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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Derek Willis will play in the Derby Classic

The Kentucky Derby Festival Classic released its rosters for the 40th annual high school basketball all-star game this afternoon and Kentucky signee Derek Willis is among the participants scheduled to compete.  The forward from Bullitt East will be teamed up with Indiana signee Troy Williams, who almost committed to Kentucky last spring, as well as three other Hoosiers and Andrew Wiggins’ AAU point guard, Tyler Ennis.

Willis is the first Kentucky signee to play in the classic since Stacey Poole Jr. in 2010.  Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton and Jon Hood participated in the 2009 edition of the Kentucky Derby weekend game.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

37 Comments for Derek Willis will play in the Derby Classic



  1. Smart person
    2:37 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    The decline of this game is amazing.



  2. yarpi
    2:39 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Is this because he was not invited to the others?



  3. Reality Check
    2:45 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Isn’t there some rule about a player can only play in a certain number of these events? For some reason 2 seems like the number I remember, but I may be wrong. Anybody out there know for sure?



  4. fanaticat
    2:50 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    2 Obviously, but he is exactly the type of player UK needs in the system for 4 years.



  5. KBF
    2:52 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, you can only play in a certain number of events. Most high profile players prefer the Jordan Brand Classic. I sat front row center court at the Derby Classic a couple years ago. The crowd was small. Cody Zeller was MVP. If Kentucky players had been on the roster it would have been a packed house. Behanon and Angel Nunez were there repping Loserville.



  6. oldschool
    2:52 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    he will be my favorite player! now if we just had a good coach. who knew how to win. the right way. with integrity.



  7. bung
    2:58 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    anybody know how Derek is doing this year?



  8. Yngvie Malmsteen.
    2:59 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    He’s a diamond in the rough. More athletic than most know.



  9. Willis talkin bout..
    3:06 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Carrier-Hood syndrome has put a damper on getting excited about KY kids. In the Cal era.. they have to earn any respect they get… Unless he will be happy to just hear the fans scream “Shoot” during the last 15 secs of mop up minutes.



  10. BigCombs
    3:18 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    The NCAA rule is that they can play in max 2 of the national allstar game (Jordan Brand, McDonalds, NExT All American, Derby Classic, etc…) and 1 of their state border allstar games like Kentucky-Indiana or Kentucky-Ohio.



  11. BigCombs
    3:19 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Actually 2 games if the home state allstar game is series like the Kentucky ones.



  12. J in Orlando
    3:21 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    6. Hmm…There is an inferiority complex there, but the spelling is too good to be a UL fan…talking about integrity and the right way, so that rules out an IU fan…Im guessing 3 UL fans collaborating to get the spelling right?



  13. JohnnyFaro
    3:28 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    He is an unbelievable rebounder, we are going to love him. If Poythress leaves, I think that there will be a good chance of him starting over Kyle 5 or 6 games into next season. Cal will rotate them depending on opposition’s defensive speed.



  14. big j dawg
    3:33 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    I thought this game was only for incoming U of L players because they weren’t invited to any other all-star games



  15. Cat Fan in Georgia
    3:38 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    13 – You’re kidding, right??



  16. No he won't start
    3:39 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Derek is a good Kid… But he is slow and weak. He get pushed around easily. He has not gained any strength this yer. A good wide open shooter. His motor is slow. Troutman is a better player on his High School Team.



  17. Cat Fan in Georgia
    3:41 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    16 – Yes, Troutman is a better player (won the “Mr 6th Region Award”)…and Troutman is going to Bellarmine.



  18. theWilkman
    3:45 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Looks like Tim Condo!



  19. ukbradstith
    3:46 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    I go to this game every year; it has not really declined in terms of overall talent, but the elite of the elite usually pick Jordan and McDonalds, and that is where most of our recruits happen to fall. Sucks for this game, but a good problem to have.



  20. JohnnyFaro
    3:47 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    16- I have never seen him play in person but I cant believe that he is slower that Kyle. If he is not making it rain then he will be getting rebounds to help his team. The extra effort is what Cal is looking for.



