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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Should 4 UK recruits have played in Derby Classic?

It was released a few days ago that all 4 of Kentucky’s recruits would play in the McDonald’s All-American game and also committed to play in the Jordan Brand Classic this spring.  Great news, right?  Absolutely.  But, for fans in the city of Louisville, and even in the state, nearly all of us will have no chance to watch these players play in person until they reach campus.  That is except if they play in the Kentucky Derby Basketball Classic.  The records are sketchy, but I found that there has been at least 1 UK recruit in every Derby game since 1999.  And some of the all-time greats from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s also have played in the game.  It has traditionally been the 1 opportunity for the recruits to play in front of their fans in an all-star game setting.

But, this season the 4 recruits decided to play in Jordan Brand Classic instead.  Now, this decision could be based solely on the fact that Kentucky is a Nike school and the Jordan Brand game is Nike-supported.  In that case, the guys may not have had a choice.  But, if that’s the case, it just shows how dirty and ridiculous high school basketball has become.  Also, I will admit that playing at a tournament held by Michael Jordan does hold more weight than one hosted by the KY Derby Festival Committee.

But, with the history of what the game has meant to the fans and future players, if the guys had a legit shot at playing in Louisville and chose the Jordan game instead, did they make the right decision?  Do you care if you see them before Lexington, or do you feel they owe it to the fans to pick that game over the Jordan Brand.  Just interested how the fans feel.     

By the way, here are some of the notable players to have played in the game:

2010: Stacey Poole
2009: Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, Jon Hood
2008: Deandre Liggins, Darius Miller
2007: AJ Stewart, Mike Williams
2006: Derrick Jasper, Jodie Meeks, Perry Stevenson
2005: Jared Carter
2004: Ramel Bradley, Adam Williams
2003: Sheray Thomas, Bobby Perry, Shagari Alleyne
2002: Bernard Cote, Brandon Stockton, Kelenna Azubuike
2001: Josh Carrier
2000: Cliff Hawkins, Erik Daniels 
1999: Marquis Estill, Marvin Stone
1996: Jamaal Magloire
1995: Nazr Mohammed
1994: Scott Padgett
1993: Derek Anderson
1990: Jamal Mashburn
1986: Rex Chapman
1979: Sam Bowie
1975: Kyle Macy
1974: Jack Givens, Rick Robey

Article written by Bryan the Intern

70 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Should 4 UK recruits have played in Derby Classic?

  1. Manbearpig
    9:05 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    if you have a chance to play against the best and get your name out there more in the Jordan Brand and McDonald’s All American games,which are the two biggest games, why would you turn them down?

  2. 3 fan
    9:07 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    its crazy to NOT pick the Jordan game. The only UK recruits recently who played in Derby game were not considered good enough for Jordan game.

  3. yesterdays
    9:09 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Going to miss it. Not having a UK player in this game will undoubtedly mean a few more losses. Watching Jared Carter in 2005 was an experience i will never forget. I was so glad I got to see him before he got to UK.

  4. catfan79
    9:09 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    would have been nice to see them play in person at the derby classic but i would have chose the jordan game as well. go cats and congrats on making the teams

  5. Scott Rigots European Recruits
    9:09 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    1. McDonalds game
    2. Jordan Brand
    3. all the rest (derby classic, cap-classic etc..)

    So no, they have no obligations to play in Louisville for the fans..also i think chuck hayes was in 2001 with carrier….

  6. JB is my Holmesboy
    9:10 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Additionally, we as Cats fans travel everywhere, including, NYC, Maui, all around the Southeast. If you really can’t wait for 2011 to see these guys, my guess is you can make the hike to Chicago for the McDonald’s game. Oh, and they have these new boxes, they broadcast frequencies, both analog and digital. It is almost like being there in person. Through magic you are able to see things from other states even though you are not there. There are really incredible, but probably a dead technology.

  7. mudcat
    9:11 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    1) You said it best…nothing else to add!

  8. sean
    9:12 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    I know ill get to see them here in charlotte!

  9. ebell55
    9:14 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    BTI this is just plain silly!! Not playing in the Micky Ds or Jordan game would be the equivalent of taking a scholly to play at Cumberland over going to UK! The event isn’t even televised nation wide! These kids have signed to play at UK so they owe us fans nothing in this regard! Also DA played in the 92 game!

