 on 5 (these are the top players) and those that are invited on the condition that they play 5 on 5. Monk, Fox and Bam got the former invite and Briscoe received one of the latter. From what I am told, Diallo initially got an invite that would require him to play 5 on 5, but this was changed soon after to the invite where he is not required to play. For Diallo, this is an ideal scenario as there is a good argument that his first public game in over a year shouldn’t be in such an environment. Diallo could still choose to play, but my guess is that he will not. I continue to hear that Hamidou only wants to go to the Draft if he knows he will go in the First Round (I know this is contrary to some other reports, but just passing on what I am hearing) and that he is more likely than not to return. However, if he gets good reviews and feels like a late first round team is guaranteed to pick him, he could leave. Bottom line…I think the “scuttlebutt” on Diallo will have a strong impact on what his final decision will be.

— The decisions of Knox, Bamba and Johnson will likely decide just how good Kentucky will be and on all three, UK is in a holding pattern. Mohammad Bamba is down to Kentucky and Texas according to most of the folks I talk to and depending on who you ask, you get different views. The folks who follow Duke have all been putting out that Texas is the leader, but I think that is more about Duke coaches projecting their hopes, rather than an accurate statement about reality. UK has led for Bamba for a long time and I can’t imagine what would have changed that fact but I do believe no one is certain what he will do, including the folks in Lexington. It is truly up in the air. As for Kevin Knox, he is scheduled to decide this week and once again, it is a mystery. Most believe that Duke is the leader, but I haven’t gotten a sense that anyone knows that with certainty. My best sources tell me they believe the kid’s favorite school is Kentucky but the parents lean Duke (specifically his dad). If that is true, it is a repeat of the Bolden situation and we know how that ended. Finally, Cameron Johnson visited Arizona and will still visit Ohio State. I am hearing it is either UK or Arizona in the end and the Cats are in a good spot. UK has made Johnson a priority (likely because they don’t feel confident on Knox), and want to take him no matter what the other recruits choose to do. He said initially he would take all his visits and the plan hasn’t changed. His decision could come any time after his last visit and I like UK’s position as of this moment. Bottom line on all these guys…between Diallo, Bamba, Johnson and Knox, I think UK needs at least two of those guys to be on the roster next year. A week ago I thought that was all but certain…I still believe it is likely, but I am not quite as confident as I was a week ago.

— The Kroger deal at Commonwealth is one that has been in the works for the past few months and was finally made reality mid-week last week. Kroger has been negotiating with JMI and was very close to reaching a deal two weeks ago (when the initial reports came out), but only after a change last week was it finalized. The money for the deal all goes to JMI, who paid the University of Kentucky money three years ago for the right to sell the name. It was part of the overall media rights package JMI bought and the assumption has been that it is a major money loser for JMI. This deal, which was for far less than what the naming rights were initially shopped for three years ago, represents a step for JMI to recuperate some of their initial investment in the deal. Kroger Field isn’t ideal to many but it honestly doesn’t bother me, in large part because the initial name was a placeholder anyway. While the announcement was today, the decision to allow this to happen occurred three years ago at a time that everyone realized investment in the Football program was needed. Kroger Field doesn’t roll off the young, but my guess is that we will eventually get used to it.

— Finally, a big shout out to my alma mater Transylvania University for the way the community came together following the machete attack on campus last week. From the President to the campus police to the women who worked in the coffee shop, the way the community handled the situation and the aftermath was great. I was proud hearing of their actions and have to give a shoutout to the entire Pioneer community for making what could have been a tragic situation, something that can be positive going forward.

Article written by Matt Jones

20 responses to “Some Recruiting and other UK Notes”

  1. WatchutalkinboutWillis

    I felt like it was very likely that we have Diallo, Bamba and Johnson…now I’m not so sure…and we will struggle majorly if we don’t have at least two.

  2. a21CATSfan

    You can’t imagine what has happened with Bamba? Maybe the John Higgins fiasco which you helped instigate? Maybe the BBN bashing one of his best friends for testing the waters? Calipari has proven he doesn’t need help running this program. He sure the hell doesn’t need his own fans and radio hosts to hurt his chances with recruits. Relay the news, not your opinions.

    1. catsarerunnin

      Yeah things are going to hell in a hand basket…

    2. RealCatsFan

      So you think Matt Jones actually reads these comments sections and gives a damn what you think of him? How cute!

    3. a21CATSfan

      Maybe he should. Instead of riding Cal’s coattail to his fame and fortune for no reason. Maybe he should worry about the effect his followers are having on twitter interacting with teenagers. But y’all are so far gone on the blue kool-aid and too busy commenting literally on every comment disagreeing with your master.

    4. RealCatsFan

      So you apparently were not aware that we had an idiot faction of our fan base way before KSR was a thing. I find certain things that Jones and his co-writers say and write to be amusing, but saying he is my “master” is going a bit far. The whole Higgins thing started as a relatively amusing and harmless thing with a few humorous posts on his FB page. Then some of the slack jawed yokem faction of the fan base got on board and took things to an unfortunate extreme. Calling out KSR for the whole thing is akin to calling out twitter for the idiotic tweets that Trump is known to put out there.

    5. catsarerunnin

      The “idiot faction” you speak of is a small percentage of the fan base. We also don’t know how many people who aren’t UK fans posted things and made phone calls to his business. You use the words “idiot” and “idiotic” to label people you don’t know not to mention demeaning the fan base you supposedly are a part of. But your mention of the President shows your lack of respect for those you don’t agree with. But that’s popular these days.

    6. Rixter

      KSR is, after all.. a news reporting agency.

  3. UKALLDAY1

    The life of being apart of a 1 and done program. Not knowing who is going to be on your team until the middle of summer. Scrambling to file roster holes at the last minute, parents not wanting their kids to go to your school because they think you devalue education (Bolden and now Knox), just to have all of them leave in a few months and some of them won’t even playing at all (Diallo). Then having to start all over from the beginning, it sounds exhausting I wonder how Cal does it.

    1. secrick

      Yep you are so right, most of Cals players are millionaires now. Sure the parents don’t only all of them.

    2. Wilfred Smith

      Apart means to be away from; a part would mean to be included, though the “a” is superfluous.

  4. CatBlue in LR

    Isn’t it time we enacted some common-sense restrictions on machete ownership?

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      ^^^FTW^^^

    2. RealCatsFan

      Machetes don’t kill people; ninjas kill people. 😉

  5. uky2007

    “Kroger Field doesn’t roll off the young…”

    Meh?

  6. CatFan26

    Has there been any injury update on jarred vanderbilt?

    1. kenny

      That’s the question everyone seems to be avoiding, seems like if it wasn’t serious he would’ve said something by now.

  7. timewilltell

    Matt Jones is gifted in writing posts that keep readers coming back to KSR. His posts are often filled with words that are might, maybe, could or could not. Granted he does have sources close to the program and often knows what is going to happen before it actually becomes public knowledge (aka player commitments). When he does not know or knows the news is not going to be in our favor he leaves the door open to “stay tuned.” Matt likes UK sports but make no mistake he is a businessman first and foremost. Says here touts the NCAA for making $$$ from the tourney by highlighting the skills of talented young men. Is that what he is doing with KSR?

    1. Rixter

      ‘Liking UK’ doesn’t really pay the bills. Being a business man does.

    2. timewilltell

      Then don’t blast the NCAA raking in $$$ when the topic of UK sports (especially roundball) is what fuels KSR.