  21. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    3:52 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Who is Derek Willis?



  22. no he wont start
    3:53 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    I have seen him play many times. Slow is the word. He is too thin and weak to be a strong rebounder right now. I hope he starts giving extra effort because I have not seen it yet.



  23. JohnnyFaro
    3:56 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    21- He is a shortstop for the San Diego Padres.



  24. Common Sense
    3:56 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Derek is the ideal practice player. Will no doubt work very hard and provide some relatively athletic resistance against some of the other more talented players during practice time.



  25. JohnnyFaro
    3:59 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Well, “No He Wont Start” you just depressed me. I had a rising glimer of hope manifested from his new McDonalds AA title.



  26. No he wont start
    4:10 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Do not be depressed. Give Cal 4 years with him and 40 to 50 pounds and some muscle. He has an upside. I am not knocking him. I’m just stating what I have seen and others watching saying the same thing. Troutman has a motor that is in high gear all the time. Good shooter and takes it to the rim. He is going to Bellarmine. He stands out more than Derek does on his team. I thought that Derek would come into this year bigger and stronger and he did not. Does anyone know if he is being talked about for Kentucky Mr Basketball??



  27. Let's Take it and Run
    4:38 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Good opportunity to rip this Kid apart. Many have taken it. Why?



  28. ljcatfan
    4:56 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    Yes, he and Troutman are both being considered for Kentucky Mr. Basketball, according to the Courier Journal.



  29. oldschool
    5:28 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    #6 – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – thank you.

    #27 – That’s what the current generation of UK fan is all about. It’s pathetic.

    I’ve seen Bullitt East play and they are one of the top teams in the state – no question. Some question Willis’ worth because he doesn’t lead the team in scoring every night or dominate the stats. To me – that’s a strength. It shows his ability and willingness to listen to the coach, put aside personal stats and play within a system for the common good of the team. If there’s one thing that UK fans should have developed an appreciation (and desire) for this season – it should be good team play.

    Actually – I would have loved to see UK make an offer to Troutman as well. He’s a 4-year player with probably a better skill set than Polson, with better size and a better shooter.

    UK fans should get off Willis and give him a chance.



  30. oldschool
    5:35 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    I know everything. isn’t it obvious? I may be old, angry, and hateful but I know EVERYTHING. I’ve convinced you fools that I’m a true blue UK fan when really I love fair weather…don’t hear from me when we win? Because I’m the most negative person in the world. Fortunately I know everything.



  31. John
    6:12 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    He and his family are born and raised uofl fans. So a below avg player who family is loserville fans i say not welcome.



  32. DantheCat
    6:13 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    #29..Spot on…Kid needs some strength , but runs the floor well, jumps well and has a lot of unside…Will be an excellent member of the team



  33. Cal likes him.....
    7:36 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    I love how all of these “fans” critique our players. Purdue really wanted Willis, Pitino really wanted him, and Calipari landed him. He is a Kentucky kid who gets to come and play for Big Blue. If Troutman is going to Bellarmine then he probably should not be at UK. Not knocking the kid. Bellarmine is where I graduated from. Different levels of athletes though.



  34. Opinion
    10:56 pm February 26, 2013 Permalink

    #29 #33 and others … Why is it when someone gives an OPINON it is then said your not a UK fan? Or your ripping the kid apart? If not for opinions these sites would not exist. It does not mean you have to agree with it. But why is it that you can rip people for their opinions?



  35. Jmmy Dykes Caddy
    12:16 am February 27, 2013 Permalink

    #15, have you lost your mind?
    Do you really believe there is a chance this kid will start next year?
    Sorry, and I wish the kid well, but his first strt will be on Senior day in his fourth year!



  36. Jmmy Dykes Caddy
    12:16 am February 27, 2013 Permalink

    Sorry # 15, I meant # 13 may have lost his mind.



  37. Mc
    10:34 am February 27, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with 35. If #13 thinks he’ll start a few games over Wiltjer next year, that also means he’ll start games over a few other players too.