  10. Handsome Jimmy's squat belt
    9:16 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Think bigger picture!

    We will just have to resort to watching them on ESPN rather than crappy ole Freedom Hall!

    This is great for KY because potential recruits will be watching these games and not the Derby Classic. When they see KY is getting it done in those games, the best recruits will take notice.

    Go Cats!

  11. Franktown
    9:16 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    No it doesn’t matter to see them in person before they get to UK… They’re almost too good to play in the sub par all star games anyway.. only the best of the best…

  12. Good Lord
    9:17 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    There is no decision to be made between the Jordan Classic and the Derby Classic. None.

    Would like to see some evidence of anyone turning down an invite to the Jordan Classic.

  13. ThankfulCat
    9:17 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s get Lacey and get him to play in the Derby classic

  14. BigRudy
    9:17 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t care. They are coming to UK, that is good enough to me.

  15. Rocky Maivia
    9:19 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    9) Wasn’t DA committed to Ohio State coming out of High School?

  16. Kent
    9:19 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Yea BTI, it’s silly to think they would pass up playin in the Micky d and Jordan all-stars. Sometimes I don’t kno how they let anything you write get on this wedsite.

  17. Nauseous
    9:21 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    the title to this post makes me want to throw up.

  18. BigBlueJim
    9:21 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    How come the “little brother loserville come on our website and shoot their 15 secs worth of crap” are no where to be heard of?? Guess that beat down the tards took at the hands of mighty Cincinnati just took the wind out of their sails!

  19. kyeric
    9:23 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Today, more than ever, learning to market yourself properly is key in getting a bigger contract in the NBA. When these superstars are looking to garner attention from NBA owners and scouts (not fans), they will most always choose a platform that gives them more national exposure. The Jordan Brand game has that exposure and although the Derby Classic has history, really carries no weight to the majority of the nation.

    This always boils down to business decisions, not loyalty. Good for these kids to understand real world economics and marketing at an early age. Their shelf life is very, very short, so better get it while you can.

  20. KySportsDude
    9:24 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Of course they should play in the Jordan Classic instead of the Derby Classic.

    This post was kind of silly . . . who wouldn’t play in the Jordan Classic if offered the opportunity?

  21. Handsome Jimmy's squat belt
    9:25 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Hey nobody played in the Derby Classic in 98 and we won a NC that year.

    Derby Classic Smerby Classic! Coach Cal gets the big time ballers!

  22. Bryan the Intern
    9:27 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    16) Because I am charming and know all of Matt’s dirtiest secrets. For instance, HUGE crack dealer.

  23. RICK
    9:27 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t care , as long as they play at Uk next year .

  24. Handsome Jimmy's squat belt
    9:28 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    I recommend removing this post, totally pointless

  25. Wayne
    9:28 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Has great tickets now for the derby Classic but thinking about putting them on Ebay. Hoping that Lacey does commit and plays though

  26. Jon
    9:30 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Notice how the number of UK players in the game increases during the Tubby years because the recruits we got weren’t invited to the real All-Star games. All those wasted years are depressing.

  27. where'sthelove
    9:32 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    What about Tony Delk? He’s one of the all time great UK players, and fairly sure he and Jared Pricket played in the game around 1992.

  28. duh
    9:32 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    The Derby Classic game is terrible !!!! Who cares about Louisville getting a chance to see our studs ?
    Lexington doesn’t have an opportunity to watch them in the Keeneland Classic or anything so what is the big deal.

  29. Bryan the Intern
    9:33 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    By the way, I gave NO OPINION in this post whatsoever, just wondering what you all thought.

  30. Handsome Jimmy's squat belt
    9:37 am February 17, 2011 Permalink


    What is your opinion?

  31. cracka
    9:37 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    since reebok sponsors the mcdonalds game, i think we should organize either a nike or (if they’re kind of involved with the jordan game) an under armour all-american game at rupp each year … one step further, maybe even have it for fr, so and jr so as not to compete for seniors … that could help with recruiting … having the best of the best (who mostly haven’t yet committed) in rupp for an all-star game

  32. Jorts the BWK
    9:39 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    They don’t owe the fans anything.

    They get the benefits of education, national exposure, and the chance to play for the greatest college basketball team in history, and in return we can ask that they play hard and not embarrass the program. Anything more we think they “owe” us is delusional.

