Some notes on a Friday morning before the weekend…
(1) UK JUCO RECRUIT: Last night we told you that Billy Clyde had decided to go see Jon Hood in Madisonville and then make a trip to St Louis for more recruiting action. However besides starring in Nelly’s newest rap video, it was unclear exactly what Gillispie was doing on his trip or who he was going to see. Well after some detective work, it seems that Billy Clyde was there to watch Junior College big man Josh Harrellson (#55 above). Josh is a 6’9″, big boned center who has the ability to put large amounts of points on the board, scoring 39 in the game before Gillispie arrived. He is on a top JUCO team and is teammates with (coincidentaly) a player headed to Minnesota next year. Harrellson is however only a freshman, so his eligibility for next year is unclear. He committed to Western Illinois out of high school, but his stock has risen and he is now being looked at by the likes of UK. In addition, Harrellson’s school has a couple of other potential prospects, so if Billy Clyde liked what he saw, who knows who will be on UK’s radar. What is clear however is that Gillispie is looking hard for a JUCO big man….and one will likely join the team next season.
(2) ANOTHER 2008 NAME: Today Jody Demling reported that another 2008 prospect that is rising fast is looking at the Cats for next season. Jeff Taylor is a thin, 6’7″ scorer from New Mexico, who is considering such schools as Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Texas and UNLV. He has risen up the charts, thanks to his ability to put the ball in the basket in bunches, a trait UK will DESPERATELY need next season. He has one more official visit and is deciding between (ironically) UK and Texas A&M for that final destionation visit. Watch Taylor, as his recruitment, plus the potential movement on Hopson (as reported by Marc Maggard) suggests that UK wants another wing scorer and is looking hard.
(3) WOODSON DRAFT STOCK: The news coming out of Mobile, Alabama and the Senior Bowl workouts is somewhat mixed on Andre Woodson. On the one hand, Woodson’s coaches have been raving about him, saying they like his leadership intangibles and his ability. The folks at the NFL Network say he is the best QB in the game by far and are huge fans of his potential. But at this same time, Andre’s draft stock is falling a bit. He has moved out of some of ESPN’s first round projections and some are saying if the Chicago Bears (my team by the way) dont pick him at #14, he might slip into the second round. Andre has a style that scouts either love or hate….some project him as having top QB in the league potential, while some are very critical and say he is overhyped. Andre’s draft day could be adventurous, but his performance on Saturday may go a long way in determining where he is headed.
(4) DAVE ODOM Finally, the game on Saturday against South Carolina brings one of the truly odd personalities in the SEC to town. For years, I have found Dave Odom to be a figure in college basketball that I cant comprehend. He is clearly a great evaluator of talent and he brought and helped develop one of the great basketball players of our era to Wake Forest in Tim Duncan. He has had some success at South Carolina, and his back-to-back NIT titles are one of the most “kiss your sister” accomplishments in the history of sports. So I cant tell if I think he is a good coach or a bad one….add to that the fact that he looks like the South Carolina “Cocky” mascot and I cant help but stare everytime he is around. Saturday in Rupp will find me looking around for Chuck Edison and enjoying another great Cat-Cock matchup. But I will also spend some time watching Odom cry and whine in a the best suit that $20 can buy. I just cant help it.
We will have more on South Carolina all day, including the blog debut of my Renaldo Balkman story that I have told a few times on the radio. More all day…….