I will have a full rundown of the press conference and what it was like behind the cameras in our nightly post. But until then, a couple of things….
— Expect at least Josh Pastner (a great recruiter) and another assistant to follow Calipari. I have not heard yet about Rod Strickland, but he has worked for Cal for 17 years. That would leave one spot open (usually couched as a “basketball ops” spot)….lot of push from folks around the program to get Scott Padgett for that position.
— Tonight Xavier Henry and DeMarcus Cousins will be playing in the McDonalds game. I am told that Cousins could very well end up a Cat and that “one of Cal’s first two priorities” is getting Daniel Orton to stay on board with his commitment. The recruiting landscape has completely changed for UK and we will deal some with that over the next couple of days.
— As far as lineup issues, I was told that “the Seniors will all be back, because of the time they have put in” and that it was possible that Porter may decide to no longer play after having the baby. Patterson, Meeks and Miller are all locks, but the rest of the roster is very much up in the air. If you assume this to be true then the scholarships that are certain are:
That is six, assuming Patterson and Meeks return. With Konner Tucker no longer on an offer, then three more would be taken by the new guys
That leaves nine (assuming all stay committed and Cal stays committed to them). That would leave these guys with futures still up in the air
As you can see, those are 14 people for 13 scholarships….the exact same amount UK has. But for every NEW recruit brought in, someone from that list would not return. If one considers these departures likely (as I do):
Then that leaves 12…meaning (assuming Porter doesnt return…which isnt certain), Cal could bring one more player and still be under the scholarship amount. Any more than that and hard decisions will have to be made.