  33. jay
    9:41 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    We go to the derby classic every year and was excited about seeing our guys at the new arena but I’m not going to see ul recruits.Oh well,guess I’ll just watch the new guys at home.

  34. Bryan the Intern
    9:41 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    30) I agree 100% they should play in the Jordan game. But what I hope is they didn’t just choose than game because it’s Nike and UK is a Nike school. I just hope they were not forced to play in the game. Which I don’t think they did, but as dirty as recruiting is I still wouldn’t be surprised.

  35. Megan
    9:42 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    It strikes me utterly selfish to wonder whether we should be disappointed that a small number of our fans won’t be able to see our recruits “live” in Louisville. What, we’re going to start giving them grief before then even get here?

    I think we have a consensus, BTI. No soup for you. NEXT!

  36. Bryan the Intern
    9:45 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    35) Hahaha. I will admit that clearly there is a 100% agreement here. Which is something rare in this fanbase, so I think I should be given credit for bringing this fanbase together!

  37. Syrin
    9:47 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    They can skip this EVERY year far as I am concerned. Long as they sign with UK, and don’t get injured in some meaningless exhibition game, I am happy.

  38. Doug
    9:50 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    I know JP Blevins played in 1998, and I’m pretty sure there were other UK commits in that game too, (Jules? Desmond Allison? Todd Tackett?).

  39. Handsome Jimmy's squat belt
    9:52 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    FYI, ESPN done a short bit on the whole UK calling Sidney deal. Its under the NCAAB section, in the blogs.

    They call us out for not being classy to resort to calling a 19 year old kid, they do acknowledge they called Big Cuz and even had racial remarks but to put us in the same conversation with them is insane.

    By the way there are Louisville fans posting ridiculous comments in there as well, Big Blue Nation should rise up and comment on that page.

  40. Claw
    9:54 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    36) It is surprising we have complete agreement. I mean, there were SOME people who actually posted that they LIKED the skycam.

  41. Blue-Tinted Reality
    9:55 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    These kids don’t owe us anything. They have the chance to play in the two biggest all-star games out there. It would be horrible of UK fans or staff to expect them to drop those opportunities. Whatever’s important to the kids should be important to us. We’ll have plenty of chances to watch them play in the future.

  42. bung
    9:59 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    I forgot how good Hood did in the 2009 Derby Classic and how he wore the UK Jersey during the dunk contest and Got Jeff Shepperd to autograph it

  43. _Blackhawk_
    10:00 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Slow day huh BTI?

  44. Catastic
    10:01 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    One of the bigger reasons for not participating is the way the Uofl fans treat the UK recruits. They taunted and boo’ed Marvin Stone many years ago and then of course worshiped him when he became a card. Also heard Jurich had the game moved to the Yum Center because they didn’t want it played on the UK floor in Freedom Hall.

  45. Runnin'Ramel
    10:02 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    34 – umm, no. They play in the Jordan game because it’s the Jordan game. They are treated like superstars and their names become household names as the next college stars. The Derby Classic is pretty much junk. We got lucky that Orton and Bledsoe played in it.

  46. bookumbockumk
    10:07 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Maybe the Derby Classic could become cool enough for the level of players we have coming in?

    Stacey Poole played in it last year… telling

  47. Bangkok Dave
    10:20 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    They’d be fools to pick the Derby Classic over the Jordan Game. Absolute fools.

    It would be akin to playing in the NIT over the NCAA Tournament.

    It would be like playing in the Euro Football League Championship over the Super Bowl.

    It’d be like vacationing in Tennessee when your other option was Thailand.

    It’d be like taking a job as a Walmart Greeter over a Computer Programmer at Google.

    It’d be plain freakin’ ridiculous.

    That list from the Tubby Tenure is ridiculous. It’s like a Who’s Who of Washouts and Recruting Failures!

  48. kyrobman
    10:26 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    If you play in the Jordon game you get all kinds of cool duds, (shoes, clothes,etc). So if I were that young again I am going to where I can get all the free cool stuff. The Derby my give out cool things too. I don’t know.

  49. kyrobman
    10:28 am February 17, 2011 Permalink


  50. The Joy in Larry Conley's Voice
    10:37 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    First, if you’re reading this thread, nobody but you watches high school all star games. This notion of “getting your name out there” is ridiculous. Casual fans aren’t watching. Nobody cares.
    Second, scouts are going to watch you no matter where you play if you’re good enough. But, frankly, I don’t see how a ton of scouts would waste their time watching what equates to little more than the Globetrotters vs. The Generals. Madison Square probably carries a bit more weight than the f*cking Yum Center.

  51. ebell55
    10:39 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Hey 26 Tubby almost had as many play in the Micky Ds as old 15 sec! He should have had more but he did have his share of Micky Ds. Prince, Stone, Curruth, Bogans, Rondo, Crawford, and Morris.

  52. The Joy in Larry Conley's Voice
    10:44 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Having said that…how can you not pick the Jordan Game? I hate McDonald’s AND KFC! And Louisville too!

    I would like to point out that calling Mike Williams, A.J. Stewart, Sheray Thomas, Jared Carter, Adam Williams, Josh Carrier etc. “notable” is prob being generous.

  53. Neil
    10:45 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    These kids would be stupid to turn down the Jordan Brand game for the Derby Classic. I for one think the Derby Classic game is a complete joke anyway. I have been to a couple of the games and was bored out of my mind.

  54. BlueFins
    10:52 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Would’ve been nice, but I’d rather them play in the more prestigous games against better talent. Without the UK recruits playing, it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd will be drawn to the chicken shack. Can’t make loan payments with those crowds.

  55. Bledsoes Algebra Grade
    10:58 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Since 99, except Meeks, Bledsoe and the 2000 class… a buncha misses.

    I’m glad this years crop are playing elsewhere. They’ll probably be good.

  56. so what
    11:25 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    The players can only play in 2 of these type of games right?

  57. indiana uk fan
    11:54 am February 17, 2011 Permalink

    easy decision for these players.jordan over derby!!!

  58. Musehobo
    12:01 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Haha, BTI, did you really think anyone would say that they need to go to Derby Classic over what’s best for them? Must be a slow week on the idea front.

  59. Henry Earl
    12:18 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Hmmm, play in front of and get to meet Michael Jordan (probably most of these kids hero/idol), with and against the best players in the country, or go to Louisville and play with Sheray Thomas and Shagari…Get serious.

  60. KevinC
    12:24 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Wow…after 2000, that list just went to sh*t. 😮

  61. bung
    12:38 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink


  62. Rex
    12:54 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    This is pretty irrelevant in regards to the sentiments fans will hold towards these players in the future. Gilchrist (and the other 3) will become one of the most beloved players in recent memory, even if he only stays one year, because he’s a pure winner and hard worker. BTI, I know you have an assignment on these Rants and Ramblings, but leave these unimportant debates to the guys on Around the Horn who we all constantly criticize for building up non-issues. If there’s not a pressing issue regarding the team, why stir everyone up over something that is basically meaningless? There are occasionally things that I agree with you on, but there are many times that I’m left asking, “Why even start a debate?”

  63. ekyrob
    1:07 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    dey shudda been played in that derby game cause dem boys need to no waht its like to be in and reperasentign the Kentucky on the front of there jersey! I’m a tellin you these boys gunna have some big ole heads swollen like a contest punkin!

  64. Big Blue Fish
    1:26 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Derek Anderson did play in the game in 1993 but was going to Ohio State he would later transfer to Kentucky.

  65. TvilleUKFan
    1:26 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Who cares…..Get them to Lex and let the games begin!

  66. CalsCats58
    2:33 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Doesnt matter. They should play in whichever game they like and as much as I love uk, an opportunity to meet and shoot around with Michael Jordan is quite a hard one to pass up. Just sayin…

  67. Do It
    3:00 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Worst post in KSR history. Put it in the hall of shame.

  68. Ky_Tom
    7:55 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Should play in Louisville…jmho

  69. Ky_Tom
    7:58 pm February 17, 2011 Permalink

    Can someone tell me why does this site wants to install a program called..Gears!…
    Do I really need it?